RCMP enforcing gas pipeline construction


in Canada, Economics, Politics, The environment

In British Columbia, the Unist’ot’en Camp has been operating for years to try to keep fossil fuel pipelines out of the traditional territory of the Wet’suwet’en Nation.

Anticipating RCMP enforcement of a court order to allow access for the construction of the Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline to Kitimat, the Gidimt’en checkpoint was more recently established to protect unceded lands from pipeline construction.

That checkpoint has now been demolished with 14 arrests.

The Unist’ot’en Camp may be the next target for police action.

Rallies in support of the Wet’suwet’en have taken place in a number of Canadian cities, including Toronto, with more being planned.

All this highlights at least three major contradictions. The British Columbia government is trying to be a climate leader, while also trying to develop a liquified natural gas (LNG) industry which may cause more climate damage than coal once leakage from fracking and the rest of the gas network is taken into account. Canada is also simultaneously trying to develop fossil fuel export infrastructure while trying to play a productive role in global decarbonization. Thirdly, the Trudeau government is trying to undertake reconciliation with Canada’s Indigenous peoples, while simultaneously being willing to use the power of the state to force fossil fuel project construction in spite of Indigenous opposition.

{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

. January 8, 2019 at 4:06 pm

The Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) protocol used by the Unist’ot’en is a request of permission to enter the lands of the traditional chiefs and matriarchs. Visitors are asked to identify themselves and their relationship to the hosts, as our ancestors did. Like a border crossing, the protocol questions make Unist’ot’en land a safe place. FPIC ensures peace and security on the territory.

In ancient times and even today in canoe journeys, and community resistance building gatherings, there exist Protocols where visiting peoples have shown who they are in relation to asking permission to enter the Traditional Lands from the Traditional Chiefs and Matriarchs of the hosting lands.

This is a living breathing assertion of the Traditional Laws of the Wet’suwet’en, which have been asserted via protocols like this on the lands for thousands of years, and renewed by today’s sovereigntists.

Free Prior and Informed Consent is now also written into the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

Alena Prazak January 9, 2019 at 1:47 am

Using violence to enforce a court order in favour of the pipeline hardly seems like a firm of reconciliation. To me it seems oppressive and humiliating. I expect better from Canadian leaders and especially our courts. A very disappointing day indeed.

Milan January 9, 2019 at 3:47 pm

Prime Minister Trudeau and Premier Horgan still think expanding the fossil fuel industry is acceptable public policy, and Canada’s whole political and legal system has long maintained natural resource extraction as a top priority.

A lot of the opposition to fossil fuel development has been motivated by the desire to protect particular places from spills, pipelines, and extraction projects like bitumen mines and fracking. It seems to be a lot harder for people to accept the long-term global position that it’s the proper functioning of fossil fuel projects that really endangers us.

anon January 9, 2019 at 4:22 pm

Isn’t this perspective the epitome of using indigenous people only as a legal convenience? Saying they’re opposing projects for the wrong reasons, and that the right course of action has nothing to do with what they decide?

. January 15, 2019 at 1:26 pm

Why the RCMP may not be a neutral player in the Wet’suwet’en anti-pipeline dispute

Criminologist Jeffrey Monaghan says the RCMP has an enduring bias against Indigenous social movements

. January 28, 2020 at 5:13 pm

Who speaks for the Wet’suwet’en people? Making sense of the Coastal GasLink conflict

The legal reality is that band councils are a creature of the colonial Indian Act and have limited delegated authority tied to reserves. They do not have inherent authority, nor are they self-governing or an expression of self-determination. They cannot simply represent the proper rights holder – the broader group that shares a common language, culture and tradition – and typically there is more than one band within a given territory of an Indigenous people.

. February 16, 2020 at 7:32 pm

Indigenous rights protesters storm B.C. attorney general’s office, target UBC

Protesters supporting Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs in their opposition to a natural gas pipeline through northern B.C. chose a pair of new targets Thursday.

Several dozen demonstrators, who call themselves land and water protectors, gathered at the Kitsilano Community Centre before storming B.C. Attorney General David Eby‘s constituency office.

