Supporters of hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en Nation have wrapped the protests at several B.C. government offices in Victoria.
The demonstrators were outside several B.C. government offices in Victoria on Friday morning.
A Facebook group online entitled ‘BC Government Shutdown’ reads “we invite one and all to join us in a shutdown of the BC Government. At the suggestion of Indigenous Youth, we call on settlers to help take responsibility for the colonial institutions causing violence against Wet’suwet’en land and people by picketing BC government buildings.”
The online event indicated protesters will picket government offices between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m.
Victoria police said there were no road closures Friday morning due to the protests.
Some of the buildings highlighted as part of the shutdown include the Downtown Victoria Ministries, the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Advanced Education among others. It is estimated that there will be a total of 30 different locations that activists will gather in an attempt to picket and blockade those buildings.
One of the buildings that was not expected to see protesters is the B.C. Legislature itself. On Thursday, an injunction was granted to B.C. Speaker of the House, Darryl Plecas, authorizing police to arrest and remove people blocking legislature entrances. Friday morning a court order outlining the injunction was posted on the Legislature doors.
The plan for protests follows one that took place at the B.C. legislature on Tuesday where hundreds of people blocked entrances to the building in in solidarity with the fight against the construction of Coastal GasLink’s natural gas pipeline through traditional Wet’suwet’en territory in northern B.C.
“We’re disrupting the B.C. government’s operations, so we’re calling for picket lines. It’s a huge action across Victoria,” said Morgan Mowatt, a PhD student at the University of Victoria and a member of the Gitxsan First Nation.
Organizers of Friday’s protest are ensuring it will be peaceful, however, this comes on the heels of Victoria police announcing Wednesday that four people were reportedly assaulted during the demonstration earlier this week. Police said three of those people suffered non-life-threatening injuries. The fourth was not physically injured but equipment the person was carrying was reportedly damaged, police said.
This is a developing story.