NDP BC invades sovereign Wet'suwet'en territory, RCMP arrest defenders

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A Wet'suwet'en solidarity protest is blocking trains at a rail yard in Vaughan.

Vaughan protest

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The spirit of #resistance. #Wetsuwetan

 

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..people stayed the night

Organizers say they intend to stay for a long time. They have brought in coffee and food to support people there, as well as extra sweaters for those who are cold.

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Urban Indigenous sovereigntists and supporters are blockading Canadian Rail crossing at Hebb Ave and Grandview in solidarity with #Wetsuwen "We also choose this site in solidarity with and recognition of displaced and migrant communities."

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Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says modest progress was made at Saturday's meeting with Mohawks near Belleville, Ont. It's not known when a demonstration blocking railway tracks will end. Miller says he'll speak to PM Trudeau tonight and discuss next steps with cabinet.

Link

Paladin1

epaulo13 wrote:

..txs. this time away i didn't really stop thinking of my response in spite of the fact that i was engaged in other things. but it came to me that you didn't respond to the question i posed to you. the list you produced, some valid some not, is a distraction from that question. also a distraction from this particular struggle. having said this i maintain that the wet’suwet’en governance system of hereditary chiefs is much more democratic than the elected band council created by the indian act. so this is my response.

Sorry if I lacked clarity. Yes the hereditary chiefs are a part of the prosperity problem. As is the supreme court who talks a big game but doesn't do anything about it. As are the other items I mentioned.

The hereditary chiefs are actually a great example of whats wrong. The Wet'suwet'en land doesn't belong to the Wet'suwet'en people in 2020. The supreme court decided (or agreed) it belongs to the Wet'suwet'en over 144 years in the past and whom ever their hereditary ancestors are. For all intents and purposes most of the Wer'suwet'en people are just like settlers and they have no say over the land their ancestors lived in.

What Canada and the First Nations need to do is turn over land to the First Nations people living on them, all of them, and not some backdoor deal between the government of Canada and a few cheifs.

We keep lamenting it's their land. Well let them have it. The herediaty claims of a handful of relatives is ridiculous. The supreme court of Canada is keeping First Nations right where they want them- fighting with each other.

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“Words are powerful but actions are meaningful. Your country hasn’t treated us well. There is a suspicion that there will be a trick here. That what you say will be different than what you do. Your ancestors came here and were not in a position of power. When they met us we gave them medicine. We helped them. There is a want or desire to pretend you came here and dominated us but that isn’t true. There was a time when we were strong and you were weak. I don’t mean to highjack you. But we’re concerned there will be trick. There will be an attempt that so say the Indians aren’t being fair.” Kanenhariyo Seth LeFort

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NorthReport

Why Coastal GasLink says it rejected a pipeline route endorsed by Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/wetsuweten-coastal-gaslink-pipeline-alternative-path-1.5464945

kropotkin1951

NorthReport wrote:

Why Coastal GasLink says it rejected a pipeline route endorsed by Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/wetsuweten-coastal-gaslink-pipeline-alternative-path-1.5464945

Indigenous rights are meaningless if they are going to cost a foreign corporation money. Fuck the BC NDP. I wonder whose palms are being greased in the Cabinet. Delay will kill these planet destroying projects. I love how this non-centrally controlled grass roots direct action campaign is bringing the fascist economy bitter pain. Canadians have yet to feel what it is like to live in countries that we have been sanctioning like Iran and Venezuela. Disrupting economies is one of our elites favorite strategies against any opposition to NATO hegemony. I can only hope this peaceful protest movement will bring about significant change, a grassroots shock to the status quo is maybe our only route to salvation..

To change the route to avoid Wet'suwet'en territory at this date would require major environmental assessment work, which would not be feasible under the timelines to which we have committed."

NDPP

The Brief: Tracking the Empire: 001 Pipeline Blockade (podcast)

http://thebriefpodcast.com/2020/02/06/001-pipeline-blockade/

"The Wet-suweten evict Coastal GasLink, who are trying to build a gas pipeline through their territory. We discuss the context of their struggle against the Canadian state and corporations, and talk with Jeffrey Monaghan, author of Policing Indigenous Movements: Dissent and the Security State..."

'...So the status of 'real' 'surrendered' lands is questionable. 75% of British Columbia is not ceded territory, only the far northeastern arm covered by Treaty 8 in Alberta, may be surrendered territory. Where did Canada get the right to write 'CANADA' across that? When you add it all up about 90% of Canada, even under the best-case scenario, there is no legal transfer of title from the Aboriginal inhabitants to the Crown. The Aboriginal inhabitants of Canada today, are the legal successors under European law, of the unceded territories. Not only is all this land not Canada, but they owe for everything they've taken out. And those in receipt of stolen goods are also criminals. (14:11 - Dr Roland Chrisjohn, St Thomas U)

 

The Brief: Tracking the Empire 002 (podcast)

http://twitter.com/TheBriefPod/status/1228590239603712000

"Blockades expand. After the RCMP raided and dismantled the Wet'suwet'en roadblocks, rail, port and transportation blockades have spread across Canada in solidarity. And they are growing."

