Pipeline protesters delay Trudeau speech to First Nations with drums, chants

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The 670-kilometre pipeline would connect to LNG Canada's $40 billion natural gas operation in Kitimat and an interim injunction was granted by the B.C. Supreme Court last month to stop protesters from blocking access to it.

RCMP liaisons arrived before 11AM this morning with the injunction on behalf of the company wishing to construct a pipeline through the Wet'suwet'en territory.

"We're here because obviously consent matters", said Michelle Robinson, co-organizer of the event, which was held in conjunction with nearly 60 other rallies across Canada.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was to visit Kamloops, B.C., on Wednesday and Cullen expected Trudeau would face some pointed questions during a townhall meeting in the evening.

Indigenous groups are fighting the construction of a 670km (416 miles) liquified natural gas pipeline, Coastal GasLink, which would cross through Wet'suwet'en territory.

"The people who escaped to the healing centre are in trauma", Na'Moks said.

Coastal GasLink said it has signed agreements with 20 elected First Nations along the pipeline route, including the Wet'suwet'en.

The RCMP say they were enforcing a court injunction Monday that required the removal of a blockade to a forest service road in northern British Columbia that is preventing access to a pipeline project.

"The big thing is we've got to be able to support our communities that said yes to this (project) because it's their community that needs that financial benefit", he said.

"Building consensus under duress will make the resolution of the situation in northern British Columbia very hard", Perry Bellegarde said in a statement Tuesday.

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"When we have grey areas and uncertainties, that's when the tensions arise and that's where people get frustrated, and I understand that frustration", he added.

"There are very real communities being affected by this - terrorized by this".

Of the arrests, he said the First Nations have every right to exercise dissent, but they have to understand the consequences of breaking the law.

"What happened and what is circulating on social media is setting the tone for 2019, which could prove to be battleground for issues with regard to native rights issues and resource development", he said.

NDP reconciliation critic Romeo Saganash joined demonstrators on Parliament Hill on Tuesday before the group marched through downtown Ottawa streets with signs, including a large red one reading: "RCMP Off Wet'suwet'en Land". "And I am confident that they can do this".

Police kept the prime minister and Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott, Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett and Environment Minister Catherine McKenna out of a Sussex Drive building in Ottawa where Trudeau was to address a forum bringing together federal officials and representatives from self-governing First Nations that have modern treaties with the Crown.

After the arrests, Mounties reiterated that their focus remains on the safety of all those involved in the situation, but said "the RCMP is given discretion to decide how and when to enforce the order".

The defendants are also prohibited from threatening, intimidating or getting within 10 metres of anyone actively working on the project.LNG Canada announced on October 2 that its joint venture participants had taken a positive investment decision to construct the Kitimat export facility.B.C.

As Chief Madeek, hereditary leader of the Wet'suwet'en nation's Gidimt'en clan, told CBC, "They're not the title holders or the caretakers of the land". Two camps were erected near a bridge crossing the company said is needed to access the construction site of the proposed natural gas pipeline. "We need to shut down Canada now and let the government know we the people are running the show and not them".

All others will not be allowed past the RCMP checkpoint.

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