By Ben Macintosh
On Wednesday morning around 15 students of students came out to show their solidarity with Wet’suwet’en protesters in B.C. (photo credits: Ben Macintosh)
A group of UPEI students held a walkout today as an act of solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en Indigenous peoples of B.C.
The walkout at UPEI comes as rail blockades and other forms of protest have taken place across the country to oppose the construction of a liquified natural gas (LNG) pipeline.
The pipeline would go through Wet’suwet’en land and is opposed by various hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en.
UPEI student Indra Johnson organized the walkout which saw around 15 students and members of the public come together in UPEI’s quad at 10 a.m. They held signs showing support for the Wet’suwet’en people and greeted passersby.
“Basically, we’re UPEI students in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en land protectors and land protectors in general.”
Johnson is a member of the Hive. A student-run group at UPEI which organizes protests against capitalism and systemic oppression through rallies, demonstrations, educational activities, discussion, and art.
Johnson said this week students across the country staged walkouts in support of the Wet’suwet’en peoples..
“Youth organizers in B.C. kind of conceived of this whole thing. So we’re just representing UPEI’s support.”
While the walkout did not get the student participation Johnson was hoping for, they said raising awareness for this issue is important.
“I think it’s just important to be visible, to stand up for what we want the world to look like.”
Earlier in February, a group of protestors set up a blockade on the PEI side of the Confederation bridge to slow traffic. Johnson said while PEI is far away from the Wet’suwet’en peoples in B.C., things can still be done to help.
“What’s going on is not okay and even though we’re pretty far removed from the situation we’re not really,” they said.
“There’s a lot that we can do from our little Island.”
Johnson said raising awareness for this cause is important.
“Canada promised reconciliation and this ain’t it. So I think it’s really important, all of this has been pushed under the rug so we need to draw it back out.”