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Protect Wet’suwet’en Land!

New details have emerged about the militarized campaign of state and corporate persecution targeting land defenders of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation in so-called Canada. The third annual Peace and Unity Summit was held August 15-16 in Gidimt’en Clan territory, home of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation. Wet’suwet’en leaders detailed how private security operatives and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have attacked and terrorized Indigenous activists using tactics taken directly from a U.S. counterinsurgency “playbook” written by David Petraeus, retired U.S. Army general and an architect of U.S. invasions in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Playbook For RCMP’s Wet’suwet’en Raids Provided By Former CIA Director

The RCMP’s Community-Industry Response Group (C-IRG), a special unit that polices Indigenous resistance against resource extraction in British Columbia, has adopted the playbook from former CIA director David Petraeus, according to a presentation at a summit held on Wet’suwet’en territory this week. Kai Nagata, communications director at Dogwood BC, spoke at the third annual Peace and Unity Summit for Wet’suwet’en and Gitxsan hereditary chiefs, elders and allies from human rights organizations from around the world. Looking around the room, those in attendance sat in shock at what they were hearing and seeing.

Wet’suwet’en Water Protector To CEO: ‘You Are Not A Climate Leader’

On October 27, Wet’suwet’en water protector Eve Saint spoke at a protest outside the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Toronto as the London, Ontario-based Ivey Business School presented RBC CEO Dave McKay with their Ivey Business Leader award. Ivey notes: “More than 400 guests, including some of Canada’s most distinguished business leaders, attended the formal dinner at The Ritz-Carlton. The award honours individuals who have made significant contributions to the advancement of business in Canada, and demonstrated leadership in both business and their communities.” The day before the award ceremony RBC released its 2030 emission reduction targets. McKay claimed: “RBC is committed to helping build a cleaner future.” But Saint said of McKay: “You are not a climate leader, you are a leader in genocide.

Wet’suwet’en Land Defender: ‘It’s Time To Protect What Is Left’

On October 19, Wet’suwet’en land defender Molly Wickham (Sleydo’) along with Hereditary Chiefs Woos and Na’moks spoke at a Decolonial Solidarity online organizing call attended by more than 300 people. Wickham told those assembled: “[The drilling at the site of our sacred headwaters] is happening now. The salmon are spawning in the river and you can actually hear the drilling happening from kilometres away. You can feel it in the ground, in the earth, from kilometres away. …The salmon are spawning and you can feel the vibration of the drilling happening.” She highlighted: “We are calling on you, our allies, other Indigenous nations, labour unions, anarchist groups, environmentalists, students, climate activists. The threat to our survival and our freedom is our collective responsibility. Enough is enough. It’s time to plan, prepare and protect what is left.”

Wet’suwet’en Protesters Face Surveillance And Harassment

As the Indigenous anti-pipeline resistance against the Coastal GasLink (CGL) continues in the Wet’suwet’en lands in Canada, the police have been intimidating the protesters and residents of the land and conducting surveillance. On Monday, April 18, the Royal Mounted Canadian Police (RCMP) arrested and later released a supporter of the Wet’suwet’en cause over mistaken identification. According to the Gidimt’en Checkpoint, a group of Gidimt’en clan members of the Wet’suwet’en organizing the resistance, the arrest is an outcome of more than a month of intimidation and harassment by the police. “This tax-payer funded harassment and intimidation is an explicit attempt to make Wet’suwet’en people unsafe on our own lands,” the group said in a statement.

Coastal GasLink Seeks Criminal Charges Against Water Protectors

“On April 13, 2022 twenty seven land defenders arrested in the fall and into winter of 2021 on Wet’suwet’en territory appeared virtually before Justice Church. Coastal Gaslink’s lawyer, Kevin O’Callaghan, recommended that the charges be criminal contempt, and not civil contempt. …this would mean that the land defenders arrested during the Coyote Camp occupation at the drill pad site and the Likhts’amisyu Chief arrested on his own territory would face criminal charges. We need to make [British Columbia’s Attorney General] David Eby aware that CGL [Coastal GasLink], the CIRG [the RCMP’s Community-Industry Response Group], and RCMP [Royal Canadian Mounted Police]… …are abusing the intent of the court injunction to violently and illegally criminalize sovereign Wet’suwet’en people in an attempt to push through an industrial project that does not have the consent of the true title holders to the land.

Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs Confront Royal Bank Of Canada

Despite abruptly canceling the in-person portion of their  annual general meeting (AGM) today, the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) faced growing calls to phase out coal, oil, gas, and tar sands funding, and instead invest in a safe, and renewable future.  Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs and climate finance experts asked the RBC Board and management about their role in violating Indigenous rights by bankrolling projects that perpetuate genocide against Indigenous Peoples, such as the Coastal GasLink pipeline, as well as the role of RBC’s fossil fuel financing contributing to the climate crisis. Melina Laboucan-Massimo, the co-founder of Indigenous Climate Action, spoke to  shareholders about how RBC’s financing of the tar sands has detrimental impacts to her homelands, the health of Indigenous people on their territory and to the climate.

Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs Demand Royal Bank Stop Financing Pipeline

“Today, we told RBC leadership directly that the bank’s financing of the Coastal GasLink pipeline threatens our medicine, our water, our ancestral lands, our culture and our homes. Our sacred headwaters, the Wedzin Kwa river, is the lifeline for our people, and it’s profoundly at risk. Financing Coastal GasLink is the exact opposite of reconciliation. The fracked gas pipeline violates our hereditary title, and has led to years of RCMP violence and harassment of peaceful Indigenous land defenders and the forced removal of Wet’suwet’en peoples from their territory.” “The bank’s leadership seemed open to hearing our experiences and to the opportunity we’re giving them to do the right thing. We’ve been crystal clear: RBC must divest from this toxic project, which threatens Wet’suwet’en land, air and water, and steamrolls Indigenous rights.

Ottawa Convoy Exposes The Racism That First Nations Have Long Known

Early in 2020 and late in 2021, the Wet’suwet’en First Nation faced down police forces as they tried to protect their homelands in northern British Columbia. The province and the federal government had no difficulty in sending in the RCMP to mete out justice. No mercy has been given to the First Nations when they protest. Oka, Ipperwash, Gustafsen Lake, logging standoffs and oil and gas standoffs, including the Tiny House Warriors standing against the Trans Mountain pipeline, were all met with unwavering police forces. The last confrontation in Wet’suwet’en had First Nations from other provinces joining in solidarity. Enter Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and his anti-protest legislation. Kenney quickly enacted Bill 1 to protect “critical infrastructure” and to fine those driven to protest.

Wet’suwet’en Approach UN Over Militarization And Rights Violations

As the movement against the Coastal GasLink (CGL) pipeline project in Canada continues, indigenous Wet’suwet’en activists have approached the United Nations to raise their concerns about indigenous rights violations. In a submission filed to the UN Human Rights Council on Monday, February 7, activists of the Gidimt’en clan of Wet’suwet’en raised the issues of forced industrialization, police militarization and violation of the rights of indigenous peoples. The eight-page document points out that Canada has overlooked its international obligations under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). It stated that Canada has violated several rights of the community, including the right to conserve and protect traditional lands, and has forcibly removed clan members from their territories.

Summit Strengthens Alliances Against Coastal Gaslink Pipeline

The conflict over the Coastal GasLink project is about more than the fate of a single pipeline or the territory of one Indigenous nation. The precedent set here will have far-reaching consequences, and Indigenous nations and leaders from across Turtle Island are paying close attention. The hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en Nation hosted a Peace and Unity Summit in the town of Smithers on Jan. 15. Wet’suwet’en leaders and representatives of other Indigenous nations gathered to offer solidarity and support in the fight against the Coastal GasLink pipeline. The Wet’suwet’en argue that their Indigenous and human rights, and rights to their territories, are threatened by the multibillion-dollar project, which is backed by the provincial and federal governments.

Wet’suwet’en Water Protectors Evade RCMP As Police Mobilize For Raid

Two weeks after Wet’suwet’en water protectors evicted Coastal GasLink workers and occupied a key pipeline drill site, water protectors executed a strategic retreat to avoid arrest and violence at the hands of dozens of militarized RCMP. Before a large scale mobilization by police, water protectors vanished into the woods, evading police violence and criminalization. We expect an imminent assault on our people at the direction of Coastal GasLink as we continue to occupy and utilize our yintah.

CN Rail Wins Right To Privately Prosecute Rail Blockade Participants

CN Rail has won the right to privately pursue criminal charges against three people who participated in a 2020 rail blockade in northern B.C., despite the fact that provincial prosecutors declined to get involved. The ruling cements the B.C. Supreme Court’s ability to enforce court injunctions, with or without the participation of Crown prosecutors, who unsuccessfully fought the decision. A group of people, including three Gitxsan hereditary chiefs, were arrested at a blockade on a CN Rail line in New Hazelton, B.C. on Feb. 24, 2020. An injunction against the blockade had been issued two weeks prior amid nationwide protests in solidarity with Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs fighting against the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline.

Wet’suwet’en Retake Checkpoint A Month After Police Crackdown

On Saturday, December 19, activists leading the Wet’suwet’en resistance against the Coastal GasLink (CGL) pipeline project declared that they evicted workers of the project from the drill site. This development comes exactly a month after the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) violently dismantled a blockade led by the Gidimt’en clan near Camp Coyote and arrested dozens of protesters and even bystanders. The declaration of reclaiming Camp Coyote was made over a statement released by the Gidimt’en Checkpoint, on Sunday, December 20. “This courageous action took place one month after a wave of militarized raids on Gidimt’en land,” the statement read.

Wet’suwet’en Resistance And Solidarity: Evicting The Colonizers

One month ago today, the RCMP violently raided unceded Gidimt’en territory (November 18-19, 2021), removing Indigenous people from their land at gunpoint on behalf of TC Energy’s proposed Coastal GasLink pipeline. The Wet’suwet’en enforced our standing eviction of CGL by closing roads into the territory November 14-17. Following the raids, arrestees received cruel and violent treatment in prison. The conditions set forth by the court are human rights violations to Indigenous peoples. We’re still here. We’re still throwing down. We are more determined than ever to protect our traditional territories for future generations. In September 2021, Gidimt’en Checkpoint reoccupied Lhudis Bin territory, building a clan cabin on the drill pad site where Coastal GasLink pipeline wants to drill underneath our sacred headwaters, Wedzin Kwa.
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