PBI-Canada observes Decolonial Solidarity projection action at RBC bank in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en land defenders

Published by Brent Patterson on

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This video of Wet’suwet’en land defender Molly Wickham (Sleydo’) was projected on the side of the RBC branch on Wellington Street West in Ottawa.

Peace Brigades International-Canada observed a Decolonial Solidarity video screening on the side of a Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) branch in Ottawa.

The videos highlighted the Wet’suwet’en demand that the construction of the pipeline – now being built without free, prior and informed consent on their territory in northern British Columbia – be stopped.

RBC is financing this pipeline, including $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. RBC also acts as a financial advisor to CGL. RBC also holds more than $1.03 billion in shares in Calgary-based TC Energy, one of the owners of Coastal GasLink company.

The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, that monitors the compliance of States with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, has called for construction of the pipeline to be stopped.

Violence against Indigenous women

The link was also made between Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and the construction of the pipeline. A red dress was hung at the front door of the bank as a symbol of the thousands of disappeared and murdered Indigenous women in Canada. People also lit candles and placed cedar at the door.

In its final report released in June 2019, the National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls found that “work camps, or man camps, associated with the resource extraction industry are implicated in higher rates of violence against Indigenous women at the camps and in the neighbouring communities.”

As of September 30, Coastal GasLink has 6,389 workers along the pipeline route, including 1,125 workers at Huckleberry Lodge (just south of Houston on Wet’suwet’en territory) and 1,552 workers at the 9A camp (on the same road just 17 kilometres from the Unist’ot’en Healing Centre) and the Sitka, Hunter Creek and P2 camps.

Brandi Morin has written: “There have been approximately 4,000 or more Indigenous murdered or missing women and girls in the last 30 years. That works out to about 133 a year, or three a week. [But in truth this crisis has] been happening since 1492.”

Day of action

The action in Ottawa was part of a National Day of Action on November 5.

Actions also took place in Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Vancouver, Victoria, Moncton, Smithers, Terrace, Courtenay, Kelowna, Ladysmith, Daajing Giids, Sault Ste. Marie, Dunas, Belleville, Thunder Bay, Victoriaville, Outremont and other cities.

The full list can be found here.

Houston Today had reported: “Sources have also informed Black Press Media of potential highway closures and blockades in northwest B.C., which has been a hot spot for CGL pipeline opposition for several years. Closures can be expected along Hwy 16 (intersection of Hwy 16 / 62, right in New Hazelton) and Hwy 37 (near Gitwangak).”

We continue to follow that on social media.

This video of the RCMP using an axe and chainsaw to tear down the door of a cabin on November 19, 2021, and arrest land defenders and two journalists was also played.

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