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Since September 25th, the Gidimt’en Access Point has been holding new blockades and using a variety of tactics to keep Coastal GasLink workers and the RCMP off their territory. Specifically, they have been blocking access to a drill pad, without which CGL will be unable to drill under the Wedzin Kwa, or Morice River.
Gidimt’en clan members and supporters have established themselves on the site, which they have named Coyote Camp, building a log cabin complete with a wood stove to support a sustained defense of the camp.
1/ “You can’t push the Wet’suwet’en around!” and “This is Chief Woos’ territory!” can be heard as our #Haudenosaunee relatives send the RCMP retreating from their daily harassment patrol at Coyote Camp. #AllOutforWedzinKwa#WeAreAllOne pic.twitter.com/QOJNCls7eT
— Gidimt’en Checkpoint (@Gidimten) October 12, 2021
The RCMP’s Community-Industry Response Group has been present at the camp, carrying out daily reconaissance, searching tents, emptying campers’ drinking water supply, and generally harassing the site’s inhabitants.
In the words of Sleydo’, spokesperson for Gidimt’en Checkpoint, “Our way of life is at risk. Wedzin Kwa [is the] river that feeds all of Wet’suwet’en territory and gives life to our nation.”
The RCMP has stepped up patrols on the Yintah. On Sunday our Dinï ze’ Woos visited Camp Coyote to speak with Cas Yikh house members and supporters.
— Gidimt’en Checkpoint (@Gidimten) October 6, 2021
Last week we covered some initial solidarity banner drops, graffiti, and rallies that have taken place across the country in solidarity with Gidimt’en.
Since then, more actions have taken place. In so-called Victoria, BC, a march was held in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en land defenders on October 5th.
Feet in the streets in downtown #yyj right now in solidarity with #Wetsuweten land defenders who are fighting off @CoastalGasLink on their territory as we speak. All eyes on the Yintah, all solidarity with @Gidimten and @UnistotenCamp ✊🏼#WetsuwetenStrong #NoConsentNoPipeline pic.twitter.com/vxThduEdyJ
— Torrance Coste (@TorranceCoste) October 5, 2021
In Japan, a group called Friends of the Environment held a protest in solidarity with the land defenders as well, asking Japanese banks to withdraw their support for the pipeline.
We had a protest in front of @smbc_midosuke @mufgbk_official @mizuhobank to show our solidarity with @Gidimten and call on them to withdraw from the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline project. #WetsuwetenStrong #NoTrespass pic.twitter.com/5ILgbHH35r
— Friends of the Earth Japan (English) (@FoEJapan_en) October 7, 2021
In Montreal, people blocked train tracks for over an hour and a half on October 9.
— Franklin López 🇵🇷 (@Franklin__Lopez) October 10, 2021
Other actions have taken place as well.
— KKR Kills #AllOutfotWedzinKwa (@KKRkills) October 6, 2021
Kingston: Defend Wedzin Kwa – Banner Drophttps://t.co/QiLZXkpxN1
"We dropped this banner as a small gesture of solidarity with #Wetsuweten people defending their territory from incursions by the RCMP and Coastal GasLink." #ygk #wetsuwetenstrong #wedzinkwa pic.twitter.com/tqOF8HnhwZ
— North Shore Counter-Info (@nscounterinfo) October 8, 2021
Gidimt’en Checkpoint has called for a week of solidarity actions from October 9th to 15th:
Cas Yikh of the Gidimt’en Clan are counting on supporters to go ALL OUT in a mobilization for the biggest battle yet to protect our sacred headwaters, Wedzin Kwa. We have remained steadfast in our fight for self-determination, and we are still unceded, undefeated, sovereign and victorious.
In January 2019, when Gidimt’en Checkpoint was raided by the RCMP, enforcing an injunction for Coastal GasLink fracked gas pipeline, your communities rose up in solidarity!
We are humbled by the power of our allies, friends and supporters. We have love, respect, and gratitude for those that stood their ground beside us on the yintah to defend Wedzin Kwa. We vow to reciprocate the solidarity from everyone that followed, all our allies/relatives and supporters that put their feet in the street defending Indigenous sovereignty.
Now, we need you to rise up again.
October 9th-15th 2021, go #AllOutForWedzinKwa
We anticipate enforcement possibly this week. We encourage everyone to come out and show support at Coyote Camp and by taking action where you stand.
Together we will win.
— Gidimt’en Checkpoint (@Gidimten) October 6, 2021
We look forward to seeing how people will answer the call for solidarity actions!
Golden Equity Tenants Across Toronto Get Organized
Today tenants from multiple buildings went to the Golden Equity office at 399 Markham Rd. to tell them they can no longer have access to 35 tenants' bank accounts & demanded they drop their eviction attempts & start addressing repairs, maintenance and pest control. pic.twitter.com/ygdbCtN0V3
— Golden Equity Tenants (@moldenequity) September 30, 2021
Ever since Golden Equity Properties, a Montreal-based landlord, took ownership of a number of large Toronto apartment buildings earlier this year, tenants have faced an uphill battle with their landlord and have gotten organized in response. In addition to pulling superintendents from buildings and neglecting maintenance and pest issues, Golden Equity is known for pressuring tenants to pre-authorize rent payments. Tenants have been charged unexpected fees, and even issued with eviction notices despite paying their rent on time.
