Several videos posted online showed a blue car driving through protesters who were blocking Albert Memorial Bridge on Feb 8.
More than 100 people had gathered at the bridge at noon where they stopped traffic for about 15 minutes. The planned protest was scheduled for an hour.
In the videos, it appears one picketer is on the hood of the car as the vehicle drives forward. Other protesters are seen banging on the driver’s window.
Police said they were assisting with the diversion of traffic after the road was blocked. In the meantime, other vehicles stopped by protesters, including a city bus, were able to turn around without incident.
Those at the rally were quick to share their account of the incident on social media.
“My mom was the first one in his path. … I kind of blacked out in shock and disbelief … and got my kids out of the way,” read a post from a Facebook user who said she was at the rally. “Thankfully she was okay, but I am still shooken (sic) up and start to cry thinking about it.”
RPS told Global News on Feb. 12 that the car’s driver identified himself to them the day after the protest.
Officers said they learned he was travelling southbound on Albert Street when he saw the protestors. The traffic signal turned green and he proceeded forward.
He told police the crowd initially opened up a bit but then closed around with protestors pounding on his car and throwing coffee through an open sunroof.
He was fearful with a child in the vehicle, police said.
According to RPS, he drove forward at idling speed until clear. In hindsight, he recognized that all of this could have been avoided had he turned around but he did not know what was going to happen at the time.
Police said no injuries were reported.
Protesters had gathered to show their solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, who were attempting to block construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline.
Supporters were holding rallies throughout Canada after RCMP officers moved in to enforce a B.C. Supreme Court injunction ordering supporters protesting in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs to stop blocking access to the worksite near Houston, B.C.