Say No! to State Attack on Unist’ot’en Land Defenders
The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) condemns the governments of both Canada and BC for treating the need to respect the hereditary rights of the original peoples of this country as a law and order matter. The precedent set by these governments at Gustafsen Lake in 1995 is a crime yet to be redressed and now another is to be committed.
In the current case of the dispossession of the territories of the Wet’suwet’en in northern BC, the elected chiefs and councils of the five Wet’suwet’en bands have approved the pipeline. They were established under the racist and colonial Indian Act to achieve the assimilation and dispossession of the original peoples of this land. The hereditary chiefs who are the ones whose approval must be sought have not given it. It is a political matter which must be resolved politically. Instead, the governments of Canada and BC are self-serving to the extreme. They are serving private interests and claiming that the law is neutral and must be permitted to take its course.
We join the call of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, whose President, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, stated without equivocation:
“We strongly condemn the RCMP’s use of intimidation, harassment, and ongoing threats of forceful intervention and removal of the Wet’suwet’en land defenders from Wet’suwet’en unceded territory. In continuing to aggressively threaten the Wet’suwet’en with eviction from their own Title land, the governments of Canada and British Columbia are blatantly ignoring the Supreme Court of Canada’s precedent-setting Delgamuukw case which confirmed that the Wet’suwet’en’s Title and Rights have never been extinguished. The RCMP’s actions are in direct contradiction to both governments’ stated commitments to true reconciliation, and to full implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which is a global human rights standard. We demand that Canada and BC call on the RCMP and Coastal GasLink to respect the Unist’ot’en/Giltseyu-Dark House on unceded lands. The provincial and federal governments must revoke the permits for this project until the standards of free, prior and informed consent are met.”
Five Wet’suwet’en clans represented at Gidumt’en Access Point, January 6, 2018, before the RCMP raid.
On January 5 the Wet’suwet’en Access Point on Gidumt’en Territory issued an International Call for a day of action to be held on January 8 in defence of their hereditary rights in the light of information that they would be attacked by the RCMP claiming to be implementing an injunction issued by the BC Supreme Court.
Police refused to provide any details of their operation to the Dini’ze and Tsake’ze (hereditary chiefs) including the number of officers moving in, the method of forcible removal, or the timing of deployment. By rejecting the requests for information by the Dini’ze and Tsake’ze the RCMP indicated that they intended to surprise and overwhelm the Wet’suwet’en people who are protecting their territories on the ground.
On January 7, the RCMP broke down the barricades at a checkpoint on unceded Wet’suwet’en territory on the Morice River road and arrested 14 people.
RCMP raid on Gidumt’en Access Point, January 7, 2018.
We call on Canadians to demand that the governments of Canada and BC revoke the permits for the GasLink pipeline project until the standards of free, prior and informed consent are met.
Join in the solidarity actions happening January 8 across Turtle Island and around the world.
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