Ongoing Actions Across the Country in Solidarity with Wet’suwet’en
Stand with Wet’suwet’en!
Immediately following the RCMP raid on Wet’suwet’en territory people across the country went into action to oppose this latest attack on their sovereignty and rights. Marches, rallies and other actions took place in Toronto, Winnipeg, Burnaby, Victoria and Vancouver and at the Bowen Island Ferry terminal on November 19 and continue to date, with others planned throughout the week and beyond. Haudenosaunee land defenders of the Six Nations blockaded the Highway 6 bypass in Caledonia.
More than 300 people participated in a rally and march in Toronto on November 19 which began at the Royal Bank branch on Wellington Street. The Royal Bank is one of the main funders of the Coastal GasLink pipeline that is being built illegally on sovereign Wet’suwet’en lands without their consent. Following the rally, the protesters marched to the building where TC Energy, the owner of the Coastal GasLink pipeline, has its corporate offices. There they occupied the main lobby to present TC Energy with an eviction notice from the Wet’suwet’en people.
In Vancouver, two actions took place on November 19, the first called by the Wilderness Committee, the second by Fridays for Future. A militant rally was organized by the Wilderness Committee at the RCMP headquarters in Burnaby led by Indigenous elders and youth. Among the organizations represented was the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE). Following the rally there was a march to a busy intersection which was blocked by the demonstrators for almost two hours during which there were many expressions of support from drivers and passers-by. The marchers then proceeded to the nearby overpass over Highway One where banners were dropped so motorists travelling in both directions could see them.
The regular Fridays for Future demonstration at Vancouver City Hall also denounced the RCMP raid and stood in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en land defenders.
People marched through downtown Victoria with banners and signs supporting the Wet’suwet’en land defenders and the blockade at Fairy Creek. Youth at the Victoria rally expressed their frustration at not being able to go to Wet’suwet’en territory to give their support because of all the road closures in BC and called on everyone to go all out on social media to express their solidarity.
On November 20, some 200 people held an emergency rally in Toronto to stand with the Wet’suwet’en land defenders who are facing brutal racist violence from RCMP special paramilitary units unleashed by the racist colonial Canadian state against them. Following the speeches, the participants occupied the Spadina and Bloor intersection drumming, singing and chanting calls for an end to colonial and racist state violence against the Wet’suwet’en and all Indigenous peoples. Rail tracks in Toronto were blockaded on November 21.
In southern Ontario actions also took place on November 20 in Guelph where traffic was shut down at the intersection of Wellington and Gordon Streets, and in Windsor and in Hamilton on November 21. In Halifax there was also a rally on November 21.
On Monday, November 22 a protest took place outside the courthouse in Prince George where the land defenders arrested in the RCMP raids on Wet’suwet’en territory were making court appearances. In Edmonton hundreds of people, mainly youth, participated in a march organized by Climate Justice Edmonton.
Bowen Island Ferry Terminal
(Photos: RU, M. Olanick, J. Wegg, D. Clark, HDLC, M.J. Lo, Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition, Shades of Green, I. Ceris, A. Moore)