Rush-hour traffic in downtown Hamilton was snarled late Friday afternoon in support of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation (Photo by Donna Duric)
By Donna Duric
HAMILTON, ONT-About 50 protesters snarled rush-hour traffic in downtown Hamilton late Friday afternoon in support of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation who are fighting the building of the Coastal GasLink Pipelilne on their traditional lands.
The protest, led by Hamilton environmental groups, comes after the B.C. Supreme Court decision on New Year`s Eve to grant an injunction to CGL. The Wetsuweten have blocking GCL access to build the 670-km natural pipeline on its traditional lands.
“We`re upset at the fact that the federal government is trying to push the Coastal Gas Link through Wet’suwet’enlands when they do not have the permission of hereditary chiefs,`` said Jim Quinn, one of the organizers. “We`re here to support the Wet’suwet’en and stand in solidary with them.
Al Loft, a Mohawk from Six Nations, attended the protest and said he`s concerned the pipeline could rupture and leak on Wetstuweten traditional lands.
“They`re not obtaining permission from the aboriginal peoples,`` said Loft. “In Canada, the aboriginal people are supposed to have say on what`s going on on their lands. It`s not good for anybody what these pipelines are doing to the environment. We`ve got to protect the environment. If we`re destroying it, we`re just destroying ourselves.``
The group gathered in downtown Hamilton`s Gore Park before marching down the street, stopping rush hour traffic, with Hamilton Police attempting to get them off the road.
Police ended up escorting the protesters down the street for about 100 meters before they stormed inside a bank in Jackson Square, chanting, `Bankers, bankers, you can`t hide…We can see your greedy side.``
The protesters exited the bank after a few minutes and continued marching down the street before winding back to Gore Park.
They said Indigenous land is “under attack“ and carried signs such as “Stop CGL“ and “Hereditary Chiefs Say No to All Pipelines.``