Canada Lays Bare the Lie it Calls "Reconciliation"

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 2009 ... February 28, 2020

Canada Lays Bare the Lie it Calls "Reconciliation"

Canada and British Columbia send police to arrest Wet’suwet’en leadership opposing pipeline construction on their land.

Corvin Russell

The Canadian state today is in the throes of a historic crisis of its own making, as it stands off against the Wet’suwet’en Nation, an Indigenous nation in northern British Columbia (BC) that is blocking construction of the Coastal GasLink (CGL) pipeline through their land (called the Yintah). The CGL pipeline would bring fracked gas from northwestern British Columbia to a planned LNG Canada liquid natural gas terminal on the BC coast at Kitimat that is to be built by an international fossil fuel consortium. Condensate, a byproduct of the fracking, will also be used as diluent needed to send tar sands oil through another planned pipeline, the TransMountain Expansion pipeline.

On February 5, after Canada and BC would not concede on any point, talks with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs broke down, and the following day, heavily armed RCMP were sent in. Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and their supporters were... arrested and violently removed from their lands. In the run-up, the RCMP had imposed an unprecedented and unconstitutional "media exclusion zone" in an attempt to prevent incendiary images of the violent police action from getting out, an attempt that ultimately failed. Solidarity actions erupted across Canada, encompassing road and rail blockades, occupations and sit-ins, and blocking off the BC legislature. Solidarity from the Mohawk nation at Tyendinaga resulted in Canada’s busiest passenger rail corridor being shut down.

In many locations, standing injunctions and preemptive injunctions have been used to clear protests, but these have continued to be organized. Early on February 22, Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) moved in on the Tyendinaga railside encampment, but in response, a number of other blockades and occupations sprouted across the country. The mobilizations show no sign of ending soon.

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