'It looks like the beginnings of a protracted struggle. This is an anti-colonial struggle that stretches from native lands to Palestine...Canada's in a pickle."

NDPP

The Sunday Edition for February 16, 2020

https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-57-the-sunday-edition/clip/157609...

"Reconciliation cannot be achieved at gunpoint.' BC Grand-Chief Stewart Philip on the Wet'suwet'en stand-off. (1:43:00)

NDPP

Another reason  to oppose Canada's UN Security Council bid:

A Reality Check on Canada's Security Council Bid

https://www.ceasfire.ca/a-reality-check-on-canadas-security-council-bid/

"...The problem of what kind of Security Council voting independence Canada might exercise in the event Trump is re-elected in November 2020 is further complicated by the astonishing fact that Deputy Prime Minister Freeland continues to have responsibility for 'overseeing Canada-US relations,' while Foreign Minister Champagne is mandated to 'support' her in this work.

Back when Freeland was both Foreign Minister and Minister for Canada-US trade, the rest of Canada's foreign policy was largely an after-thought. Now that we finally have a full-time Foreign Minister, he does not have the lead on Canada's most important bilateral relationship. And when looked at from the point of view of Canada's actions in the UN Security Council, it means that Champagne will take a back seat to Freeland on every vote or discussion where the USA has an interest..."

Clearly Washington has chosen Freeland as their designated Canadian Viceroy in charge.

 

#NoUNSCforCanada   #WetsuwetenStrong  #TheTimeIsNow  #WhereIsJustin #ShutCanadaDown

NDPP

In Depth: Mohawk Kenneth Deer's 'traditional perspective' on Blockades (and vid)

https://t.co/IqqxHATGOU?amp=1

Mohawk Nation's Kenneth Deer on Canadian Band Council v Indigenous traditional governance. Predicts Mohawk solidarity actions will end upon Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs request.

 

Anti-Pipeline Protesters Block International Bridge in Niagara Falls in Support of Wet'suwet'en

https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/anti-pipeline-protesters-block-international-...

"...In a news release, issued on Saturday, an event organizer said that the demonstration was being held in light of  'Canada's false commitments to reconciliation...Given its position on the proposed pipelines, the use of RCMP, development of an exclusion zone, refusal to negotiate in good faith and treatment of the press - the Canadian government has fundamentally failed to their obligations to meaningful nation to nation relationships,' the news release said..."

 

Thank You Message To Canadians! (and vid)

https://twitter.com/PamPalmater/status/1229144250278912003

"Thank you to the thousands of Canadians and organizations standing with Wet'suwet'en, Gidimten and Unistoten Camp defending their laws and their lands. Your solidarity with Indigenous peoples all over Canada is making a big difference. My message of thank you..."

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Paladin1 wrote:

epaulo13 wrote:

..txs. this time away i didn't really stop thinking of my response in spite of the fact that i was engaged in other things. but it came to me that you didn't respond to the question i posed to you. the list you produced, some valid some not, is a distraction from that question. also a distraction from this particular struggle. having said this i maintain that the wet’suwet’en governance system of hereditary chiefs is much more democratic than the elected band council created by the indian act. so this is my response.

Sorry if I lacked clarity. Yes the hereditary chiefs are a part of the prosperity problem. As is the supreme court who talks a big game but doesn't do anything about it. As are the other items I mentioned.

The hereditary chiefs are actually a great example of whats wrong. The Wet'suwet'en land doesn't belong to the Wet'suwet'en people in 2020. The supreme court decided (or agreed) it belongs to the Wet'suwet'en over 144 years in the past and whom ever their hereditary ancestors are. For all intents and purposes most of the Wer'suwet'en people are just like settlers and they have no say over the land their ancestors lived in.

What Canada and the First Nations need to do is turn over land to the First Nations people living on them, all of them, and not some backdoor deal between the government of Canada and a few cheifs.

We keep lamenting it's their land. Well let them have it. The herediaty claims of a handful of relatives is ridiculous. The supreme court of Canada is keeping First Nations right where they want them- fighting with each other.

..your trying to change the rules because it doesn't suit you. it's the court system that empowered the rcmp to enforce the desires of the corporation by way of invasion of a sovereign territory. this included trampling on people's human rights and violating undrip. undrip which was adopted by both the feds and bc.  

..i see your argument as being personally crafted and full of opinion. it doesn't come close to addressing anything in the realm of the reality of this struggle.   

eta..specifically it is the court injunction process that corporations and governments use to get around the law.

iyraste1313

puts an amazing amount of pressure on the hereditary Wetsuweten chiefs...interesting to see if they will reconcile in negotiation with the Federal Government........no doubt strong resistance within their own communities to reconcile for jobs! 

