Secwepemc First Nation protestors stand on rail lines across from the Neskonlith Hall in Chase on Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2020. (Contributed)

UPDATE: RCMP confirm arrests at blockade after court injunction served

Protest held in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en First Nation regarding RCMP, LNG pipeline

UPDATE, FEB. 25, 2:10 p.m.:

RCMP report three people were arrested at a rail blockade near Chase after protesters were served a court-ordered injunction.

Southeast District spokesperson Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey says Chase RCMP were contacted to assist CP Police Service officers on Tuesday, Feb. 25, after approximately two dozen protesters had blockaded the tracks.

O’Donaghey said three people were subsequently arrested for breach of the civil injunction, by allegedly refusing to leave CP Rail’s private property. They were transported to the Chase RCMP detachment for processing.

The remaining protesters removed their belongings from the tracks.

“We would like to remind the public that any attempts to block rail tracks is extremely dangerous and unlawful,” writes O’Donaghey. “Should they put themselves in harm’s way, protesters are not only putting their own lives at risk, they are also putting the lives of train operators, rail employees, responding police officers and members of the public at risk.”

UPDATE, FEB. 25, 12:52 a.m.:

Three people involved in the protest along the CP railway tracks near Chase were reportedly taken into police custody on Tuesday, Feb. 25.

Secwepemc Hereditary Chief Saw-ses, his daughter and a member of the Syilx/Okanagan First Nation were said to have been arrested at the site of the protest, which has since moved from the tracks to the Chase RCMP detachment.

The blockade has been removed from the tracks.

UPDATE, FEB. 25, 11:50 a.m.:

RCMP have converged at the scene of protest on railway tracks near Chase.

A live video feed on social media, filmed at the scene of the blockade on Tuesday, Feb. 25, shows several RCMP officers and vehicles. At least two of the protesters were placed in RCMP cruisers and taken away from the scene.

The Observer will provide more information as it becomes available.

(WARNING: The below video contains strong language, viewer discretion advised.)

A four day truce between Secwepemc protesters and CP Rail came to an end last night with the reestablishment of a rail blockade in Chase.

The blockade, located across from the Neskonlith Hall, resumed Monday evening after being halted last week after one day of protest. The four-day truce was struck between protesters and CP on the condition the blockade would resume after 96 hours if the protesters’ demands were not met.

CP’s CEO took those demands and wrote a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, asking that he meet with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs to discuss the construction of an LNG pipeline poised to run through Wet’suwet’en territory and the removal of RCMP from the area.

Read more: Shuswap protest blockade temporarily lifted following negotiation with CP Rail

Read more: UPDATE: Protesters say they will maintain blockade near Chase “as long as it takes”

Read more: Eyes on police after Trudeau orders blockades torn down, injunctions enforced

“CP rail sent that letter to Justin Trudeau; it had absolutely no effect,” said Anushka Azadi, a protester at the Chase blockade. “Trudeau still will not meet with the hereditary leaders. We are still not meeting on equal grounds and we will not stop until we do.”

CP called Chase protesters prior to the blockade being set up at 8 p.m. Monday evening in attempts to negotiate but no agreement was reached.


@CameronJHT
Cameron.thomson@saobserver.net

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Secwepemc First Nation protestors stand on rail lines across from the Neskonlith Hall in Chase on Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2020. (Contributed)

Following a visit by RCMP and subsequent arrests, a protest blockade on railway tracks near Chase was removed and with some of the protesters resuming action outside the Chase RCMP detachment on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020. (Cameron Thomson – Salmon Arm Observer)

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