VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Protesters have staged sit-ins at the offices of three B.C. NDP MLAs to express anti-liquefied natural gas pipeline concerns.
It’s a response to an interim court injunction granted Friday to Coastal GasLink allowing the company to begin pipeline work on Wet’suwet’en Indigenous land in Northen B.C. Protesters have occupied the offices of Melanie Mark, Shane Simpson and George Heyman. They delivered personalized letters to each MLA calling for them to do their part in revoking the construction permits for Coastal GasLink. Protester Raquel Park says the move is not in line with reconciliation.
“It’s a sad moment because it’s unceded territory,” Park says. “They have been exercising the sovereign right to free, prior and informed consent to any access to their land.”
Protesters at Simpson’s office have asked the Vancouver-Hastings MLA to resign from the executive council if he does not meet their demands, which include not only a revocation of work permits for Coastal GasLink, but also to commit to upholding the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as it relates to Wet’suwet’en laws and use his power on the council to quash an injunction order against the Unist’ot’en camp.
— Lauren Boothby (@laurby) December 17, 2018
In a press release sent out before the protest, Park says Victoria approved LNG work on Wet’suwet’en land, despite the rejection by First Nations in the area, and specifically the Unist’ot’en camp. There have been similar scenes in on Broadway, where Heyman’s Vancouver-Fairview constituency office is, as well on Commercial Drive and East 1st Avenue at Mark’s office, occupied by representatives of the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users.
Melanie Mark! Use your power as an Executive Council member to intervene in the interim injunction and enforcement order against Unist'ot'en. This interim injunction order and enforcement order clearly violates and criminalizes the right of the Unist'ot'en occupy, manage and maintain their lands. If you are unable to uphold these commitments to Anuk Nu'at'en, UNDRIP, and reconciliation, then we demand that you resign from the Executive Council of the BC Government. #thetimeisnow #standwithunistoten #unistoten
Posted by Martha Roberts on Monday, December 17, 2018
A rally is also being held at the corner of Hamilton and Georgia Streets at 5:30 p.m.
— with files from Monika Gul