Wet'suwet'en supporters end all day sit-in at David Eby's Vancouver office
Sit-in at Eby's office ends around 4:30 p.m.
Supporters of Wet'suwet'en Nation hereditary chiefs rallied in Vancouver again Thursday, marching from the Kitsilano Community Centre to the constituency office of B.C. Attorney General David Eby.
About 40 people crowded into the office at 2909 West Broadway and chanted "sovereign forever, never surrender." The crowds had dispersed and left Eby's office by about 4:30 p..m PT, one of the organizers confirmed.
The group was demanding the provincial government revoke all permits associated with the $6.6 billion Coastal GasLink pipeline project slated to run through traditional Wet'suwet'en territory in northern B.C., in addition to other gas fracking projects, until they meet the standards of free, prior and informed consent as outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
Supporter Amy Walker held a sign reading "stop the invasion #wetsuwetenstrong."
"The truth is we're learning a lot about consent these day across our culture. And when people say no, we do not want you to come in, you need to listen to those people and you need to stop. You don't go and physically force them off their land," she said.
"Use the washrooms. This is our turf today": Watch as protesters take over Eby's office:
Thursday's actions were the latest in a series of anti-pipeline protests in Vancouver.
On Wednesday, about 200 people moved through the streets of downtown, disrupting traffic and eventually blocking the Granville Bridge in both directions for more than two hours.
On Tuesday, protesters blocked a major intersection at Cambie Street and Broadway. And on Monday 57 protesters were arrested at blockades of the the ports in Vancouver and Delta when police moved in to enforce an injunction order.
Speaking in Victoria, Eby pointed out that his constituency office staff has no decision-making power.
"We've had protesters at our office before and we've tried to accommodate them. My concern is for the security of information about constituents in our office and the safety of our staff," said Eby.
The Coastal GasLink pipeline will carry natural gas 670 kilometres from Dawson Creek to the LNG Canada liquefaction plant that is under construction near Kitimat on B.C.'s northern coast.
Protestors say they are planning to shut down the B.C. Legislature in Victoria on Friday, three days after dozens of people supporting the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs blocked all entrances and exits to the legislature, disrupting the start of the spring session and attempting to stop people from entering the building.
Victoria public servants warned
In a email sent to public service employees, the premier's deputy minister, Don Wright, warned a similar situation could unfold Friday.
"As Head of the Public Service, I believe I have an obligation to be very frank on this matter — I find this treatment of those serving the public to be reprehensible and unacceptable," said Wright.
"We will not ask public servants to put themselves into any situation where they do not feel safe."
Earlier in the day, B.C. Premier John Horgan and federal Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller signalled they're willing to arrange meetings with the Indigenous groups behind protests in B.C. and other parts of Canada that have blocked passenger and freight rail traffic.
Kitsilano sit-in at AG David Eby’s office on Broadway. Wet’suwet’en supporters want all Coastal Gaslink permits revoked. <a href="https://t.co/RDawYazUkP">pic.twitter.com/RDawYazUkP</a>—@ybrend
With files from Yvette Brend, Tanya Fletcher