Screenshot from a video showing police removing protestors from the BMO building in Vancouver. (Instagram)

Arrests at anti-pipeline protest call Vancouver police actions into question

‘Violent’ arrests of Indigenous youth protesting TMX caught on film

Police conduct is being questioned after a group of Indigenous youth protesting the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion were forcibly dispersed and four were arrested by Vancouver Police on Feb. 19.

A video circulating on social media shows officers shoving protesters and grabbing their hair.

The youth had been protesting at the Vancouver offices of insurance companies backing the project. For three days, they stood in lobbies and outside the corporate buildings. They held protest banners, sang songs and hung red dresses, which have come to symbolize murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls.

Police did not intervene on the first two days, but said in an emailed statement that on Friday, Feb. 19 protesters began blocking access to a building, not allowing people to enter or exit.

Vancouver Police Department (VPD) spokesperson Steve Addison said the VPD tried to negotiate with protesters, but “they refused to engage.” Some protesters became confrontational, he said, prompting the VPD to bring in extra officers to “regain control of the situation and remove the protesters from the building.”

Four adults were arrested for mischief and obstruction. They were taken to jail and later released with orders to appear in court on May 19.

The video has been shared with VPD’s Professional Standards Section, which has notified the civilian oversight board, the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner.

The protesters, partly organized by a group called Braided Warriors, made up of Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and other First Nations, are demanding an end to the pipeline expansion.

In a statement Monday, the group said police violently removed them from the building where they had been peacefully sitting. They also say ceremonial items were damaged in the altercation.

The youth’s protest against the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion is related to the lack of prior and informed consent given by First Nations whose territory the pipeline expansion will be built. Protests have continued for years, often joined by environmental groups against the expansion, and people in support of Indigenous rights.

Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email: zoe.ducklow@blackpress.ca


IndigenousPoliceprotestTran Mountain Pipeline

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An artist’s rendering of the new fire hall and ambulance station for the Town of Creston, which announced the purchase of land on Jan. 14, 2020. (Photo: Town of Creston)
Town of Creston recommends increasing budget for emergency services building project from $5.4 million to $7 million

The town has cited rising construction costs exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic as a significant factor in driving the surge in the budget

A soldier walks along the outside of a crater formed through a demolition. Photo: Aaron Hemens
Military exercises assist with restoration of Lower Kootenay Band wetlands

A total of nine craters were created through demolitions, where the goal is to have them serve as future habitats for ducks and geese.

Al Garrecht holds up a plaque acknowledging his “service above self” from the Creston Valley Rotary Club during a tribute meeting on Feb. 9, 2021. Photo: Dave Handy
Creston Valley Rotary Club bids farewell to longtime member Al Garrecht

“Thank you, Al Garrecht. You leave an incredible legacy of service with CVRC. You live our motto, ‘Service Above Self’. Thank You.”

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons. File photo.
Kootenay-Columbia MP supports motion condemning Uighur genocide

Rob Morrison says labelling Uighur persecution as a genocide sends a message to Chinese government

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Kara Sorensen, diagnosed with lung cancer in July, says it’s important for people to view her as healthy and vibrant, rather than sick. (Photo courtesy of Karen Sorensen)
B.C. woman must seek treatment overseas for inoperable lung cancer

Fundraising page launched on Karen Sorensen’s behalf, with a goal of $250,000

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

Most Read