02/06/2020 12:21 EST

RCMP Arresting Wet'suwet'en Pipeline Protesters In B.C., Activists Say

At least four people were arrested early Thursday, a spokesperson said.

Canadian Press

SMITHERS, B.C. — Opponents of a natural gas pipeline being built across northwestern British Columbia say RCMP have begun enforcing an injunction that prevents interference with construction.

Jen Wickham, a spokeswoman for one of the five clans that make up the Wet’suwet’en First Nation, says at least four people were arrested before dawn at a camp along a remote road near Houston, B.C.

Wickham says officers also began dismantling tents set up by protesters and clearing the road in the same area where 14 people were arrested during a similar enforcement last January.

A statement posted by BC RCMP Communication Services confirms Mounties have established an exclusion zone in the area.

The statement says officers intend to enforce the provincial Supreme Court injunction against interference with construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline.

At least one journalist was transported by police out of the area, and dropped off at a parking lot.

Jesse Winter


Replying to @jwints

Police at first told me I would be dropped at my rental vehicle at km 27, but they refused to let me out. They said I am not being detained, but it feels an awful lot like it. During the raid police attempted to prevent me and another journalist photographing tactical officers


11:02 AM - Feb 6, 2020

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Jesse Winter


Replying to @jwints

Police did allow us to photograph other officers, however. Myself and another journalist have now been driven out of the exclusion zone and dropped in this random parking lot:


11:05 AM - Feb 6, 2020

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Enforcement comes less than two days after the provincial government and First Nation failed to reach an agreement during talks intended to de-escalate the dispute.

Hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en Nation oppose construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline through their territories, although elected leaders of the First Nation have approved the work, which is a key part of the provincially approved, $40-billion LNG Canada project being developed in Kitimat, B.C.

With files from HuffPost Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 06, 2020.