Blockades at Kahnawake in support of Wet’suwet’en land defenders

“We are asking the RCMP to step down from there and for the (British Columbia) government to step in and hold the high-level talks that are needed.”

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Simultaneous blockades were carried out on Route 132 and Route 138 in Kahnawake on Wednesday afternoon in solidarity with the defenders of the Wet’suwet’en land.

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The blockades were carried out to protest the RCMP raid on the Gidimt’en checkpoint in Wet’suwet’en last week. Police arrested several land defenders who have been blocking access to workplaces for the Coastal GasLink pipeline, which is expected to span 670 kilometers, part of which would run through Wet’suwet’en territory in northern LA British columbia

“Something had to be done,” said Ryan Montour, the head of the Kahnawake Mohawk Council’s public safety portfolio, speaking of Wednesday’s lockdowns. “The RCMP went in there with tough actions, it was really unnecessary.”

According to various media reports, the arrests at Wet’suwet’en came after Coastal GasLink obtained a court order in response to a recent eviction notice from the nation, whose members have been protesting the project for years.

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The ongoing Kahnawake blockades took place on the same day as one of the Kanien’kehá: ka (Mohawk) communities in Ontario, which blocked Highway 401 from Akwesasne to Tyendinaga.

Montour said community members in Kahnawake are calling on governments to reduce the situation on the ground.

“We are asking the RCMP to withdraw from there and for the British Columbia authorities, the provincial government, to step in and have the high-level talks that are needed,” he said.

In a statement this week, Kahnawake Longhouse said he is angry at the RCMP invasion of the checkpoint and condemns the provincial and federal governments for “violating the sovereignty of the Wet’suwet’en Nation and using violence coercive to protect Coastal GasLink’s illegal presence in Wet’suwet’en territory. “

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The Longhouse added that the government’s stance on the pipeline, which is being built to transport natural gas from northeast British Columbia to Kitimat, is particularly problematic given the recent participation of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh in the COP 26, the annual United Nations climate change conference. , where they “portrayed themselves as allies and leaders in the fight against climate change.”

“However, both have agreed to use colonial violence against indigenous peoples who are fighting to protect the environmental integrity of their traditional territory against energy extraction industries,” the statement read.

Montour said that Kahnawake is keeping an eye on Wet’suwet’en and that the blockades may not be the last show of solidarity.

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“There are no concrete actions planned, but obviously the situation on the ground in British Columbia will dictate future events,” he said.

In February 2020, protests took place across the country following an RCMP raid on Wet’suwet’en territory, including in St-Lambert, where protesters blocked the railway.

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Reference-montrealgazette.com

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