Let´s not fool ourselves, these people are hurting, what with significant economic losses from river contaminations and industrial logging....they need outside alternative economic support!

Ken Burch

Here's a practical way to express solidarity with the indigenous resistance...donate: 

https://www.redbraid.org/about/basis-of-unity/

(I met someone from this group last night here in Olympia-she came down to be part of a benefit for the group which was organized by the Black Students Union at The Evergreen State College.   Props to the TESC kids for organizing the benefit, btw).

NDPP

The Red-necks grow restless...

https://twitter.com/jfinn1971/status/1229187201763770370

"What kind of A-hole goes to the Bahamas when the countries economy is under siege...This kind!"

 

"The only reason the RCMP have not gone in and arrested all the protesters blocking the railways is because of public support for the protesters..."

https://twitter.com/threadreaderapp/status/1229131197051265024

Thread by Alicia Elliot. Read all 6 tweets.

 

#KeepUpThePressure  #thetimeisnow  #NoTreatyNoJurisdictionNoPipelines  #EcocideIsGenocide  #ShutThisShitDown  #WetsuwetenStrong

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Gord Hill, Indigenous Artist and Anarchist

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Trudeau: We must acknowledge the sacred sovereignty of Canada’s oil and gas companies

Calling for calm amid protests over the construction of a pipeline through Wet’suwet’en territory, Prime Minister Justin  is reminding Canadians of the sacred and ancient rights of the land to oil and gas companies.

“I know there are many Indigenous and environmental groups who are upset by an LNG pipeline being constructed through unceded territory,” said Trudeau at a press conference. “However, we have already ceded that land to Coastal Gaslink Nation.”

For tens of years, these corporations have held exclusive jurisdiction over any territory deemed profitable and require consultation and consent whenever land is set aside for preservation, said Trudeau.

“These industries have constitutionally protected rights whether it’s building a pipeline where they feel like it or abandoning thousands of oil wells leaving the clean up costs to governments,” added Trudeau.

BC Premier  echoed Trudeau’s sentiments.

“These are the traditional fracking and mineral extraction grounds that must be protected from those who want to protect it,” explained BC Premier John Horgan. “We have honoured our commitment to improving the lives of LNG corporations by exempting them from our provincial carbon tax.”.....

Aristotleded24

epaulo13 wrote:
Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says modest progress was made at Saturday's meeting with Mohawks near Belleville, Ont. It's not known when a demonstration blocking railway tracks will end. Miller says he'll speak to PM Trudeau tonight and discuss next steps with cabinet.

Link

I heard in the news today that Cabinet won't be meeting until Tuesday. That is too long to wait, considering how long the demonstrators are willing to hold out. This warrants an emergency Cabinet meeting so that we can start the process of negotiation and finding solutions.

I can't believe how stupid Justin Trudeau is being on this file. The Idle No More movement was far less disruptive, yet it helped to bring down the Harper government and usher Trudeau into 24 Sussex. He doesn't seem to realize these same forces could cost him his job.

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Trudeau

Tomorrow morning, I’ll convene an Incident Response Group meeting with @MarcMillerVM@Carolyn_Bennett@MarcGarneau@BillBlair, @cafreeland, @pablorodriguez & @Bill_Morneau to address infrastructure disruptions across the country & discuss the path forward. Details to follow.

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NDPP

sudden change of plans - PM's Barbados trip cancelled.

Trudeau Skipping Caribbean Trip Amid Rail Blockades, Protests

https://twitter.com/Gidimten/status/1229202193728696320

"Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has cancelled a planned trip to Barbados as protests continue to choke all rail travel across the country..."

Time to git yer ass to Wet'suwet'en territory for those long overdue nation-to-nation talks JT. And no funny stuff or business-as-usual, cuz the whole country's watching you. Sovereignty is the issue - Canada is the problem. No Treaty = No Jurisdiction = No RCMP = NO PIPELINES!  Wet'suwet'en: Go For the Whole Nine Yards!  We Will Have Your Back!

#WetsuwetenStrong #LandBackNow #StopThatTrain

#EcocideIsGenocide  #NoTreatyNoJurisdictionNoPipelines  #StopThatTrain  #thetimeisnow

 

NDPP

About Those Band Council CGL 'Benefit Agreements':  'Consent is a Fraud.'

https://twitter.com/_Taiaiake_/status/1228755630464221185

"The Benefit Agreements signed by Band Councils supporting CGL require them to suppress the speech of their members. This is a violation of people's civil and human rights. These agreements should be deemed null and void."

If the actually existing, settled and binding, constitutional and international law were being respected in Canada, they would be null and void. 'Beyond the Treaty Frontier', only the Indigenous traditional government has authority and jurisdiction. Not the BC or Canadian governments. Hence no CGL, Band Council or Benefit Agreement would have any force or effect. Neither RCMP,  settler courts or honky legislatures either.  No treaty means no jurisdiction. Welcome to life under Indigenous Sovereignty.

Paladin1

epaulo13 wrote:

..your trying to change the rules because it doesn't suit you.

