VIDEO: Wet’suwet’en supporters vow to keep protesting at B.C. legislature

Arms raised in support of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Supporters gather by a fire in front of the Indigenous youth holding a press conference. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Indigenous youth are occupying the legislature for a second time in just a few weeks in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Hundreds of people attended the Indigenous youth’s press conference on Wednesday at the B.C. Legislature, which they’ve been occupying since Monday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Hundreds of people attended the Indigenous youth’s press conference on Wednesday at the B.C. Legislature, which they’ve been occupying since Monday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
A man in the crowd holds a sign in support of Indigneous rights. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Seen on the back of a supporters coat. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Saul Brown tells the crowd he’s received death threats and felt he should take a step back for Wednesday event. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

Dozens of young Indigenous peoples lined the stairs of the legislature Wednesday morning ahead of a press conference — just steps from where they slept the previous three days.

For them, being there — standing in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs — is not an option.

Citing 150 years of oppression through the Indian Act and residential schools, the Indigenous youth aim to put a stop to the Coastal GasLink pipeline and say that oppression continues. Saul Brown, one of the front-men of the Victoria movement, told the crowd of hundreds gathered at the base of the steps, that he felt he needed to take a step back for Wednesday’s press conference after getting death threats.

RELATED: Indigenous youth occupy B.C. Legislature steps amidst court injunction

“When the media paints us as criminals, it puts us in danger. It incites hatred. It gives excuses to bigots to hate and we know there are people out there who do not wish us well as Indigenous peoples,” he said.

The press conference comes after 14 people were arrested, including three Gitxsan hereditary chiefs, as police enforced injunctions across the province late Monday and Tuesday.

“This isn’t just about a pipeline, this is about our survival and what has been said before is that what we’re fighting for here is so the next generation doesn’t have to be sitting here on cement steps night after night to get these politicians to listen to us,” said Gina Mowat.

Nationwide blockades and demonstrations have been popping up for weeks across the country and the group Indigenous Youth for Wet’suwet’en has declared reconciliation dead.

“We’re starting to realize that reconciliation may not have existed in the first place, that reconciliation was merely empty rhetoric in order to justify the ongoing colonization of our territories,” said Kolin Wilson-Sutherland. “Reconciliation never had anything to do with Indigenous peoples, we were simply an inconvenience to the ongoing exploitation of our territories.”

Ta’Kaiya Blaney addresses the crowd in front of the B.C. Legislature. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

Ta’Kaiya Blaney said they will continue to occupy ministry offices, rail lines and legislative and parliamentary precincts to hold all levels of government responsible for the “perpetuation of Canada’s genocidal legacy.”

RELATED: Demonstrators plan to shut down Pat Bay Highway Wednesday afternoon

The current occupation was organized jointly by groups including Indigenous Youth for Wet’suwet’en, Climate Justice Victoria, Divest UVic, Rise and Resist, the University of Victoria Sustainability Project and the Balmoral Tiny House Warriors Build.

Indigenous Youth for Wet’suwet’en has been the driving force behind a number of solidarity movements, including an 18-hour sit-in at the at the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources and the first occupation of the legislature building’s front steps earlier this month.

With files from Nina Grossman and Shalu Mehta



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coastal GasLink

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Some Surrey landlords ‘kicking out’ businesses that can’t make rent

Surrey Board of Trade CEO suspects situation will be worse in May

Catalytic converters stolen from ambulances being repaired in Delta

The thefts were reported on March 31, and police say they have no suspects at this time

MP Tamara Jansen to donate pay raise to Surrey-based charity

Members of Parliament to receive legislated pay raise Wednesday, April 1

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

APRIL 1: Surrey businesses ‘freaking out’ about not being able to make rent

Surrey RCMP not seeing ‘significant loss’ in ranks because of COVID-19

Surrey Mounties say they have a good tracking system to keep tabs on police officers experiencing an illness

First Nations, remote communities need special attention in pandemic, Freeland says

Health-care workers, seniors, Indigenous Peoples some of people most at risk, health officials say

B.C. teen donating stem cells for brother’s second fight with cancer

Chilliwack’s Fleming family appealing to the public to look into stem cell donation

High cost, limited coverage for asthma medicine a concern during COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. man says he skips puffs to save money, but others have it worse

B.C. man sick with COVID-19 calls it a ‘horrible disease’

Tim Green says he has ‘extreme coughing fits every hour’ to clear his lungs

Trudeau says Parliament needs to sit to pass expanded COVID-19 benefits

Wage subsidy program has been greatly expanded since it was first approved

UPDATE: Anti-tax group calls for MPs, senators to donate scheduled pay raises to charity

Bill C-30, adopted 15 years ago, mandates the salary and allowance increases each calendar year

Liberals delay release of 75% wage subsidy details, costs: Morneau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

World COVID-19 update: NATO suspicious of Russian military drills; Cruise ships ordered to stay at sea

Comprehensive update of coronavirus news from around the world for Wednesday, April 1

John Horgan extends B.C.’s state of emergency for COVID-19

Premier urges everyone to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice

Most Read