A trial is underway this week in Smithers for Sabina Dennis, one of 32 people arrested after a 56-day occupation of the Coastal GasLink drill pad near the Morice River. 

Dennis was arrested between November 18 and 19, 2021, at the Gidimt’en Checkpoint and Coyote Camp. RCMP video from the incident was played in court this morning, with officers being asked to verify details. 

Dennis was charged with criminal contempt for violating a court injunction received by Coastal GasLink to prevent protesters from trying to interfere with the pipeline’s construction.

In a press release from a Gidimt’en Checkpoint media coordinator, Dennis and others arrested at the camp are facing up to 30 days of jail time if convicted. 

“We need to stand in the power of our laws as Indigenous Peoples, this is an assertion of our ancient law and continuation of our resistance,” wrote Dennis in the release. “We will stand together as Indigenous nations with a long history of standing up for our people and our lands.”

Additional trial dates are expected in late November for the remaining people charged and are expected to wrap up in January 2024, explained the release. 

The majority of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs opposed the pipeline, but it was supported by all the elected band councils within the Wet’suwet’en, which signed benefits agreements.

By Tom Summer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Oct 31, 2023 at 20:46

This item reprinted with permission from   Alaska Highway News   Fort St. John, British Columbia

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