Screenshot from a video showing police removing protestors from the BMO building in Vancouver. (Instagram)

Arrests at anti-pipeline protest call Vancouver police actions into question

‘Violent’ arrests of Indigenous youth protesting TMX caught on film

Police conduct is being questioned after a group of Indigenous youth protesting the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion were forcibly dispersed and four were arrested by Vancouver Police on Feb. 19.

A video circulating on social media shows officers shoving protesters and grabbing their hair.

The youth had been protesting at the Vancouver offices of insurance companies backing the project. For three days, they stood in lobbies and outside the corporate buildings. They held protest banners, sang songs and hung red dresses, which have come to symbolize murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls.

Police did not intervene on the first two days, but said in an emailed statement that on Friday, Feb. 19 protesters began blocking access to a building, not allowing people to enter or exit.

Vancouver Police Department (VPD) spokesperson Steve Addison said the VPD tried to negotiate with protesters, but “they refused to engage.” Some protesters became confrontational, he said, prompting the VPD to bring in extra officers to “regain control of the situation and remove the protesters from the building.”

Four adults were arrested for mischief and obstruction. They were taken to jail and later released with orders to appear in court on May 19.

The video has been shared with VPD’s Professional Standards Section, which has notified the civilian oversight board, the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner.

The protesters, partly organized by a group called Braided Warriors, made up of Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and other First Nations, are demanding an end to the pipeline expansion.

In a statement Monday, the group said police violently removed them from the building where they had been peacefully sitting. They also say ceremonial items were damaged in the altercation.

The youth’s protest against the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion is related to the lack of prior and informed consent given by First Nations whose territory the pipeline expansion will be built. Protests have continued for years, often joined by environmental groups against the expansion, and people in support of Indigenous rights.

Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email: zoe.ducklow@blackpress.ca


IndigenousPoliceprotestTran Mountain Pipeline

Just Posted

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

Activists from the Fairy Creek Blockades hold the injunction application notice which was submitted by logging company Teal Jones to the B.C. Supreme Court. The application, which asks to have blockaders removed from the sites that stop access to cut blocks, is set to be heard on March 4. (Photo contributed/Joshua Wright)
Activists hunker down to protect Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew from logging

Forest company Teal Cedar applies for injunction to remove seven-month-old blockades

(File photo)
Island conservation group says members targeted with harassment, vandalism

Police investigate pair of reports of mischief victims call pushback against conservation efforts

Nootka Sound RCMP responded to a workplace fatality report south of Gold River on Monday morning. (Campbell River Mirror photo)
One dead in workplace accident at Gold River logging site

The RCMP and Work Safe BC are investigating the incident at Western Forest Product’s TFL 19

Nanaimo RCMP are looking for a suspect who smashed the window of an adult toy store and made off with more than $1,200 in merchandise. (File photo)
Nanaimo sex shop out $1,200 in merchandise after suspect steals ‘colossal’ product

Suspect smashed window of Whispers Adult Superstore overnight Feb. 21

Sooke Lake Reservoir, shown here, is the primary storage site for Greater Victoria’s drinking water supply. The Capital Regional District just purchased a property on the north edge of the water supply area to help further protect the supply. (Photo courtesy CRD)
CRD acquires 58.7-hectare watershed to further protect Greater Victoria drinking water supply

Forested area near Grant Lake is part of the Cowichan Valley Regional District

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

(File photo)
RCMP arrest man after report of gun-toting threat-maker near Parksville schools

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

Most Read