Wet’wuwet’en supporters formed soft blockade lines around the steps of the B.C. Legislature on Saturday after a counter-protester was reportedly spotted. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Wet’wuwet’en supporters formed soft blockade lines around the steps of the B.C. Legislature on Saturday after a counter-protester was reportedly spotted. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

UPDATED: Wet’suwet’en supporters occupying BC legislature mobilize for rumoured counter-protest

A rally was held following reports of white supremacy group in the area

Supporters of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs occupying the B.C. Legislature held an all-day rally on Saturday in anticipation of a white supremacy group rumoured to attend.

Indigenous speakers began addressing the crowd at 10 a.m. on Feb. 29 – day six of the group’s second occupation of the B.C. legislature steps – and explained that a white supremacy group called Soldiers of Odin had indicated that members planned to make an appearance at the legislature.

READ ALSO: First arrests made at BC Legislature after demonstrators spray chalk on property

The large group of Wet’suwet’en supporters was gathered to hear various speakers discuss standing up to hate “from a position of love,” said Ta’kaiya Blaney, one of the young Indigenous people occupying the steps of the legislature.

“White supremacists feel threatened because they know their systems are dying and we [Indigenous people] are very much alive,” Blaney said as the crowd cheered and raised their fists.

Blaney noted that the focus of the demonstration should remain on the Wet’suwet’en opposing the Coastal GasLink pipeline, not on white supremacy.

Rally attendees were invited to take part in a briefing on soft blockade techniques to prepare for the possible appearance of the counter-protesters.

At noon, rally attendees made their way across the legislature lawn after a member of the Soldiers of Odin was allegedly spotted. The man, dressed in black, quickly departed as the Wet’suwet’en supporters approached.

READ ALSO: Wet’suwet’en supporters occupying legislature in Victoria hold mass day-long teach-in

Conrad Peach, president of the Soldiers of Odin Vancouver Island, told Black Press Media in an email sent Sunday morning that no members of the group went to the legislature on Saturday and that rumours of their presence were a “complete fabrication.”

“It is not my organization’s responsibility to enforce the laws of Canada but if our government and police fail to do so, you may very well see us in the near future,” Peach said.

VicPD officers at the legislature said there had been no confirmation that Soldiers of Odin planned to attend but noted police were aware of a social media post that had sparked concern among the group currently occupying the building.

Bowen Osoko, a spokesperson for VicPD, emphasized that officers have been in attendance during the entire occupation and that their goal is to keep everyone safe while they exercise their right to protest.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

PipelineprotestVicPD

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

 

Wet’wuwet’en supporters at the B.C. Legislature held a rally on Saturday morning in anticipation of a white supremacy group attending. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Wet’wuwet’en supporters at the B.C. Legislature held a rally on Saturday morning in anticipation of a white supremacy group attending. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Just Posted

Marc Porpaczy said he’s glad he delayed his daily walk with his dog, Juno, after a car crashed just outside his driveway just before 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 25. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
VIDEO: Dramatic crash highlights need for sidewalks, say Colwood residents

‘The residents have gone from frustrated to angry’

(Black Press Media file photo)
Court-registered sex offender arrested for breach of parole in Langford

Cameron Ratelle returned to correctional facility after female youth approached at bus stop

(Black Press Media file photo)
Youth in police custody after kitchen knife call

A knife was recovered during the arrest, no injuries reported

(Black Press Media file photo)
VicPD arrest man at gunpoint after firearm call

Man faces charges for breaching condition not to possess replica firearms

Sooke’s Amy McLaughlin holds Theodore, a bunny who will be going to a new owner in Nanaimo within the coming days if all goes will at an upcoming bunny play-date. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Sooke woman looking to hop into bigger space for bunny business

Amy McLaughlin has rescued over 400 bunnies across the Island, mainland

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Residents of the Cowichan Valley decorated more than 55 vehicles with anti-racist slogans for a car rally in support of Cowichan Tribes on Saturday, January 24. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Dozens join anti-racism car rally and virtual panel in Cowichan Valley

Provincial ministry and BC Green caucus issue joint statement detailing concerns

Jesse Savidant, 31, is wanted by the RCMP after failing to appear in provincial court in Nanaimo in December. Police warn Savidant should be considered violent. (Photo Submitted)
Warrant out for man accused of stolen property offences across Vancouver Island

Jesse Savidant did not appear for court date in Nanaimo last month, say RCMP

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is urging visitors to stay on designated trails after a hiker became injured in an unsanctioned area last week. (Westerly file photo)
Injured hiker rescued in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

“Safety is everyone’s responsibility.”

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

Local musician and artist Daisy Melville created a watercolour portrait of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders from the recent American inauguration, and with help from her mom, is now selling t-shirts and more with funds going to the Comox Valley Food Bank. Image submitted
Island artist turns Sanders inauguration meme into art for good

All proceeds from the sale of shirts, sweaters and more will go to the Comox Valley Food Bank

Most Read