Well ya. There's mechanisms to change rules and laws. We can even change the constitution.

Quote:
..i see your argument as being personally crafted and full of opinion. it doesn't come close to addressing anything in the realm of the reality of this struggle.  

All our arguments are personally crafted and full of opinion.  As for addressing the situation we're in a stalemate. It's the same silly dance over and over and over. The conservative and liberal governments kick the indigneous can up the road every year.

What thing I've noticed. No one seems to actually have a working plan. No one seesm to be able to answer questions, even people here.

For example, what happens when the Huron, Algonquin, Cree and Ojibwe are given control of their ancestral lands and decide settlers have to leave the Ottawa valley. Are we going to evacuate Ottawa? Since FN are seperate nations, 634 of them, does each nation get a seat along side premiers and other government leaders? Do those 634 nations engage in trade deals with other countries?

There's so many practical questions people don't want to answer.

eta..specifically it is the court injunction process that corporations and governments use to get around the law.

[/quote]

NDPP

"Our philosophy has always been about sharing. But Canada doesn't seem to think that way. We have to talk about how we're going to live together on this land in a good way. Because you haven't left us enough timber to build boats to send you all back." Lavina White, Haida Nation

Paladin1

20 bands around the Wet’suwet’en and the Wet’suwet’en themselves all signed on for the gas pipeline.

 

I bet most of the protestors can't even find Wet’suwet’en on a map.

 

 

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Statement of Solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en People

The Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto Chapter (CCNCTO) expresses solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en people and strongly condemn the invasion of Wet’suwet’en lands by colonial authorities.

As Chinese settlers of this land, we recognize that the long and complex history of Indigenous-Chinese relations is one of complicity in displacement and colonization, but also one of solidarity. Chinese railway workers, who were themselves exploited, helped construct the Canadian Pacific Railway, which played a crucial role in the displacement and colonization of Indigenous peoples. Yet injured Chinese workers who were left to die by their employers were often taken in, cared for, and sheltered by Indigenous nations. 

It is this ongoing history that inspires us to unite with Wet’suwet’en and other Indigenous peoples across North America engaging in active resistance to defend Indigenous sovereignty. We call on the various levels of government to desist in the use of state violence in support of  the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline project through unceded and ancestral territories. 

We encourage supporters and community members to take part in solidarity actions with the Wet’suwet’en people, or to organize their own actions in accordance with the call from the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs.

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Anti-pipeline protesters block international bridge in Niagara Falls in support of Wet'suwet'en

About 200 people stopped traffic at Rainbow International Bridge in Niagara Falls, Ont. on Sunday afternoon in protest of what they call an “invasion of the Wet’suwet’en Nation” due to the proposed pipeline in British Columbia.

The demonstration started around 2 p.m. near Highway 420 and Stanley Avenue, at which point the protesters marched towards the entrance to the bridge, effectively blocking traffic from travelling into the United States.....

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Occupied for 260+ hours (11 days) Dan failed us.

Although we walked out of Dan Vandal’s office without him meeting all of our demands, the end of this occupation is just the beginning of something so much bigger.

I made sure we did this in a good way, in ceremony. I will cherish these memories I made with these beautiful people. We’ve bonded so much these past 11 days in ceremony with the sacred fire, songs, prayers and laughter

We will continue to walk together, to stand in solidarity for our relatives

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..toronto

An amazing turnout to support #Wetsuwenten by shutting down CN railways near Pioneer Village. Seeing fantastic support from a range of groups -climate justice, indigenous groups, labour, migrant justice and allies! Building a strong movement for Justice! #WetsuwenStrong #onpoli

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No CGL & TMX Pipelines! Intersection Action

Wednesday, February 19, 2020 at 5 PM – 7 PM​

Commercial - Broadway SkyTrain Station

Vancouver

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..epekwitk is pei

Starchild (Eliza Knockwood) sent photos as the eve setting in Epekwitk support sting for Wet’suwet’en solidarity ⁦@APTNNews

Mi’kma’ki stands with Wet’suwet’en. Photos preparing for overnight and Confederation bridge at sunset.

NDPP

When All Else Fails, Wet'suwet'en Supporters Block the Rails (and vid)

https://twitter.com/submedia/status/1228667042078785538

 

"Trains are being shut down in Seattle in solidarity with Wet'suwet'en Nation"

https://twitter.com/WANaziWatch/status/1229162157222158336

#StopThatTrain  #EcocideIsGenocide  #RCMPOut   #WetsuwetenStrong 

NDPP

Trudeau To Meet With Incident Response Group

https://winnipeg.citynews.ca/2020/02/17/trudeau-pipeline-protests/

"Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be meeting with the Incident Response Group to work on a plan for dealing with the protests and blockades that have shut down much of Canada's rail system. The group, which includes senior cabinet members, was created in 2018 to handle incidents that have major national implications..."

