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,

 

Coastal GasLink Vancouver Office Vandalized in Solidarity with Wet’suwet’en

cross-posted from It’s Going Down

From an anonymous communique to It’s Going Down:

“We are learning to bite. In Solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en comrades struggling for sovereignty and against pipeline development we vandalized the entrance to the CGL office. Using a re-pressurized fire extinguisher we made a small mess. This symbolic act feels like the least we could do.

To a growing militant movement – decolonization means attack!”

 

Hamilton,ON: Blockade in Solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en Nation

Cross-posted from Wet’suwet’en Strong: Hamilton in Solidarity

pics via https://twitter.com/RisingTideTor

BREAKING: Rail and Road Block in Hamilton in Solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en Nation

Dish With One Spoon Territory
Victoria St & Birge St

Hamilton, ON:“If we are serious about Indigenous rights and reconciliation, then we find ourselves in a time where we must position ourselves against the government to resist the state’s ongoing colonial practises. Unfortunately the state is corrupt and only understands money. Since we don’t have any, we must aim to cost them some.”

Those were the words of Trish Mills before approximately 100 people began blocking a key road and rail artery on Victoria Ave. N. this morning.

The group of more than a hundred Wet’suwet’en supporters began the day at JC Beemer Park before taking to the streets.

The Wet’suwet’en are at the centre of a dispute with industry as well as the provincial and federal government over the development of their lands. The Wet’suwet’en have never ceded nor surrendered their land, and point to a Supreme Court of Canada ruling (Delgamuukw v British Columbia, [1997]) that recognizes the sole discretion of territorial development belongs to the traditional Hereditary Chief and clan system – not band councils.

CGL has only obtained consent from band councils which were established by Canada under the Indian Act, often under duress.

On December 31, 2019 Justice Marguerite Church granted an interlocutory injunction, effectively criminalizing any individual trying to prevent industry from accessing or developing the territory. The RCMP has since set up an exclusion zone, controlling who can enter the area – including an attempt at restricting air space.

“Injunction and provincial permits aside, Canada has no jurisdiction or authority on unceded lands. Their interference with the Wet’suwet’en Nation on behalf of industry is appalling,” said Natali Montilla, one of the media spokespeople for the event. “We support the Chief’s demands: the Coastal GasLink project needs to be permanently stopped, and the RCMP must leave the territory immediately.“

As group members began settling in, sound equipment and food tables were set up as organizers promised hot food and drinks, live music, and public discussions and teach-ins for the afternoon.

Makwa, a media liaison for the event who is Nahua and Anishinaabe (Bear Clan), pushes for an even broader understanding: “Indigenous Nations across Turtle Island have been subjected to the same abuses, violence, and corruption that the Wet’suwet’en are facing now, so we’re also here to push for reparations for every single Indigenous Nation who has been subjected to colonial interference and violence.”