“A major anti-pipeline struggle continues in Canada, where protests have broken out across the country in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en land defenders whose sovereign land in northern British Columbia was raided last week and over the weekend by Canadian police. Dozens were arrested in the days-long raid of unceded indigenous territories, where hereditary chiefs have been in a protracted battle to protect their land from the construction of TransCanada’s 400-mile, $4.7 billion Coastal GasLink pipeline. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called for a quick resolution to the protests on Wednesday. We speak with land defender and matriarch Molly Wickham, whose clan, the Gidimt’en Clan, was raided last week by 60 heavily militarized officers with assault rifles and dogs. We’re also joined by Pamela Palmater, Mi’kmaq lawyer and member of the Eel River Bar First Nation in New Brunswick. She is the chair in indigenous governance at Ryerson University.”
“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has written to the Indigenous chiefs at the centre of a rail blockade in B.C., pledging to send a federal representative to hash out an agreement to bring the protests to an end.”
Solidarity Statement: Asians in Support of Wet'suwet'en Jurisdiction and Governance
We, Asians living across Turtle Island (commonly known as North America), strongly condemn the recent violent actions of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in invading Wet’suwet’en traditional territory and arresting their land defenders. We join numerous actions in support of the Wet’suwet’en people across the world, including mass civil disobedience, blockades of goods movement, occupations of politicians’ offices, and rallies of support.
We are deeply disappointed by the complicity of the so-called “progressive” leadership of John Horgan and the BC New Democratic Party as they continue to support Coastal Gaslink’s state-sanctioned invasion of Unist’ot’en territory in violation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Anuk Nu’at’en (Wet’suwet’en laws) and collective Title. We call on TransCanada, BC Premier John Horgan, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to stand down immediately and respect the collective hereditary governance of the Wet’suwet’en who are enforcing Wet’suwet’en laws on their unceded lands. We call on the occupying government to respect Wet’suwet’en laws which predate colonial ones.
Indigenous and Asian struggles are inextricably linked. As diasporic Asians on stolen Indigenous lands, it is our responsibility to learn and understand the histories of those peoples on whose lands we are complicit in occupying and we acknowledge our failure to obtain prior consent. We recognize the devastating impacts of imperial conquest on our homelands and the intergenerational dispossession that it brings.
We also recognize the role East Asian capital plays in the ongoing dispossession and destruction of Indigenous lands in Canada. Many of the companies investing in the Coastal Gas Link’s LNG pipeline project are based in China, Japan, and South Korea, represented by companies such as PetroChina, Mitsubishi, and Korean Gas. While these capitalist firms seek to gain profit from the destruction of Wet’swet’en land, we affirm emphatically that they do not represent us. We support the struggles against white supremacy, settler colonialism and capitalism surrounding us and firmly connect it to our own.
Historically and now, the wealth of so-called ‘Canada’ is built on stolen Indigenous land, genocide, murdered and missing Indigenous women, destruction of matriarchy, and on the backs of exploited migrant labourers. Racial divides are used to deliberately obscure the diversity of relationships that we hold to this land and serve corporate interests. These categories serve to pit our communities against one another. We reject these divides and seek relationships anew.
We call on our communities to raise their voices, share their resources and take immediate urgent action in response to this situation. Click here to find out ways you can support the Wet’suwet’en people. These include direct email, flooding the phone lines (BC and federal), donating to the Unist’ot’en Legal Fund, showing up at events, actions and rallies, and organizing amongst our communities to write statements of solidarity.
“Reconciliation” as a Public Relations Performance
After the Government of Canada tasked Marc Miller with negotiating with the Tyendinaga Mohawks, Trudeau paid lip service to the process of reconciliation and lied about the breakdown of talks with Indigenous leaders. He, in effect, gave tacit approval of the violent actions of the occupation police force against Indigenous land protectors and human rights defenders.
“And for over 100 years, you stole our children and you put them in residential schools to wipe their minds so they didn’t remember about this. So they didn’t remember their language. But for 100 years, you did the same thing to your own children…”
The State: A Monopoly on the Use of Force
In an act of aggression, Canada just invaded unceded Indigenous territory. Canada just opened a legal case for the Rights and Title of the land of the Tyendinaga, whose defenders were just kidnapped by an armed police force of the Ontario government.