Anti-pipeline protesters block Swartz Bay ferry terminal in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en chiefs

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Fight over northern B.C. pipeline comes to Metro Vancouver
WATCH: Fight over northern B.C. pipeline comes to Metro Vancouver – Jan 20, 2020

Protesters blocked a portion of the Swartz Bay ferry terminal north of Victoria, B.C., in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs.

Sailings from both Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen were held at the dock.

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Pipeline protestors dig in

The group of protesters said it was responding to an international call for action, blocking Highway 17 right before the Swartz Bay terminal. There were also protesters in the water.

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A notice issued by the group says protesters “demand respect for Wet’suwet’en sovereignty” and oppose the threat of what they call “a violent RCMP invasion.”

Click to play video: 'Anti-pipeline protestors block Swartz Bay ferry'
Anti-pipeline protestors block Swartz Bay ferry

Just before 9 a.m., BC Ferries said “traffic is now flowing to the terminal, and all vessels departing the terminal will be delayed until the traffic on the highway has cleared.”

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The protesters said in a statement they targeted B.C. Ferries “because of the corporation’s deepening integration with the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) industry.”

Click to play video: 'Opponents of pipeline dig in as deadline passes'
Opponents of pipeline dig in as deadline passes

Coastal GasLink is building a 670-kilometre pipeline from B.C.’s northeast to Kitimat, but hereditary Wet’suwet’en chiefs say they have issued an eviction notice to stop the work, although a B.C. Supreme Court injunction prevents interference with pipeline operations.

“We emphasize that provincial infrastructure cannot be built or maintained through the colonization and destruction of the territories and waters that the Wet’suwet’en have governed since time immemorial,” the statement said.

— With files from the Canadian Press

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