RCMP raid on Wet’suwet’en territory taking place now
Indigenous Unist’ot’en and Gidimt’en land defenders on unceded Wet’suwet’en territory in British Columbia, Canada have been tweeting these updates:
Thursday February 6
4:59 am – “URGENT UPDATE: It’s not yet 5am – still totally dark out – and we’ve just heard RCMP made their first arrest at the #Wetsuweten monitoring post at 39KM. Cops are surrounding people there and beginning to clear the road to the @Gidimten checkpoint.”
5:06 am – “We’ve heard 13 RCMP vehicles headed up the road earlier this morning. We’re hearing up to 4 arrests have happened now, and RCMP are taking down tents.”
5:12 am – “Our understanding is these tents at 39KM were NOT blocking the road and are NOT in violation of the injunction area. Police are now fully blocking the road.”
5:31 am – “UPDATE – Hearing reports some RCMP had their guns out – not pointed at people – but guns in hand. We’re told that even with more than a dozen vehicles out on the territory, the Houston community hall is still full of cops waiting to invade #Wetsuweten lands.”
around 6 am – This 4-minute video was posted on Facebook by land defender Eve Saint from the camp at 44 km.
6:01 am – “We have just heard that RCMP denied access to a reporter headed out to the camps this morning. Media exclusion zone is in full effect.”
6:21 am – “We have lost all communication with the Gidimt’en watch post at 39KM after RCMP smashed the window of the radio vehicle. It’s still pitch black out.”
6:59 am – “We have reports RCMP have headed up from town in an approximately 20+ vehicle convoy.”
7:47 am – “Now hearing 36 vehicles including and heavy machinery went up the road, including multiple bulldozers. Everyone at 39KM was arrested except media. Media that were at 39km are being driven out in a police van.”
7:53 am – “Everyone at 39 km has been arrested, including peaceful witnesses and observers. This in the pitch black of night as the sun is just rising now in Wet’suwet’en yintah. Prayers up and light your fires. 44 km is next.”
7:59 am – The first photos of the RCMP raid were posted on Twitter by journalist Jesse Winter.
around 8 am –This 7-minute video was posted to Facebook by land defender Cody Wedlidi Merriman.
9:40 am – “We are asking supporters to go to 27 km and bring sleeping bags (extras to donate) and food as a place to gather and show support for those on the frontlines. The roads are open for now, although we don’t know for how much longer.”
10:55 am – “Full blown exclusion zone now in place. RCMP turning #Wetsuweten territory into a police state.”
around 11 am – This Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs media release quotes Chief Don Tom who states, “Using armed force to take Indigenous peoples off their unceded and traditional territories against their will is not reconciliation, it is colonialism in all of its ugliness and hypocrisy.”
12:53 pm – This 51-second video was posted on Twitter by journalist Jerome Turner noting an RCMP helicopter flying over the Gidimt’en camp at 44 km.
3:02 pm – “UPDATE: We have just learned that heavy machinery has been heard approaching the Gidimt’en checkpoint at 44km. They do not have a visual yet. A RCMP helicopter is now flying over the Gidimt’en camp.”
5:08 pm – “People at @Gidimten checkpoint report seeing tactical team members walk into the bush, and someone behind a snowbank crouched in sniper position. They heard machine noise and what sounded like snowmobiles. Likely RCMP are waiting for dark.”
Friday February 7
3:04 am – “The rcmp have also told matriarchs they’re moving in to 44 (Gidimt’en checkpoint) tomorrow.”
6:30 am – “RCMP militarized convoy engines are running and lining up in Houston now. Their extremist force is hardly a peaceful action against our unarmed, peaceful protestors.”
For continued updates via Twitter: Unist’ot’en Camp – @UnistotenCamp; Gidimt’en Checkpoint – @Gidimten; Ricochet – @ricochet_en; Michael Toledano – @M_Tol
Additionally, Educa Oaxaca, which is accompanied by the Peace Brigades International-Mexico Project, has now posted about this situation in an article titled Canadian police attack indigenous resistance against TransCanada gas pipeline.
Coastal GasLink is a wholly owned subsidiary of Calgary-based TransCanada Corp., now rebranded as TC Energy.
Educa Oaxaca highlights, “It should be remembered that TransCanada was the first private company to build and operate gas pipelines in Mexico, where it currently has more than 1,618 kilometers of gas pipelines. In November 2018, its planned Tuxpan-Tula and Tula-Villa de Reyes gas pipelines were suspended due to the resistance of indigenous peoples in Veracruz, Puebla, Hidalgo and the State of Mexico.”
For additional context, please see our posts: PBI-Canada watches with great concern the expected RCMP action on Wet’suwet’en territory today and Canada, the RCMP, and Human Rights Obligations to the Wet’suwet’en Nation.
The map at the top of this article is from Mi’kmaq lawyer, professor and activist Pam Palmater’s ‘RCMP Off Wet’suwet’en Lands’ video here. The nearest city to where this is happening is Houston, British Columbia. The Google map below shows where that is located in relation to Vancouver and other cities.
Brad Russell · February 7, 2020 at 2:25 am
Its nothing new with the way its being handled they talk about changing for the better and sorry then they go on stomping on Native rights. I support the Blockade.
Rory · February 8, 2020 at 5:53 pm
Imperialist colonail government carrying what the englsish Empire started. Queens cowboys have invaded a sovereign nation. That is a declaration of WAR.
John Jeglum · February 9, 2020 at 12:14 am
PM Horgan, you have gone through an exercise in legislating for UNDRIP. But now you are ignoring this by your expropriation of land for the coastal gaslink without Free, Prior and Informed Consent. There is a large history of legal considerations — Calder 1973, Delgamuukw 1997, Marshal/Bernard 2005, and Tsilhquot’in 2014, etc. Now Premier Horgan, if you make a unilateral decision, and state that the law is on the side of the settler-colonist government, i.e. YOUR side, and that you will do what you want regardless, where does this leave the issue of UNDRIP which you just okayed, and indigenous laws and traditions, and future dealings with your government and future B.C. governments. PH, you are putting yourself firmly in bed with Mega Gas and OIl, and giving them the official right to invade and take the land and do what they want, without the Consent of the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs. What is to prevent you from giving away the land of other First Nations, and even settler-colonists? Without thinking it out, you are continuing down the path of settler occupation, with accompanying resource exploitation, environmental disturbances, disturbances to land, water, forests, wildlife, which are parts of the indigenous heritage and birthright, and lots of fugitive methane, and CO2 from burning it, at a time when we should be phasing down fracked gas and LNG if we are to maintain our planet without extreme weather and overheating.