Wet’suwet’en Solidarity Groups Call on Private Equity Firm to Stop Investments in the Coastal GasLink Pipeline and Respect Indigenous Sovereignty

Press Contacts:

Annie Banks Wet’suwet’en Solidarity Front Bay Area 510-631-4653

Emily Luba Wet’suwet’en Solidarity U.K. 074 294 63976

Wet’suwet’en Solidarity Groups Call on Private Equity Firm to Stop Investments in the Coastal GasLink Pipeline and Respect Indigenous Sovereignty

Online event part of international protests targeting Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., calling to stop construction of the controversial British Columbia pipeline.

COAST SALISH TERRITORIES: This week, a coalition of groups, including Rising Tide North America, Wet’suwet’en Solidarity UK, Wet’suwet’en Solidarity Front Bay Area and Greenpeace USA, launched a virtual “day of action” against Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR) and individuals sent over 7,500 emails, and 275 phone calls in a communication’s blockade to the private equity firm’s CEOs, New York headquarters, plus California and London offices.

Today’s day of action is in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs currently resisting the illegal construction of the Coast GasLink pipeline slated to cut through our territories at a huge environmental, social, and economic cost. The resistance to the Coastal GasLink project has been widespread, including rail blockades, port shutdowns, government office occupations, and sit-ins at legislatures and banks investing in this illegal pipeline project. As an organizer from London explains, “it is incredibly key that we put global pressure on KKR & Co. From the heart of the British empire, we are watching Indigenous genocide continue in so-called Canada at the hands of Coastal GasLink.”

“Despite the COVID-19 crisis, TC Energy is still going ahead with construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline and sending more workers and federal police officers onto Wet’suwet’en territories, putting communities at even more risk,” said organizer Vanessa Butterworth of Rising Tide North America. “Billionaire oil and gas CEOs see the COVID-19 crisis as an opportunity to push through whatever they can when the world is looking the other way.”

KKR has plans to purchase 65% of the Coastal GasLink pipeline with Alberta Investment Management Corp (AIMCo).

This 670-kilometer-long pipeline would carry fracked gas from northeast BC to a future liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal on the coast, the largest of its kind ever proposed in Canada. The pipeline would cut through Wet’suwet’en territory, which is divided into 5 clans and 13 house groups, and stretches over 22,000 square kilometres, wherein each clan has full jurisdiction to control access to its territory. The Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have maintained their land use, occupancy, hereditary governance system, and are the title holders with authority and jurisdiction to make decisions about unceded lands, including the land where the pipeline is scheduled to be built.

For more information about other Wet’suwet’en solidarity actions around the globe, please see https://actionnetwork.org/letters/messagekkr

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Another tree-sit up in fight against Mountain Valley Pipeline

cross-posted from Appalachians Against Pipelines

photo via Appalachians Against Pipelines

An update from the Yellow Finch tree sits on DAY 553 blockading the path of the Mountain Valley Pipeline:

“After several weeks, MVP security has FINALLY noticed our newest addition to the Yellow Finch blockade … so we are proud to publicly announce our third tree sit! Come on down and check it out!

“MVP was here, using this fine spring weather to work on their sad excuse for erosion control, but so far, no progress on getting us out of here. ?

 

Charleston, WV: Water Protectors Shut Down TC Energy (TransCanada) Building

cross-posted from Appalachians Against Pipelines

Photo Credit: Appalachians Against Pipelines

Today, over 70 of water protectors shut down the TC Energy (TransCanada) building in Charleston, WV in solidarity with Unist’ot’en! 4 people locked down together as part of the blockade, and a warrior flag symbolizing Indigenous power was raised, replacing the US flag outside of the building. Banners on site included, “SOLIDARITY WITH WET’SUWET’EN,” and “JUSTICE FOR MMIW [MISSING AND MURDERED INDIGENOUS WOMEN].”

Despite the peaceful nature of the action, DOZENS of cops (primarily from the City of Charleston) responded in force, screaming and violently shoving protesters out of the lobby. They dragged the people whose necks were locked together outside, piling people on top of one another. Folks were repeatedly pushed around and roughed up, but luckily no one was seriously injured. After cops cut the locks around the necks of those locked down, the group dispersed. No arrests were made.

Today’s action was a response to Unist’ot’en Camp’s call for solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en struggle to defend their unceded territory in so-called British Columbia, Canada, from TC Energy’s Coastal GasLink pipeline and the Canadian government. Indigenous people, Appalachian people, and all land defenders stand in solidarity to say WET’SUWET’EN STRONG. SHUT DOWN CANADA. SHUT DOWN TC ENERGY.

Mama Julz, Oglala Lakota and founder of the Mothers Against Meth Alliance, explained her decision to take action, saying, “My territory is experiencing a meth epidemic, and many missing and murdered relatives. All the drugs and sex trafficking come from man camps that TransCanada has brought to my territory. Wet’suwet’en has been experiencing that same violence for years. They have the Highway of Tears, where their missing and murdered relatives are stolen from. It all comes from the pipelines. It’s important to be in solidarity because we face violence from the same industry. Our ancestors traveled and always kept us connected with our indigenous relatives to the North. The waters connect us.”

Photo Credit: Appalachians Against Pipelines

One Dine activist, who traveled from the Four Corners area to participate in the action, said, “I am here to be in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en folks, and to be in support of the sisters who are raising awareness about missing and murdered Indigenous women. In Indigenous ways of life there are no borders, so anything that happens here on Turtle Island is happening to all our relatives. Just like the Wet’suwet’en are fighting man camps in so-called Canada, the reservation where I’m from faced fracking, and there were man camps there too. New Mexico has one of the highest rates of missing and murdered Indigenous women. This is what extracting, mining, drilling, and everything associated with those industries lead to.”

TC Energy is the same company that operates the Columbia Gas pipeline and storage facility here in Appalachia. Indigenous people — including Monocan, Moneton, and Cherokee people — inhabited the hills and hollers of this region for thousands of years before white settlers arrived, bringing with them genocide and forced relocation. The fossil fuel industry and TC Energy in Appalachia today are a continuation of the legacy of colonization.

Photo Credit: Appalachians Against Pipelines

Additional statements from folks who locked down today:

“I am here in solidarity with every missing Indigenous woman, with all of the earth and its peoples who have been pillaged and destroyed by the vicious and relentless systems of capitalist extraction and colonialism. I’m here because there is everything to lose — our means of survival and that of all other life on the planet, and because there has been so much loss. Because there is hope in the tiny rebellions. Unending solidarity with the Unist’ot’en fight, and the Wet’suwet’en people, now and forever.”

“The enclosure of land and extraction of its resources is an age old arm of settler colonial violence. I am here because colonialism is ongoing, because our lives and the lives of generations to come depend upon the liberation of the earth and all of its inhabitants. I am here because indigenous women are being disappeared, and that too is an arm of settler colonialism — the one that assaults the bodies of women, queer people, the vulnerable. We all need to fight together to win.”

To learn more about Unist’ot’en visit: https://www.facebook.com/unistoten/
To donate visit: http://unistoten.camp/support-us/donate/

 

Line 3 Protest at logging site in Cass County, MN

pic via Northfield Against Line 3

cross-posted from Northfield Against Line 3

WATER PROTECTORS PROTEST TAR SANDS LINE 3 PIPELINE

A peaceful rally held in Northern Minnesota promoted Indigenous sovereignty and climate justice

CASS COUNTY, MN —  20 water protectors held a rally today at a logging site where workers had been patch clear cutting trees along the proposed route of Line 3, the proposed tar sands pipeline expansion owned by Canadian company Enbridge Energy. At 1PM, water protectors from across Minnesota, including organizers with Northfield Against Line 3, rallied for over an hour among large logging equipment and felled trees, chanting “Honor the Treaties!” and “Stop Line 3” before they left the site.

“We are here to send the message loud and clear: Line 3 will not be built! All pipelines spill, and Enbridge has deliberately misled the public. We need real climate solutions, and they must be rooted in honoring Indigenous sovereignty,” said Elizabeth (a pseudonym), one of the water protectors involved in the rally.

This afternoon’s acts of civilian oversight build off of a decade of growing opposition to the proposed Line 3 pipeline, which would transport 760,000 barrels of tar sands oil per day from Alberta, Canada to the western shore of Lake Superior. Despite facing significant delays in court, the company has allowed to begin what it calls “pre-construction,” making today’s intervention a necessary step in enforcing transparency along the proposed corridor. Line 3’s proposed route puts sensitive ecosystems at risk, including 15 watersheds and 215 lakes, and its associated carbon emissions would further destabilize the global climate. Enbridge is still waiting for the verdict on their 401 water quality permit, a crucial oversight from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

pic via Northfield Against Line 3

Today’s action highlights acts of patch clear cutting in a ecologically vulnerable area that directly abuts the proposed Line 3 expansion route. This logging of birch and pine trees is part of a legacy of abuse upon the land and the land’s original inhabitants by logging companies and the state government who bought the land cheaply, making way for decades of violent extraction. While the profits from rotating timber permits are supposed to support township services, the logging occurred in 1855 Treaty Territory, violating the rights of the Anishinaabe people to fish, hunt and gather, and make free, prior and informed decisions regarding any project.

“We must end the perpetuation of settler colonialism and cycle of mindless extraction. We’re here fighting for a livable future for all, because another world is not only necessary, but possible,” said Emerson (a pseudonym), another water protector involved in the action.

Buoyed by the actions of several groups opposing Line 3 in so-called Minnesota and beyond, today’s successful rally will no doubt continue to galvanize the wider movement to stop all fossil fuel projects, especially tar sands extraction, and demand climate justice. Activists came to observe and protest nearby logging to raise awareness of the devastating possibilities of business as usual.