The RCMP moved to clear a blockade erected by protesters at a Coastal GasLink site in northern BC after over 500 pipeline workers were left stranded with no access to food and water. 

On Thursday morning, the RCMP revealed they would be enforcing a court-ordered injunction on the site.

Members of the Wet’suwet’en Nation Gidimt’en clan were notified of the injunction when authorities arrived and some were arrested as the police broke up the barrier. 

“We were hoping that a solution would be reached without the need for police enforcement, however, it has become very clear to us that our discretionary period has come to an end and the RCMP must now enforce the (court) orders,” an RCMP statement claimed. 

According to Chief Supt. John Brewer, authorities have had “serious concerns” about the protesters’ activities, which include damaging machinery and cutting down trees in the area in an effort to prevent access. 

Although protesters claim to have the support of First Nations, elected Wet’suwet’en chiefs support the LNG project, as do all of the Indigenous tribes along the pipeline’s route. 

Tensions came to a head earlier this month after a number of protestors were arrested for damaging millions of dollars worth of heavy equipment. 

“The RCMP is aware of the recent events that have included mischief and damage to equipment related to industry working on the CGL pipeline. An investigation is currently underway,” RCMP North District media relations spokesperson Cpl. Madonna Saunderson told True North at the time.

Among those who spoke out in support of the stranded Coastal GasLink workers was BC Liberal MLA Ellis Ross. 

“The workers are not at fault here. They are just doing the job they were supposed to do under a contract with the company. They should not be exposed to anything, other than just doing a job that was lawful,” said Ross.

“I’m not sure what’s happening up there right now because we have a government that doesn’t actually disclose what’s happening, or they have no idea … And I used to think that the NDP were playing politics with Aboriginal issues. Now, I think it’s a combination of arrogance, ignorance and incompetence.”

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