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Pat Bay highway shut down by supporters of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

Indigenous demonstrators take to the centre of the Patricia Bay Highway in solidarity with Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020. Global News

Supporters of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs in their dispute over the Coastal GasLink pipeline shut down the Patricia Bay Highway in Saanichton for several hours on Wednesday.

About three dozen people, some with drums, signs and flags, took to the highway where it meets Mt. Newton Cross Road around 2 p.m.

READ MORE: Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say meeting with feds back on after ‘miscommunication’

First Nations people, environmental activists — some with the group Extinction Rebellion — and others joined the blockade.

Click to play video: 'Protesters shut down Pat Bay Highway outside of Victoria' Protesters shut down Pat Bay Highway outside of Victoria
Protesters shut down Pat Bay Highway outside of Victoria – Feb 26, 2020

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RCMP attended the scene, but did not intervene, despite a court injunction obtained by the provincial government.

The injunction covers Highway 17 from Tolmie Road to Land’s End Road at the north end of the Saanich peninsula.

Protesters cleared out of their own accord around 5 p.m.

The highway is both a major commuter route and a key route to the BC Ferries Swartz Bay terminal.

BC Ferries said it was aware of the protest, and that police were detouring motorists to several alternative routes to the terminal, but warned travellers to plan extra time into their trip and to be ready for delays.

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Click to play video: 'Police make arrests at Port of Vancouver protest' Police make arrests at Port of Vancouver protest
Police make arrests at Port of Vancouver protest – Feb 26, 2020

The action came as Indigenous youth continued to occupy the steps of the B.C legislature in Victoria.

The group returned to the legislature Monday after occupying the steps during the throne from the speech earlier this month.

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