A rally in support of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs led to the closure of Calgary’s Reconciliation Bridge on Monday afternoon.
Dozens of people with signs held high were seen in the intersection of 4 Street N.E. and Memorial Drive — protesting in the construction of a massive natural gas pipeline that will cross the Wet’suwet’en traditional territory.
They eventually moved the rally onto the bridge itself.
The $6-billion, 670-kilometre Coastal GasLink pipeline signed agreements with 20 other elected First Nations situated along the route, but Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say the pipeline cannot be built without their consent.
About 150 to 200 people were gathered on the north side of the Calgary bridge chanting, drumming, shouting and singing just after 1 p.m. Monday.
Calgary police officers and EMS were on hand a the peaceful protest helping to direct and block traffic. Police told Global News the group was allowed to rally and block the roadway for up to two hours from noon to 2 p.m.
The rally, organized by Idle No More Calgary, started at the TransCanada Tower in downtown Calgary.
While regular traffic wasn’t allowed through the blockade, emergency vehicles were allowed across the bridge and through the rally.
Memorial Drive was reopened to traffic by 1:50 p.m.
— With files from Global News’ Rachael D’Amore