Filed under: Action, Canada, Development, Indigenous, Land, Northwest, Repression, The State
On Thursday, February 6th, the RCMP began a highly militarized raid on unceded Wet’suwet’en territory. By nightfall on Thursday, demonstrations, protests, acts of targeted sabotage and vandalism, and blockades of ports, freeways, and railroads had broken out. Over the next three days the calls to “Shut Down Canada” were answered across the country as people in groups both large and small demonstrated solidarity – but more importantly, moved to physically blockade and shut down industrial capitalist infrastructure.
These Haudenosaunee plan to stay for now, they are standing in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en against the Coastal Gaslink pipeline and in support of Mohawk protesters blockading the rail line in Tyendinaga. @CHCHNews @CHCHTV pic.twitter.com/M8SEHPkiDZ
— Matt Ingram (@MattIngramNEWS) February 10, 2020
Over the last few days, supporters maintained a large blockade at the Deltaport outside of so-called Vancouver, one of the largest ports in the country, gaining support from ILWU workers as well as the surrounding community who supplied the blockade with food and reinforcements. While the blockade outside of Vancouver was evicted today by police, on Mohawk territory another blockade of train tracks is also growing and on Vancouver Island, a highway blockade was launched on Monday. These multiple blockades are having a big impact. As one report wrote:
CN Rail is stagnant in two areas across the country with Wet’suwet’en protesters blocking access to railways. In an update from CN Rail today (Feb.10) CN Rail says they are experiencing disruptions in New Hazelton, BC, west of Smithers and in Tyendinaga, ON, near Belleville, ON. Currently, there are no movements of any trains at either of these locations and CN says nearly 200 trains have now been directly impacted by the blockades.
Beyond the blockades, other forms of creative resistance have also broken out. As we speak, the offices of several Liberal Party MPs and politicians have been occupied by Wet’suwet’en supporters, students, Native youth, environmental groups. In so-called Victoria in British Columbia, young Indigenous demonstrators have also maintained a growing sit-in occupation in front of the BC legislature.
— Red Braid Alliance for Decolonial Socialism (@stopdisplacemnt) February 10, 2020
Already the solidarity actions with the Wet’suwet’en have demonstrated what the AstroTurf and reformist climate change ‘movement’ never could: that instead of going through the motions of mass symbolic protest aimed at getting the attention of the same politicians managing this disaster, we should instead busy ourselves with shutting down the ability of capitalist civilization to function.
7:40 pm – 3 out of 7 arrested today released! Freda Huson, Brenda Michell, and Victoria Redsun are free! #AllEyesOnUnistoten #AllEyesOnWetsuweten #WetsuwetenStrong #ReconciliationIsDead #shutdowncanada #unistoten #landback #thetimeisnow pic.twitter.com/enY9Db5tH0
— Unist'ot'en Camp (@UnistotenCamp) February 11, 2020
As the struggle intensifies against the Canadian State, who’s mask of neoliberal “wokeness” and “reconciliation” with First Nations has been completely ripped away, and the police have now stormed the Unist’ot’en bridge on Wet’suwet’en territory, things are now at a critical point. Will the resistance be able to not only grow and continue forward now that the State has been successful in invading the territory and raiding the camps? Will people be able to constitute a path ahead now that the State is on-hand to facilitate the construction of Coastal GasLink’s pipeline? It’s up to us to answer these questions.
Friday, February 7th
Vancouver, BC: People again marched to the Port of Vancouver and launched a blockade in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en.
Along with many other groups. We have blocked the intersection of E Hastings and Clark drive in solidarity Wet'suwe'ten land defenders pic.twitter.com/AU8DC7wF0s
— Vancouver IWW (@vancouveriww) February 7, 2020
Kamloops, BC – News reports that a “group of protesters briefly blocked the busy Summit Drive and McGill Road intersection at about 12:30 p.m. on Friday.”
— Christopher Foulds (@ChrisJFoulds) February 7, 2020
Victoria, BC: Group of Indigenous youth and Wet’suwet’en supporters continue to sit-in and occupy the space in front of the so-called BC legislature. Mass marches continue to converge on the space. A Royal Bank of Canada is also occupied.