. February 16, 2020 at 7:35 pm

Canadian police arrest activists at Wet’suwet’en anti-pipeline camp

Royal Canadian Mounted officers arrested at least six people at a roadblock erected by Indigenous people to block construction

. February 16, 2020 at 7:35 pm

Protests over B.C. pipeline halt Via Rail trains in Ontario

Rail traffic on a key line in southern Ontario has been halted due to protests supporting the Wet’suwet’en Nation, whose members oppose a natural gas pipeline in British Columbia.

Via Rail said trains departing from Ottawa and Montreal en route Toronto, and from Toronto to Ottawa and Montreal, have been interrupted “due to protesters blocking the tracks” near Belleville, Ont.

. February 16, 2020 at 7:38 pm

Protesters block intersections in support of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

VANCOUVER — Protesters blocked an intersection in East Vancouver near the entrance to the city’s port Thursday afternoon, calling their actions a “blockade” of the port in response to arrests along the planned route of the Coastal GasLink pipeline near Houston, B.C., Thursday morning.

Those arrests were the result of RCMP enforcement of an injunction against Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and their supporters, who have set up camps along the Morice West Forest Service Road where the liquefied natural gas pipeline is to be built.

. February 16, 2020 at 7:39 pm

No charges after car drives through Wet’suwet’en supporters in Regina

The Regina Police Service (RPS) say no charges will be laid after a vehicle drove through Wet’suwet’en supporters on the weekend.

Several videos posted online showed a blue car driving through protesters who were blocking Albert Memorial Bridge on Feb 8.

. February 16, 2020 at 7:40 pm

First Nation protests force VIA Rail to cancel trains between Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa

TORONTO — Anti-pipeline protesters in Belleville, Ont. have forced VIA Rail to suspend service between Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa for the second day in a row.

The protests, in support of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation, come after six people were arrested near a worksite in northern British Columbia where the RCMP had recently enforced an injunction against the Nation’s hereditary chiefs and their supporters.

At issue is the $6.6-billion Coastal GasLink pipeline, which will deliver natural gas from the Dawson Creek area to a facility near Kitimat, B.C.

The company behind Coastal GasLink has signed agreements with 20 elected First Nation councils along its 670-kilometre path with the exception of the Wet’suwet’en who say the project has no authority without their consent.

. February 16, 2020 at 7:40 pm

Day 4: RCMP continue enforcement against Wet’suwet’en over pipeline injunction

More than 20 people have been arrested since enforcement actions began

. February 16, 2020 at 7:43 pm

More than 50 people arrested in enforcement of Vancouver Fraser Port Authority injunction

Vancouver police have cleared a blockade at one of the entrances to Canada’s largest port. And Delta police have done the same at another entrance on Deltaport Causeway.

That’s resulted in 43 arrests in Vancouver around the intersection of East Hastings Street and Clark Drive and 14 arrests at Deltaport.

The police enforcement actions came in response to a B.C. Supreme Court injunction obtained last evening by the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority.

Both the VPD and Delta Police have issued news releases saying that those arrested refused to comply with the court order.

Around 5 a.m., about 40 officers arrived at the intersection of East Hastings Street and Clark Drive in Vancouver.

This came after four days of protests by sympathizers of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, who oppose the $6.6-billion Coastal GasLink pipeline crossing their unceded territory.

. February 16, 2020 at 7:54 pm

Welcome to the Canadian Rebellion of 2020, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier John Horgan
by Charlie Smith on February 10th, 2020 at 10:42 PM

This evening, the RCMP issued yet another news release suggesting that the situation in northern B.C. is under control.

Seven people were arrested at the Unist’ot’en camp at the 66-kilometre point on the Morice West Forest Service Road.

In Metro Vancouver, another 57 people were arrested today following shutdowns at Port of Vancouver operations in Vancouver and Delta.

Meanwhile, a large group of demonstrators has gathered at the B.C. legislature in advance of tomorrow’s speech from the throne.

And another group blocked a railway in Vancouver’s Strathcona neighbourhood going into the Port of Vancouver.

