Hundreds gather for Halifax rally supporting Wet'suwet'en First Nation
HALIFAX -- It was a show of solidarity in Halifax on Sunday as demonstrators gathered to show support for the Wet'suwet'en First Nation's protests in British Columbia.
Hundreds gathered for the rally at Cornwallis Park where they listened to speeches, chants and songs, before marching through the streets of downtown Halifax.
The march did cause minor traffic disruptions and bus detours. At one point, the group blocked the intersection of South Park Street with a traditional Circle Dance.
Rally organizers say although the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline is happening on the other side of the country, the issue affects everyone.
"It's not just indigenous people that this is affecting, it affects everybody," said rally organizer, Joan Smith. "It's about land, it’s about water, it's about sovereignty, not just about the Wet'suwet'en."
"This is ridiculous," said Barbara Moore, who attended the rally. "This could have been solved months ago when they first got into office. They said they were going to do all kinds of things and they've done nothing, and we want to see things cleaned up, and a fair deal given to the First Nations in this country."
Supporters also voiced their opposition to local projects, including the Alton Natural Gas project.
"I think it's just not fair that the government has given carte blanche to Alton Gas to destroy the environment," said Moore. "My grandchildren won’t be able to fish there unless something changes."
"Water is important for all of us across Canada, so that makes it a very important issue for me, and it should be for everyone," said rally attendee, Darcy Paris-Sauve.
Organizers of the rally say they don’t have any more rallies scheduled yet, but plan to continue showing support until there is a resolution.
"We can't eat jobs, we can't eat money, and the big thing they say is jobs, jobs, jobs," said Smith. "But if you don’t have any land, if you don't have any water, you don't have any life and we need to remember that."
"Hopefully this sends a loud and clear message to all levels of government that people are paying attention, that we see what's going on, and that we stand in solidarity, and support our brothers and sisters of the Wet'suwet'en Nation," said Amber Townsend, a participant of Sundays rally.
On Friday, Trudeau said court injunctions to put an end to the blockades “must be obeyed” and that “the law must be upheld”.
Since then, little has changed at the blockade near Belleville, Ontario, - blocking a critical east-west rail line between Toronto and Montreal - where there are no signs that protesters plan on dismantling their camp.
Meanwhile, Via Rail said it is set to resume certain routes, including its Quebec City-Montreal-Ottawa route on Monday.