Police checkpoints stayed up Friday as a structure blocked RCMP and Coastal GasLink workers’ past the Morice River bridge.
Described by police as a “tripod,” social media rumours that it held cultural significance were quashed by Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and Unist’ot’en spokesperson Freda Huson, and they confirmed they wished it be removed according to RCMP.
This means media and others should now be able to access the camp and police “exclusion zones” should be removed per an agreement between RCMP and the Office of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs Thursday.
Opening gate at Morice River bridge by Unist’ot’en camp Friday:
10AM: Police have arrived at Unist'ot'en bridge, starting to dismantle blockade. This is a strategic move Hereditary Chiefs have decided. The battle is not lost. NO PIPELINES WILL BE BUILT ON WET'SUWET'EN TERRITORY. #unistoten #wetsuwentenstrong #nopipelines pic.twitter.com/ipSHqtIAsF
— Unist'ot'en Camp (@UnistotenCamp) January 11, 2019
The points of the agreements as listed by the RCMP are as follows:
–From this point forward, the camp set up by the Unist’ot’en across the Morice River Bridge will be officially referred to as the Unist’ot’en Healing Centre;
–The temporary exclusion zone set up by the RCMP will be removed in the morning of January 11, 2019 once access to the Morice River Bridge is established;
–There will be continued police presence conducting roving patrols of the Morice West Forest Service Road to ensure the safety of the individuals at the Healing Centre and of CGL employees;
–In our commitment to ensuring the safety and security of all individuals involved, a Community-Industry Safety Office (C-ISO) will be placed in the Morice West Forest Service Road corridor as a temporary RCMP detachment. It will remain in place as long as deemed necessary;
–Police officers working out of the C-ISO will be General Duty police officers and will undergo cultural awareness training on the Wet’suwet’en traditions and will have enhanced training in conflict resolution.
Hereditary chiefs speak to media after nearly five hours of negotiations: