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2 women arrested at B.C. Legislature after spraying liquid chalk on the building

Chalk is sprayed on the walkways at the B.C. Legislature. Richard Zussman/Global News

Two women were arrested at the B.C. legislature after spraying washable chalk on the side of the main legislative building on Thursday.

Legislature Assembly Protection Services officers were assisted by Victoria police officers in the arrests, and the suspects could face mischief charges.

“Those individuals are now banned from the property,” said Alan Mullen, chief of staff to Speaker Darryl Plecas.

“She [one of the women arrested] was given advice that because the paint was water soluble, she couldn’t be arrested. It makes no difference if it’s water soluble or not. Mischief in this case is a criminal offence, be in water soluble or not.”
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READ MORE: Protesters defy injunction at Port of Vancouver, youth lock themselves to legislature in Victoria

According to the Victoria police, some of the chalk has been removed while some of it has not washed away with water and soap.

The police say protesters started applying a substance to the building, driveway and walkways just after 10 a.m. on Thursday.

An encampment that has grown in front of the legislature is not breaking the ongoing injunction, and Mullen said it has been largely peaceful.

The protest is being led by Indigeneous youth in support of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs.

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B.C. court serves injunction ahead of planned legislature protests – Feb 13, 2020

The legislature remains closed to the public, even though the doors are not being blocked.

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“The decision was made to close it. Any pre-approved school groups are still coming,” Mullen said.

The Indigenous youth decided Thursday to call on supporters to “make voices heard” and do an “art project.”

“It’s spray paint chalk. Parents use it to make lines for kids’ basketball on driveways. It’s totally safe and water soluble,” Indigenous youth Ace Harry said.

“It’s harmless. The way [it] has been criminalized is very much in line with history.”

“Land,” “Wet’suwet’en” and other messages were sprayed on the walkways and the building. Harry says this is what the group was expecting.

“This is very much based on what makes the powers that be uncomfortable,” Harry said. “This is harmless.”

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