Protesters in Victoria are occupying a government building Tuesday night on Blanshard Street calling for an end to a natural gas pipeline project in Northern B.C.
They plan to occupy the building in a show of support to Wet’suwet’en hereditary leaders, who have opposed the Coastal GasLink project on their territorial lands.
Dozens of protesters are inside the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources building in the 1800-block of Blanshard and some have been there since 11 a.m.
Victoria Police officers are monitoring the situation and say some people are occupying offices in the building.
VicPD says claims made that officers have blocked access to food and water to protesters are false and officers are facilitating access and not blocking exits.
The group is demanding RCMP remove a blockade from the Coastal GasLink site, and are calling on Premier John Horgan to meet with Wet’suwet’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,” Indigenous youth protest leader Takaiya Blaney said from inside the building.
“We need proof that the promises to us will be kept and the at the promises to Wet’suwet’en people will be kept.”
“We continue to work with those onsite, both from protest groups as well as onsite staff to support a peaceful resolution,” Victoria Police Media Relations officer Bowen Osoko said in a statement Monday night.
The group is calling on others to join them at the ministry building tomorrow morning.