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Demonstrators descend on downtown Toronto for Wet’suwet’en solidarity protest

Protesters gathered at Queen's Park before marching down University Avenue towards Toronto City Hall. Global News

Demonstrators rallied in downtown Toronto on Saturday in solidarity with members of the Wet’suwet’en Nation who oppose the building of the Coastal GasLink LNG pipeline in northern B.C.

Protesters gathered at Queen’s Park before marching to Toronto City Hall, calling for the cancellation of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) pipeline that would pass through the nation’s unceded territory.

“Justin Trudeau has to recognize Indigenous sovereignty, Indigenous rights, traditional governance,” said protester Eve Saint.

READ MORE: Trudeau says Wet’suwet’en solidarity blockades ‘need to come down now’

“I think that would be a good start.”

Several hereditary chiefs from the Wet’suwet’en Nation oppose the building of the pipeline, but the elected band councils for that and 20 other First Nations communities along the route support the project.

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The protest came one day after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hardened his tone on the issue and said Wet’suwet’en solidarity blockades that have been set up on railroads “must now come down.”

“The injunctions must be obeyed and the law must be upheld,” Trudeau said.

Various blockades have been set up on railroads in different parts of the country, leading to significant freight and passenger train disruptions.

Saturday’s rally in Toronto began around noon and resulted in some temporary road closures as protesters marched down University Avenue.

Click to play video: 'Trudeau: Blockades must now come down' Trudeau: Blockades must now come down
Trudeau: Blockades must now come down – Feb 21, 2020

“I think the government decisions to put pipelines before people has created this crisis and it is up to the governments to get it sorted out on terms that are respectful of Indigenous sovereign nations,” said protester Pam Frache.

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The protest was one of several Wet’suwet’en solidarity protests held in the GTA recently.

Last Saturday, protesters blocked rail lines in Vaughan and one day prior to that protest, the busy intersection of Yonge and Dundas streets was blocked by demonstrators during part of the evening commute.

— With files from Amanda Connolly

Demonstrators march down University Avenue on Saturday in solidarity with members of the Wet’suwet’en Nation who oppose the building of a pipeline through the nation’s unceded territory. Global News

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