January 9, 2020
The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty expresses our solidarity with Wet’suwet’en land defenders in northern British Columbia who are courageously defying a supreme court injunction by blocking Coastal Gaslink (CGL) from building a pipeline through their territories. The company is attempting to build a 670km natural gas pipeline from Dawson Creek to Kitimat, but has not secured the free, prior and informed consent of the Wet’suwet’en nation who remain opposed to its construction.
The hereditary chiefs of the nation evicted CGL workers from their territories on January 4 and called for the construction to cease. The company however has indicated it would not comply, raising the threat of a militarized police invasion similar to the one last year that made headlines around the country.
We unequivocally support the demands of the Wet’suwet’en nation, as articulated by its hereditary chiefs:
- That the province cease construction of the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline project and suspend permits.
- That the UNDRIP and the Wet’suwet’en right to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) are respected by the state and RCMP.
- That the RCMP and associated security and policing services be withdrawn from Wet’suwet’en lands, in agreement with the most recent letter provided by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimiation’s (CERD) request.
- That the provincial and federal government, RCMP and private industry employed by CGL respect our laws and our governance system, and refrain from using any force to access Wet’suwet’en lands or remove Wet’suwet’en people.
As a poor people’s organization, we recognize that the battle against poverty is inextricably tied to the fight against colonialism. We pledge our support to the Wet’suwet’en land defenders and will mobilize our networks in their defence.