Toronto, Ontario, Canada – This morning Toronto supporters of the Wet’suwet’en land defense fight against the Coastal Gaslink pipeline set up construction sites at the Toronto residences of the Council Speaker of TC Energy, Siim Vanaselja, and the head of the Royal Bank of Canada, Doug Guzman. Supporters also circulated photos of the two men around the neighborhood with signs warning, “Your neighbor is pushing the Coastal Gaslink pipeline through Wet’suwet’en territory at gunpoint.”
Rachel Small, Canadian organizer of World BEYOND War, said: “Today supporters took action to get the message across to Siim Vanaselja and Doug Guzman, two men who run businesses that orchestrate, fund and profit of the violent colonial invasion of Wet unceded. ‘suwet’en territory. The decisions they make are directly related to the militarized violence the RCMP has used against the Wet’suwet’en over the past few months to cross the Coastal Gaslink pipeline at gunpoint.
In November, the RCMP deployed military-style police units – including snipers, heavily armed assault teams and canine units – against unarmed Wet’suwet’en land defenders during a raid on land defense camps set up to prevent pipeline construction crews from drilling under the Wedzin Kwa River. During these raids, the RCMP destroyed several homes of the land defenders, using axes and a chainsaw, and set fire to one house.
“My sister, Jocelyn Alec’s house was burned down and bulldozed after she was violently arrested and abducted at gunpoint,” said Wet’suwet’en land defender Eve Saint. . “She is the daughter of Hereditary Chief Woos, and her home was on our traditional unceded Wet’suwet’en territory.
Rachelle Friesen of Community Peacemaker Teams voiced her support for the action: “We cannot sit idly by and let leaders like Siim and Doug continue to ignore the impacts of their decisions while militarizing the police through their investments. All across Turtle Island, people are rising to show that we will not back down until the Coastal Gaslink pipeline project and the RCMP leave Wet’suwet’en territory.
TC Energy is building Coastal GasLink, a 670 km, $6.6 billion pipeline that would transport fracked gas in northeastern British Columbia to a $40 billion LNG terminal on the north coast of British Columbia. British. The project crosses the unceded territory of the Wet’suwet’en Nation and has encountered continued resistance from the nation’s hereditary rulers who hold authority over traditional territories. Wet’suwet’en land defenders and their supporters have sworn that they will not allow construction to proceed on unceded Wet’suwet’en territory without the consent of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs.
RBC is a lead backer of the Coastal GasLink pipeline and played a lead role in securing project financing that would cover up to 80% of the pipeline’s construction costs.
On January 4, 2020, Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs issued an eviction order to Coastal GasLink, which one of the country’s five clans, the Gidimt’en, enforced in November by blocking roads and preventing pipeline workers to access work sites. The eviction orders Coastal GasLink to withdraw from the territory and not return and highlights that the construction of TC Energy on Wet’suwet’en lands ignores the jurisdiction and authority of hereditary chiefs and the system of governance of parties , which was recognized by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1997.
Gidimt’en spokesman Sleydo’ said of the ongoing invasion of unceded Wet’suwet’en territory: “It’s infuriating, it’s illegal, even by their own means of colonial law. We have to shut down Canada.
is an author, activist, journalist and radio host. He is executive director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. Swanson’s books include war is a lie. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org. He hosts Talk World Radio. He is a Nobel Peace Prize nominee and a recipient of the United States Peace Prize.
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By World BEYOND War, January 24, 2022
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