Wet’suwet’en land defenders prepare for RCMP raid, Canada misses deadline on UN Convention
Video: Gidimt’en land defender Sleydo’ says despite the RCMP mobilization, the fight to defend sovereign Wet’suwet’en territory will never be over.
On the eve of a third militarized RCMP assault against Wet’suwet’en land defenders, the Canadian government says it is not able to comply with a deadline set under the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination.
In December 2019, the UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which monitors state compliance with the Convention, called on Canada to stop construction of the Coastal GasLink fracked gas pipeline on Wet’suwet’en territory.
That resolution 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Wet’suwet’en peoples and that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and associated security and policing services will be withdrawn from their traditional lands.”
As a signatory to the Convention, Canada was required to provide a periodic report on its compliance with this convention on Monday November 15.
The Tyee now reports: “In an emailed statement, a spokesperson for Canadian Heritage, Daniel Savoie, said various federal departments, as well as provincial and territorial governments, are working on Canada’s next periodic reports to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.”
Savoie adds: “As a result, Canada is currently aiming to submit its combined reports to the United Nations in 2022.”
That article further notes: “The Tyee reached out to Leslie E. Norton, Canada’s representative to the UN. In an emailed response, the Permanent Mission of Canada to the UN in Geneva said, ‘We are currently determining Government of Canada position on this matter and do not have any public information to share at this time.’”
Meanwhile, Gidimt’en Checkpoint reported last night (Wednesday November 17 just before 7 pm ET) that a chartered airplane with 30-50 RCMP officers had arrived at the Smithers airport in northern British Columbia.
Smithers is the closest airport and about 85 kilometres from where Wet’suwet’en land defenders have blocked a main access road to their territory.
The Wet’suwet’en blockade is at the 30-kilometre mark on the Morice River Forest Service Road. The RCMP have now set up an exclusion zone at 28 kilometres and are stopping all incoming traffic, including deliveries of medicine.
PBI-Canada is travelling to Wet’suwet’en territory today.
We call on the Canadian government and the provincial government of British Columbia, whose jurisdiction the RCMP fall under in this situation, to stop the expected raid and work toward a peaceful resolution that respects Wet’suwet’en sovereignty and human rights norms, including the Convention and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
For updates, see Gidimt’en Checkpoint on Twitter.