Visiting landlords at their offices in apartment buildings is funny. They don’t seem to get that the longer they put off talking to us, the more cops they call, the bigger a scene, and the more of their tenants we talk to and bring onboard. pic.twitter.com/J6PDQCmXuH
— David (@dsherwoodb) September 30, 2021
On September 30th, tenants from buildings across Toronto visited Golden Equity at their office to submit paperwork to prohibit further access to 35 tenants’ bank accounts. They also demanded that the company drop ongoing evictions and begin to address their many outstanding maintenance issues. Rather than engaging with tenants, the landlord called the police. Tenants reported that despite the frustrating response, the visit and police interaction ended drawing the attention of many residents in the building, allowing organizers to connect with more tenants interested in getting involved. Some tenants have also begun to produce an organizing newspaper for Golden Equity tenants, which they were able to distribute. It appears that Golden Equity’s egregious management has created fertile ground across their buildings for further organizing, and tenants are willing to take up the fight.
BC Forest Defence Continues As Injunction Reinstated
On October 4, the first day of BC’s fall session of parliament, over 100 protesters blockaded access to the BC legislature in Victoria. The blockade included a cross-section of a nearly 1000-year old tree cut down recently by industry in the Fairy Creek watershed. Protesters called on the BC NDP to enact a total ban on old-growth logging. While Fairy Creek has been a major frontline for old-growth forest defense, protesters were clear that they were calling for a complete ban, not just at Fairy Creek.
#OldGrowth forest defenders blockade #BCpoli legislature first day of sessions. @jjhorgan you can’t put off action on protecting #Biodiversity #UNDRIP and old growth in BC forever. And the longer you wait the more people rise up. #Cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/vs37kb0ztm
— It's me, Mark. (@OrcaCedarbough) October 4, 2021
The BC NDP said this week that “more deferrals are coming”, and that they plan to announce changes to BC’s forestry policies, and that the government is reviewing, and planning to implement recommendations from a 2020 independent strategic review of old-growth forest management. Protesters and scientists alike have been clear that the government is not acting fast enough.
Forest Defenders at Fairy Creek received bad news this week as BC’s Supreme Court allowed Cedar Jones’ appeal and re-instated their injunction. The injunction has now been temporarily extended to November 15, when it will again come before the courts. Following the earlier court decision, most RCMP officers were pulled from the site, leaving around 12 officers from the local detachment. Many more officers are now expected to return. Meanwhile, forest defenders remained active this week, establishing two new camps along logging roads to intercept loggers from reaching a series of old growth cut blocks.
Remembering Anthony Aust
One year after Anthony Aust, a 23 year old Black was killed by Ottawa police in a no-knock raid, his community gathered to remember him and demand action.
The day began with a rally at his family home, where he died falling from a bedroom window during an early morning raid on October 7, 2020. The event continued for most of the day, with protesters marching through the streets of Ottawa, holding banners, chanting, and periodically holding intersections to stop traffic in the streets.
We are at 2020 Jasmine Crescent in Ottawa, standing in the very spot Anthony Aust was killed by police after a no knock raid. Nhora, his mom said "we are here because there are many stories like Anthony's" #JusticeForAnthonyAust #Ottawa @CPEPgroup https://t.co/Pc0iwiSwuj pic.twitter.com/l8HG5XxaLi
— Sarah Jama (@SarahJama_) October 7, 2021
The day ended outside an Ottawa police station, where a memorial was installed and a vigil was held. At the same time as the vigil, the Ottawa Black Diaspora Coalition, one of the organizers of the event, released a petition to Ottawa’s mayor for the memorial to be made permanent. Protesters remained outside the police station until the online petition reached 250 signatures. Another organizer, the Criminalization and Punishment Education Project, released a list of demands, including that the City of Ottawa “purge all polices and practices that target Indigenous, Black and other racialized peoples, disabled people, people living in poverty, immigrants, 2sLGBTQQIA peoples, and all other oppressed and colonized people” and an immediate moratorium on police expansion.
Drug Users Liberation Front Gets Closer to Creating Buyers’ Club
On October 7, the Vancouver-based Drug Users Liberation Front (DULF) got one step closer to being able to consistently distribute a safe drug supply. In August, the group applied to Health Canada for an exemption under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, which would allow them to operate under a “compassion club” model. Over the past year, DULF has held a series of safe supply distribution days, operating outside of federal regulations to get tested drugs to those who need them. Of the 1000 packages disttributed so far, none have resulted in an overdose. At an October 7th City Council meeting, DULF co-founders explained that they began distributing safe supply in hopes of demonstrating its success in preventing overdoses, and pushing the City to take similar action on a larger scale. In the meantime, a federal exemption would allow members of a buyers’ club to consistently purchase tested drugs from a legal producer. At the meeting, the City voted unanimously to support the initiative. DULF is still awaiting an official response from Health Canada.
I'll leave the final comment of the night with Eris Nyx of @DULFBC: "We're going to run this program by hell or high water because it will save lives. We're a radical organization. We don't need state sanctioning – but it helps. Safe supply by any means necessary."
— Jen St. Denis (@JenStDen) October 8, 2021