Pipeline solidarity protestors occupy MP Bardish Chagger's office in Waterloo
'We basically just want to tell the government ... that this is wrong,' organizer says
Demonstrators at a solidarity rally in Waterloo, Ont. occupied the offices of MP Bardish Chagger Monday to show support for the Wet'suwet'en Nation and its protest over a natural gas pipeline project in British Columbia.
Chagger could not be reached for comment.
The Waterloo Regional Police Service has responded to the scene and remain on site to "make sure it remains peaceful," said spokesperson Cherri Greeno.
The sit-in came after an afternoon assembly and march to several locations in Waterloo.
Protesters in the hallway outside Waterloo MP Bardish Chagger’s office Monday. <a href="https://t.co/7HrglOW1gu">pic.twitter.com/7HrglOW1gu</a>—@PaulaDuhatschek
Waterloo regional police Const. Ashley Dietrich said Monday evening that police asked the protesters to leave the building, but didn't say how long the demonstrators had been given.
"We're hopeful that everybody will respect being requested to leave and that there will be a peaceful outcome," said Dietrich.
Earlier in the afternoon, demonstrators gathered at the University of Waterloo in solidarity with the ongoing B.C. protests.
UW planning student Katie Turriff, who is from Belleville and whose family is Mohawk Bear Clan, says she organized the demonstration to tell people in Waterloo about what's happening in B.C.
"Our purpose today is to raise awareness. There are demonstrations happening, not only all over Canada but even internationally. And there's this movement to shut down Canada to demonstrate solidarity and to share that, what can happen there can happen here," she said.
"We basically just want to tell the government, every government, that this is wrong."
Speaking to the crowd, Turriff encouraged people to take to social media, talk to family and friends or write to their political representatives to keep the conversation going.
Monday's demonstration saw more than 100 people gather at the University of Waterloo, then they moved onto University Avenue where they briefly stopped traffic at Seagram Drive. The group then walked to University Avenue and King Street where they again stopped traffic before walking to uptown Waterloo.
There have been several protests across the county in solidarity with a blockade of the Coastal GasLink project in northern British Columbia by members of the Wet'suwet'en Nation. The Indigenous community does not want the natural gas pipeline to go through traditional territory.
The protests started after police raided the blockade, enforcing a B.C. Supreme Court injunction against the Wet'suwet'en Nation members blocking access to the project.
- An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified Katie Turriff's hometown.Feb 10, 2020 4:13 PM ET