Wet’suwet’en Nation supporters swarm downtown Kelowna in protest of pipeline

A rally of over 50 people brought signs and voices outside Kelowna Law Courts Saturday afternoon

A group of passionate protesters took to the streets of downtown Kelowna on Saturday to speak out against a pipeline being built through Indigenous land in northern B.C.

Close to 50 protesters brought signs and songs to the steps of the Kelowna Law Courts to show their support of the Wet’suwet’en Nation. The pipeline, a Coastal GasLink project (CGL), was allowed construction near Houston, B.C. by the B.C. Supreme Court in 2019, without the approval or consent of the B.C. hereditary chiefs.

“We don’t want to live in fear,” yelled protest speakers.

READ MORE: B.C. hereditary chiefs ban Coastal GasLink from Wet’suwet’en lands

A prayer circle, ceremonial drummers and guest speakers joined the protest as supporters come out to show solidarity and voice out in hopes to assist people and issues over 1,000 kilometres away.

“We support the Wet’suwet’en and stand in solidarity with them,” said event organizer Caitlyn Donadt.

“We cannot stand in silence while colonial violence continues to be perpetrated. We call on the federal and provincial governments to immediately revoke the permits for the CGL project.”

Kelowna resident Hajime Naka was at the Unist’ot’en camp and said it comes down to the fact that hereditary chiefs from the Wet’suwet’en Nation have not given their approval or consent of the project.

“The B.C. government has legislated UNDRIP (the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples), but they (still) don’t honour the hereditary chiefs. They should have their consent,” Naka said.

On Jan. 4, CGL workers were asked to leave the worksites by the chiefs and that CGL crews were “uninvited” to the territory. The battle between the Wet’suwet’en Nation and the pipeline, which would take natural gas from Dawson Creek to Kitimat, continues.

On Friday in Smithers, B.C., hereditary chiefs declared that: “we never will” support the CGL.

READ MORE: Hereditary chiefs say “we never will” support Coastal GasLink pipeline

READ MORE: Rally to be held in Kelowna in solidarity with B.C. First Nation against Coastal GasLink project

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