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

Hope figure skating pro’s Randy and Debbie Burke added beautiful pair skating to the “Fantasy On Ice.” (Photo/Brad Miller, March 18, 1981)
Hope In History: March 2001, 1981 and 1961

Take a peek at the past through The Standard’s archives

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Retired Mission teacher and star CFL kicker charged for assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Alan Sweet taught in school district for 10 years, investigators seeking further witnesses

B.C. RCMP Lower Mainland District officer, Asst. Commissioner Stephen Thatcher presents RCMP blankets to (from left) Chief James Hobart, Chief Maureen Chapman, Chief Derek Epp and Chief Mark Point. (RCMP)
Historic agreement between Fraser Valley FN communities, RCMP to expand Indigenous role in policing

Community Safety Agreement builds relationship of ‘trust, communication and prevention,’ says Chief

Robbie Weir’s “Bee Happy In The Garden” is on display during Hope Arts Gallery’s Retrospective 12 show. (Photo/Hope Arts Gallery)
Hope Arts Gallery “Retrospective 12” show is open

Runs until March 28, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of March 7

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

The family of injured Willoughby resident Ronald Gerald Jesso is hoping someone saw something that will help solve the mystery of how he came to be so badly hurt on the morning of Feb. 22. Jesso is still in hospital. (Jesso family/Special to Langley Advance Times)
An appeal to help solve the mystery of an injured Langley man

Family of Ronald Gerald Jesso asks witnesses to come forward

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: One man shot dead on Vancouver Island in ‘targeted incident’

Highway 14 reopens following multi-hour closure for investigation

Personal protective equipment is seen in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
$16.9 million invested to improve worker safety, strengthen B.C.’s food supply chain

Money to be used for social distancing, personal protective equipment, cleaning, and air circulation

More than ever before, as pandemic conditions persist, the threat of data breaches and cyberattacks continues to grow, according to SFU professor Michael Parent. (Pixabay photo)
SFU expert unveils 5 ways the COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed cybersecurity

Recognizing these changes is the first in a series of steps to mitigate them once the pandemic ends, and before the next: Michael Parent

Most Read