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,

 

Idaho: Wet’suwet’en Solidarity Actions Supporting Indigenous Rights

cross-posted from Wild Idaho Rising Tide

via Wild Idaho Rising Tide

Media contact: Helen Yost, Wild Idaho Rising Tide, wild.idaho.rising.tide@gmail.com, 208-301-8039

Friday, February 21, Wet’suwet’en Solidarity Actions Supporting Indigenous Rights

  • Sandpoint, Idaho (Kalispel Territory): 12 pm on the?southwest corner of North Third Avenue and Oak Street, across from the Farmin Park clock, with the weekly, 350Sandpoint Climate Strike
  • Spokane, Washington (Spokane Territory): 3 pm at the park on the southeast corner of North Division Street and East Martin Luther King, Jr. Way
  • Moscow, Idaho (Nimiipuu (Nez Perce) Territory): 5:30 pm at Friendship Square on the west side of South Main Street at West Fourth Street, with the weekly, Palouse Peace Coalition demonstration

Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), #No2ndBridge, and regional, climate activists are hosting demonstrations in Spokane, Washington, and Moscow and Sandpoint, Idaho, on Friday, February 21, in solidarity with five Wet’suwet’en Nation clans in west central British Columbia (B.C.) defending their sovereignty from Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) invasions imposing TC Energy (formerly TransCanada) construction of the Coastal GasLink (CGL) fracked gas pipeline from northeastern B.C., across unceded, Wet’suwet’en territories, to an unbuilt, liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in Kitimat, B.C.  The clans’ hereditary chiefs have not provided their free, prior, and informed consent, as required by law, and have unanimously opposed the pipeline and police occupations.  They closed the Morice West Road into their lands and on January 4, evicted CGL from their territories, where it was building housing for 400-plus workers.

Amid rising tensions, RCMP attempted to enforce a December 2019, B.C. Supreme Court injunction that seeks to block Wet’suwet’en people from their traditional lands, by establishing an exclusion zone that eases CGL access to pipeline sites.  On February 6 to 10, militarized police with rifles, dogs, vehicles, and helicopters staged multiple raids of two Gidimt’en clan camps and checkpoints along the road, and the Unist’ot’en clan’s healing center beyond the gated, Morice River bridge.  At gunpoint, they detained journalists, arrested and removed 28 tribal members and supporters, some while in ceremony, towed resident vehicles, and dismantled camps, sacred fires, and dozens of red dresses strung along the road to symbolize the missing and murdered, indigenous women and girls victimized by transient, pipeline “man camps.”

Denouncing Canada’s failed reconciliation processes with First Nations, indigenous and allied, frontline activists across Canada and around the Earth have sustained scores of protests, marching, rallying, and blockading at government offices and buildings, city streets and highways, and ports and train tracks.  Canadian and western Washington sabotage and blockades of relatively indefensible rail lines connecting ports, refineries, and passenger and freight traffic have caused major railroad networks to cancel services, discouraged investments in energy projects, and disrupted business-as-usual, national economies.

Inland Northwest solidarity actions support Wet’suwet’en rights and title to their lands and waters and increasing, worldwide opposition to fossil fuels extraction, transportation, infrastructure, and pollution risks and impacts to public and environmental health and safety, which privatize public police and officials and criminalize land, water, and climate protectors.  Protest organizers encourage participants to learn more about Wet’suwet’en resistance to colonization, contact Canadian politicians to demand that they stop police violence, donate toward the Wet’suwet’en legal fund, and attend a demonstration in Moscow, Sandpoint, and Spokane on Friday, February 21.  For further issue and event information and ideas for relevant signs and banners, please see Wet’suwet’en supporter toolkits [1, 2], the international solidarity actions page [3], WIRT website and facebook event posts [4, 5], and the attached flyer.  Dress for winter warmth and dryness, bring friends, family, and creative signs, assist with carpools to these community events, and contact WIRT with your questions and suggestions.

[1] Wet’suwet’en Strong: Supporter Toolkit, Unist’ot’en Camp

[2] Wet’suwet’en Solidarity Art Kit

[3] When Justice Fails: Wet’suwet’en Strong Solidarity Actions, February 16, 2020 Harsha Walia

[4] Wet’suwet’en Solidarity Actions, February 16, 2020 Wild Idaho Rising Tide (website)

[5] Wet’suwet’en Solidarity Actions, February 16, 2020 Wild Idaho Rising Tide (facebook)

 

Guardian: New train blockade piles pressure on Trudeau in Wet’suwet’en pipeline fight

cross-posted from the Guardian

via Cuzzins for Wet’suwet’en

New train blockade piles pressure on Trudeau in Wet’suwet’en pipeline fight

Group of about 20 blocked Canadian National Railway Co rail line near Edmonton, capital of the western province of Alberta

Demonstrators opposed to a Canadian gas pipelinehave blockaded another railway line in the west of the country, adding to pressure on Justin Trudeau to solve a two-week protest.

Freight traffic in eastern Canada has already been stopped for days after campaigners blockaded a main line in Ontario. Protesters across the country have taken up the cause of the Wet’suwet’en indigenous people who are seeking to stop the C$6.6bn (US$4.98bn) Coastal GasLink gas pipeline project in British Columbia.

On Wednesday, a group of about 20 people blocked a Canadian National Railway Co rail line near Edmonton, the capital of the western province of Alberta.

“They’re on the CN property, and we’re working with the CN police to resolve it,” a local police spokesman, Barry Maron, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

Television footage showed the group standing on the rails behind a banner that read “No pipelines on stolen land.” The company said it was assessing legal options.

Trudeau, who insists his government will not use force against the protesters, toughened his language on Wednesday, calling the disruptions unacceptable.

The blockades pose a delicate challenge for Trudeau, who says one of his main priorities is to improve relations with Canada’s marginalized and impoverished indigenous population.

“This government is working extremely hard to resolve this situation. We know people are facing shortages, they’re facing disruptions, they’re facing layoffs – that’s unacceptable,” Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa.

His tone was noticeably harsher than in a speech he gave to legislators on Tuesday in which he stressed the importance of “dialogue and mutual respect”.

Canada’s main opposition parties say the federal government should send in police to clear the blockades, which are also hitting Quebec, Canada’s second most populous province.

Quebec’s premier, François Legault, on Wednesday demanded Trudeau come up with a timetable to end the blockades.

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