 

You 'handle' it by addressing the problem in honourable nation-to-nation negotiations. NOT with RCMP force. DON'T even try it. The whole country will explode. That way madness lies. When were you planning to meet the Wet'suwet'en Justin? That would be a good start.

[email protected]

NDPP

Justin Trudeau Will Interrupt UN Security Council Tour To Deal With Infrastructure Disruptions

https://www.straight.com/news/1361091/justin-trudeau-will-interrupt-un-s...

"He was travelling to Africa and Middle East countries to try to win Canada a seat on the UN Security Council. Tomorrow he was scheduled to resume this effort in the Caribbean. But this afternoon, the prime minister indicated that he'll make time instead to address these direct actions by supporters of Indigenous land rights.

'Tomorrow morning, I'll convene an Incident Response Group meeting with Marc Miller, Carolyn Bennett, Marc Garneau, Bill Blair, Chrystia Freeland, Pablo Rodriguez and Bill Morneau to address infrastructure disruptions across the country and discuss the path forward,' Trudeau tweeted. 'Details to follow.'

Social activist Harsha Walia responded with this message over twitter: 'How about you and Premier Horgan set up emergency nation to nation meeting with the Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs which they have been calling on for months?!? Worried about infrastructure? Respect Indigenous jurisdiction. Blockaders won't succumb to your state intimidation."

Meet With Wet'suwet'en NOW!

[email protected]

[email protected]

 

#NoTreatyNoJurisdictionNoPipelines   #Wetsuwetenstrong  #SovereigntyIsTheIssueCanadaIsTheProblem  #StopThatTrain

NDPP

'Coastal GasLink Could Ship Bitumen'

https://twitter.com/M_Tol/status/1229124748061229057

"Coastal GasLink could ship bitumen from Alberta's tar sands, a draft First Nation band agreement shows, if band's who signed on given written consent. Given CGL's breach of consent with Wetsuweten hereditary chiefs, this needs more exposure in Canadian media."

Sean in Ottawa

Paladin1 wrote:

epaulo13 wrote:

..your trying to change the rules because it doesn't suit you.

Well ya. There's mechanisms to change rules and laws. We can even change the constitution.

Quote:
..i see your argument as being personally crafted and full of opinion. it doesn't come close to addressing anything in the realm of the reality of this struggle.  

All our arguments are personally crafted and full of opinion.  As for addressing the situation we're in a stalemate. It's the same silly dance over and over and over. The conservative and liberal governments kick the indigneous can up the road every year.

What thing I've noticed. No one seems to actually have a working plan. No one seesm to be able to answer questions, even people here.

For example, what happens when the Huron, Algonquin, Cree and Ojibwe are given control of their ancestral lands and decide settlers have to leave the Ottawa valley. Are we going to evacuate Ottawa? Since FN are seperate nations, 634 of them, does each nation get a seat along side premiers and other government leaders? Do those 634 nations engage in trade deals with other countries?

There's so many practical questions people don't want to answer.

eta..specifically it is the court injunction process that corporations and governments use to get around the law.

[/quote]

Actually there are so many practical answers that people do not want to hear becuase it breaks down the objections.

Indigenous people when they point to unresoved land claims they do not ask for the impossible. They ask to be a partner in resource management - to get a share and they ask for social justice and economic justice. When you look at the demands Indigenous leaders make specifically, you can be shocked at how reasonable and moderate they are. The problem is that they are not free and the people of Canada want a solution that does not cost any while they oppress a people and use the assets of those people without giving them a share.

Do yourself a favour and look past the interpretations and look to what Indigenous people are asking for when specific demands are on the table. You will see these are doable things.

Indigenous people may not being doing this becuase they are generous. They are doing it becuase what is owed to them is so massive that they moderate their demands in order not to be refused entirely. Once you reconcile the volume of what is owed, you can see just how reasonable the demands are. Indigenous people are not looking to freeze their assets either. They want to develop them for the long term. As a result the economic activity and benefit to Canada and Canadians does not change all that much when they have greater power and ownership rights over their property. 

This is similar to environmental deniers: first they deny the problem and then they say it is too big to resolve to justify not doing anything. It is true there would be a power shift in Canada to accomodate the true owners of lands in many places. However Indigenous people are not demanding downtown Toronto or Parliament Hill. They are looking for opportunities and to exploit and have control over much less contentious territory and are open to compensation discussions.

The one thing you can see is that they tend to be very reasonable in apporach when at the table. Not so much when they are shut out and on the street. Just like you would expect of anyone.

NorthReport

Wet’suwet’en Crisis: Whose Rule of Law?

