Wet'suwet'en Nation

B.C. arrests lead to Halifax protest

Protesters chant "no consent, no pipelines"

About 80 people briefly blocked rush hour traffic at the Armdale Rotary this afternoon to protest the Coastal GasLink pipeline in British Columbia.

The Monday afternoon protest, led by Suzanne Patles, began at Horseshoe Island Park on Quinpool Road, before moving down to the rotary, an intersection for traffic leaving and entering the Halifax peninsula. Dozens of protesters fanned out to block every crosswalk, bringing traffic to a standstill. They stayed there for about 10 minutes, holding signs and chanting, “no consent, no pipeline” and “water is life, respect Indigenous rights.”

“There’s going to be a clear message about what happened in B.C., about the raid that happened out there, and that Indigenous rights need to be respected on a more fundamental level,” Patles said.

“There’s a lot of distrust.”

Patles was referring to a raid a week ago in which 14 people were arrested on a forest road in B.C. The arrest came after members of the Wet’suwet’en Nation built a fortified checkpoint to stop Coastal GasLink workers building a natural gas pipeline.

Cars and trucks honked their horns both in support and opposition to the Halifax protesters. RCMP arrived as the protesters were leaving crosswalks and letting traffic back through.

People standing in solidarity on crosswalk
People standing in solidarity on crosswalk.   Maya Palacio

“It’s beautiful how everyone was able to come together and do this direct action and come together grounded in ceremony,” Patles said. “I feel very good about what’s happened today.”

Alongside Patles, Masuma Khan was leading chants, handing out signs and gathering protesters together.

“As a non-Indigenous person, as someone whose parents are immigrants, it’s my duty to this land to do right by it and to build relationships with Indigenous people,” Khan said.

“That’s why we’re out here, because we need everyone to be out here to do this work.”

After the traffic blockade, protestors walked back to Horseshoe Island while RCMP police drove beside them.

3 comments

  1. I was a proud supporter and fellow protester or protector as Native groups say. I’m non-indigenous but think the time has come when all of us have to come together and start righting some of the wrongs going on. I spent 7 years working in Australia and thought how horrible it was how they treated their native peoples, and thought conversely how well we were doing in Canada. When I started looking at what was going on in my home country I was so disappointed and came down off of my ‘high horse’ attitude to Australians …we have so much work to do.

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