Protesters blockaded the Clark Drive and Heatley Avenue entrances to the Port of Vancouver on Thursday afternoon in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en.
The action comes hours after RCMP officers moved in to enforce a B.C. Supreme Court injunction ordering members of the Wet’suwet’en and their supporters to cease blockading access to a natural gas pipeline worksite near Houston, B.C.
The Wet’suwet’en say at least six protesters were arrested in that action, and claim police and the courts have no legal authority to remove them from their traditional, unceded territory.
A group of several hundred people marched down Hastings Street from around Dunlevy Avenue to Clark Drive, condemning the RCMP enforcement as a violation of Wet’suwet’en law. The group also blocked the area of Powell Street and Heatley Avenue.
In Victoria, dozens of demonstrators also gathered on the steps of the provincial legislature to show support for the Wet’suwet’en.
Vancouver police said they were monitoring the protest, and would advise the public of traffic disruptions via social media.
“Public safety is always our priority when it comes to preparation and police resources for these events including the safety of protestors and our officers,” Const. Tania Visintin said in an email.
“Police will also try to reduce any impact the protests may have on traffic, local businesses, and the public.”
The protests follow a youth-led blockade of the Swartz Bay ferry terminal and occupations of two ministers offices in opposition to the Coastal GasLink pipeline.