Fighting Pipelines, Defending Sovereignty

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 1766 ... February 18, 2019
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Fighting Pipelines, Defending Sovereignty

Statement of Solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en people of British Columbia

We are writing to express deep gratitude to the Wet’suwet’en People who have been acting with formidable vision and strength to defend their people and territories from pipeline development, and have been facing violent incursions from RCMP and industry for doing so. They have been holding this line for years and caring for the lands and waters for countless generations. For us and for many others, the Unist´ot´en camp represents resurgence, reconnection, creativity, and relationship to the land. The long-term struggle of the Wet´suwet´en is a legitimate, legally sanctioned struggle for rights, autonomy and sovereignty on their unceded territories. These efforts benefit all Canadians. We send our deepest thanks.

We... are also writing to denounce the actions of the federal government, the BC government and the RCMP. We ask that the illegal work on Unist’ot’en territory by Coastal Gas Link be immediately stopped. We request that the federal and provincial governments respect Indigenous rights as outlined in our constitution, in countless court rulings, as well as the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous people (UNDRIP) and ‘Anuc niwh’it’en (Wet’suwet’en law). We ask that Canadian leaders and politicians stop militarization, stop communicating false or biased information, and stop dividing communities. We reject the current campaign of disinformation, particularly statements that claim that all communities have signed on to the pipeline, which disregard the very important question of disputes over jurisdiction of territories between band councils and hereditary governance. In the Delgamuukw trial, the hereditary chiefs of the Wet´suwet´en were recognized as the rightful title holders, and their underlying sovereignty over the territory was established by Canada’s highest court. We urge both federal and provincial governments to understand the crucial distinction between consultation and consent, and to act accordingly.

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