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Oct 19, 21

Canadian Tire Fire #16: Wet’suwet’en Strong, Drinking Water Crisis in Iqaluit, Trudeau Apologizes (Again)

cover photo: Mike Grameme

This week, Wet’suwet’en people and their allies continued to put up a strong resistance to Coastal GasLink’s efforts to drill under the Wedzin Kwa and build a pipeline across their territory.

At Coyote Camp, Gidimt’en clan members were notably joined by Haudenosaunee people who traveled to the territory in solidarity.

On Likhts’amisyu territory, CGL machinery was seized and decommissioned by Chief Dtsa H’yl, acting as Likhts’amisyu enforcement officer. Chief Dtsa H’yl had previously warned workers that they were trespassing on the territory and would need to leave or risk having their equipment seized. Eventually, the Likhts’amisyu Clan Government took possession of the equipment.

In response to the call for solidarity actions this week, actions took place across so-called Canada and beyond.

In Vancouver, on October 14, people came together for a day-long solidarity action that included a march and occupation at the entrance of TC Energy, the parent company of Coastal GasLink.

Then, on October 15, the entrance to the Port of Vancouver was blocked. The port was held for five hours before being quickly dismantled just as police moved in to enforce an injunction that has previously been obtained for similar actions.

Photo via: mikegraeme

In Winnipeg, people rallied in front of an RCMP office.

In Toronto, a banner was dropped over rush hour traffic.

In Mi’kma’ki territory, a banner was dropped over the NS-101 highway.

In Kingston, community members rallied and marched.

In Smithers, Wet’suwet’en people and their allies rallied and took the streets.

At Claremont McKenna College in California, a large group rallied to apply pressure on the owners of KKR, one of the major investors in the pipeline project. Two of KKR’s owners are trustees for the college, and students called on them to discontinue their support for the project. As pipleline projects like Coastal GasLink continue to face opposition and become less and less popular, the financial support of companies like KKR is crucial to their success. Props to folks in folks in so-called California for seeing the connections and acting in solidarity.

Tiny House Warriors Land Defender Sentenced in Court

This week, Mayuk and Kanahaus Manuel, members of the Tiny House Warriors movement, were back in court for sentencing related to their activities defending Secwepmc territory from the Trans Mountain pipeline. The charges stemmed from activities that took place in 2019. Kanahaus Manuel was was give a conditional discharge and sentenced to one year of probation with conditions for the “theft” of a padlock on pipeline construction equipment. The conditions ban her from going near a pump station along the pipeline construction route in Blue River. The sentencing of Mayuk Manuel, who was convicted of intimidation of Trans Mountain security, is yet to come.

Iqaluit Facing Drinking Water Crisis

On October 14, the City of Iqaluit declared a 14-day state of emergency and instructed residents not to drink tap water after the city’s drinking water supply was found to be contaminated with “exceedingly high concentrations of various fuel components.”

Stores quickly ran out of clean water and water jugs. Many community members turned to the nearby Sylvia Grinnell River for their water supply, while those unable to haul water have relied on community support and water deliveries. The Territory of Nunavut has since flown in over 20,000 gallons of water, and the City is providing water from dispensing stations.

While the source of the contamination is not yet confirmed, Nunavut’s Chief Public Health Officer has hypothesized that it may be related to an old oil spill released with thawing permafrost. The crisis has highlighted the significance of clean waterways, and the risks of climate change-induced permafrost thaw.

Though on a larger scale, the situation in the 8,000-person, majority Inuit city reflects the ongoing reality of many smaller Indigenous communities. Across so-called Canada, 44 long-term boil water advisories are in effect in 32 communities.

Trudeau Pulls Out Another Apology

Special mention this week to Justin Trudeau who headed to Kamloops to meet with Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc people. The meeting took place on the territory where the remains of 215 children were confirmed this summer near the Kamloops Indian Residential School. Trudeau was three weeks’ late for his invitation to join the community for Truth and Reconciliation Day, when he passed over the Chiefs’ invitation and opted instead for a family surf vacation in Tofino.\

Perhaps as some kind of penance, the meeting was noted to have taken place on his son’s birthday. Trudeau was full of apologies for the snub, but faced difficult questions regarding his ongoing legal battle against financial compensation for residential school survivors.

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A weekly roundup of anarchist and anti-authoritarian news from so-called Canada. Email us at: [email protected]

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