Mounties, including some who are heavily armed, moved in today on a blockade supported by hereditary chiefs in northern B.C.
Police ended up arresting 14 people at the Gidimt'en checkpoint, which is one of two blockades set up on Wet'suwet'en territory in opposition to the Coastal GasLink pipeline.
It's expected that authorities will move in on the second encampment camp at the Morice River Bridge.
“I am here in my home, on my land," one of the protest leaders, Freda Huson, said on the Unist'ot'en camp website. "I am not a criminal for protecting my most critical infrastructure which is my berries, my medicine, my water, my right to teach future Unist’ot’en generations how to live in right relationship with the land. Without water, no human will survive and these projects like TransCanada’s Coastal GasLink threatens the water. We are the land, the land is us.”
The RCMP has insisted on its website that it's "impartial and we respect the rights of individuals to peaceful, lawful and safe protest".
It's enforcing a B.C. Supreme Court injunction obtained last month by Coastal GasLink Pipeline Ltd.
The 670-kilometre pipeline is part of the infrastructure for the $40-billion LNG Canada project near Kitimat.
TransCanada Pipelines has said that it has secured agreements with 20 First Nations along the route.
However, the protesters have said that elected bands and councils only have authority over reserves, whereas their blockades have taken place on unceded Indigenous territory.More