— Harrison Johnston (@HarrisonRJ_) February 7, 2020
— Sierra Club BC (@SierraClubBC) February 7, 2020
Teenagers from today's climate rally have occupied RBC in downtown Victoria in solidarity with Indigenous youth occupying the front steps of the lege
RBC is managing the $6.2B sale of the majority stake in Coastal Gaslink, which RCMP are raiding Wet'suwet'en camps on behalf of pic.twitter.com/ApVdTARwkL
— Ibaka Shinji (@Cam_Oflage) February 7, 2020
Balcarres, SK: Highway 10 shut down. Several arrests made by RCMP.
About 30 people slowed down & momentarily stopped traffic on Highway 10 east of Balcarres from 10am to 12pm. The group is standing in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en people in BC after RCMP arrested about 6 people who have camps along the Morice West Forest Service Road pic.twitter.com/wwmM2PnUWS
— Creeson Agecoutay (@CreesonCTV) February 7, 2020
Mohawk Territory: Mohawks shut down traffic to Canada-US border crossing for about an hour. CBC journalist on Twitter reports:
ST. Regis Mohawk Tribal police said the Canada-US border crossing was closed to traffic for about an hour this afternoon, from about 3:30 to 430 p.m. as a result of a protest by a group from Akwesasne in support of the Wet’suwet’en.
A truck sits by the tracks on the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. Photo courtesy: Annette Francis
Cornwall, ON: Seaway International Bridge was shut down in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en. From one report:
The flow of traffic across the Seaway International Bridge was halted Friday afternoon after an Akwesasne protest. A small group of protesters walked across the north channel bridge around 4 p.m. carrying large placards and accompanied by about a half dozen vehicles.
— M. Gouldhawke ∞ (@M_Gouldhawke) February 8, 2020
Winnipeg, ON: Street blockades in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en. Protests in front of RCMP.
(Wet'suwet'en strong)February 7, 2020
Protesting outside of the RCMP "D" division in Winnipeg on Portage Avenue, in solidarity with Wet'suwet'en.#WetsuwetenStrong #FNIW #FOPBOP FOR OUR PEOPLE BY OUR PEOPLE.
First Nation Indigenous Warriors
Solidarity with Wet'suwet'en#Unity pic.twitter.com/FlvPq8JL9H
— Waabishkaa Ma'iingan Naakshig (@CrazyNative1492) February 8, 2020
Standing strong in solidarity with our people in wet'suwet'en. pic.twitter.com/Kj7nAkcFST
— Waabishkaa Ma'iingan Naakshig (@CrazyNative1492) February 7, 2020
Ottawa, ON: Solidarity march and demonstration.
No pipelines on stolen land.
Stand with Wet'suwet'en.
Solidarity with the Land Defenders. pic.twitter.com/BckHUMlcR3
— Samantha McAleese (@Sam_McAleese) February 7, 2020
Montreal, QC: Trudeau’s office occupied by Wet’suwet’en supporters.
Toronto, ON: Protest in front of Deputy Prime Minister‘s office. Short occupation of Liberal Party offices.
@Fridays4future Wet'suwet'en solidarity rally and protest today! In front of @cafreeland's office. Its time to take action! Shut it down. #Wetswueten #RCMPOut #WetsuwetenStrong pic.twitter.com/zRrEDIU4ka
— Katherine (@x_kaaat_x) February 7, 2020
Protesters temporarily occupied the Ontario Liberal Party offices after the rally. pic.twitter.com/X1IswIiMML
— The Canada Files (@TheCanadaFiles) February 7, 2020
Peterborough, ON: Solidarity demonstration organized.
Tyendinaga Territory: Blockades of train tracks continue. An injunction is issued in the hopes of ending the blockades; it is later burned.
TYENDINAGA TERRITORY The people of Tyendinaga are standing in solidarity & say that the tracks will reopen when the RCMP leave Wet’suwet’en territory. As Canada & RCMP continue their colonial plan of genocide against the original peoples of this land.
