Protestors blocked both main commuter bridges in Victoria, British Columbia, as part of a demonstration against the construction of a pipeline that will go through the traditional territories of the Wet’suwet’en Nation.
The Bay Street and Johnson bridges, two of Victoria’s main commuter bridges, were shut down Monday afternoon when the pipeline protestors formed a blockade to prevent commuter traffic from getting through, CHEK news reported. The blockade began around 4:30 PM, and both bridges were reopened around 7:00 PM.
A viral video circulated showing a commuter arguing with the protestors, saying “I’m just a citizen… this is unfair” and telling protestors that there were 40 people waiting on him to teach a class. “Are you guys trying to garner support? Because this isn’t the way to do it,” the commuter adds.
— Joe Perkins (@JoePerkinsCHEK) February 11, 2020
Pipeline protestors also blocked the entrance to the B.C. legislature today, ahead of the beginning of the spring session. They blocked all entrances to the legislature and prevented anyone from entering or exiting the building, and held a sacred ceremony where police had set up a path. (RELATED: Nearly 100 Arrested After Blocking Traffic While Protesting ICE)
Demonstrators are holding a sacred ceremony right where police set up a path. One supporter telling the crowd to not let police touch them and to call out if police make any sort of contact. @CHEK_News #bcpoli #ShutCanadaDown #yyj pic.twitter.com/F3uCJU5cuG
— Julian Kolsut (@juliankolsut) February 11, 2020
— CHEK News (@CHEK_News) February 11, 2020
The Coastal Gaslink pipeline is part of a $40-billion LNG Canada natural gas export project. John Horgan, the premier of British Columbia, has said that the “pipeline is of vital economic and social importance to northern B.C.,” and since the courts have ruled that the pipeline can be built, the “rule of law must prevail.”
The hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en nation claim that since they never signed a treaty giving up their historical territories, they lay claim to a 22,000-square-kilometer area, which the pipeline is expected to run through.