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Protesters push to drop charges against Wet'suwet'en land defenders

Activists rallied outside David Eby's Vancouver office Tuesday, calling on the B.C. attorney general to drop criminal charges against Wet'suwet'en land defenders.

RCMP officers arrested dozens of protesters in the province's north last September to November while enforcing a Coastal GasLink injunction, and 15 have since been charged with criminal contempt of court.

The B.C. Prosecution Service has said charges are still being considered against an additional 10 people.

Participants in Tuesday's demonstration, who included a number of high school and university students, wrote "Defend land defenders" in chalk outside Eby's Broadway office.

"We hope to put pressure on David Eby, and the rest of the government of so-called Canada, to stop criminalizing the land defenders of this colonized land," said Zoha Faisal.

"We know that climate justice does not exist without Indigenous justice, and that’s why we're here to make sure that we fight for everyone."

The charged protesters are accused of having breached a B.C. Supreme Court injunction granted to Coastal GasLink in 2019, which prohibited blockades or interferences with the company's pipeline construction.

While the Wet'suwet'en First Nation's elected council has approved of the project, Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs say the 670-kilometre pipeline violates their traditional laws.

Whether charges will be approved against the 10 other protesters hinges on whether they were aware of the terms of the injunctions, according to prosecutors.

With files from The Canadian Press Top Stories


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