Over 55 Cities March in Solidarity With Wet’suwet’en Nation
Unceded Territory Victim of RCMP Invasion for Pipeline Construction
Protesters denounced the invasion of militarized Royal Canadian Mounted Police on the unceded Wet’suwet’en nation in northern British Columbia for pipeline access on Tuesday night.
All five clans of the Wet’suwet’en nation have unanimously opposed all pipeline proposals on their traditional territory, but was denied support through the Wet’suwet’en band council. Those who oppose the pipeline say the construction will damage wildlife and that the Wet’suwet’en nation has full jurisdiction to control access to their territory.
Protesters in Montreal shouted “No pipelines on stolen land!” on Sherbrooke St. W., between Metcalfe St. and Mansfield St.
“People are showing up and willing to support against this act of colonial violence,” said Morgan McGinn, attending the Montreal protest. “It’s through solidarity and it’s showing people that we’re there.”
“This is unceded land which is being taken over by colonial powers, in this case the RCMP,” said Nicholas Chevalier from LEAP Montreal, a social justice group focused on climate change, racism and inequality.
Over 55 cities collectively marched to voice their solidarity with the five clans of the Wet’suwet’en nation, who are victim of forceful natural gas extraction authorized by the federal government. The construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline project is planned to run through Dawson Creek to the town of Kitimat, with at least 670 kilometres of pipeline.
“The RCMP is ultimately looking to build the pipeline, ultimately looking to disregard first nations, and people in Canada, in the name of economic development, whatever it takes,” said McGinn.
Protests were happening throughout Canada such as Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Ottawa, Winnipeg, as well as in the United States in New York City, Seattle, San Francisco and Washington.
Around 14 people were arrested on Monday, when the RCMP invaded the five clans of the Wet’suwet’en nation, who are validating their sanctions on their territories against the natural gas extraction authorized by the federal and provincial government of B.C.
“Their end goal is to get their pipeline through so that they can get their money for their energy for their pipeline,” said Chevalier.
“As a native person living in Montreal I kind of feel like I had to show up and whether or not any good comes of it, at least we did something,” said Taronhio;rens Loft, walking with the protest down Ste. Catherine St.
“Just at least have my voice be part of something,” he continued.
Chevalier said this won’t be the only initiative Montrealers are planning to take to raise awareness about the pipeline.
“We’ll be taking our directions directly from Unist’ot’en camp, the Wet’suwet’en clans and Indigenous people, that is where we go from here,” said Chevalier.