November 5th day of action to highlight RBC financing of Coastal GasLink, RCMP violence against Wet’suwet’en land defenders

Published by Brent Patterson on

Photo by Decolonial Solidarity.

Decolonial Solidarity, in response to a call from Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and land defenders, is organizing a cross-country day of action on Saturday November 5.

Two weeks ago, Gidimt’en Checkpoint spokesperson Sleydo’ spoke on a Decolonial Solidarity call about RBC-financed Coastal GasLink drilling under the Wedzin Kwa river on Wet’suwet’en territory without free, prior and informed consent.

She highlighted: “[The drilling at the site of our sacred headwaters] is happening now. The salmon are spawning in the river and you can actually hear the drilling happening from kilometres away. You can feel it in the ground, in the earth, from kilometres away. The salmon are spawning and you can feel the vibration of the drilling.”

Stand.earth has documented: “RBC is among top commercial banks providing the CGL project with working capital, including CAD $275 million in project finance, a co-financed $6.5 billion loan, a $40 million corporate loan, and $200 million in co-financed working capital – while acting as financial advisor for the pipeline.”

The submission by Gidimt’en land defenders to the United Nations titled Militarization of Wet’suwet’en lands and Canada’s Ongoing Violations also highlights that “the [UN] Committee [on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has] told Canada to withdraw RCMP and security forces from Wet’suwet’en lands, and to refrain from forcibly evicting and using lethal force against Indigenous peoples.”

Since that resolution, there have been multiple arrests on Wet’suwet’en territory by the RCMP of land defenders, allies, and journalists.

Photo by Michael Toledano.

For more information on actions happening on November 5 in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Victoria, Belleville, Moncton and other cities, click here.

Sleydo’: “By financing the Coastal GasLink pipeline, RBC is choosing to bypass our right to free, prior, and informed consent and instead justify police violence against unarmed Wet’suwet’en people to push the project through. As an Indigenous woman, I have experienced violence by militarized RCMP to forcibly remove me from my own territory, criminalize me, and jail me. RBC is willing to risk the killing of unarmed Wet’suwet’en people by police to push this project through sovereign lands.”

Video image, RBC shareholders meeting, Toronto, April 2022.

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