The Mounties say they are investigating allegations that protesters threatened security officials, set off flares and damaged vehicles at a drill site for the Coastal GasLink pipeline in northern British Columbia.
In a statement released Monday, RCMP said officers were called to the site along a forest service road near Houston on Sunday.
They say anyone blocking worker access to the area is in breach of a court-ordered injunction.
Opposition to the pipeline project among Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs sparked rallies and rail blockades across Canada last year.
The elected council of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation and others in the area have approved the 670-kilometre pipeline, which would transport natural gas from Dawson Creek to Kitimat.
The Wet’suwet’en have never sold or ceded their lands, and its hereditary chiefs say their right to free, prior and informed consent was not respected in pipeline consultations or approvals.
Members of the Gidimt’en clan, one of five in the Wet’suwet’en Nation, re-established blockades against the pipeline in November, and several people — including two journalists — were arrested and detained by heavily-armed RCMP officers enforcing an injunction.
On Sunday, Gidimt’en members reoccupied an area known as Coyote Camp and enforced an eviction notice that was issued to the company by hereditary chiefs last year.
“The eviction took place exactly one month after RCMP made 30 arrests on Wet’suwet’en yintah, marking the third large-scale militarized operation on unceded Wet’suwet’en land since 2019,” said a Monday statement from the Gidimt’en Checkpoint.
“Approximately 100 RCMP, equipped with assault weapons, sniper rifles, and dogs were deployed while floodwaters raged throughout the province, to facilitate construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline and the theft of sovereign Wet’suwet’en land.”
Sleydo’, a spokesperson for the Gidimt’en Checkpoint, said the pipeline company should expect that Wet’suwet’en law will prevail on the territory.
With files from Global News’ Elizabeth McSheffrey