Wet’wuwet’en supporters formed soft blockade lines around the steps of the B.C. Legislature on Saturday after a counter-protester was reportedly spotted. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

UPDATED: Wet’suwet’en supporters occupying BC legislature mobilize for rumoured counter-protest

A rally was held following reports of white supremacy group in the area

Supporters of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs occupying the B.C. Legislature held an all-day rally on Saturday in anticipation of a white supremacy group rumoured to attend.

Indigenous speakers began addressing the crowd at 10 a.m. on Feb. 29 – day six of the group’s second occupation of the B.C. legislature steps – and explained that a white supremacy group called Soldiers of Odin had indicated that members planned to make an appearance at the legislature.

READ ALSO: First arrests made at BC Legislature after demonstrators spray chalk on property

The large group of Wet’suwet’en supporters was gathered to hear various speakers discuss standing up to hate “from a position of love,” said Ta’kaiya Blaney, one of the young Indigenous people occupying the steps of the legislature.

“White supremacists feel threatened because they know their systems are dying and we [Indigenous people] are very much alive,” Blaney said as the crowd cheered and raised their fists.

Blaney noted that the focus of the demonstration should remain on the Wet’suwet’en opposing the Coastal GasLink pipeline, not on white supremacy.

Rally attendees were invited to take part in a briefing on soft blockade techniques to prepare for the possible appearance of the counter-protesters.

At noon, rally attendees made their way across the legislature lawn after a member of the Soldiers of Odin was allegedly spotted. The man, dressed in black, quickly departed as the Wet’suwet’en supporters approached.

READ ALSO: Wet’suwet’en supporters occupying legislature in Victoria hold mass day-long teach-in

Conrad Peach, president of the Soldiers of Odin Vancouver Island, told Black Press Media in an email sent Sunday morning that no members of the group went to the legislature on Saturday and that rumours of their presence were a “complete fabrication.”

“It is not my organization’s responsibility to enforce the laws of Canada but if our government and police fail to do so, you may very well see us in the near future,” Peach said.

VicPD officers at the legislature said there had been no confirmation that Soldiers of Odin planned to attend but noted police were aware of a social media post that had sparked concern among the group currently occupying the building.

Bowen Osoko, a spokesperson for VicPD, emphasized that officers have been in attendance during the entire occupation and that their goal is to keep everyone safe while they exercise their right to protest.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

PipelineprotestVicPD

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

 

Wet’wuwet’en supporters at the B.C. Legislature held a rally on Saturday morning in anticipation of a white supremacy group attending. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Just Posted

Swan Lake south wharf demolition complete, area remains off-limits

Sanctuary staff working to ‘re-naturalize’ the south end of the lake

Escaped python found in Saanich building reunited with its owner

The little snake is at ‘home, safe and sound,’ CRD chief bylaw officer says

Victoria Literacy Connection offers free e-reading club for kids

Kids with Grade 2-5 reading levels can join the club

UVic closes Finnerty Gardens and popular dog park Cedar Corner

Regular dog walkers to Cedar Corner sent elsewhere during pandemic

New #yyjegghunt2020 joins the ranks of fun, social distancing activities in Greater Victoria

With hearts and lights illuminating windows and doorways across Greater Victoria as… Continue reading

Mental Health: Planning for a crisis

Crisis planning lays out a blueprint in case hard times hit

Revenue dip needed to qualify for wage subsidy drops to 15% in March: Trudeau

Wage subsidy would over 75% of each employee’s salary for qualifying businesses

B.C. closes all provincial parks for COVID-19 protection

Easter weekend approaches, camping already closed

Air Canada says it will apply for wage subsidy to rehire workers after cutting 16,500 jobs

Air Canada said March revenues fell by more than 30 per cent year over year

Canadians urged to include pets in their COVID-19 emergency plans

That includes plans about who will care for them if the owner is hospitalized

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19 world update: Joy in Wuhan as lockdown lifted; Pope denounces profiteers

Comprehensive update of coronavirus news items from around the world

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

Comox spring training cancelled for Snowbirds next month

The team announced that due to ongoing travel restrictions they will not be training in the Valley

Most Read