Gidimt’en land defenders block fracked gas pipeline drill site, face criminalization by RCMP and CGL security
Still from Gidimt’en video.
On September 26, Gidimt’en Checkpoint tweeted: “Chief Sleydo’, Shay Sampson (Gitxsan Nation), & supporters locked down to heavy equipment.”
The heavy equipment is situated beside Wedzin Kwa, the river that Coastal GasLink (CGL) intends to drill under to lay pipe for their fracked gas pipeline that lacks the free, prior and informed consent of the Wet’suwet’en clans, including the Gidimt’en.
The following day, the Gidimt’en tweeted: “Our relatives and supporters continue to hold the space, with our Hereditary Chiefs and community members support we will continue to protect Wedzin Kwa for our future generations!”
And now in the early hours of September 28, they have posted this video of Sleydo’ and Shay speaking about the importance of defending Wedzin Kwa.
In the 5-minute long video, Sleydo’ says: “People should know when Indigenous people are defending their land that we’re criminalized, that guns are drawn, that excessive force and violence is used against us.”
She adds: “They don’t want Indigenous people to rise up. They don’t want Indigenous people to defend their land. They see us as a huge threat to industry, to capitalism, to land theft. They believe that they control and own our territories and have the right to destroy them.”
And she highlights: “It’s our responsibility as Indigenous people to protect what we have, to protect the sacred, to protect our sacred headwaters. It’s everybody’s responsibility to protect what we have left, which is very little, for all the future generations.”
The Gidimt’en are a clan of the Wet’suwet’en nation whose unceded territory is situated within the province of British Columbia in Canada.
On December 13, 2019, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination called on the State party (Canada) to “immediately halt the construction and suspend all permits and approvals for the construction of the Coastal Gas Link pipeline in the traditional and unceded lands and territories of the Wet’suwet’en people, until they grant their free, prior and informed consent.”
It further urged the “State party to guarantee that no force will be used against Wet’suwet’en peoples and that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and associated security and policing services will be withdrawn from their traditional lands.”
The Committee has also noted 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, about six weeks from now.
More stills from the Gidimt’en video.