More protests in support of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs take place in Vancouver

Protesters blockade CN Rail tracks in Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

More protests in support of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs are took place on B.C.’s in Vancouver Tuesday.

About 100 people gathered at East Hastings Street near Main Street on Tuesday afternoon, before marching east in the direction of the Clark Drive entrance to the Port of Vancouver.

Demonstrators, who call themselves land defenders and say they’re fighting the violation of Indigenous sovereignty, blocked the intersection of Clark and Hastings for about two hours, but kept far enough away from the port to avoid violating a court injunction.

READ MORE: 3 arrests after protesters attempt to block B.C. Premier John Horgan’s home ahead of budget

Meanwhile, blockades have led to a backlog at the Port of Vancouver as more than 40 ships are still waiting to load or unload, a number much higher than normal.

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“Due to the recent disruptions in rail operations and protest activity, the demand for anchorages is currently exceeding the availability, causing a backlog of ships waiting to get into port,” Port of Vancouver spokesperson Danielle Jang said in an email on Monday.

Police responded to the Victoria-area home of B.C. Premier John Horgan on Tuesday morning when protesters blocked his driveway.

READ MORE: B.C., federal ministers call for meeting with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs at ‘earliest opportunity’

Demonstrators, who have shut down rail lines and staged rallies in dozens of cities, say they’re supporting hereditary Wet’suwet’en chiefs opposed to the construction of the Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline through their traditional territories in northwestern B.C.

On Monday, the ministers tasked with Indigenous relations for B.C. and the federal government said they’re ready to meet with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs at “the earliest opportunity.”

— With files from Simon Little and The Canadian Press

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