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Wet’suwet’en

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.

Report-Back From A Rail Blockade In Saint-Lambert

On Saturday, more than sixty people acting in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en land defenders blocked the CN main line in Saint-Lambert south of Montreal for over six hours. It was the longest rail blockade in Quebec since the winter of 2020, interrupting Via Rail service and immobilizing six freight trains. These notes reflect the experience of a couple participants in Saturday’s blockade. Nostalgia mixed with anticipation as we arrived at the tracks where they cross rue Saint-Georges, with banners ready to hang across the rail crossing and no police in sight. It was a bright morning, temperatures just below freezing and the ground snowless, a contrast with that first night in February 2020, when temperatures sunk to 25 below and snow could be piled into mounds atop the rails.

Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs Evict Government Liaison Nathan Cullen

The Gitxsan have posted on Instagram: “Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs evict MLA Nathan Cullen from Gitxsan Lax’yip [territory].” Their post continues: “The NDP has failed to uphold good relations with our peoples, and due to the violence inflicted on Wet’suwet’en and Gitxsan Wilp [house group] members, the NDP is no longer welcome on our territories.” “Someone needs to be accountable for the violent actions inflicted upon our peoples and territories by the RCMP and Coastal GasLink.” It concludes: “We do not believe these are simply renegade police actions following the rulings of a mere Provincial Court. We know that the feds and the province are guilty of trying to exterminate our way of life.” Cullen was a federal NDP Member of Parliament from June 2004 to October 2019.

Violence Against Wet’suwet’en And Apparent Police, Industry Collusion

By January 24, 2014, the RCMP’s Critical Infrastructure Intelligence Team (CIIT) had produced an intelligence assessment on Criminal Threats to the Canadian Petroleum Industry that notes “violent aboriginal extremists” and includes in Appendix E an article from the Georgia Straight that briefly mentions the Unist’ot’en clan of the Wet’suwet’en nation. A further document dated April 1, 2015, from the Government Operations Centre (GOC), which compiles information from the RCMP and other agencies, describes an unnamed Unist’ot’en leader as an “aboriginal extremist.” Within five years of that second report, the RCMP had launched two militarized raids against the Wet’suwet’en.

Wet’suwet’en Supporters Shut Down LaSalle Causeway

A blockade shut down the LaSalle Causeway for part of Sunday afternoon. The Causeway was unusable for nearly an hour due to the protest, before Kingston Police officers were dispatched to remove the crowd from the crossing between Kingston East and downtown. This comes in the wake of continued and escalating RCMP presence, which on Thursday saw dozens of heavily armed police officers move in on a blocked stretch of access road, arresting fifteen. Among those fifteen arrested were two journalists documenting the standoff.
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