Secwepemc land defender Kanahus Manuel, criminalized for her resistance to TMX pipeline, in court on April 17-18

Published by Brent Patterson on

Secwepemc land defender Kanahus Manuel is in court this week facing charges in relation to her resistance to the Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline now being built on unceded Secwepemc territory without free, prior and informed consent.

From her social media posts at @KanahusFreedom, we see her write:

April 17

– “Tiny House Warriors/ Trans Mountain pipeline TRIAL DAY 1: 3 crown witnesses testified against me today with over 100+ years of joined experience with the RCMP. The RCMP have become the oil mercenaries for #TransMountain pipeline.”

– “The crown witnesses they put on trial so far have a combined 70+ years with the RCMP before they became oil mercenaries for #canada!”

– “The amount of financial resources TMX and government of #canada spend to criminalize me and other Indigenous land defenders! #stopTMX”

– “Peter Haring former RCMP now top TMX security is here @ Kamloops court to lead the crowns witnesses in trial against me. My sister @Snutetkwe had to leave since her court conditions state no direct or indirect contact with Peter Haring for other bogus politically-motivated charge.”

April 15

– “This is linked to the 2-day trial I am forced into on Monday 17 and Tuesday 18, they arrested me at canada/us international border for a new breach of bail warrant, I heard about new warrant while at World Peace and Prayer Day with Chief Arvol Looking Horse.”

– “Land Back is real. Me and my family have been taking land back and asserting our Secwepemc title and rights to our Unceded Secwepemc Lands and we are being criminalized for doing Land Back! I am now having to face a 2-day trial for this breach of conditions.”

July 5, 2022

– “I was in Florida in ceremony when the crown 🇨🇦 issued an endorsed warrant for an Aug 31, 2021 breach of conditions related to TMX pipeline charge (under appeal). Why did they wait until I was 5000+ km away and 11 months later to issue this warrant?”

– “I was arrested at the Canada-US border for this TMX pipeline warrant.”

Legal support fund

To contribute to the legal fund for Kanahus Manuel click here. That appeal says: “Kanahus is forced into a 2-day trial at Kamloops Court House on April 17th & 18th, 2023, please contribute to support the hardships that come with fighting for her lands and territories.”

C-IRG ON SECWEPEMC TERRITORY

Molly Murphy has written in Briarpatch magazine: “According to [John] Brewer [the Gold Commander of the RCMP community-industry response group], the C-IRG has been deployed at Fairy Creek, where forest defenders are protecting ancient and sacred old-growth trees; on Wet’suwet’en territory, where land defenders are blocking the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline; at fish farms, where Indigenous activists have camped out to protect wild salmon populations; at the Site C hydroelectric dam, which local Indigenous Nations have opposed because it violates Treaty 8; and on Coast Salish territory at Burnaby Mountain and on Secwepemc territory, where land defenders are resisting the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.”

On April 29, 2022, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination wrote to Canada’s Ambassador to the UN in Geneva. That letter says: “The information received [by the Committee] specifies in particular that the Tiny House Warriors, a group of Secwepemc women, have been the target of surveillance and intimidation, and that numerous Secwepemc and Wet’suwet’en peaceful land defenders have been victims of violent evictions and arbitrary detentions by the RCMP, the CIRG and private security personnel in several occasions since the Committee’s letter to the State party, dated 24 November 2020.”

In January 2023, CBC reported that the C-IRG has spent $3,535,542.00 on enforcement in relation to the Trans Mountain pipeline.

APTN has also reported: “Unlike on Wet’suwet’en territory or Fairy Creek, the C-IRG hasn’t conducted full-on raids for Trans Mountain. But that doesn’t mean it’s been ruled out. Force has been contemplated, but “police believe this could escalate the situation,” according to internal B.C. government memos from November 2021 obtained through FOI [Freedom of Information].”

Kanahus Manuel says: “The RCMP are just in a colonial occupation of our lands. Instead of dealing with the real underlying issues, the fundamental issues around land and jurisdiction, they want to continue to just handcuff us.”

PBI-Canada is part of the Abolish C-IRG coalition, a grouping of land defenders, frontline activists, professors, lawyers, students, settler allies and non-governmental organizations. For more on this new coalition, click here.

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