Tents shielding food and supplies for supporters who occupied the B.C. legislature for six days. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

Injunction granted allowing police to arrest pipeline protesters at B.C. legislature

B.C. Supreme Court order comes days after demonstrations in support of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

A B.C. Supreme Court injunction was granted on Thursday restraining demonstrators from “interfering, disrupting or attempting to interfere” with anyone who enters the B.C. legislature building.

This comes just days after a massive rally that saw hundreds of Indigenous youth and allies of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs blocking entrances to the legislature building while yelling at any MLA, reporter or person who tried to enter the building. The demonstration interrupted ceremonial activities in relation to the throne speech.

READ ALSO: VicPD says ‘peaceful protest does not involve pushing or shoving’

More demonstrations are planned for Feb. 14 at 32 different locations. Organizers have labelled the day as the “B.C. Government Shutdown.” The legislature is closed to the public and all Family Day activities have been cancelled.

The injunction order requires doorways be accessible at the legislature, the “bunker” at 612/614 Government St. and the Armouries building at 431 Menzies St.

According to the injunction, people who wish to assemble or participate in expressive activity can do so as long as they don’t violate the terms of the order.

READ ALSO: Demonstrations planned at 30 Victoria buildings on Friday

“[People] are free to participate in a peaceful, lawful and safe protest in the designated public areas,” reads the injunction.

Police and provincial constables of the Legislative Assembly Protective Services have been authorized to arrest and remove any person who police have reasonable and probable grounds to believe is violating the injunction. It is up to police to determine the timing and manner of enforcing this injunction, along with how they chose to detain and release people but only if they have agreed in writing to abide by the order.

Demonstrators have also recently conducted an 18-hour sit-in at the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources on Jan. 21, a six-day camp on the steps of the legislature, and temporarily closed both the Johnson and Bay Street bridges. Similar demonstrations have been seen across Canada, including at ports in Vancouver.

With files from Nicole Crescenzi



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