Yesterday afternoon, members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police dismantled a First Nations road blockade in northern B.C.
They were enforcing a December court injunction against members of the Wet’suwet’en who are protesting a proposed 700 kilometre gas pipeline which would pass through their territory and who have been blocking access to a logging road contractors need to prepare construction of the line.
Division in the First Nations band
The company says it has approval from all First Nations along the route, but while the Wet’suwet’en elected band council approved, the hereditary chiefs said they were not consulted and have not approved the line. Their disapproval has led to the protest blockade of hereditary chief supporters.
The $6.2 billion line would carry fracked natural gas from northeastern B.C, to a huge multinational liquefied natural gas terminal to be built at Kitimat on the coast.
Police, Coastal GasLink representatives (the pipeline builder) and hereditary elders met at a camp along the road Monday morning, but no progress was made.
In the afternoon, police moved in to dismantle the blockade and made 14 arrests on charges of violating conditions of the interim court injunction which required removal of blockades and no interference with contractor employees or vehicles.
Sympathy demonstrations for the Wet’suwet’en have been organised for today in several cities across Canada including one outside the Calgary offices of TransCanada Corporation which is the lead developer of the LNG project.