Watch Invasion and call on Canada to abide by UN resolution on Wet’suwet’en land defenders
“Everybody needs to stand up, not just Indigenous people. Everybody needs to stand up to the political powers that be that they need to change. And quit making legislation and policies to make us look like criminals when we’re just trying to protect what is ours. The whole world is watching what Canada is doing.” – Freda Huson
An 18-minute excerpt of the documentary Invasion can be seen online here. It tells the story of Wet’suwet’en land and water defenders resisting a megaproject on their unceded territory in British Columbia, Canada.
It includes video of the raid by Canadian police on Wet’suwet’en territory that took place on January 7, 2019. It also includes video of defender Freda Huson addressing the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues on April 24, 2019.
On December 13, 2019, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination called on Canada to immediately halt construction on the Coastal GasLink fracked gas pipeline on the lands and territories of the Wet’suwet’en peoples given it lacks their UN-recognized right to free, prior and informed consent.
It further urged that “the Royal Canadian Mounted Police [RCMP] and associated security and policing services be withdrawn from their traditional lands.”
And yet by January 13 of this year, the RCMP had set up an exclusion zone on Wet’suwet’en traditional lands and on February 6 launched a second militarized raid on the territory to facilitate the construction of the pipeline.
Then on April 28, Export Development Canada, the Canadian government’s export credit agency, approved a loan of up to $500 million to TC Energy, the company building the Coastal GasLink pipeline on Wet’suwet’en territory.
That is arguably in contravention of the UN’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights that says states should take steps to protect against human rights abuses by business enterprises that receive support from export credit agencies.
On May 5, the CBC reported that Canada is “doubling down on its bid for a seat” on the UN Security Council that has already “set the government back $2 million.” That vote is scheduled to take place on June 17.
Peace Brigades International-Canada has posted this online Urgent Action advocacy petition to enable those who support environmental and human rights defenders to send an email to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that calls on him to act in accordance with the UN Committee’s resolution before the UN vote.