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/

 

Support Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs and land defenders

photo credit: Michael Toledano

by Vanessa Butterworth

As I type this, the Wet’suwet’en First Nation is under attack. The hereditary chiefs and land defenders in Canada are being removed from their land by military police to build the Coastal GasLink pipeline, despite having rights and title to their land, since time immemorial.

The Coastal GasLink pipeline poses grave risks to the land, air, water, and climate, and to the Indigenous women living near the fracked gas pipeline route.

Here in the U.S., you can help by calling out the largest funders of the Coastal GasLink pipeline, JPMorgan Chase and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR). Their plans to invest in the pipeline aren’t final and there’s still time to stop them.

Sign the petition and rise up with the Wet’suwet’en people: Demand Chase and KKR stop financing the Coastal GasLink pipeline and stop the violence!

The details of the deal are simple:

JPMorgan Chase, the world’s biggest banker of fossil fuels, is helping funnel more than $5 billion in loans to the company behind Coastal GasLink. And, KKR — a New York City based investment firm with a grotesque reputation for putting profits over employees, people, and the environment — is involved too. It has plans to purchase 65% of the pipeline with Alberta Investment Management Corp (AIMCo).

We need to stop all the funders of the Coastal GasLink pipeline.

Many people are rising up. A movement of defiant and uncompromising support is quickly building around the globe and taking unprecedented action. Indigenous people and allies in Canada have led railway blockades, port shutdowns, sit-ins at government buildings, and huge rallies that have brought parts of Canada to an economic standstill. Meanwhile, global allies are shutting down Canadian consulates and banks that are funding the pipeline. Today across Canada, there’s a nation-wide student walkout.

Add to the chorus now and we’ll be in touch about what you can do next!

Sign the petition and rise up with the Wet’suwet’en people: Demand Chase and KKR stop financing the Coastal GasLink pipeline and stop the violence!

This is as much of a fight for Indigenous rights as it is for the future of the planet. The Wet’suwet’en First Nation never signed a treaty to cede their land. Pipeline funders must be held accountable for their role in stealing Indigenous lands and fueling the climate crisis.

There is no climate justice without Indigenous sovereignty,

 

Reconciliation is dead, Revolution is alive.

by Mary Lovell at Rising Tide North America

In the past two weeks, the Wet’suwet’en have faced brutal colonial and corporate violence. The RCMP forcibly removed community members and land defenders from their yintah (land) with snipers, helicopters, and dogs.

But, an incredible indigenous rights movement is fighting back. The best and most urgent ways you can show up right now are:

  • Organize a solidarity action where you live. Here’s a toolkit from Unist’ot’en camp about solidarity actions. This could be anything from a rail blockade to a film screening fundraiser.
  • Donate to Gidimt’en for logistical needs and legal support

Rail and port blockades continue to hold across so-called Canada, and the Canadian legal system is trying to criminalize and remove land defenders with sweeping injunctions. The grassroots community has been organizing inspiring, revolutionary actions in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en Nation.

The Tyendinaga Mohawk community and allies have been holding a rail blockade on their territory for over two weeks in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en, and were just removed in a violent raid by the police last night. Already, a grassroots uprising has responded by blockading one of the largest bridges in Montreal, blocking the port in Vancouver, marching in Ottawa- and over 8 blockades created in one day.

We need you to show up to support this incredible resistance. Donate, and start organizing in your community today.

By burning illegal injunctions and continuing to hold prayer and ceremony in the face of colonial and corporate violence, the Wet’suwet’en maintain a powerful and inspiring praxis.

We demand that the Coastal GasLink project not move forward without Indigenous consent, and that the Canadian and B.C. governments remove the RCMP from Wet’suwet’en territory.

No matter where you live, there are relevant actions to plan. As mentioned in the Wet’suwet’en strong supporter toolkit, there are many responsible for the Coastal GasLink pipeline.

First, hundreds shut down all of the above-ground entrances to the B.C. Legislature building, postponing the Throne Speech, after over a week of holding protests drawing thousands to put pressure on John Horgan- premier of British Columbia.

Second, hundreds are targeting investors. Just last week, hundreds of people in London targeted one of the biggest CoastLink pipeline investors who is planning to buy 65% of the project, KKR. The fierce land defenders sat in at their office.

We’re also excited to announce that Rising Tide North America will be sharing more organizing strategies in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for that!

In the meantime, if you’d like to stay in the loop on all the amazing resistance coming out of Canada right now,, sign up for the Unist’ot’en Solidarity email list. It has a daily summary of actions and news from camp.

Also, even as the Canadian state continues in their violent and colonial ways, there are major victories. Indigenous land defenders and campaigners had a major win yesterday, as Teck Frontier the largest ever proposed tar sands mine has rescinded the application in recognition of Indigenous rights and title, the climate, and the uncertainty of construction in Canada.

Statement of Solidarity with Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Leadership in Resistance to the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline

photo credit: Cualli Tlazocamati

In response to the ongoing rebellion against the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline and the Canadian government’s human rights abuses at the Wet’suwet’en, Unist’ot’en and Gidimt’en camps, Rising Tide North America issues the follow statement:

“Rising Tide North America supports Wet’suwet’en hereditary leadership in resistance to the Coastal GasLink Pipeline. 

We unequivocally support the sovereignty and human rights of the Wet’suwet’en as title holders to their territory, and their rights to resist the massive fracked gas pipeline that puts their land water climate and women at risk.

The Canadian government and Coastal GasLink are using armed forces, snipers, and dogs to remove matriarchs and supporters from the yintah, they are ignoring the human rights of the Wet’suwet’en, Unist’ot’en and Gidimt’en camps.

We stand with Wet’suwet’en and their supporters as they continue to fight this armed invasion  by the Canadian Government of their territory and ongoing colonialism on behalf of a corporation. We see and honour the strength, courage and determination in all those taking action, defending their land through peaceful ceremony, rail blockades, launching legal challenges, and organizing against investors in the project.

The Wet’suwet’en community has a huge network of organizers, activists, musicians, artists, unions, labor councils, faith groups, that support their sovereignty and resistance, and are raising our voice as a collective in solidarity.

If you would like to continue to support the Wet’suwet’en solidarity efforts against Coastal GasLink there is a supporter toolkit here:

We will continue organizing alongside this powerful grassroots movement, to call out those supporting the armed invasion of Wet’suwet’en territory- the decision makers and investors in this project, and answer the call to action to stand strong against the Canadian government, and Coastal GasLink.”

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