Major Vancouver intersection re-opened after overnight anti-pipeline protest
Protesters blocked off Cambie and Broadway for 16 hours in support of Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs
A protest in support of Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs that blocked a major Vancouver intersection for much of Tuesday and overnight cleared out by Wednesday morning, just before the morning rush hour.
Demonstrators dismantled tents and rolled up sleeping bags before sunrise and extinguished a sacred fire that had been lit in the middle of the intersection. By 6:30 a.m., police re-opened the busy intersection.
The subdued exit capped off a 16-hour demonstration that drew up to 300 protesters, according to Vancouver police, snarled Tuesday afternoon traffic and attracted curious onlookers throughout the evening.
The demonstration was among several small-scale protests that have emerged across Canada in recent days after RCMP last weekend arrested 21 people blocking Coastal GasLink from accessing the Wet'suwet'en territory, where the company wants to build a gas pipeline.
Several demonstrations have sprung up across the region this week, including protesters who blocked several port entrances in Vancouver and Delta, B.C, which led to 57 arrests on Monday.
The Cambie demonstration began around 2 p.m. Tuesday and stretched into the afternoon and evening.
Lots of drumming, singing and chanting “RCMP back off , Vancouver Police back off” . Even the dog joined in <a href="https://t.co/Qi9RJJVOa0">pic.twitter.com/Qi9RJJVOa0</a>—@Meerakati
Vancouver police rerouted vehicles and advised drivers to avoid the area and use West 12th Avenue as an alternative. TransLink warned bus users of major delays on several bus routes, including the 99 B-Line.
By nightfall, supporters were dropping off supplies, including warm clothing and food.
April Milne and Candace Webber brought gloves, oranges and other snacks to distribute.
"We just want to show our support," Milne said. "As settlers, I feel like it's the least we can do — the very least."
Joseph Cardinal called for more people to join the protest.
"We need voices," he said. "The cops can come and do whatever, but they can't break our spirit."
As the final demonstrators cleared the street, Wet'su'wet'en supporters announced they would gather at B.C. Supreme Court later in the morning to challenge a court injunction ordering them to stop blockading port entrances.
Several people at the rally said they would try to get a few hours of sleep before heading to court.
With files from Gian-Paolo Mendoza