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Sound the alarm: RCMP off Wet’suwet’en land

Brian Champ

June 8, 2022
On Thursday, May 26th over 800 people joined an emergency Zoom call organized by the Decolonial Solidarity Network to Sound the Alarm about the imminent threat of drilling under the Wedzin Kwa river, the lifeblood of Wet'suwet'en territory. 
Dinï zeʼ (Hereditary Chief) Na'Moks of the Tsayu Clan and Dinï zeʼ Woos of the Gidimt'en Clan spoke along with Sleydo', spokesperson for the Gidimt'en Clan. She detailed the ongoing harassment by RCMP towards Wet'suwet'en people on their own unceded territories to push through the CGL pipeline. RCMP officers visit daily at all times of day and night to intimidate and harass. The level of harassment has increased recently, linked to the imminent threat of drilling under the river.
The Wet'suwet'en people have vowed to continue to resist - they are pledging to #KillTheDrill and they are asking for people across so-called Canada to reconnect with the spirit of resistance that was exemplified by the #ShutDownCanada movement of February, 2020. After the Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs evicted coastal gaslink employees from their land and the U.N. called for Canada to remove RCMP from the territory, the RCMP invasion began. Sleydo' recalled the moment not long after this "when thousands of people shut down Canada in one of the most epic and memorable moments in our history. From coast to coast you blocked intersections, railways, ports and camped out at MPs offices to demand they respect Wet'suwet'en jurisdiction and stop Coastal Gas Link and you made global headlines forcing Justin Trudeau and John Horgan to commit to title discussions with the Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs as set out by the landmark Delgamuukw case." Here is the full videoof the organizing call.
Sleydo' identified three targets for the campaign: publicly calling out the companies contracted to drill under the river to honour Indigenous sovereignty and justice and walk away from the contracts; calling for the Canadian and B.C. governments to stand down the RCMP and recognize Wet'suwet'en sovereignty over their uncede land; and calling for Financial institutions to divest from the CGL pipeline.  Find ways to act in the Toolkit: Sound the Alarm for Wet'suwet'en available along with more information at
One of the online actions available is to publicly shame Quanta services, which is the publicly traded parent company of the contractor that is commissioned to drill under the Wedzin Kwa. Calling out these companies that care about their public image can create further difficulties for the construction of this disastrous pipeline for the Wet'suwet'en people and planet. But identifying government and financial institution targets is also extremely important. Without Canada's perennial colonizing force, the RCMP, CGL construction would not be able to continue - the B.C. or federal governments could stand the RCMP down right now despite their playacting otherwise. Without the financial backing of RBC and many other Canadian banks, the funding for this planet killing project would dry up.
The stakes have been raised higher by the announcement on June 1st by the B.C. Crown that they are pursuing criminal contempt charges against at least 15 of the land defenders arrested last November in the latest colonial invasion by Canadian imperial forces onto unceded Wet'suwet'en land. Those charged include Layla and Logan Staats and Skyler Williams.
These 1492 Land Back land defenders travelled west in solidarity with the Wet'suwet'en people, to defend their sovereignty and to fight for people and the planet. Several thousand demonstrated for Climate Justice Now! at Queen's Park on November 6, 2021, an event which featured Logan and Skyler just before they headed out west - the November 6th organizing committee and the United Steelworkers (USW) each contributed financially for their trip. While it is terrible that these criminal contempt charges are being pursued, it will mean that questions about the legitimacy of the Canadian state have a chance to be heard in court proceedings as the narrow interpretations of the lower courts have ignored the fact that the Supreme Court recognized the Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs as sovereign in the landmark 1997 Delgamuukw / Gisday’wa decision.
We need to recapture the spirit of February, 2020, when so many people joined port, rail and road blockades in solidarity with Wet'suwet'en to #ShutDownCanada. We need to build on the growing awareness of the Indigenous genocide on which Canada is built that was shown in last year's sea of orange on July 1st. We need to stand together and reclaim public space for grassroots movements for economic, social and climate justice.
Those that are able should consider travelling to the Yintah to stand with the Wet'suwet'en people. But wherever people are situated there are ways to take action to demand that Wet'suwet'en sovereignty be respected. Look for Wet'suwet'en solidarity actions targeting RBC and other financial institutions, Liberal MPs and the RCMP and the contracting company owned by Qanta services. 
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