“[Saturday] morning, twenty people dressed as construction workers arrived at 232 Douglas Drive in Toronto, erected construction fencing and turned the well-manicured lawn into a site of destruction. They also postered and flyered the neighbourhood to bring attention to one the people behind the ongoing violence occurring on Wet’suwet’en territory. As people based in Toronto we have a clear connection with the destruction out West and a responsibility to fight it.”
Here is a statement from Rising Tide Toronto on the action:
“It seems like the direct impacts of TC-Energy on the lives, land and bodies of Indigenous people are too far away for Mr. Vanaselja so we decided to bring it home. This is a personal matter for all the people on the ground facing the destruction of their homes and harassment from pipeline workers so we decided to make it personal for Mr. Vanaselja. This is referencing the ongoing construction of the Coastal Gas Link pipeline in contravention of Wet’suwet’en law, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, the 1997 Canadian court decision on Delgamuukw, and of the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office’s (EAO) directives.
Coastal Gas Link is a project of TC-Energy. Since January, after unarmed Indigenous Wet’suwet’en were forced at gunpoint to concede a checkpoint at the entrance to their unceded territories and tentatively struck a deal with Coastal Gas Link (CGL), CGL has been clearing and preparing their proposed “Camp 9A” man camp intended to house up to 450 pipeline construction workers. An Unist’ot’en representative says that, “the man camp would threaten the safety and security of Wet’suwet’en people and residents of the Healing Center.”
While TC-Energy is invading sacred Wet’suwet’en territory in a time of climate crisis, we are here as a reminder to Canadians this ongoing genocide. Indigenous people are in inherently connected to the land to defend and protect it from projects like CGL. We all share a crucial responsibility to take action in solidarity with Unist’ot’en Camp.
Released just last week, the National Inquiry’s final report into widespread violence against Indigenous women and girls directly addresses the connection between workers in man camps and higher rates of violence and sexual assault.
Stopping sexual assault and gender based violence connected to energy projects and assuring that Indigenous peoples’ rights and laws do no continue to be violated is imperative.
In March, CGL was ordered to stop work in an area of a trapline by the BC Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) due to non-compliance with permits. CGL ignored the EAO order and continued to block access, bulldozed a trapline, and operated bulldozers and excavators within meters of active traps.
We are bringing the attention and bringing consequences to the people behind the project. We want Mr. Vanaselja to pull out all Coastal Gas Link workers from Wet’suwet’en territory and stop man camp construction.
This action is a part of an international call to action for support and solidarity called for June 15th.”