It is with horror and outrage that we watch the RCMP raids on Wet'suwet'en territory unfold in BC. These actions violate Indigenous, provincial and international laws and human rights. They make a mockery of the government's purported commitment to reconciliation. All in the name of industry and at the behest of government, to protect the interests of a fossil fuel pipeline! Shame. Deep and unpardonable shame. Keep reading to the end of this article for ways to act in solidarity and speak out.
Follow and share updates from the sources below:
- On Twitter: @UnistotenCamp @Gidimten @M_Tol @ricochet_en @harshawalia @Terrilltf
- On Facebook: Unist’ot’en Camp @unistoten Wet’suwet’en Access Point on Gidim’ten Territory @wetsuwetenstrong
- Website: http://unistoten.camp/category/blog/
Tags: #WetsuwetenStrong #DefendtheYintah #alleyesonWetsuweten #unistoten
To recap: On Thursday the 6th, before first light, the RCMP began their raid on Wet’suwet’en territory and made their first arrest at the #Wet’suwet’en monitoring post at 39km. They had guns and created a media exclusion zone. Six were arrested and later released. Some journalists were also threatened with arrest for photographing RCMP in tactical gear, but RCMP retracted that threat after an outcry from The Canadian Association of Journalists and others about freedom of the press. However, according to this ricochet article, they used other tactics to deter coverage.
Yesterday, Friday 7th, 55 vehicles headed to the Gidimt’en checkpoint. RCMP surrounded Gidimt'en checkpoint and kettled the camp, some of them tactical units with snipers and dogs. Media and legal observers couldn't get badge numbers or names and some RCMP wore masks. An Indigenous woman was refused when she requested a female officer make her arrest.
At 9:50am PST on Saturday the 8th, an RCMP and industry convoy of about 40 vehicles headed toward 27km, despite the fact that Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs had a scheduled meeting with RCMP. Unist’ot’en matriarchs and Indigenous supporters went into ceremony at 11:34am and refused to talk to police. By 4pm, there were 11 arrests at 27km in Gidimt’en territory.
Sunday 9th: "Unist'ot'en women hold a ceremony honouring their missing and murdered Indigenous sisters and inviting their spirits to stand with them against the same RCMP who denied them justice." RCMP reached the bridge to Unist'ot'en territory and an invasion is imminent.
Monday 10th: 7 arrested, including Unist’ot’en matriarchs. On-site media and legal observers rounded up and ID'ed. Police obscured their faces. Those arrested on 6, 7 and 8th freed and by about 9:20PST, others arrested on this day freed. RCMP continue surveillance.
For continued urgent, detailed updates see: Unist'ot'en Camp @UnistotenCamp on twitter and unistoten.camp/rcmp-invasion-on-unistoten-territory-urgent-updates
See Shiri Pasternak’s latest article here:
For ways to help see the following links:
- Unist'ot'en Supporter toolkit: unistoten.camp/supportertoolkit2020/
- Unist'ot'en legal fund: https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/unistoten2020legalfund
- For Gidimt'en's call to action: www.yintahaccess.com
- Donate to Gidimt'en camp: https://www.gofundme.com/f/gidimt039en-strong
- Supply wish list: https://www.yintahaccess.com/wishlist
Speaking out about this Indigenous rights violation is critical:
Let your MP and other Ministers know that you demand the RCMP stand down and that Indigenous law and Wet’suwet’en sovereign rights must be honoured and upheld.
Some talking points:
- Halt construction of the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline project
- Uphold UNDRIP and the right to free, prior and informed consent
- Withdraw RCMP, associated security and policing from territories
- Respect Wet’suwet’en laws and governance and end violent displacement of the Wet’suwet’en
See the list of the Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs demands at the end of this blog on the unist'ot'en camp website: http://unistoten.camp/wetsuweten-hereditary-chiefs-no-access-without-consent/
Express your disapproval & concern about the…
- Criminalization of land defenders
- Entire LNG project #NoCGL #nopipelines
- Human rights violations as called out by the UN Committee on Eradication of Racial Discrimination (CERD) - Among CERD’s demands are that construction on Coastal Gaslink be halted, that Canada immediately cease the eviction of the Wet’suwet’en people and guarantee that no force will be used against them and that RCMP and security be removed from their traditional lands.
Find your MP here: https://www.ourcommons.ca/members/en/ministries
- John Horgon (BC Premier): email@example.com 250-387-1715
- Scott Fraser (BC Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation): scott.fraser.MLA@leg.bc.ca 250-953-4844
- Mike Farnworth (BC Minister of Public Safety): mike.farnworth.MLA@leg.bc.ca 250-356-2178
- George Heyman (BC Minister of Environment and Climate Change strategy): george.heyman.MLA@leg.bc.ca 250-387-1187
- David Eby (Attorney General): 250-387-1866
- Doug Donaldson (BC Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development and MLA for Stikine (Wet'suwet'en territory)) 250-387-6240
- Bruce Ralston (BC Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources) 250-953-0900
- Chrystia Freeland (Canada's Deputy PM): chrystia.Freeland@parl.gc.ca 416–928–1451 or 613–992–5234
- Carolyn Bennett (ON Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations): firstname.lastname@example.org 416–952–3990 or 613–995–9666
- Bill Morneau (ON Minister of Finance) bill.Morneau@parl.gc.ca 416–972–9749 or 613–992–1377
- Catherine McKenna (ON Minister of Infrastructure and Communities) catherine.McKenna@parl.gc.ca 613–946–8682 or 613–996–5322
- Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister of Canada) email@example.com 514–277–6020 or 613–995–0253
You could also register your demands and outrage with the RCMP commissioner:
Helicopter Company: And finally, the helicopter company that is flying in tactical teams now, has also refused to bring supplies and media into Wet’suwet’en territories. You can call them and demand that they stop supporting this violation of Indigenous rights: Silverking helicopters, 250-877-1989.
Ongoing solidarity actions are listed here and watch for individual event listings: https://www.facebook.com/events/186688865753897/ by Indigenous Climate Action, Idle No More, and Indigenous Environmental Network and here by Harsha Walia https://www.facebook.com/events/221856442184296/
And a few articles detailing some actions that have taken place:
RCMP arrests in Wet'suwet'en territory spark protests nationwide, Rhiannon Johnson, cbc.ca, February 10, 2020 - See Climate Justice Toronto on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more about the occupation that took place in Toronto.
VIA Rail cancels trains between Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa because of First Nation protest, ctvnews, Ted Raymond, February 7, 2020
Wet’suwet’en solidarity protests near Belleville, Ont., halt train service for 2nd day, globalnews.ca, Kerri Breen, February 8, 2020
When justice fails block the rails, Springmag.ca, Krisna Saravanamuttu, Orion Endicott Keresztesi, and Valerie Lannon, February 8, 2020
Picture: Action taken in solidarity on February 6th at Bill Morneau's office
Note: today I was copied on a pro Teck Frontier Email from a group that called on their membership to reject potential government offers to help Alberta with money instead of another Indigenous rights-denying, climate-wrecking, Boreal forest clear-cutting, sunset-industry tar sands approval - the biggest one yet. They assured members that they have the numbers to force the approval, if they just called on all MPs and provided an easy to use letter portal.
It is ever clearer that we need to mobilize our numbers too, to demand our government stop endangering Indigenous people by defending extractive capitalism at the expense of human lives. We must demand an immediate stop to the raids, arrests and violation of the Wet'suwet'en people and their sovereign territories.