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Anti-pipeline protesters block government buildings, join women's march

Citynews 1130 Vancouver

Last Updated Feb 14, 2020 at 3:48 pm PST

A crowd gathers Feb. 14, 2020 to take part in the 28th annual Women's Memorial March in Vancouver. (Bethlehem Mariam, NEWS 1130 Photo)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Wet’suwet’en supporters were blocking multiple government offices in Victoria, but ended their rail blockade to take part in the Women’s Memorial March in Vancouver.

Pipeline and Indigenous Rights activists targeted multiple government offices in Victoria, including the BC Public Service Agency and Ministry of Transportation.

Protesters holded signs in support of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs who oppose the construction of the Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline.

They included messages such as “Respect Indigenous Law.”

It was unknown if there were any traffic interruptions, according to Victoria police.

In the Lower Mainland, a contingent of those sympathetic to the Wet’suwet’en opposition took part in the 28th annual Women’s Memorial March, in remembrance of missing and murdered women.

That march started at the intersection of Main and Hastings streets at noon, and was to stop at Oppenheimer Park before ending at the Japanese Language Hall.

Meanwhile, the West Coast Express will resume service Friday afternoon after being cancelled in the morning due to a protest on the CP Rail tracks near Pitt Meadows the previous day.

Protesters who refer to themselves as Indigenous land defenders ended the rail blockade to attend the Women’s Memorial March, according to a tweet by the Red Braid Alliance for Decolonial Socialism.

In Chilliwack, protesters with the Sto:lo nation took over the intersection of Vedder and Knight in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en activists, forcing the Mounties to divert traffic.

That intersection has since been cleared.

Protests have continued as political leaders look to negotiate solutions, while business leaders, opposition politicians and ordinary people call for immediate action to end the disruptions, which have already seen more than 80 arrests, including about 50 earlier this week related to anti-pipeline activity near the Vancouver and Delta ports.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and B.C. Premier John Horgan spoke Thursday about the need to work together to resolve the pipeline tensions that have resulted in solidarity blockades in Ontario, Manitoba and B.C.

Indigenous leaders in B.C.’s northwest have invited federal and B.C. politicians to meetings to find solutions.