Explained: The complex clash of legal authority, and histories, behind today’s standoffs.

https://thetyee.ca/News/2020/02/14/Wetsuweten-Crisis-Whose-Rule-Law/

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..from 2017

Social conflict is inevitable in decolonization battle

All the controversy over Canada 150 and its morbid celebration of the gains Canada has made at the expense of Indigenous lives has many people asking: What do we do now? What will the next 150 years look like? We all know that Indigenous Nations on Turtle Island have experienced some of the most prolonged and violent genocidal acts in the world. Canada was colonized with such lethal force that millions died as a result, all in the name of unearned power and wealth. State colonization continues through Canadian laws and policies, decisions of government officials and enforced by Canada’s police and military forces. Another powerful threat is corporate colonization; the way in which large corporations heavily influence governments and violently colonize Indigenous bodies, lands and waters. So, how do we decolonize in the face of continued colonization?

If we are going to decolonize, it must be done with full awareness of what must be done and with full preparedness for the discomfort that comes with it. It requires speaking the truth about our collective history but, more importantly, about how that history continues to impact our current reality. This will not be easy. Most social justice activists and Indigenous resistance activists can speak to the loneliness of being the only person in a room trying to draw attention to potential threats to our nations, when most would prefer to not engage in difficult conversations. But here’s the reality: in the history of human beings, real social change has never come without some level of social conflict. Indigenous peoples can attest to this as we have had to fight and push for every single right or freedom we have today.

Decolonization won’t happen without social conflict either. We know this from our collective histories, the many painful experiences of our peoples and the long trail of empty words and broken government promises. Our ancestors would never have survived without their collective strength and unity in resistance. Any gains we have made as Indigenous Nations have been won through acts of withdrawal, resistance and determination. We have survived every attempt that colonial and Canadian governments have made to eliminate us from our own lands — including scalping bounties, smallpox blankets, rapes and murders of our children in residential schools, forced sterilizations of our women and starvation tactics. We simply wouldn’t be here if we didn’t strenuously resist assimilation at all costs, but we have suffered many losses as a result. It is therefore critical that we forgive ourselves for the many ways in which we have been colonized and find ways to lift one another up.

quote:

Going forward it will be critical for us to withdraw from all government and corporate tables, committees and negotiation processes that do not serve our best interests and respect our rights. It also means we have to continue to adapt our tactics as needed and engage in diverse acts of local, regional and national acts of resistance in multiple forums and help support those engaged in different ways. Resistance can be blockades, rallies, public education, media outreach, legal advocacy and litigation, and/or political pressure domestically and internationally. We will have to give less energy to online trolls and detractors and focus more on spreading our core messages. It’s time national leaders stopped settling for land acknowledgements and started demanding land transfers.

In the end, decolonization will require effort on the colonizer’s part as well. If there is to be peace on Turtle Island, Canadian governments will have to go beyond superficial words and gestures and take substantive action to address our rights. Until then, if being Indigenous, protecting our lands and waters and exercising our Aboriginal and treaty rights means we are breaking Canadian laws; then we need to continue to be “criminally Indigenous” for the sake of our future generations.

NDPP

Canada: Native Protests Continue To Cripple Railway Network

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/02/17/bloc-f17.html

"...Publicly the Trudeau government remains committed to resolving the dispute through  'dialogue'. But big business lobby groups, many provincial governments, and much of the corporate media are demanding the government ensure speedy resumption of full rail service and 'uphold the rule of law' - i.e. order police to violently intervene to dismantle the barricades. The federal liberal and BC NDP governments have dismissed the opposition to the pipeline from the hereditary chiefs and their Wet'suwet'en supporters by pointing to agreements CGL signed with 20 government-authorized elected band councils.

Anyone still harboring illusions about the intentions of the Trudeau government and Canada's ruling elite more broadly should examine the secret 'agreements' CGL has struck with the government's Wet'suwet'en band councils. They contain a legal commitment that the bands will 'take all reasonable actions' to dissuade their members from doing anything that could 'impede, hinder, frustrate, delay, stop or interfere with the project, the project's contractors, any authorizations or any approval process.'

This includes a commitment to dissuade band members from taking part 'in any media or social media campaign.' In other words, the band councils have signed on to serve as a political police force on behalf of corporate Canada and the Trudeau government. Trudeau's sanctimonious blather about Canada not being 'the kind of country where politicians get to tell the police what to do in operational matters,' is equally dishonest.

The support for the protests reflects growing disenchantment with the Trudeau government's phony 'native reconciliation' agenda and with the terrible living conditions most indigenous people face, the ruling elite's indifference to climate change, and its readiness to use state repression to impose unpopular policies to further swell its wealth."

#NoTreatyNoJurisdictionNoPipelinesNoRCMP  #EcocideIsGenocide  #SovereigntyIsTheIssueCanadaIsThe Problem #WetsuwetenStrong  #StopThatTrain

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Rail blockade: indigenous resistance shakes the Canadian state

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The federal Indigenous Services Minister, Marc Miller, has now been to Tyendinaga to meet with members of the community. His account of the hours long meeting doesn’t suggest much was resolved at all. Clearly, the Trudeau government is in a very difficult situation. They have seen the response to the RCMP raid on the Wet’suwet’en and they desperately fear the consequences of moving on the rail blockades. Yet the driving of pipelines through Indigenous territory is vital to their strategic priority of exporting dirty oil and gas to the Pacific market. The Coastal GasLink project is the harbinger of much more to come and the resistance of Indigenous people and their allies poses a threat to all their plans. The considerable ability of the Liberal Party to serve the interests of the capitalists while containing social resistance is being tested to the limit. The vulnerability to disruption of the global supply chain that has been created during the neoliberal era, with its wide ranging sources of raw materials and component parts and its systems of ‘just in time’ inventory, makes the blockades and the economic disruption even more of a threat than they would have been at an earlier time.

