VIDEO: Wet’suwet’en supporters vow to keep protesting at B.C. legislature

Arms raised in support of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Supporters gather by a fire in front of the Indigenous youth holding a press conference. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Indigenous youth are occupying the legislature for a second time in just a few weeks in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Hundreds of people attended the Indigenous youth’s press conference on Wednesday at the B.C. Legislature, which they’ve been occupying since Monday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Hundreds of people attended the Indigenous youth’s press conference on Wednesday at the B.C. Legislature, which they’ve been occupying since Monday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
A man in the crowd holds a sign in support of Indigneous rights. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Seen on the back of a supporters coat. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Saul Brown tells the crowd he’s received death threats and felt he should take a step back for Wednesday event. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

Dozens of young Indigenous peoples lined the stairs of the legislature Wednesday morning ahead of a press conference — just steps from where they slept the previous three days.

For them, being there — standing in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs — is not an option.

Citing 150 years of oppression through the Indian Act and residential schools, the Indigenous youth aim to put a stop to the Coastal GasLink pipeline and say that oppression continues. Saul Brown, one of the front-men of the Victoria movement, told the crowd of hundreds gathered at the base of the steps, that he felt he needed to take a step back for Wednesday’s press conference after getting death threats.

RELATED: Indigenous youth occupy B.C. Legislature steps amidst court injunction

“When the media paints us as criminals, it puts us in danger. It incites hatred. It gives excuses to bigots to hate and we know there are people out there who do not wish us well as Indigenous peoples,” he said.

The press conference comes after 14 people were arrested, including three Gitxsan hereditary chiefs, as police enforced injunctions across the province late Monday and Tuesday.

“This isn’t just about a pipeline, this is about our survival and what has been said before is that what we’re fighting for here is so the next generation doesn’t have to be sitting here on cement steps night after night to get these politicians to listen to us,” said Gina Mowat.

Nationwide blockades and demonstrations have been popping up for weeks across the country and the group Indigenous Youth for Wet’suwet’en has declared reconciliation dead.

“We’re starting to realize that reconciliation may not have existed in the first place, that reconciliation was merely empty rhetoric in order to justify the ongoing colonization of our territories,” said Kolin Wilson-Sutherland. “Reconciliation never had anything to do with Indigenous peoples, we were simply an inconvenience to the ongoing exploitation of our territories.”

Ta’Kaiya Blaney addresses the crowd in front of the B.C. Legislature. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

Ta’Kaiya Blaney said they will continue to occupy ministry offices, rail lines and legislative and parliamentary precincts to hold all levels of government responsible for the “perpetuation of Canada’s genocidal legacy.”

RELATED: Demonstrators plan to shut down Pat Bay Highway Wednesday afternoon

The current occupation was organized jointly by groups including Indigenous Youth for Wet’suwet’en, Climate Justice Victoria, Divest UVic, Rise and Resist, the University of Victoria Sustainability Project and the Balmoral Tiny House Warriors Build.

Indigenous Youth for Wet’suwet’en has been the driving force behind a number of solidarity movements, including an 18-hour sit-in at the at the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources and the first occupation of the legislature building’s front steps earlier this month.

With files from Nina Grossman and Shalu Mehta



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coastal GasLink

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nakusp and Kelowna businesses partner up to make face masks during COVID-19 crisis

The businesses expect to deliver their first set of masks on April 7 or 8

Castlegar wedding shows love conquers all

Brandon Melanson and Kimberly Patricia Melanson were married at Millennium Park last week.

Selkirk College starts COVID-19 emergency fund for students

The college has set aside up to $30,000 in matching funds for donations

Regional District of Central Kootenay changes services due to COVID-19

Building inspections and GIS services are some of the services impacted

Nakusp mayor provides update on landfill operations during COVID-19 crisis

Tom Zeleznik said installing debit machines outside the facility could help make operations safer

Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, fear it’s a mistake

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

COVID-19 self-isolation plan or quarantine, returning B.C. residents told

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Sanders drops 2020 bid, leaving Biden as likely nominee

Sanders plans to talk to his supporters later Wednesday

B.C. faith leaders, Horgan discuss need for virtual religious ceremonies

Leaders were open to providing other ways to celebrate during the pandemic

Emergency COVID-19 funding now available for children with special needs

Funding to be used to help support families through uncertain times of pandemic

Most Read