Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh land defenders block access road to Port of Vancouver on Coast Salish territories

Published by Brent Patterson on

Twitter photo by Ben Miljure.

Indigenous land defenders and allies have set up a camp at the intersection of East Hastings Street and Clark Drive in Vancouver on the Unceded Coast Salish territories of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam peoples.

The camp and sacred fire has blocked one of the access routes to the Port of Vancouver.

Musqueam land defender Audrey Siegel is part of this land defence action.

She says: “These are unceded lands. That is a legal reality. Unceded means it was never sold, it was never given away, and it was never vacant.”

Siegel gave a territorial welcome and opening words at the Peace Brigades International public forum in Vancouver in November 2019 that featured speakers from the human rights organization CREDHOS and the women’s legal collective CCALCP.

This action in Vancouver is part of a week of action from November 23-29.

The Wet’suwet’en Access Point on Gidimt’en Territory has posted this short video about the #WeAreOne call to action.

They note: “As Indigenous grassroots people, on the frontlines, we call on you to join us in solidarity from Nov 23-29 as a national call to action to support and respect our sovereignty. We call on you to demand justice for our people, to hold the companies committing acts of genocide accountable through direct action and rallies where you are.”

The struggles highlighted in that video include Secwepemc and Tsleil-Waututh opposition to the Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline, Haudenosaunee resistance to a housing development on their lands, the Mi’kmaq asserting their Treaty and inherent rights to fish, Wet’suwet’en opposition to the Coastal GasLink fracked gas pipeline on their lands.

Jen Wickham, member of the Wet’suwet’en Gidimt’en Clan, says the call comes as Wet’suwet’en peoples are harassed, followed and questioned on their unceded lands by Coastal GasLink workers and the RCMP. She notes: “It’s a lot of heavy surveillance and a lot of harassment anytime we try to go anywhere on our territory.”

For more on this call to action, you can watch this short video and visit this Coast to Coast Call to Action! Facebook page.

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