British Columbia

Supporters of Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs block CN railway in East Vancouver all day Saturday

Organizers brought in coffee and food to support the protesters, as well as extra sweaters for those who are cold.

Organizers part of a series of demonstrations supporting the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs

About 100 protesters gathered Saturday morning at Trout Lake in East Vancouver and headed to a nearby railway line to block it. (Ash Tanasiychuk/Twitter)

About 100 supporters of Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs blocked a rail line in East Vancouver Saturday.

The protesters gathered at Trout Lake Saturday morning and made their way to the nearby CN rail line at Renfrew Street, between Grandview and Hebb Avenue. 

Organizers brought in coffee and food to support the protesters, as well as extra sweaters for anyone who was cold.

The Vancouver protest wrapped up Saturday by around 8 p.m. 

Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline project on their land and assert authority over 22,000 square kilometres of the nation's traditional territory.

The project is approved by five of six band councils in the Wet'suwet'en nation.

However, the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs say those band councils are only responsible for the territory within their individual reserves because their authority comes only from the Indian Act.

Justine Gabias attended Saturday's Vancouver protest to show support for the hereditary chiefs. 

"I think it's super important to listen to First Nations people. Right now it's super critical with what's happening with the climate," Gabias said.

"It's just so important right now to listen to those voices and to celebrate them and respect them."

The railway line services passenger trains for Amtrak and Via Rail, as well as cargo trains. 

National demonstrations

This is the latest in a series of demonstrations supporting the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs.

Railways and other infrastructure have been blocked across the country in support of the Wet'suwet'en. 

Kayah George said she attended the protest on Saturday in solidarity with the Wet'suwet'en and with other activists across the country.

"It's getting very big and that's something we all want to happen," she said. 

"We have to show Canada that we're serious and we have to show the world that we're serious."

Pre-emptive injunction for BC Ferries

Meanwhile, BC Ferries says it sought an injunction to prohibit protesters from blocking its terminals after it became aware of a planned protest at Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island. 

"We took this action as a last resort in the interest of public safety," said spokesperson Deborah Marshall, adding that BC Ferries provides an essential service to connect communities. 

Marshall said BC Ferries will create demonstration zones for protesters to remain visible and express their views but not block traffic.