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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Amanda Parsons, a registered nurse on staff at the Northwood Care facility, prepares a dose of the Moderna vaccine in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. Almost two in three Canadians surveyed recently said they trust COVID-19 vaccines to be both safe and effective. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Northern Health to open 30 COVID vaccine clinics for oldest residents, Indigenous seniors

Health authority says it plans to vaccinate nearly 15,000 people in Phase Two

The grant is part of the province’s $10-billion COVID-19 response. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Burns Lake Native Development Corporation secures provincial grant funding

To construct a new industrial mechanic shop and training space

Construction on the Beacon Theatre’s facade is expected to start by summer. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Burns Lake’s Beacon Theatre to get new siding and facade

The grant has also been awarded to the village of Granisle

The village will start working on the design phase for the project. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Burns Lake’s St. John’s Heritage Church revitalization to begin

A $275,000 provincial grant to help move the project forward

The level of service survey is expected to help formulate the budget and aid in improving the financial planning for 2021-2025. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Village’s level of service survey sees 157 responses

Lack of animal control, cleanliness on Radley beach among top concerns

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Deer rescued on Francois lake. (Deonne Wright photo/Lakes District News)
Deer rescued from Francois Lake in Burns Lake

In the early morning hours of Mar. 8, a deer was seen… Continue reading

A special committee has been appointed to look at reforming B.C.’s police act and is inviting the public to make submissions until April 30, 2021. (Black Press media file)
Have thoughts on B.C.’s review of the provincial Police Act?

Submissions will be accepted until April 30

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
New COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna care home includes fully vaccinated seniors: Henry

Two staff and 10 residents tested positive at Cottonwoods Care Centre

Excerpts from a conversation between Bria Fisher and the fake truLOCAL job. Fisher had signed a job agreement and was prepared to start work for what she thought was truLOCAL before she learned it was a scam. (Contributed)
B.C. woman warning others after losing $3,000 in job scam

Bria Fisher was hired by what she thought was a Canadian company, only to be out thousands

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide a regular update on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, March 2, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 cases: 545 Saturday, 532 Sunday, 385 Monday

Focus on Prince Rupert, Lower Mainland large workplaces

Rising accident rates and payout costs have contributed to billion-dollar deficits at ICBC. (Comox Valley Record)
B.C. appealing decision keeping ICBC injury cases in court

David Eby vows to ‘clip wings’ of personal injury lawyers

(Black Press Media files)
Hosts charged, attendees facing COVID fines after Vancouver police bust party at condo

Police had previously received 10 complaints about that condo

Most Read