According to a video posted to facebook by the Indigenous Climate Action group, a handful of Indigenous youth occupying a government building on Blanshard Street in Victoria since Tuesday morning were arrested early Wednesday. The group was protesting inside the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources building, some since 11 a.m. Tuesday, where they spent the night. As a collective, they’re calling for an end to a natural gas pipeline project in Northern B.C., and offering support to Wet’sOwet’en hereditary leaders’, who have opposed the project on their territorial lands. Similiar calls were made at Swartz Bay terminal early Monday morning, which backed up ferry traffic and caused major delays. They’re also demanding RCMP remove a blockade from the Coastal GasLink site and are calling on Premier John Horgan to meet with Wet’sOwet’en leaders. “We as Indigenous people know historically Canada does not keep promises with us and so what we need is a confirmation that seems genuine. We need proof that the promises to us will be kept and the promises to Wet’suwet’en people will be kept,” said one of the protestors, Takaiya Blaney, late Tuesday night. At around 6:00 a.m. Wednesday morning, a legal observer at the demonstration says 12 Indigenous youth and one other who were protesting outside were arrested by Victoria Police. Starting at 8 a.m. Wednesday morning, more demonstrators rallied in the area near the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources building, protesting the mornings’ arrests. Just before 9:30 a.m. the protestors dispersed.
Posted by Indigenous Climate Action on Wednesday, January 22, 2020