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Anti-pipeline demonstrators block Vancouver bridge after march winds through downtown

Last Updated Feb 12, 2020 at 10:59 pm PDT


The Granville Street Bridge was blocked by demonstrators on the north end Wednesday, but has since reopened

Hundreds of people have been marching through the streets of Downtown Vancouver

Anti-pipeline protesters are challenging to an injunction granted, which led to the arrests of dozens

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — An anti-pipeline demonstration Wednesday blocked the Granville Street Bridge on the north end which was part of a march through Downtown Vancouver.

Demonstrators began their day-long protest on the steps of the B.C. Supreme Court, before winding their way through the streets of Downtown Vancouver through the afternoon. Hundreds of people also stopped at the Coastal GasLink office building on Granville Street to protest the pipeline project’s plans to build on Wet’suwet’en land.

RELATED: Police arrest protesters as injunction enforced against Wet’suwet’en supporters at Vancouver, Delta ports

While there, demonstrators vocalized their support for the Wet’suwet’en territory where the Coastal GasLink LNG pipeline is planned. The pipeline would span 670-kilometres and cost billions of dollars. The company has received approval from a number of Indigenous leaders along the pipeline’s proposed route, however, some hereditary chiefs say they didn’t give their consent to the project.

Demonstration disruptions

Protesters made their way to the Granville Street Bridge completely blocking traffic and leaving dozens of cars stranded for a short time on the north end.

“This is not the way to get their point across at all,” says one driver who was stuck on the bridge with her dogs in the vehicle. “This is not the way to get me to support your endeavor. This is not the way.”

She points to better communication instead of “shutting down the day.”

While some of the demonstrators have dispersed, it is still unclear when the bridge will re-open.

Vancouver Police have been redirecting traffic and asking people to avoid the area. Cst. Tanya Visintin says she understands the inconvenience, but notes demonstrators have the right to hold a rally.

“We do our best to facilitate an individual’s right to be heard while working to ensure their rights done infringe on the rights or enjoyment of another person,” she says.

This is the latest anti-pipeline protests in a string of travel and trade disruptions around the Lower Mainland, with another in the works for Thursday. On Tuesday, a demonstration shut down the intersection at Cambie Street and Broadway for about 16 hours.

This comes as anti-pipeline protesters challenge an injunction which led to dozens of arrests at the Port of Vancouver earlier this week. Coastal GasLink opponents claim the injunction violated their free expression rights and they do not believe it has legal influence over them because they do not follow what they refer to as “colonial law.”

All those arrested were released with conditions. At the time, police said they attempted to find a peaceful resolution, but demonstrators refused to give up.

With files from Kelvin Gawley and Ash Kelly