Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

February 6, 2020

Six Land Defenders Violently Arrested on Wet’suwet’en Territories

Jesse Winter Photography

Six Land Defenders Violently Arrested on Wet’suwet’en Territories

[Breaking story, info incoming] February 6, 2020:
Six people have been arrested and several others, including members of the press, have been detained and removed from Wet’suwet’en territories in an aggressive pre-dawn raid by RCMP on behalf of Coastal GasLink (TC Energy). Reports and footage are coming in from the siege. Dogs were used, media was banned from filming arrests. Militarized police with night vision and automatic weapons raided the camp in the dead of night.

Transcript of Molly Wickham's statement


"It’s 5 o’clock in the morning here and we got word at about 3 in the morning 13 RCMP officers went up to past 27 and are headed to 39. And then about two minutes we were informed they had made their first arrest at 39 kilometres at the support camp where nobody is in violation of the injunction and are just there to witness what’s going to be happening on the territory today—what people are doing and what the RCMP activity is there.
"So they’re starting to clear out that camp, arresting people that aren’t in violating any injunction—that are following Wet’suwet’en law, that are guests on our territory. Guests there on our territory. Indigenous people and nonindigenous people out in the dark here at 5 in the morning out on the territory.
"So we’re calling all of our supporters, all of our people, to get ready, get prepared, get here as soon as you can.
"Come to the territory, to the Morice River Forest Service Road. Come watch what’s happening. Come support us.
"Anybody who can’t get here, it’s time to rise up. It’s time to stand up for all Indigenous people all across Turtle Island. It’s time to make it known that Indigenous people will not be oppressed any longer—that the RCMP can’t come in and remove us from our territories, that they have no legitimacy on stolen Indigenous land.
"And that we have a right and a responsibility to be protecting our territory. To be protecting our water. To be protecting our future generations.
"The state—so-called Canada, so-called B.C.—they have no jurisdiction on Wet’suwet’en land. The RCMP have no jurisdiction on Wet’suwet’en land. They’re invading our people again. starting in the wee hours of the morning, arresting people who have been providing food and medical supplies to our camps, who are camped out along the side of the ride doing amazing and righteous work. And right now, they’re being arrested and they’re being removed.
"So wherever you are, everybody who stands with us, we need you now. We need you to take a stand where you are.
"Stand up and fight back against this kind of oppression, against our people, against our territories. If you’re nearby and you’re close, come to us. Come to territory and be with us and witness what’s going to be happening today and over the next several days.
"I am going to provide another update as soon as I get another update.  
"And light your sacred fires. We need your prayers. We need you to call on your ancestors and call on all the ancestors that every fought and stood up for their territory—everybody who ever fought and stood up for their children and their land and their people. That we could here today still fighting. And that we’ll be here today and tomorrow and forever, still fighting.
"And we’ll never, ever, ever give up."

The RCMP have made six arrests on Gidimt'en territories; a police exclusion zone has been implemented on unceded Wet'suwet'en lands; Indigenous people are being forcefully removed from their territories by a colonial and violent state.
Stand with the Wet'suwet'en.
Actions confirmed in:

Gidimt’en Checkpoint
@Gidimten  13 RCMP units descended on Wet’suwet’en territories at 3am this morning - and the first arrests were made at approximately 5am.

More at VICE
The first sound was a snowmobile, somewhere in the distance.
Then, with no warning, a dozen RCMP vehicles, including prisoner vans and RCMP-branded Suburbans, roared out of the pre-dawn darkness and stopped just short of the watch camp where Wet’suwet’en land defenders have been resisting a court-ordered evacuation of their lands to make way for a pipeline. Continue reading

No comments: