Wet’suwet’en water protectors avoid violence as militarized RCMP mobilize for fourth raid for CGL fracked gas pipeline
On January 4, this Gidimt’en Checkpoint media release highlighted: “Two weeks after Wet’suwet’en water protectors evicted Coastal GasLink [CGL] workers and occupied a key pipeline drill site, water protectors executed a strategic retreat to avoid arrest and violence at the hands of dozens of militarized RCMP.”
It adds: “Water protectors vanished into the woods, evading police violence and criminalization. We expect an imminent assault on our people at the direction of Coastal GasLink as we continue to occupy and utilize our yintah [land].”
This follows the RCMP “booking dozens of hotel rooms to bring police from throughout the province to facilitate pipeline construction and to assert control over unceded lands at gunpoint.”
The media release also notes: “In the last couple of days there have been increased patrols by non-local RCMP, C-IRG [Community-Industry Response Group], and helicopter surveillance over private Wet’suwet’en residences far from any project worksites.”
Gidimt’en water protector Sleydo’ says: “Our warriors are not here to be arrested. Our warriors are here to protect the land and the water.”
She adds: “Every time that the RCMP, the C-IRG, has come in to enforce CGL’s injunction they have done violence against our women. They have imprisoned our Indigenous women and our warriors. We will not allow our people to be political prisoners.”
The RCMP have conducted three raids on Wet’suwet’en territory – January 2019, February 2020 and November 2021 – in support of CGL. They have spent more than $20 million over this period and arrested 79 people, including four Hereditary Chiefs.