Images By: DelReace Maracle pic.twitter.com/qH4axGPJFm
— 𝓔𝓵𝓲𝔃𝓪𝓫𝓮𝓽𝓱 𝓛𝓲𝓵𝓵𝔂 (@ChitkwesuManetu) February 7, 2020
Halifax, NS: People began occupying office of member of Parliament in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Over 20 people occupied @AndyFillmoreHFX's office today in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en.
— Graeme Benjamin (@GlobalGraeme) February 7, 2020
Saturday, February 8th
Vancouver, BC: Blockade of Deltaport continues in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en.
Deltaport, the largest port in Canada, has been shut down for 30 hours and counting. The blockade is holding strong for Wet’suwet’en. pic.twitter.com/EThSRsqs4c
— Red Braid Alliance for Decolonial Socialism (@stopdisplacemnt) February 10, 2020
Duncan, BC: TransCanada Highway shutdown in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en.
Hazelton, BC: Gitxsan launch a blockade of CN Rail in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en.
— Ricochet Media (@ricochet_en) February 8, 2020
Victoria, BC: Protests continue to shutdown roads. Sit-in occupation continues in front of BC legislature.
— Franklin López (@Franklin__Lopez) February 9, 2020
solidarity rally downtown victoria bc, aka unsurrendered lkwungen/songhees territories, supporting #wetsuweten land defenders currently resisting the latest round of colonial genocide in their northern territories. #wetsuwetenstrong #unistoten #cdnpoli #bcpoli pic.twitter.com/dCF80pP3dA
— janine bandcroft (@envirovegan) February 8, 2020
Nanaimo, BC: Mass march in solidarity leads to brief street blockades.
There was a brief blocking of the intersection at Terminal and Comox in #Nanaimo in solidarity with the land defenders in #Wetsuweten. It has now cleared and the crowd has marched back to the park. pic.twitter.com/nXq1o8Yzmr
— Mick Sweetman (@MickSweetman) February 8, 2020
Two drivers, frustrated with the wait, attempted to drive through the crowd of people. The first vehicle, though pounded on by dozens of people, pushed on and broke through the line. As the second vehicle tried to make its way through, one protester threw themselves on the hood of the car and another covered the windshield with a poster before the crowd pushed the vehicle back.
Only one vehicle was willingly allowed through the line by protesters: an ambulance. The crowd quickly parted to make way for the ambulance that came down Albert with its lights flashing, before just as quickly filling up the road again after it had passed.
Toronto, ON: Over 400 people blockade tracks in Toronto in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en.
BREAKING: Group of 400+ people blocking freight trains in Toronto in solidarity with Wet'suwet'en land defenders. #WetsuwetenStrong #ShutDownCanada#AllEyesOnWetsuweten @RisingTideTor 🔥 pic.twitter.com/UfgOMSf9K0
— TheActaFist ~🗝️🌹🏴☠️💜 (@TheActaFist777) February 8, 2020
— Franklin López (@Franklin__Lopez) February 8, 2020
Sunday, February 9th
Vancouver, BC: Blockade of Deltaport continues. Food and reinforcements arrive. Rally outside of City Hall. ILWU workers stand in solidarity with the blockade.
— Nayeli Jimenez (@nayelijs) February 9, 2020
— Red Braid Alliance for Decolonial Socialism (@stopdisplacemnt) February 9, 2020
Trade union members of the #ILWU are standing in solidarity with an ongoing blockade in support of the #Wetsuweten which has shut down the busy port next to #Vancouver for several days. https://t.co/12IMInXwWP
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) February 9, 2020
Victoria, BC: Sit-in occupation outside of BC Legislature continues.
— Climate Justice Victoria 🌅 (@CJusticeVic) February 9, 2020
Hazelton, BC: Gitxsan continues to blockade CN Rail in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en.
