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Some Coastal GasLink opponents, reporters released after hearings in Prince George court

Bail hearings continue Tuesday

Two journalists and a number of Coastal GasLink opponents have been released on conditions after appearing in B.C. Supreme Court in Prince George Monday after being detained by the RCMP last week.

The arrests occurred amid rising tensions surrounding the 670-kilometre natural gas pipeline in Northern B.C. 

RCMP have been moving in recent days to enforce an injunction against protesters who have set up blockades along the roads leading to Coastal GasLink pipeline project, which is opposed by the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs and other groups.

Those arrested include Molly Wickham, also known as Sleydo’, a wing chief in Cas Yikh house of the Gidimt’en clan, along with Jocey Alec, daughter of Hereditary Dinï ze’ (Chief) Woos, and 13 others, including two journalists -  Amber Bracken and documentarian Michael Toledano.

Sleydo’s partner Cody Merriman was the first to be released pending a trial date for Feb. 14, 2022.

Justice Marguerite Church agreed also agreed to release Bracken and Toledano from custody after they agreed to comply with the terms of the injunction including not entering into the exclusion zone.

A crowd of about 50 supporters gathered on the steps of the Prince George courthouse with drums and signs in solidarity with those who were detained.

In December of 2019, a court issued an injunction against blockaders, giving RCMP officers authorization to make dozens of arrests last year. The recent blockades which halted CGL plans to drill at the Wedzkin Kwa River and stranded about 500 CGL employees for three days, leaving them at risk of running out of supplies.

The natural gas pipeline project is more than half finished with almost all of the route cleared and 200 kilometres of pipeline installed so far, the company has said.

Further bail hearings are set to continue Tuesday for the remaining individuals who have been arrested.

- with files from the Canadian Press