Protest in Corner Brook a show of support for the Wet'suwet'en
'Us standing up and showing our support for the Wet'suwet'en people is very important,' says organizer
A small group took to Corner Brook's Remembrance Square to show their solidarity for for the Wet'suwet'en people in British Columbia.
A dispute over a proposed pipeline being built on Wet'suwet'en territory is fuelling protests across Canada, including on railway lines, prompting the cancellation of all Via Rail passenger service and CN Rail service to eastern Canada.
"If something like this was going on in Newfoundland, I feel that I would want some support from my brothers and sisters across the island," April Legge, a protest organizer and member of the Qualipu First Nation in Corner Brook, told CBC Newfoundland Morning on Friday ahead of the protest.
"Us standing up and showing our support for the Wet'suwet'en people is very important."
Protesters are singing the strong women song here at the Corner Brook protest for the B.C. Pipeline <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/pipeline?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#pipeline</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/protest?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#protest</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cityhall?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#cityhall</a> <a href="https://t.co/3eTTgiQurc">pic.twitter.com/3eTTgiQurc</a>—@cbcnfldmorning
The Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs oppose a Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline, which is planned for construction on their traditional territory.
Twenty elected First Nations band councils along the pipeline route have signed benefit agreements with Coastal GasLink. The pipeline was also approved by the B.C. government. But the hereditary clan chiefs, who are leaders under the traditional form of governance, say the project has no authority without their consent.
Sympathizers in St. John's gathered at Memorial University's Signal Hill campus Monday afternoon to protest the pipeline's construction, and their chants could be heard at the rate mitigation press conference held by Premier Dwight Ball and Natural Resources Minister Seamus O'Regan.
Protests across the country have escalated in recent days. Protesters in B.C. tried to shut down the provincial legislature, bringing the fight to government officials.
Legge said the main purpose of Friday's protest is to show solidarity with the Wet'suwet'en people.
"We just want to show the people in B.C. that we are there for them no matter how far they are away," Legge said.
With files from CBC Newfoundland Morning and CBC Saskatoon