The political crisis that has been unleashed by this wave of action in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en is already very serious but if state power is unleashed to remove the blockades, at Tyendinaga or at other locations, especially if a serious confrontation ensues, the mood across the country is such that disruptive actions could intensify dramatically. In that eventuality, the choice for Trudeau and his provincial allies would be between a dangerous escalation or a retreat on so fundamental an objective as the pursuit of environmentally disastrous extractive capitalism. Sparked by the magnificent defiance of the Wet’suwet’en, a struggle is unfolding with the most important implications for the building of resistance in Canada to the colonial project that Indigenous people face. At the same time, however, it is also creating a precious model for the global struggle against the deadly consequences of corporate climate vandalism.

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Trudeau, ministers tight-lipped after emergency meeting on rail blockades

An emergency meeting of cabinet ministers to discuss anti-pipeline blockades that have shut down swaths of the country’s train system broke up at mid-day in Ottawa Monday, with participants tight-lipped about what they’d decided.

Not long after the meeting wrapped up, protesters set up a new blockade in Ontario, this time at Thousand Islands Bridge, which connects to the United States.

Thousand Islands Bridge Authority told Global News that the demonstration is affecting both directions on the bridge — entry to Canada from the U.S. and entry to the U.S. from Canada.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had previously said the “Incident Response Group” would talk about how to handle the protests against a planned natural-gas pipeline that crosses Wet’suwet’en territory in northern British Columbia.

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs are opposed to the project.

The group was described upon its inception in 2018 as a “dedicated, emergency committee that will convene in the event of a national crisis or during incidents elsewhere that have major implications for Canada.”.....

eta: 

But while Ontario Provincial Police have so far declined to enforce injunctions and remove protesters from that blockade, RCMP in B.C. have made more than two dozen arrests while enforcing similar injunctions near worksites for the pipeline at the centre of the dispute.

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The breathtaking hypocrisy of the howls for rule of law

Last October, an international celebration occurred in the verdant coastal community of Bella Bella, BC. Members of the Heiltsuk Nation finally opened their Gvakva’aus Hailzaqv, their Big House, a red and yellow cedar structure that is the centre of their governance and ceremonial life. Christian missionaries destroyed the last Big House 120 years ago, the Heiltsuk say. In those years, pivotal elements of Indigenous life and law were declared illegal, including the gift-giving potlatch ceremonies that “were once the primary economic system of Coastal First People.” The potlatch ban is hardly ancient history – that law was not removed from the books until 1951. Nearly six million Canadians who filled out the last census were alive in 1951.

The Heiltsuk People, like the Wet’suwet’en currently at the centre of national attention, not only had to live with odious Canadian laws (that could themselves be seen as violating fundamental concepts of justice), but they also had their land taken outside of the processes promised by the Crown. Treaty negotiations did not take place in vast tracts of British Columbia – a direct affront to the rule of law. “Under international and British law at the time of colonization, unless Indigenous people were conquered or treaties were made with them, the Indigenous interest in their land was to be respected by the law of the European colonizing nation,” historian and lawyer Bruce McIvor explained last week.

Politicians and pundits have been calling for the rule of law to be respected, given the ongoing protests in BC and in southern Ontario in support of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs opposing the Coastal GasLink project. The protests have stopped CN and Via Rail trains from running in parts of Canada. But let’s set aside for a moment the question of the legitimacy or illegality of those protests. Where have all these influential voices been on the much larger rule of law question, the one that set the stage for these conflicts in the first place?

For more than 150 years, Indigenous governance structures and legal systems have been dismantled, local knowledge and language deliberately decimated, treaties violated, and Indigenous land settled without a legal leg to stand on. Still, even with all the bad laws, bad faith, and shrugging off the rule of law, we can’t seem to muster as a country a heartbeat of empathy or patience or self awareness.

We also ignore that the courts have acknowledged repeatedly that Indigenous laws and rights are part of the rule of law in Canada. “Indigenous legal traditions are among Canada’s legal traditions. They form part of the law of the land,” Federal Court Justice Sébastien Grammond wrote in a 2018 decision.

