November 14, 2019

Hundreds of demonstrators in Waterloo joined Indigenous people and environmental supporters across the continent on Jan. 8 to take a stand against the forcible removal of land protectors from unceded traditional lands in Northern B.C.

Solidarity gatherings were held in more than 67 North American cities, including New York, Montreal and Vancouver. Additional gatherings took place in locations such as Arizona and Australia.

A solidarity gathering organized by the Facebook group K-W Shut It Down took place on Jan. 8 in Waterloo. Above, one young supporter proudly holds up her sign about water being sacred. Photo by Cory Bilyea, Conestoga Journalism

The Facebook group K-W Shut it Down organized the event called Solidarity with Wet’suwet’en in Waterloo. Hundreds of people showed up to participate. People stood in solidarity and support of the Wet’suwet’en and all other nations who are protecting the land from the big oil and gas companies.

The peaceful gathering started at 7 p.m. in Uptown Waterloo, with hot chocolate and tea being served amid the gathering of a quiet crowd. Participants were solemn as they discussed their disbelief about the police raid Jan. 7 on a checkpoint set up at Unist’ot’en Camp on Gidimt’en traditional territory to stop the Coastal GasLink pipeline from crossing their land.

In Waterloo, women drummed and raised their voices in songs of support and love. After a prayer and a few speakers, the crowd moved into the street, blocking the intersection of King Street and Willis Way and forming a circle.  More singing and drumming followed, and a lot of dialogue was shared with passersby, who were all respectful. Police were in attendance but did not intervene.

A bucket was passed with $500 being raised to help with the legal funds of members of the camp who were arrested.

Many people at the gathering had messages of support. Photo by Cory Bilyea, Conestoga Journalism
People at the gathering showed their support for the land protectors in B.C. Photo by Cory Bilyea, Conestoga Journalism

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