Wet’suwet’en land defender Eve Saint to speak at Decolonial Solidarity mobilization at RBC bank branch in Ottawa
Wet’suwet’en land defender Eve Saint will be speaking at a Decolonial Solidarity mobilization in front of a Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) branch in Ottawa.
Saint will join the protest by telephone on Friday December 9.
The Facebook event page notes:
“Come out to the RBC in the Glebe and hear Wet’suwet’en Land Defender and Water Protector Eve Saint speak by telephone. Find out the latest about what’s happening on the land and about the Competition Bureau’s Inquiry into RBC’s greenwashing. Eve is one of the complainants. Enjoy a warm cup of coffee and a donut, and stand in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en as they continue to protect their lands and water from the RBC financed Coastal GasLink pipeline. Date: Friday December 9. Time: 12 noon to 1 PM. Location: 745 Bank St, Ottawa K1S 3V5 – Bank St and First Avenue. Please invite your friends.”
Criminalization of land defenders
To date, there have been 90 arrests of 80 different people in relation to opposition to the construction of the Coastal GasLink (CGL) pipeline.
Twenty people are currently facing charges.
Saint was arrested in February 2020 during the second militarized RCMP raid on Wet’suwet’en territory. As the RCMP approached her, Saint yelled: “This is Wet’suwet’en territory. We are unarmed. We are peaceful. You are invaders.”
Afterwards, she told the Huffington Post: “You have to take your stand, and that was the main focus — making sure they know I am on my own territory, that we are peaceful. We are not afraid of them or their guns. What we are doing in our hearts is way more powerful. We knew we were protected by our ancestors and our land.”
She added: “We are just trying to keep this last bit of Indigenous sovereignty. This is Indigenous genocide. If you take this away, you take away the last little bit of healing we can do.”
Competition Bureau complaint
On October 12, the Toronto Star reported: “The Competition Bureau has opened an inquiry into the marketing practices of the Royal Bank of Canada over allegations of “greenwashing” as the country’s biggest bank promotes its efforts to fight climate change.”
As noted above, Saint is one of the complainants.
That article adds: ““Investigations into false or misleading representations or deceptive marketing practices can lead to criminal charges or a civil lawsuit. The maximum penalty for corporations in civil cases is $10 million.”
On October 27, Saint also spoke at a protest outside the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Toronto as the London, Ontario-based Ivey Business School presented RBC CEO Dave McKay with their Ivey Business Leader award.
Saint said of McKay: “You are not a climate leader, you are a leader in genocide. You violate Indigenous rights, you permit modern day genocide against Indigenous people.”
The call for RBC to divest
Wet’suwet’en land defenders are calling on RBC to divest from the CGL pipeline.
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.”
PBI-Canada will be present at the Decolonial Solidarity-Ottawa Hub mobilization on Friday December 9 starting at 12 noon.
In December 2021, we interviewed Saint and her sister Jocey Alec for Rabble Radio. To listen to that interview, click here.