VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – They held the blockade for more than 16 hours, but protesters have now left the intersection of Cambie and Broadway in Vancouver, with plans to take part in a march later Wednesday morning.
The many who were still camped out by 5:00 a.m. said they were going to march from B.C. Supreme Court in downtown Vancouver, where supporters of the Wet’suwet’en are launching a legal challenge of the court injunction against blockades at Metro Vancouver ports.
Protesters gathered in the middle of the major intersection south of the Cambie Street Bridge on Tuesday afternoon, in support of hereditary leaders who oppose a Coastal GasLink liquefied natural gas pipeline to be built through Wet’suwet’en territory.
Supporters had planned to leave Cambie and Broadway once their sacred fire burned down. While a crowd of up to 500 people gathered a day before, only about a couple dozen remained early in the morning Wednesday.
The Coastal GasLink LNG 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.
On Monday, a number of arrests were made in both Vancouver and Delta after groups of people blocked entry to the region’s major ports. Demonstrations were held last week, starting the same day the RCMP began enforcing an injunction on the Wet’suwet’en territory to allow construction on the pipeline to begin.
On Tuesday, hundreds of people as part of a vocal crowd also blocked access to the B.C. Legislature in Victoria ahead of the Throne Speech. Protesters there forced the cancellation of the Inspection of the Guard of Honour ceremony before the speech was read.
Meanwhile, blockades stopping rail traffic in Ontario and northern B.C. continue as commodities and consumer goods piled up in port terminals and rail yards.
Via Rail has cancelled all passenger service between Toronto-Montreal and Toronto-Ottawa.