VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — After getting wind of a planned protest at the Swartz Bay Terminal Saturday, BC Ferries has been granted a court injunction to preemptively prohibit blocking access to any of its terminals.
“In the interest of our customers planning to travel with us this weekend we did seek an injunction [Friday] to prohibit protesters from blocking access to the terminals,” says spokesperson Deborah Marshall. “I do want to stress that we did take this action as a last resort, and in the interest of public safety.”
She says the injunction has no expiration date and will remain in effect as long as the “current situation with pipeline protests goes on.”
The planned protest is one in a series of gatherings to back Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs who oppose the construction of a liquified natural gas pipeline through their unceded territory. Protests began escalating outside of northern B.C. last week after RCMP moved in and arrested dozens of opponents of the Coastal GasLink pipeline–predominantly Indigenous land defenders. Protests have included blockades of roads, bridges, ports and train tracks across the country.
BC Ferries says they respect the right to protest, and people are welcome to gather in designated zones.
“We are creating demonstration zones that would allow protesters to be highly visible and express their views but not block or impede traffic,” Marshall explains.