City In Focus

Halifax/K’jipuktuk: Protestors Stand in Solidarity with Wet’suwet’en

Photos in this article by Alexander Johnson

Upwards of 150 people organized in Halifax on Feb. 11th around noon to block the Fairview Cove Container Terminal and the gate to the terminal in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en land and water protectors.

The main blockade was at the Fairview Cove Container Terminal, they are stopping trucks from entering the terminal. The second is down the hill at the terminal gate and are preventing the trucks from leaving

RCMP in Northern British Columbia has been removing Indigenous protestors from their traditional territory. RCMP

are acting on behalf of an injunction that was signed ordering protestors to stop blocking access so Coastal Gas Link can get through to continue the heavily debated pipeline project.

Protesters are chanting, “Water is life. Respect Indigenous rights,” “Who do you serve? Who do you protect? Get your boots off native necks!” to the beat of four hand-drummers.

Approximately 10 Halifax Regional Police (HRP) officers were present at both locations of the rally, and traffic stops surrounding the protest, HRP is maintaining a distance of around 50 meters from the protestors. Police had pylons set up to help direct traffic away from the protestors. Inspector Carolyn Nichols HRP requests that some vehicles be allowed to pass through the protestors and leave as the terminal gate protestors began to chant “No!” in response.

Two truck drivers attempted to drive through the crowds at both ends. The first stopped 5 feet from the line of protestors at the lower blockade, and asked permission from the elders to leave.

The second truck driver, at the main blockade slowly drove up to the line of protestors and attempted to push through. The driver only halted when protestors and police intervened. Three protesters stood against the front of the truck as police spoke with the driver.

A police car later tried to drive through the blockade but was blocked by protestors and the elders.

Bijoux Doucette, an Acadian protestor, is showing his support because “I think Indigenous sovereignty is important; I think that Indigenous people’s rights are being trampled on by the Canadian government.” He is carrying the Acadian flag alongside a man carrying a Mohawk Warrior flag. “This is not England, this is unceded Mi’kmaq territory, and I, as an Acadian person, recognize that.”

Peter Emond, an R&R Logistics, truck driver is sitting in his idling tractor-trailer behind the main group of protestors. He was eager to leave but supported the cause. His wife, an Indigenous woman, is also showing her support for Wet’suwet’en at an action in Ontario.

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