VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – Two young women were arrested at the B.C. Legislature Thursday morning after they “spray painted a driveway and exterior walls, according to the chief of staff to the legislature’s Speaker.
Allen Mullen said two protesters were brought into custody by Legislative Assembly Protective Services on suspicion of mischief.
Mullen said one woman is 18 years old and the other is “older than that,” but wouldn’t specify the second woman’s age.
Messages seen scrawled on the legislature grounds include “reconcile,” “land back” and “honour UNDRIP” – an apparent reference to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which was unanimously passed by MLAs in November, 2019.
The protester has already been released by @BCLegislature constables with agreement to stay off property – can be arrested by @vicpdcanada for mischief if the come back on the grounds. #bcpoli pic.twitter.com/wIKQA175jv
— LizaYuzda (@LizaYuzda) February 27, 2020
A media advisory from Youth for Yintah said the pair were “Indigenous Youth for Wet’suwet’en” arrested for use of “water-soluble chalk on and around the building.” A media contact for the group did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Mullen said one of the women was “quite surprised” to be arrested.
“She was told by some of the organizers of the protest that the spray-paint was water soluble – or they presumed it was water soluble – that ultimately she couldn’t be arrested for that,” he said. “Well that’s false information. It doesn’t really matter if it’s water soluble or not.”
Both women were released soon after being arrested and mischief charges are spending, Mullen said.
He said they have both been banned from the legislature property for at least a year.
— Victoria Police (@vicpdcanada) February 27, 2020
While political demonstrations are welcome at the seat of provincial power, Mullen said, there is a limit.
“We’re the biggest fans of peaceful protest here at the leg and in the Speaker’s office – but when that line is crossed we will act.