Five land defenders arrested on Secwepemc territory in opposition to Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline and man camp

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On September 15, Kanahus Manuel tweeted: “#Secwepemc Land Defenders arrested at #TinyHouseWarriors where #TransMountain has been illegally clearcutting and constructing Trans Mountain Blue River industrial worker camp / Violating Secwepemc International Human Rights / Violence on frontlines by TMX workers #divestTMX.”

Kanahus also tweeted: “Mayuk Manuel @Weasel_Woman was just arrested at the Trans Mountain man camp yard under illegal construction!”

Along with Mayuk, four other land defenders have been arrested.

This took place at Blue River, which is located on unceded Secwepemc territory about 600 kilometres northwest of Vancouver.

The Tiny House Warriors are Indigenous Secwepemc land defenders protecting their unceded territory in British Columbia, Canada against the construction of the 890,000 barrel per day Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline megaproject that would cross 518 kilometres of their land without their free, prior and informed consent.

They are also challenging the construction of a man camp at this site for 500 workers who would be building this section of the pipeline.

A Secwepemc Women’s Declaration states: “Wherever man camps are set up, we face exponential increases in sexual violence.”

James Anaya, the former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, has noted: “Indigenous women have reported that the influx of workers into indigenous communities as a result of extractive projects also led to increased incidents of sexual harassment and violence, including rape and assault.”

In December 2019, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination called on Canada “to immediately cease construction of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project and cancel all permits, until free, prior and informed consent is obtained from all the Secwepemc people, following the full and adequate discharge of the duty to consult.” That resolution can be read in full here.

The Committee raised the issue again in November 2020 and noted at that time that Canada’s periodic report on its compliance with the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination is due on November 15, 2021.

For updates, you can find Kanahus Manuel on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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