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Group behind park occupation protest says arrest is ‘declaration of war’

The group behind an ongoing protest in North Thompson River Provincial Park is calling the arrest of one of its members a “declaration of war.
Tiny House warriors Kanahus Manuel
The Tiny House Warriors build these homes as a method to block construction of the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

The group behind an ongoing protest in North Thompson River Provincial Park is calling the arrest of one of its members a “declaration of war.”

Tiny House Warriors convened in the park as part of a traditional tattoo gathering from July 6 to 9, but stayed and set up tiny houses in protest.

The park, located just south of Clearwater, is along the proposed route for the Trans Mountain expansion pipeline — the subject of the group’s protest.

On Friday, the group was given an eviction notice by BC Parks personnel.

About 8 a.m. Saturday, RCMP arrived at the site and arrested Kanahus Manuel. The arrest was captured on video and posted on Manuel’s Facebook page.

“While there is much talk by the federal government about respecting Indigenous rights and reconciliation, the Trans Mountain buyout expansion and arrest of Secwepemc woman warrior Kanahus Manuel is a declaration of war,” the release reads.

On July 11, the group said it would reclaim the park as part of the Secwepemc nation’s traditional territory in an attempt to block the pipeline.

“Justin Trudeau has left us no choice. This pipeline violates our rights and endangers our lands and waters. To stop it, we’re reclaiming our ancestral village and bringing our traditions back to life. If Trudeau wants to build this pipeline, he will need to empty this village a second time; in doing so, he would make continued colonization and cultural genocide part of his legacy of so-called reconciliation,” read a release from the group after the occupation began.

Manuel’s tiny house protest had been in the works for nearly a year.