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Activists block Sherbrooke Street in support of Wet'suwet'en
MONTREAL -- A group of protesters on Monday afternoon blocked Sherbrooke Street near McGill University in support of the Wet'suwet'en.
The group, several dozen people, stood opposite the Roddick Gates, the entrance to Mcgill University's downtown campus, blocking Sherbrooke Street. They chanted: "From the mountains to the sea, Wet'suwet'en be free. Respect Indigenous sovereignty."
They also sang traditional songs and hoisted signs declaring their support for the Wet'suwet'en.
One of the demonstrators, Carlee Kawinehta Loft, who didn't consider herself an activist, said she was trying to hold space for Indigenous voices. She said the demonstration was part of a nation-wide movement of Indigenous youth.
"It's a way to hold the space to say that we're here in solidarity. It's a way to disrupt what's going on in the city. Even if those drivers way back there don't hear our songs," she said, motioning towards a distant police car blocking the road, "even if they didn't hear the words we shared, they know what this is about, and they know why we're here. If they're angry about the inconvenience, I remind them about the inconvenience of being colonized for hundreds of years. ... The fastest way for this to stop is for them to join us ... Stop the pipeline ... Respect indigenous sovereignty."
The demonstration started around 4 p.m. and ended just after 5 p.m.
The protest echoed others across the country. In Toronto on Monday, a large group of people marched through the city in support of the Wet'suwet'en. Indigenous demonstrators have also blocked train lines across the country, halting rail traffic.
The groups are demonstrating in support of the Wet'suwet'en, an Indigenous community in Northern British Columbia, whose hereditary chiefs object to the passage of a natural gas pipeline through their traditional, unceded, territory.