We Stand with Wet’suwet’en Land Defenders!
RCMP Out! End Colonial Violence
Against Indigenous Peoples!
Actions are continuing across Canada as people from all walks of life and backgrounds, especially youth, are joining with Indigenous peoples to oppose the racist violence of the Canadian colonial state and the RCMP against Wet’suwet’en people defending the lands and waters of their territory.
The Wet’suwet’en have been defending their pristine lands and waters, the very source of their life and well-being for all of B.C., for over a decade against destruction by the energy monopolies. This includes the construction of the 670-kilometre Coastal GasLink pipeline, owned by TC Energy, to transport fracked natural gas from northeastern BC to the LNG Canada facility in Kitimat.
The Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs have never given their consent to this pipeline crossing their territory. They have upheld their ancient governance system and Wet’suwet’en customary law, Anuc’nu’at’en, against CGL’s wanton destruction of their hunting and foraging areas, historical trails and sacred burial and other sites central to their material, spiritual and cultural well-being.
Canada and its courts have no jurisdiction on Wet’suwet’en territory. This includes the BC Supreme Court injunction of December 31, 2019 served on behalf of CGL. The Gidimt’en Checkpoint recently reiterated that “the 1997 Supreme Court of Canada Delgamuukw-Gisdaywa ruling clearly affirmed that Aboriginal title — the right to exclusively use and occupy land — has never been extinguished across 55,000 square kilometres of Wet’suwet’en and Gitxsan territories.”
Accordingly, the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs responded the BC Supreme Court injunction with an eviction notice in January 2020 demanding an end to all work on the pipeline. To enforce the eviction notice, access to the territory by CGL was blocked on November 14 after CGL had been given ten hours’ notice to leave the territory.
Heavily armed RCMP carried out raids on Wet’suwet’en territory on November 18 and 19: on November 18 at the Gidimt’en Checkpoint where access to the territory was blocked, and on November 19 at the Coyote Camp set up to prevent drilling under the Wedzin Kwa, the river on which the territory depends.
It is high time that Canada and the provinces stop permitting the use of the courts to pass injunctions which are then said to be legal but condone criminal practices on behalf of the monopolies and private interests. Then the full force of the law is used to enforce those injunctions while the people are criminalized and their right to speak and act is trampled underfoot. This happens to the workers as well, all the time. Matters which should be sorted out through negotiations are made police matters and even militarized as is happening once again in BC The fact that the Wet’suwet’en lands are distant makes the court-sanctioned actions of the RCMP even more contemptible. The silence of government officials and political parties with seats in parliaments and legislatures is deafening.
As the 44th Parliament of Canada gets underway in Ottawa, what the government of Canada is endorsing in the name of law in B.C. against the Wet’suwet’en is a matter of real concern. For more than 150 years Canada has been using its colonial constitution, the very constitution which authorized the commission of genocide against the Indigenous peoples, to claim that its expropriation of Indigenous lands is legal. When what is legal is not just, a real problem faces the polity.
The Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada (MLPC) calls on working people across the country to speak out now. The government is out of control and everything indicates that it will use this session of Parliament to engage in more of the same. The time to act is now! Support the Wet’suwet’en! RCMP Out!