PBI-Canada recognizes Sleydo’ on International Women Human Rights Defenders Day

Published by Brent Patterson on

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Photo: Gidimt’en land defender Sleydo’ (Molly Wickham).

Today, Monday November 29, is International Women Human Rights Defenders Day.

It recognizes women engaged in the defence of the right to land, territory, environment, water, and Indigenous rights, and freedom of association and expression.

On this day, we wish to recognize Gidimt’en land defender Sleydo’.

Sleydo’ was arrested by Canadian police ten days ago, on Friday November 19, as she was protecting the Wedzin Kwa river from the Coastal GasLink fracked gas pipeline being built on her territory without free, prior and informed consent.

She was arrested after the police used an axe and then a chainsaw to smash open the door of the log cabin she was in with other defenders and journalists that was situated where Coastal GasLink intends to drill under the river.

The dramatic video of that can be seen here.

In it, you can see an RCMP Emergency Response Team officer point an assault rifle at her as attack dogs bark.

She was held in custody until Tuesday November 23.

The comments she made after being released from the Prince George Correctional Centre that day can be seen here.

In that video, Sleydo’ says: “C-IRG [the Community-Industry Response Group] and the RCMP need to be abolished. Anybody who is not into prison abolition should be after this experience that we’ve had.”

Criminalized for defending her territory and upholding the right to consent, Sleydo’ is due in Prince George court on February 14, 2022.

International Women Human Rights Defenders Day is also recognized in the framework of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence campaign that began on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (November 25) and that ends on International Human Rights Day (December 10).

Video of Canadian police smashing down a door and arresting Sleydo’ at gunpoint on November 19.

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