24hours of #cnrail being blocked in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en by gitxsan allies. Each day is a million dollars lost by industry. #Wetsuweten #WetsuwetenStrong #alleyesonwetsuweten #gitxsan pic.twitter.com/PSSpw3d57H
— Dinize Ste ohn tsiy (Rob) (@showmekittys) February 9, 2020
Guelph, ON: Railroad sabotage in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en. From the communique:
Tonight we sabotaged CN Rail at 3 different locations in Guelph, Ontario. As settlers, we took this action in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en people who are currently facing violent attacks by the RCMP and are holding down the front line to protect the health of their territory. CN rail is a culprit in supporting this colonial and destructive project as partners in transporting the infrastructure that will build this pipeline and the man camps, which create an increase in violence against indigenous women on the territory.
Kingston, ON: Railroad shut down in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en by demonstration. From report back:
We marched from the train station to a rail crossing and occupied both the tracks and the road for about 90 minutes. Some safety precautions that we prepared included bringing air horns to use as a warning signal to leave the tracks, and calling the CN emergency line from an anonymous prepaid cellphone to notify them that people were on the tracks. There were drums, speeches, a barrel fire and some kids had a snowball fight on the train tracks. Some people chanted things like “when justice fails, block the rails,” “Wet’suwet’en, we got your back! Close the roads and block the tracks!” and “No more pipelines.” Others led songs and drummed. Folks with banners surrounded us on both sides to control the road. We had wanted to flyer the oncoming cars, but the police chose to close the road entirely and redirect traffic away from us. A few people flyered cars behind the police lines while the rest of us rallied on the tracks.
— Kingstonist (@kingstonist) February 9, 2020
Olympia, WA: Rally and street march in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en struggle.
An action today in support and solidarity with Wet'suwet'en . Organized by indigenous folks and we took the streets! Thank you to everyone who held signs and space today, let's keep doing this shit! #WetsuwetenSolidarity #wetsuwentenstrong #organize #anticolonization pic.twitter.com/M2GTXNXBes
— Olympia Youth Liberation Front (@olylf) February 9, 2020
Seattle, WA: Solidarity march and rally outside of Canadian consulate.
— Ben Jones (@totalactivate) February 9, 2020
Monday, February 10th
Vancouver Island, BC: The Inland Island Highway 19 is shut down in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en.
Protesters have closed The Inland Island Hwy (19) between #BuckleyBay and #Courtenay #Cumberland in support of #Wetsuweten. Detour on 19a. Protesters say they’ll be there as long as necessary. @CHEK_News pic.twitter.com/2N1sDaoz59
— Dean Stoltz (@deanstoltzchek) February 10, 2020
Vancouver, BC: Blockade of Deltaport evicted by police. Railroad also disrupted by larger solidarity demonstration. From one report:
Nearly 50 people were arrested in Vancouver and nearby Delta on Monday after police executed a court injunction against demonstrators blocking busy ports in both cities, while protests also took place in Victoria and Montreal. Officers arrived at around 5 a.m. local time after the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority obtained the injunction following protests that affected port operations through the weekend.
Breaking: hundreds just blocked a rail line in Vancouver Canada in solidarity with #Wetsuweten and the matriarchs arrested by Canadian police for a fracked gas pipeline #CoastalGaslink #ShutDownCanada pic.twitter.com/Y9QX6h4445
— Rising Tide NA (@RisingTideNA) February 10, 2020
Toronto, ON: Office occupation continues of Liberal MP.
Supporters and occupiers are still out at @Carolyn_Bennett's office, until the RCMP back down and respect Wet'suwet'en law. Call for support and supplies for everyone here. Follow @CJusticeTO for updates. #AllEyesOnWetsuweten #ShutCanadaDown pic.twitter.com/dGz3p3xGiT
— No One Is Illegal (@nooneisillegal) February 10, 2020
Six Nations: More railroads shut down in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en struggle.
— submedia (@submedia) February 11, 2020
Haíɫzaqv Territory: Lockdown on RCMP cruiser in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en struggle.
NOW in Haíɫzaqv homelands: community advocate and tribal councillor Ayla Brown has chained herself to a cruiser until the RCMP agree to hear us out. Come out and show some love if you’re local. pic.twitter.com/uVjwSXAp31
— Jess Housty (@jesshousty) February 11, 2020
A rally led to the closure of Calgary’s Reconciliation Bridge on Monday afternoon.
