A group of protesters has blocked the port access at Clark and Hastings in Vancouver since Tuesday night.
The action was organized by Braided Warriors, a newly formed group, made up of Indigenous youth from many Nations, who fights for Indigenous sovereignty mostly on the unceded territories of the Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Waututh), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) nations.
Clark & Hastings port blockade by Indigenous youth to demand Uncle Stacy and all Indigenous land defenders’ charges be dropped. Indigenous land defenders are criminalized by the kkkanadian kkkrown for protecting the land, water, and people. You fuck w 1 of us you fuck w all of us— Braided Warriors (@BraidedWarriors) March 3, 2021
The sacred fire is lit at Clark and Hastings port blockade. We demand that charges laid against Indigenous land defenders be dropped, and the colonial systems that criminalize Indigenous peoples be dismantled.— Braided Warriors (@BraidedWarriors) March 3, 2021
The group is calling for the release of Indigenous elder Stacy Gallagher who was sentenced to 90 days in jail Tuesday.
Gallagher was handed the sentence in B.C. Supreme Court on Tuesday by judge Shelley Fitzpatrick for violating an injunction that bars people from protests at Trans Mountain sites in Burnaby. It was at the Burnaby tank farm in 2019 where Gallagher took part in a smudging ceremony and was subsequently apprehended and charged.
A participant in the overnight protest who spoke with V.I.A. News Wednesday morning on scene calls Gallagher's jailing a "blatant act of systemic racism."
"We're here in solidarity with our 'uncle' who has been fighting this for years," she adds.
Vancouver Police were present for a time on scene but had not taken any action against protesters as recently as around 9 a.m.
With files from Elisia Seeber and staff reporter/North Shore News