The lawns of the BC Legislature are looking pristine again after hundreds of demonstrators packed up after nearly a week-long camp.
People had gathered on the steps of the legislature since Thursday in support of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, who are pushing against the installation of the Coastal Gaslink pipeline on land they claim as unceded territory.
While at night the group of people diminished to several dozen, during the day crowds swelled into the hundreds.
On Tuesday things got heated as MLAs and members of the press attempted to enter the building to attend the throne speech. People were blocked and many were verbally assaulted. Victoria police received reports of alleged physical assault during the day as well.
Demonstrators also claimed to have been assaulted by police or security personnel.
While initially protesters told Black Press Media that the would stay on the steps “as long as necessary,” the group chose to pack up and depart on Tuesday night.
— Tom Fletcher (@tomfletcherbc) February 12, 2020
On the group’s Facebook page, Wet’suwet’en Solidarity Victoria, organizers issued a statement.
“Today we shut down the BC Parliament. The Indigenous youth who locked down this building for six days have decided that rather than be violently removed by the Vic PD they will walk away proudly and with strength tonight.”
It is unclear what the group’s next steps will be.