— Terrill Tailfeathers (@Terrilltf) February 10, 2020
— Terrill Tailfeathers (@Terrilltf) February 10, 2020
Lethbridge, AB: Protest against the RCMP organized.
Wet'suwet'en solidarity rally this afternoon in front of RCMP detachment in Lethbridge joining actions across the country as RCMP enforce court order over the Coastal GasLink pipeline in northern B.C. #yql #Wetsuweten pic.twitter.com/YDl7cgBJJI
— Ian Martens (@IMartensHerald) February 10, 2020
Winnipeg, MB: Rally shuts down intersections. Marchers later take the streets in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en.
The round dance doesn't seem the end in solidarity with #wetsuweten land defenders in winnipeg. 3 other intersections see this scene repeated! #wetsuwentenstrong #AllEyesOnWetsuweten pic.twitter.com/3MVb9AW6h8
— Wilderness Committee Manitoba Office (@WilderNewsMB) February 10, 2020
— postal service stan (@fionarettie) February 11, 2020
Waterloo, ON: Wet’suwet’en solidarity rally occupies MP office.
Edmonton, ON: Large rally held demanding divestment from Coast GasLink. From one report:
At least 200 protestors raised fists, signs and voices in the lobby outside the Bank of Montreal at Enbridge Centre in downtown Edmonton Monday afternoon. About 50 young Indigenous people read aloud a joint statement attributed to the group Indigenous Youth for Wet’suwet’en, saying they will continue protesting and occupying financial institutions until Coastal Gaslink, being built to move natural gas from northeast B.C. to the west coast, and the RCMP leave Wet’suwet’en territory. It said the group is responsible for shutting down traffic, railways, legislative buildings and offices of other companies that support the project across the country.
Kahnawake – Mohawk Territory: Blockades of Canada Pacific railroad continue. According to one report:
People in Kahnawake say they will continue to block a section of a Canadian Pacific railway that runs through the Mohawk community on Montreal’s South Shore to show solidarity with those preventing access to a pipeline construction site on traditional Wet’suwet’en land in northern British Columbia.
All train service on the railway, including commuter trains on Exo’s Candiac line, is closed for an indefinite period.
A large mound of snow has been plowed onto the CP tracks at Adirondack Junction. Atop it, someone has placed a lawn chair and the flag of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy — representing the 300-year-old alliance of the Mohawk, Seneca, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga and Tuscarora nations.
The blockade is also growing. As one report wrote:
The rail blockade at the Wyman crossing in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory has grown in size and scope since it began Thursday afternoon. A camper trailer, porta-potty and tent have all arrived on site. And the number of people present is growing.
The reason for the blockade is simple, according to Dalton McKay. “I’m here for the support and solidarity of the Wet’suwet’en people to help support them against the destruction of their life and their homes for a pipeline,” he told Real People’s Media.
Over 50 Mohawks and supporters were gathered today where the CN rail line crosses Wyman Rd. just North of Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. The Mohawk Warrior flag flew high from the crossing signal, and a large plow truck was parked just south of the tracks.
There was much stronger police and media presence at the tracks than there was in previous days. An injunction had been served the day before against “John Doe, Jane Doe and Persons Unknown.”
A large contingent of OPP and CN Rail personnel arrived with the understanding that they had more papers to serve, however the injunction was burned on the tracks in full view of media and police. After the injunction was burned in front of them the OPP and CN Rail got back in their vehicles and left quickly without serving additional papers.
The mood at the site was upbeat throughout the day, and a steady stream of supporters continued to arrive with food, wood, and other needed supplies. McKay said “Support from the community has been a huge help, every day we are receiving food, water, blankets… the biggest thing we still need right now is prayers and support and firewood.” When asked about morale at the blockade, on person gestured to the coyotes who had begun howling in the distance.
Montreal, QC: Protesters disrupt commuter train. From one report:
In Montreal, protests disrupted commuter train service on the Exo’s Candiac line, forcing the regional transit authority to sub in buses to supplement service. The protest in Montreal is blocking the Canadian Pacific rail line, impacting commuters at a number of stations. Officials are keeping an eye on the situation, but said service could be disrupted for an indefinite period.