. February 16, 2020 at 8:11 pm

Police prepare to end Mohawk demonstration along railway

OPP liaison officers bring maple syrup as gifts to meeting with demonstrators

. February 16, 2020 at 8:13 pm
. February 16, 2020 at 8:14 pm

Sit-in at Trudeau’s office takes place in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en

Written by Abeer Almahdi & Rachel Habrih on February 11, 2020

Across Canada, students are mobilizing in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en Nation in British Columbia (BC) that is resisting a Coastal GasLink pipeline project. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) raided and arrested protestors late on Feb. 6, enforcing a Dec. 31 2019 Supreme Court ruling that granted Coastal GasLink an expanded injunction. On Feb. 7, McGill students organized a sit-in at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s constituency office in Villeray.

Catie Galbraith, co-Chair of the Indigenous Student Alliance and member of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma, explained how the sit-in is part of larger resistance movements across Canada and the US.

“We’re here sitting in today in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en and all the other folks who are resisting the RCMP on their land, we’re here as part of a broader solidarity movement,” Galbraith said. “There’s been a number of Indigenous solidarity movements across Turtle Island, both in Canada and in the US, so we just wanted to do what little we can while we are […] here so far away [from B.C.]”

. February 16, 2020 at 8:15 pm

Ricochet (@ricochet_en) Tweeted:
The intersection of Broadway and Cambie in Vancouver is shut down — crowd settling in for the night. #vanpoli #wetsuwentenstrong #cdnpoli https://t.co/PnVtV3cfAH


. February 16, 2020 at 8:18 pm

Inside a protest movement: How climate activists are taking Wet’suwet’en fight from B.C. to Yonge Street

VANCOUVER—Major railway shutdowns are being predicted around the country. There are sit-ins and street protests blocking major intersections in Toronto. Ports being tied up in Vancouver.

How has an Indigenous group’s decade-long fight become a national cri de coeur?

First there is the cause: The Wet’suwet’sen hereditary chiefs’ crusade against a proposed pipeline on their territory. But the second part of the answer lies with a national network of activists, who cut their teeth organizing Canada’s largest climate marches. They have helped turned the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs’ message into a firestorm that politicians suddenly cannot ignore.

By Tuesday, protest groups across Canada had blocked rail lines at six locations from British Columbia to Nova Scotia, forced a meeting with Carolyn Bennett, Canada’s Minister of Crown-Indigenous relations, by occupying her office for 24 hours, and attempted to block B.C.’s legislators from entering their Parliament building on the day of the speech from the throne.

. February 16, 2020 at 8:19 pm
. February 16, 2020 at 8:26 pm

‘People are starting to wake up’: Pipeline protesters expect long-term change | CKPG Today | Prince George, Northern BC | News, Sports, Weather, Obituaries, Real Estate

. February 16, 2020 at 8:37 pm
. February 16, 2020 at 8:39 pm
. February 16, 2020 at 9:21 pm
. February 16, 2020 at 9:22 pm
. February 16, 2020 at 9:22 pm
. February 16, 2020 at 9:37 pm

Canada’s Hollow Concern for First Nations Democracy

The government is failing to defend the democratic rights of First Nations communities trying to resist their hereditary leaders

. February 17, 2020 at 11:30 am

Anti-pipeline protests across the country

A group of activists occupied Member of Parliament Carolyn Bennett’s office to voice their opposition to pipelines. CityNews’ Tina Yazdani has the details.

. February 17, 2020 at 11:30 am
. February 17, 2020 at 11:31 am
. February 17, 2020 at 11:33 am

RCMP Pull Back from Last Wet’suwet’en Camp as Darkness Falls

Amanda Follett Hosgood 9 Feb 2020 | TheTyee.ca

Police action expected Monday. The Tyee is on the scene.

. February 17, 2020 at 11:34 am
. February 17, 2020 at 11:35 am
. February 17, 2020 at 11:36 am
. February 17, 2020 at 12:12 pm

Riveting Video Captures RCMP Raid of Gidimt’en Camp

Newly released footage shows pipeline opponents’ defiance as police march in.

