Letter to Industry and Government with Warning About Trespassing on Wet’suwet’en Territory
Today Unist’ot’en allies are rising up in cities across North America, and around the world, to deliver a message to industry and government warning them to cease their trespass against sovereign Wet’suwet’en territory. The Global Day of Action is in response to an incident last week where Wet’suwet’en Chief Toghestiy intercepted and issued an eagle feather to surveyors from the Can-Am Geomatics company who were working for Apache’s proposed Pacific Trails Pipeline (PTP). (see full story here)
The letter, signed by Unist’ot’en spokesperson Freda Huson, specifically states: “To the illegitimate colonial governments of Canada and British Columbia, and to all parties involved in the proposed Pacific Trails Pipeline (PTP) project: Apache corporation, EOG Resources, Encana corporation and all of their affiliated investors, including the Royal Bank of Canada, Jarislowsky Fraser Ltd., and many others. This letter is to issue a warning of trespass to those companies associated with the PTP industrial extraction project and against any affiliates and contractors infringing upon traditional Wet’suwet’en territory.”
The letter makes clear to industry and government that the Unist’ot’en will regard any further incursion into their territory as an act of agression against their sovereignty and that violaters will be held accountable. This applies to all participants in the Pacific Trails Pipeline project – including parent companies, investors, and contractors. The Unis’tot’en (C’ihlts’ehkhyu / Big Frog Clan) are the original Wet’suwet’en distinct to the lands of the Wet’suwet’en and will protect the territory for the sake of future generations.
Solidarity Actions Across North America:
Montreal – Supporters gathered on a cold Montreal morning to express solidarity with the Unist’ot’en Clan of the Wet’suwet’en Nation and their refusal to allow the Pacific Trails and Northern Gateway Pipelines to cross their territory.
The group gathered in front of downtown offices of pipeline and tar sands investor Royal Bank. The crowd chanted, among other things: “no pipelines, no tar sands on unceded land,” “Unistoten stop the frack, Montreal’s got your back,” and “Free, prior and informed consent, Montreal represent!”
The group later visited the offices of Jarislowsky Fraser Limited, which is involved in funneling investors to the $1 billion Pacific Trails pipeline project. Security guards attempted to prevent the group from reaching the 20th floor, where were were greeted Erin O’Brien, Chief Financial Officer and Partner at Jarislowsky Fraser. She was presented with a copy of a letter from Unistoten spokesperson Freda Huson. O’Brien stated that she did not have time to hear the letter read or invite us in, suggesting that we make an appointment instead.
More than 100 supporters of the Unist’ot’en were on hand this afternoon outside the Apache Canada office in downtown Vancouver. There were plenty of Vancouver Police on hand as well, serving and protecting the corporate agenda.
Edmonton – allies target RBC, biggest investor in PTP parent company Encana
Report from Edmonton organizers: The day was great! – good turnout – about 10 – 15 folks holding signs, using sidewalk chalk, handing out pamphlets, talking with people holding banners, chanting, and going into RBC to present a letter to the branch manager, who accepted the letter and said that he would “follow up” upon insistence from members of the crowd (perhaps a follow up visit on our end would be useful?) – and members of the media (CBC and City TV) came too and did interviews and took footage of the action. Many passersby and RBC customers took information and there was conversation between many supporters and passersby. Awesome! People also took more pamphlets with them to distribute beyond today’s event.
Toronto – allies gather outside RBC main office on Bay St
From Toronto Media Co-op report: Dozens of people gathered outside the Toronto headquarters of the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and Jarislowsky Fraser Limited (JFL) today to present the companies with letters of warning. …Sakura Saunders, one of the organizers of the Toronto rally and a member of Rising Tide Toronto, described the actions as “a show of strength of [Unist’ot’en] allies… to show the world they are supported.”
“The pipelines in BC have faced enormous resistance from indigenous and non-indigenous communities,” says Saunders. “We are in solidarity with everyone who is trying to protect their lands from harm, and particularly with Indigenous communities who are also defending their sovereignty.”
Kitchener – No Tar Sands KW holds rally in front of RBC branch
Hamilton Banner Drop – “RBC Attacking Indigenous Communities since 1864”
Victoria – allies visit RBC branches with message of trespass, accompanied by Wet’suwet’en community member
Prince George allies ante up at the RBC building and at CSTC!!
Terrace BC –
Terrace BC shows their support with a BUS!! … a BUS!! parked in front of the RBC building! Thanks Gitxsan Unity Movement!!
From one of the organizers: “A small group of us in Chico, Ca. demonstrated in front of the Kinder Morgan “tank farm” (transfer station.) The response to our signs was a mix of what? and Yes! Only one guy yelling in support of the Keystone XL. We’ll have coverage in Thursday’s Chico weekly paper and I’ll send the link. We were glad to hear the call went out on Democracy Now this morning! (All progressives in the U.S. listen to that show.)”
Ottawa – supporters hold rally outside Parliament Building, home of the colonial so-called government of Canada
Smithers – Local Wet’suwet’en and settler allies gather in Smithers to show support!
Allies in Saint Johns Newfoundland take a stand to support the Unist’ot’en today as well!! Thanks guys!!
Houston, Texas – allies hold banner in front of Apache Headquarters
Report from Tar Sands Bockade allies: “Here are our solidarity photos from Houston! We went to the to take the photo and instantly were accosted by employees of another firm in the same building inquiring, ‘What are youpicketing for?’
‘Apache is putting pipelines through indigenous lands without permission. We’re out here for our friends in British Columbia.’
‘They’re running pipelines through everywhere.’
‘Yeah, we’re fighting those, too!’
As these two women were chatting us up, three security personnel started coming out of the building very quickly.
The women yelled to the security, ‘They’re picketing. They’re protesting.’
Security asked if we knew we were on private property to which we replied ‘Yes, sir!’
“Well, it’s time to leave.”
So we did. But we got a few photos in the meantime.”
Kamloops – A small-but-passionate group of Kamloops residents gather outside the downtown library to show solidarity by holding a banner and handing out leaflets to passersby detailing the fight to stop the Pacific Trail Pipeline in northwestern B.C.
Calgary – a delegation delivered our letter to Apache Canada’s head office, where it was received by their head of public relations staff Ms. Pohlman. Hopefully they read it and seriously reconsider trying to force their pipeline through unceded Unist’ot’en land. If they do, they will fail.
Confirmed Actions also happening in – Trinidad, Calgary, New York and New Jersey. As reports come in we will update this page!
Montreal Media Coop –
Globe and Mail –
Toronto Media Coop –
Vancouver Media Coop –