Wednesday, Nelson joined many other locations across Canada in protesting arrests of people participating in a blockade of the Coastal GasLink pipeline in northern British Columbia by members of the Wet’suwet’en Nation.
More than 100 protesters gathered at the office of Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall, marched through the downtown core, before concluding outside the Bank of Montreal on Baker Street.
Protesters tied up the intersection of Kootenay and Baker Street outside the bank during the noon hour.
Some marchers made their way inside the bank office, protesting the how the Bank of Montreal and other financial institutions supports fossil fuel production.
“Whose land? Our Land,” was the sound of protesters as they surrounded the Kootenay/Baker intersection.
Nelson Police secured the area to traffic, and were present to respond if any interactions between protesters and the public became an issue. Police continued to monitor the situation throughout the protest.
Traffic was able to resume down Baker Street at approximately 12:30 p.m. After most of the crowd dispersed, approximately 40 protesters continued to sit inside the Bank of Montreal office.
Tensions have been growing since throughout the country since December 31st when the B.C. Supreme Court granted Coastal GasLink an expanded injunction against the Wet’suwet’en Nation members blocking access to the project.
Last week, the RCMP began enforcing that injunction, asking protesters to leave the camp blocking access to a service road near Houston, B.C.
Police have arrested more than 20 protesters in the area.
These same organizers are planning another march Friday, February 14th in Castlegar in support of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.
The march will start at 2 p.m. from Zuckerberg Island before ending in front of the RCMP office in Castlegar.
The interstection at Kootenay and Baker Street was closed to through traffic as protesters congregated on Baker Street. — The Nelson Daily photo