Wet'suwet'en solidarity demonstrations continue in Kitsilano and at UBC

Feb 13 2020, 11:32 am

Dozens of Metro Vancouverites voiced their support for Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs fighting a northern BC gas pipeline again on Thursday.

A group of demonstrators stormed BC Attorney General David Eby’s constituency office in Kitsilano, demanding armed police withdraw from Wet’suwet’en territory.

“[Eby] had the power to get the police to back down but failed to do so,” tweeted Chief Smogelgem.

Demonstrations in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and their allies resisting a Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline have continued all week after RCMP arrested several land defenders in northern BC while enforcing an injunction on behalf of the gas company.

Also on Thursday, demonstrators blocked the University Boulevard and Wesbrook Mall intersection at the University of British Columbia.

Several Vancouver bus routes were affected by the UBC demonstration. According to TransLink, buses on the 4, 9, 14, 25, 33, 41, 49, 99, 480, and R4 routes were detouring, and delays of up to 45 minutes were reported.

In Northern BC, the 670-kilometre Coastal GasLink pipeline under construction is slated to cross Wet’suwet’en territory to bring liquified natural gas to port in Kitimat, BC.

All 20 elected Indigenous band councils along the route have signed on, but the hereditary chiefs of several Wet’suwet’en clans don’t want the project crossing their unceded territory.

Elected chiefs and band councils are a system of governance put in place by the Indian Act, whereas Wet’suwet’en people traditionally followed a clan system with hereditary chiefs as leaders.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the BC Union of Indian Chiefs, previously told Daily Hive he sees elected councils as having jurisdiction over reserve lands, and hereditary chiefs as having jurisdiction over a nation’s broader traditional territory.