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Sunday, January 16

‘An attack on our people’: Wet’suwet’en Peace and Unity Gathering calls for an end to violence

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Indigenous chiefs from across British Columbia will gather Saturday to call for an immediate end to police violence against Wet’suwet’en and other land defenders.

The Wet’suwet’en Peace and Unity Gathering, as it is called, aims to hold governments accountable for the crisis unfolding on the Coastal GasLink, which to date has resulted in more than $20 million spent and 75 people arrested, including two journalists. For years, there have been widespread reports of police mistreatment by RCMP officers sent to the nation’s unceded territory to enforce a BC court order to prevent interference with pipeline construction.

The 670-kilometre pipeline is being built to feed LNG Canada’s Kitimat facility with methane extracted by hydraulic fracturing from the Dawson Creek area of ​​British Columbia. traditional territories.

“Governments and industries must realize that Wet’suwet’en will never accept such violent methods being used to force devastating projects on our lands and waters,” said the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chief. Na’Moks (John Ridsdale) in a statement.

hereditary boss wooFrank Alec said in a statement that there were “significant discussions” with an RCMP commander, but within 24 hours of their last meeting, he “went back on his word and led an attack on our people.”

Indigenous leaders are expected to issue a “declaration of peace and unity” at Saturday’s event.

The meeting comes in the wake of the recent death of chief Delgamuukw, Earl Muldoe, a hereditary chief of Gitxsan who died on January 3. He was the first named plaintiff in the landmark 1997 Supreme Court of Canada decision Delgamuukw v. British Columbia, which found that the hereditary leadership of the Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en nation maintains authority. on non-ceded traditional lands.

Muldoe’s nephew Hup-Wil-Lax-A (Kirby Muldoe), said in a statement that he helped organize Saturday’s meeting because “our rights have been stifled.”

“Having governments attack the Coastal GasLink project at gunpoint is a grave insult to the spirit of Delgamuukw, and makes a mockery of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Prime Minister John Horgan’s talk of upholding the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” he said. saying.

“They are settlers of the last days, not leaders, and like their ancestors, they speak with forked tongues.”

“Governments and industries must realize that Wet’suwet’en will never accept such violent methods being used to force devastating projects on our lands and waters,” says Wet’suwet’en hereditary chief Na’Moks. #CoastalGasLink

The unfolding crisis shows no signs of abating. The company hasn’t dropped plans to build the pipeline, and Chief Woos has begun taking the fight to Coastal GasLink investors.

Meanwhile, CN Rail won the right to privately prosecute three people who participated in rail blockades in 2020 to protest the construction of the pipeline. It is an important case because Crown prosecutors refused to press charges.

Reference-www.nationalobserver.com

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