Peterborough was one of 55 cities across Canada on Tuesday where demonstrations were held to support Wet’suwet’en First Nation in northern B.C., where Indigenous protesters are opposing a natural gas pipeline.
In Peterborough, members of area First Nations and supporters gathered in Confederation Park to show support for the First Nation in B.C., which Monday was the focus of an RCMP action that resulted in 14 arrests.
The B.C. First Nation says it did not give permission for a natural gas pipeline to cross its land and protesters there blocked an access road to a construction site. Yet the company building the pipeline had a court order granting an injunction against demonstrators.
Protesters gathered in Peterborough to support the B.C. First Nation.
“They’re taking away for some pipeline. And this pipeline will destroy the lands, the waters, the animals and the people that live here, over there,” said Sandy Benson of Curve Lake First Nation just north of Peterborough.
Lead by a group of hand drummers, protesters left the park and filled George Street, blocking it at Murray Street. Protesters say the demonstration is not against “political law” but standing up for “natural law.”
“This is about power, this is about oil. It’s not about Indigenous title holders, it’s not about truth, it’s not about our treaties, and it has to be about natural law. It’s not about politician’s law or settler’s law, because it doesn’t apply here,” said Suzanne Smoke of Alderville First Nation, just south of Peterborough.
“It’s about the water, it’s about the land, it’s about protecting it for all our next seven generations. When we sing and we pray, we’re praying for all your grandchildren, too.”
The group later moved up George Street to Parkhill Road where they remained until just after 5 p.m.
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