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Guelph rallies in support of Wet'suwet'en solidarity (5 photos)

Demonstrators decry arrest of Wet'suwet'en Nation members and supporters in pipeline dispute

Supporters of Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs shut down traffic at the intersection of Wellington Street and Gordon Street in Guelph for part of Saturday afternoon.

The solidarity action is one of several to take place across the country in recent days, sparked by escalating tensions in Wet'suwet'en territory in Northern B.C. where RCMP have arrested around two dozen Wet'suwet'en Nation members and supporters who are attempting to block construction of a multi-billion dollar natural gas pipeline. 

On Saturday, around 60 people gathered near the Guelph Farmer's Market at noon before marching down Gordon and blocking the intersection of Wellington Street and Gordon Street. By 3 p.m. the intersection was cleared.

"How is removing Indigenous people from their own land reconciliation?" Maura Winkup asked the crowd. 

Winkup, who is Cayuga from Six Nations Turtle Clan, said she was one of around five people, all from Guelph who organized the rally.

"We want to show everyone that we hear them, we heard their call for help and we're doing the best we can from where we are," she said. "And show the Canadian government that they can't get away with this stuff anymore."

As British Columbia grapples with major flooding that has washed out roads and forced evacuations, Winkup said she's be "interested to see when the numbers come out, how much money they spent on raiding the Wet'suwet'en territory when they could have been getting supplies and help to people."

"RCMP get off of Wet'suwet'en territory, let the Indigenous people govern their own land," she said.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story misspelled Maura Winkup's name. It has been corrected.