National newspaper columnists have called the Wet’suwet’en system of governance an “oligarchy” and based on a “feudal genealogy,” but the Courts (which help shape the rule of law) haven’t shown that disdain. The Supreme Court has acknowledged the limits of the Indian Act-prescribed structures when considering the holders of Aboriginal title – and dealt specifically with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs’ authority in the 1997 Delgamuukw decision.  In the Supreme Court of British Columbia Tsilhqot’in decision, Justice David Vickers put it succinctly: “While band level organization may have meaning to a Canadian federal bureaucracy, it is without any meaning in the resolution of Aboriginal title and rights for Tsilhqot’in people.

Canadian law when it comes to Indigenous communities has been a slippery, oppressive thing throughout the country’s history. Treaties are the law, but they are routinely violated. Laws were invented to erase Indigenous culture. It took until last year for the federal government to finally remove the legislated gender discrimination from the Indian Act.

In British Columbia, the type of land title negotiations that created the Douglas treaties on Vancouver Island (themselves the subject of contention) were abandoned and unilateral settlement occurred on vast tracts of Indigenous land elsewhere in the province. The rule of law and the “honour of the Crown” were disregarded. In 1997, the Supreme Court of Canada advised the Crown  that it had a “moral, if not a legal, duty,” to settle the question of title in order to facilitate “the reconciliation of the pre-existence of aboriginal societies with the sovereignty of the Crown.” But today, delving into those fundamental issues around land title and Canada’s fundamental violations of the rule of law seems to exhaust the stamina of many Canadian political and thought leaders.

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Indigenous groups need 'guarantees' on land rights before getting trains back on track: Oka Crisis veteran

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But asking how to restore train service is the wrong question, suggests Gabriel, if people want to understand what's motivating Indigenous land defenders, those at the front lines of the demonstrations.

"We never get anywhere because it's always based on something that has to do with the economy and jobs, rather than trying to fix long-term solutions to problems that have been plaguing Indigenous people," said Gabriel.

Involve decision-makers

Lorraine Land, a lawyer certified in alternative dispute resolution who specializes in Indigenous rights, also has insight into how to resolve long-standing Indigenous land disputes.

She says using force to quell opposition to the Coastal GasLink pipeline in Wet'suwet'en territory, was a mistake. 

"In the past, when the heavy hand of the police force has been used, that created more conflict," said Land. "To use the RCMP to do heavy-handed enforcement of these injunctions, it's counterproductive."

Now that politicians are trying to defuse tensions, Land says it's critical that negotiators have authority to create a process that deals with the unextinguished land title of the Wet'suwet'en.

"You don't want a situation where people have to keep going back for direction. At a negotiation table, you need to be able to make commitments right there and then," said Land.

She says it's important both Indian Act band council chiefs and hereditary chiefs of the We'tsuwet'en Nation come together with "senior ministers, not underlings from the bureaucracy" on the government side.

It's a view echoed by Gabriel, who says blockades become protracted when government negotiators can't make decisions.

"We come with mandates to sit at the negotiating table. But, even the ministers say, 'I'll have to go back, I'll have to go back,' so there's this pause and delay."

The federal government initially refused to intervene in the railway blockades, but that approach changed in recent days. 

On Saturday, Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller met with Mohawks in Tyendinaga. Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett and her B.C. counterpart will hold talks with both the Gitxsan and the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs in the coming days.

'Let's get guarantees'

Asked what advice she would give to Wet'suwet'en hereditary leaders in B.C., Gabriel is unequivocal.

"Get a guarantee that the government will pause until we can sit down in good faith and that they will respect our rights," said Gabriel.

She suggests Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs shouldn't relent without a temporary halt to pipeline construction. She also recommends they seek commitments for criminal charges against land defenders to be dropped and the RCMP to leave Wet'suwet'en territory.

"People do not understand how much Indigenous people have had to give up for the sake of Canada's economic prosperity. We need [Canadians] to educate themselves," said Gabriel.

"In the meantime, let's get guarantees — and none of this double talk.".....

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Harsha Walia @HarshaWalia

Idea that "protestors" are disrupting lives of "everyday" working Canadians wrongly assumes those supporting #Wetsuweten are not workers & are not facing disruptions in own lives. "Everyday" people do stand for #WetsuwetenStrong coz disruptions are necesary to disrupt colonialism

NDPP

Ten Thousand March In Solidarity With Wet'suwet'en in Toronto Today

https://twitter.com/smogelgem/status/1229530241397190657

 

Toronto Police Operations

https://twitter.com/TPSOperations/status/1229523485724172288

"Expect delays...Consider alternative routes..."

 

"For the moment, we have to endure persecution, we have to endure our people being humiliated. For now. But in the long course of history, the face of Canada will be politically, socially, economically and spiritually changed back in favour of our peoples. Who knows how our great-grandchildren are going to rewrite history? That's up to them. But we will at least be able to leave the earth knowing that while we were here we did all we could to set in motion for them a better future..." Brian Mike Meyers, Elder, Seneca Nation

#EcocideIsGenocide  #SovereigntyIsTheIssueCanadaIsTheProblem  #HealingOurNationsOfUnitedResistance  #ShutDownCanada  #thetimeisnow  #WesuwetenStrong

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