Quantcast

Climate Justice, Indigenous Rights Advocates Rally for Wet'suwet'en People as Canadian Police Continue Raids

Politics
Demonstrators block the Port of Vancouver in support of the Wet'suwet'en, who are blocking a pipeline from being built on their land, on Feb. 9, 2020. Sally T. Buck / Flickr

By Julia Conley

Indigenous rights supporters held solidarity actions across Canada over the weekend as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police continued their raids on Wet'suwet'en land in British Columbia.


The Unist'ot'en Camp reported on its official Facebook page Sunday that at least 21 people had been arrested since Thursday, when, as Common Dreams reported, the RCMP conducted a violent pre-dawn raid to fulfill an injunction on behalf of Coastal GasLink, which aims to build a pipeline in Wet'suwet'en territory in northern British Columbia.

The camp uploaded several videos over the weekend of the resistance to the police, who were reportedly set to meet with Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs Saturday to discuss reconciliation regarding the injunction, which was filed despite a long-standing Canadian Supreme Court decision stating the Wet'suwet'en had not given up their homeland in the province. The RCMP reportedly refused to attend the meeting after arriving late.

According to Ricochet, the RCMP expanded its "exclusion zone" Saturday, taking control of most of the territory of the Gidimt'en, one of the five clans of the Wet'suwet'en.

"The exclusion zone has been created by the RCMP to force Wet'suwet'en land defenders off our land," the Unist'ot'en Camp said in a statement. "It is a colonial and criminalizing tool to illegally and arbitrarily extend RCMP authority onto our lands. The massive exclusion zone, completely under RCMP authoritarian discretion, falls outside the injunction area. Chiefs and Wet'suwet'en people are illegally being denied access to their own territories."

The neighboring Gitxsan Nation led a solidarity action on Saturday, blocking a rail line in protest of the RCMP's actions, the injunction, and the Canadian government's failure to intervene on behalf of the Wet'suwet'en people's rights.

"The Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs and their house members have fought the forcible removal from their territories as they seek to protect their sovereign rights and protect the land, water and air," Gitxsan hereditary chief Norman Stephens told Richochet. "If their rights are being trampled, our rights are being trampled."

Other rail blockades were reported across the country, and solidarity actions took the form of rallies and protests at government buildings in Canada as well as in the U.S.

Climate action leader Greta Thunberg also expressed support for the Wet'suwet'en on social media.

"Indigenous rights equals climate justice," Thunberg tweeted.

Reposted with permission from Common Dreams.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Graphic image of a thin film of protein nanowires generating electricity from atmospheric humidity. UMass Amherst / Yao and Lovley labs

Imagine painting your home with a special paint that also powers your lights using renewable energy drawn from the air.

Read More
Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos speaks to the media on the company's sustainability efforts on Sept. 19, 2019 in Washington, DC. ERIC BARADAT / AFP via Getty Images

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos just pledged $10 billion to fight the climate crisis.

Read More
Sponsored

America's national bird is threatened by hunters. Not that hunters are taking aim at the iconic bald eagle, but bald eagles are dying after eating lead bullets, as CNN reported.

Read More
Bill Bader, owner of Bader Farms, and his wife Denise pose in front of the Rush Hudson Limbaugh Sr. United States Courthouse in Cape Girardeau, Missouri on Jan. 27, 2020. Johnathan Hettinger / Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting

A jury in Missouri awarded a farmer $265 million in a lawsuit that claimed Bayer and BASF's weedkiller destroyed his peach orchard, as Reuters reported.

Read More
Earthjustice says Louisiana has violated the Clean Water Act and given Formosa Plastics Group the "greenlight to double toxic air pollution in St. James" (seen above). Louisiana Bucket Brigade

By Jessica Corbett

A coalition of local and national groups on Friday launched a legal challenge to a Louisiana state agency's decision to approve air permits for a $9.4 billion petrochemical complex that Taiwan-based Formosa Plastics Group plans to build in the region nationally known as "Cancer Alley."

Read More