Unist’ot’en Camp and the Showdown With Chevron: How Can Toronto Be in Solidarity?
Thursday May 29, 2014
60 Lowther Ave.,
The Call Out:
Since 2010 Unist’ot’en clan members have been maintaining a permanent presence on their traditional territory in so-called Northern British Columbia. The reason for doing so is to assert sovereignty over lands which were never ceded to the Canadian government and to begin a process of decolonization and return to the land. The Camp also stands as the enforcement of a clan decision to ban all of the proposed Fracked Gas and Tar Sands pipelines intending to cross over their territory.
Recently, the notorious fossil fuel giant Chevron has announced it intends to begin construction on its Pacific Trail Pipeline by June 15th of this year. At a recent open house in Prince George representatives from the company declared that if the community did not sign on to the pipeline it would be “tough luck for them” and that if the Unist’ot’en Camp did not stand aside they threatened to have the blockade removed by force.
On Thursday May 29h join with allies in Toronto to hear about the latest developments in the showdown with Chevron, what is being planned in response, and how we can be in solidarity from here in Toronto.
One immediate way to contribute is via the Toronto Supports Unist’ot’en Fundrazr Campaign. http://fnd.us/c/dkgyf/sh/e3I2Yf
Chevron’s Pacific Trails Pipeline is the first of a series of proposed pipelines intending to carry fracked gas and tar sands bitumen across the great northern forests to the West Coast for export via supertankers to destinations overseas. Waiting in the wings are a multitude of projects including Shell’s Coastal GasLink and Enbridge’s Northern Gateway which both seek to cross Unist’ot’en land in order to get to proposed terminals at Kitimat.
Following from the Unist’ot’en decision, all five clans of the Wet’suwet’en now stand in united opposition to the pipeline projects. To the north of them, the Gitxsan have also taken steps to oppose the northern pipelines destined for Prince Rupert. Altogether, this leaves the Canadian government’s plans for a massive pipeline corridor for the export of fracked gas and tar sands oil completely blocked.
As much as the NGO-led campaigns in British Columbia have ignored the wisdom of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs by focusing exclusively on Enbridge Northern Gateway, the battle for whether the unceded territories of the North West Turtle Island remain pipeline-free will go down over Chevron’s Pacific Trail as it is the first and trailblazer for the rest.
Since establishing the Unist’ot’en Camp on the traditional territory of Talbits Kwa, the Unist’tot’en have controlled entry into their territory through a Free Prior Informed Consent protocol, intercepted and evicted surveyors several times, and continue traditional practices such as gathering berries, hunting, and trapping.
In the meantime, companies such as Chevron have been attempting to bypass the authority of the clan’s hereditary chiefs by approaching Indian Act Band Councils, board-room based tribal institutions, and hosting “information sessions” on the reserve which dangle 50” television sets as door prizes to entice community members.
As the mainstream NGO campaigns remain afraid to challenge BC’s plan to transform the West Coast into a hub of LNG plants, the Unist’ot’en have reached out to grassroots allies from coast to coast to stand with them in an effort that goes beyond symbolic action in order to preserve the integrity of the land for all future generations.
After the video update there will be a facilitated discussion to discuss avenues for Toronto-based solidarity with the Unist’ot’en!
Unist’ot’en Camp: http://www.unistotencamp.com/
About the Pipelines: http://unistotencamp.com/?page_id=26
Facebook: Unist’ot’en Camp https://www.facebook.com/unistoten
Caravan to Camp: http://forestaction.wikidot.com/caravan
BC LNG faces growing First Nations opposition
Standing on the Land to Stand Against Pipelines http://www.crimethinc.com/texts/recentfeatures/standing.php
Activists Plot How to Block New Pipelines in BC http://warriorpublications.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/activists-plot-how-to-block-new-pipelines-in-b-c/