Indigenous drummers lead pipeline protesters on 22-km march in Victoria

First Nations drummers led 300 anti-pipeline protesters along the route that passed through Victoria to Island View Beach

Demonstrators march down Government Street during a protest against the approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline, in Victoria on Saturday, June 22, 2019.Dirk Meissner / THE CANADIAN PRESS

VICTORIA — The government approval of the Trans-Mountain pipeline expansion won’t stop efforts in British Columbia to halt the project, protesters gathered outside Victoria’s city hall said Saturday.

About 300 demonstrators were adamant in their commitment to fight the pipeline twinning project, approved this week by the federal Liberal government, as they prepared to embark on a 22-kilometre march to a beach south of Victoria.

Indigenous drummers led the anti-pipeline protest along the route that passed through Victoria to Island View Beach, located near Victoria International Airport. The demonstrators, some carrying placards saying, “Don’t be Crude,” and “What part of NO do you not understand,” walked down the middle of downtown streets escorted by police vehicles with their lights flashing.

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Luisa Alvarez@LuisaAlvarez95

A Protest against the trans mountain pipeline expansion is underway down Douglas st @CHEK_News

Eric Doherty said he was prepared to walk more than 20 kilometres to join what he believes will be a public groundswell against the pipeline expansion.

“Governments approve all sorts of things and then they face the people on the street and they get cancelled,” he said. “That’s how societies turn around is people hit the streets.”

Kanahus Manuel, a leader of the Tiny House Warriors, speaks to reporters prior to a demonstration against the Trans Mountain pipeline in Victoria. The Tiny House Warriors are one of the organizing groups for the protest. (Dirk Meissner/The Canadian Press)

Victoria Indigenous leader Rose Henry told the demonstrators Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s pipeline approval decision could hurt his government’s chances of re-election this fall.

“We can stop it,” said Henry. “We can stop it by saying, ‘No,’ to this unwanted pipeline. You know in the next few months we have two elections coming up.” MORE


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