WATCH: Tensions are high in the B.C. interior today where a confrontation between police and Indigenous demonstrators is taking place. Calvin To has more.
UPDATE: The RCMP says 14 people have been arrested from the blockade set up by Gitdumt’en on Morice West Forest Service Road for various offences including alleged violations of the injunction order.
As Indigenous demonstrators try to block a planned pipeline project in northern B.C., rallies and demonstrations are being planned across Canada and in parts of the United States.
Victoria is among the nearly 30 rallies already scheduled as organizers call for an international day of action Tuesday in support of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation.
The Wet’suwet’en members say its hereditary chiefs have not given TransCanada consent for the planned pipeline project that runs through its territory.
According to a Facebook post by Rise and Resist, based in Victoria, the rally will start at noon at the B.C. Legislature Jan. 8 and demonstrators plan to block access to Belleville Street.
A fundraising film night is also planned on Cortes Island east of Campbell River, but details have not been released.
Other rallies are happening throughout Canada, along with two in Seattle and other demonstrations in San Francisco and Flagstaff, AZ.
TransCanada filed for an injunction against the Wet’suwet’en First Nation and says it has “signed agreements” from 20 elected First Nation councils in the region, including the Wet’suwet’en.
The planned pipeline route will serve LNG Canada’s $40-billion export terminal in Kitimat.
The company said there’s no reason for demonstrators to be removed in a camp at the site, but TransCanada needs access to the construction area for its planned Coastal GasLink pipeline.
Indigenous demonstrators are expecting RCMP action over the injunction filed against them, and rally organizers said on Facebook the protesters “are facing an imminent raid by the RCMP along with Uni’stot’en camp”.
Jennifer Wickham, a member of the Gidimt’en clan of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation, said on Sunday that police have gathered in Smithers and Houston, which are the closest towns to the Gidimt’en checkpoint.
The RCMP says it is responsible for enforcing the injunction filed against the Indigenous camp, but safety is its top priority.
With files from the Canadian Press.