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Anti-pipeline protesters remain at B.C. legislature in Victoria as arrests made in Vancouver
VICTORIA -- Protesters remain outside the B.C. legislature building Monday where they have been camping in support of the hereditary chiefs of the Wet'suwet'en Nation who oppose the construction of a natural gas pipeline in their traditional territories.
The activists lit a ceremonial fire at the provincial legislature building on Saturday and blocked traffic in downtown Victoria.
Meanwhile police in Vancouver were enforcing a court injunction Monday preventing protesters from blocking several entrances to the Port of Vancouver and DeltaPort, south of the city.
Officers arrived at around 5 a.m. after the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority obtained the injunction following protests affected port operations through the weekend.
Protesters say they are acting in solidarity with Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs opposed to construction of the Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline across their traditional territories in northwestern British Columbia.
Demonstrators at two entrances to the Vancouver port say several people were taken into custody at one location, while at least three had been arrested before 7 a.m. at the main protest site blocking access to several port terminals on the edge of downtown Vancouver.
A spokeswoman for the protesters says officers are also enforcing the injunction at the entrance to DeltaPort and port webcams show officers escorting people away from a blockade.
Neither Delta Police nor officials in Vancouver have commented on enforcement plans or the exact number of demonstrators taken into custody.
Their fight has sparked a protest movement that spans from the steps of the B.C. legislature in Victoria to the ports in Vancouver to rail lines in Ontario and Quebec.
Meantime, several people arrested at various remote locations in northwest B.C. near construction zones for the 670-kilometre Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline were due in court Monday. They are charged with breach of trust, a Wet'suwet'en spokeswoman said.
The RCMP said Saturday that officers enforcing a court injunction arrested 11 people who allegedly barricaded themselves in a warming centre in a forested area near a pipeline work site. The other arrests occurred Friday at another Indigenous camp near the pipeline route.
Premier John Horgan said the pipeline, which is part of the massive $40 billion LNG Canada liquefied natural gas export terminal project, is of vital economic and social importance to the province's north and already has the approval of 20 elected First Nations councils along the route from Dawson Creek to Kitimat.
He said the courts have decided the pipeline can proceed and the rule of law must prevail.
With files from The Canadian Press