. February 19, 2020 at 4:53 pm

Wet’suwet’en chiefs’ planned meeting with Mohawk protesters could delay efforts to end rail crisis

The meeting could affect the timing of talks with federal, provincial ministers to settle the crisis

. February 19, 2020 at 4:54 pm

Alberta’s emissions could exceed cap if Teck oilsands mine is approved: federal government

The province’s 100 million tonne cap on oilsands emissions could be exceeded by 2030 if the $20.6-billion Teck Frontier mine project is approved, Canada’s minister of environment and climate Jonathan Wilkinson is warning.

In a Wednesday letter obtained by Postmedia to his provincial counterpart Jason Nixon, Wilkinson said there is “significant risk” of exceeding the cap by 30 per cent in a decade if all approved projects proceed and the Teck project gets the green light from federal cabinet.

“When the Trans Mountain Expansion pipeline project was approved by our government, it was understood that Alberta would implement its 100 million tonne cap on oilsands emissions,” said Wilkinson in the letter. “We continue to encourage Alberta to follow through and fully implement its legislation to limit emissions to 100 million tonnes from the oilsands in 2030.”

Wilkinson’s letter also raised concerns about measurement guidelines for the emissions cap in the absence of formal regulations. He said it was unclear whether refining emissions count towards the cap, but that the federal government currently excludes them from its calculations.

. February 19, 2020 at 6:12 pm
. February 19, 2020 at 6:16 pm

The breathtaking hypocrisy of the howls for “rule of law”

For most of Canada’s history, the rule of law has been openly flouted when it comes to Indigenous land and rights.

. February 20, 2020 at 1:42 pm
. February 20, 2020 at 7:14 pm

Former treaty negotiator accuses B.C. government of ‘picking their Indians’ in Wet’suwet’en conflict

Brian Domney spent 7 years as lead negotiator for B.C. with Wet’suwet’en nation

. February 20, 2020 at 7:15 pm

A former B.C. treaty negotiator is calling out the provincial government for its role in the Wet’suwet’en conflict over the Coastal GasLink pipeline, saying the provincial and federal governments acknowledged long ago that the hereditary chiefs are the appropriate people to negotiate with on matters of rights and title.

Brian Domney penned an open letter to B.C. Premier John Horgan last week and shared it with CBC News, writing that the conflict today is largely rooted in government “shopping around the First Nations world” to find the individuals or groups that will support its agenda.

Domney, who is now retired, worked for the B.C. Ministry of Education in Indigenous education and spent the last seven years of his career with the B.C. Treaty Negotiation Office as the lead negotiator for British Columbia at the Wet’suwet’en treaty table.

He said the current outrage coming from Indigenous Peoples who support the hereditary chiefs is justified.

“I spent seven years negotiating Wet’suwe’ten rights and title on behalf of the provincial Crown and both the provincial and federal governments had agreed the Office of the Wet’suwet’en — that group representing the hereditary chiefs — had the authority to negotiate the rights and title of the Wet’suwet’en people at the treaty table,” he said in an interview with CBC News.

. February 20, 2020 at 9:08 pm
. February 21, 2020 at 11:04 pm
. February 22, 2020 at 2:04 pm
. February 23, 2020 at 4:16 am

New Saskatoon rail blockade begins despite Trudeau’s call for demonstrations to end

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs meet with Mohawk community in Kahnawake, Que., as part of eastern Canada tour to thank supporters of their B.C. pipeline protest

. February 28, 2020 at 2:21 pm

Wet’suwet’en supporters building pipeline through minister’s St. John’s office

About 25 protesters occupying federal Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan’s office

. February 28, 2020 at 5:06 pm

But for some, Canada’s railways are a tangible example of the country’s history of pushing into Indigenous lands.

Emma Jackson, an organizer with Climate Justice Edmonton who says she’s been watching the blockades closely, tweeted jokingly Wednesday that this may be the only time she celebrates cancelled trains. For her, targeting the railway means “shutting down the arteries of the settler state.”

The railway was first built to “enable settlers to go and build their lives on Indigenous lands,” she said, adding that in that sense, rail lines are a fair target when pushing back against pipelines and moving resources through Indigenous land without consent.

. March 3, 2020 at 9:05 pm
. March 6, 2020 at 12:14 am
. March 9, 2020 at 1:04 pm
. May 18, 2020 at 11:18 pm

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