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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

RCMP attack on Wet’suwet’en during a "climate disaster" is a new BC NDP government low

In a breathtakingly cynical, disgraceful move, the RCMP in British Columbia have chosen the backdrop of a state of emergency due to climate change, landslides and flooding to launch raids on Wet’suwet’en territory.

The Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) said in a November 18 press release:

In blind defense of fossil fuel expansion, the RCMP began a publicly funded siege on peaceful land defenders in unceded Wet’suwet’en territory this morning, while BC is in the middle of a state of emergency due to a climate crisis that the entire world is watching. At least 15 supporters have already been arrested; dozens of RCMP have been reported breaching Gidimt’en checkpoint.

This happened after The Gidimt'en Clan of the Wet'suwet'en Nation told Coastal GasLink it would evict pipeline workers from its territories on November 14.

As a Dogwood action call around this assault notes:

On November 18, dozens of RCMP officers with helicopters, bulldozers and K9 units launched a raid on Indigenous land defenders on Wet’suwet’en territory. It’s the third time police have tried to clear a path for the Coastal GasLink project, despite opposition from all five Wet’suwet’en clans.
These public safety resources were diverted from the most destructive natural disaster in B.C. history – the flooding and landslides that knocked out highways, railways and pipelines, causing billions in damage. Completing Coastal GasLink would only worsen environmental destruction and future climate disasters.
Politicians claim they are arms-length from RCMP operations. But in B.C. the RCMP are our provincial police, answering to public safety minister Mike Farnworth. He authorized the last raid in Wet’suwet’en territory in February 2020. And now the government has authorized another raid, knowing people in southern B.C. are distracted by the disaster.

They are literally using "a climate disaster to force through a pipeline".

The travesty of this, especially given the context, is not lost on people:

The arrests and attacks by the RCMP continue:

The reality of what is happening should be lost on no one. The alleged commitment of the BC NDP government to reconciliation and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is a straight up sham. The latest in a long line of liberal and social democratic politicians who talk the rhetoric of environmentalism and justice for Indigenous Peoples while governing with an iron fist on behalf of corporations in the fossil fuel industry and the energy sector.

This should not be news about John Horgan and his crew. He has been doing this since 2017 as we noted in back then in John Horgan lets the facade drop with cynical, ugly comments after green-lighting Site C when he actually said:

When it comes to reconciliation and working with Indigenous leadership there has been over 150 years of disappointment in British Columbia. I’m not the first person to stand before you and disappoint Indigenous people.

It has been all downhill since then.

We are absolutely outraged that the Province of BC authorized a military-style raid on peaceful land defenders in order to allow Coastal GasLink (CGL) to build their Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) pipeline, while much of the Province is suffering from life-threatening, catastrophic flooding related events. The Province of BC continues to pretend that LNG can be clean energy and is a so-called ‘transition fuel’ when we know that LNG production carries critical environmental and health risks and is a non-renewable source of energy that requires incredibly large amounts of our precious water. Prioritizing fossil fuel expansion while British Columbians grapple with a climate emergency is an alarming, criminal and incredibly poor decision by Premier Horgan and Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. We are calling on BC and Canada to recognize and uphold Indigenous Title and Rights, including the right to self-determination, and institute a moratorium on fossil fuel expansion in the wake of clear and present climate catastrophe. - Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC)

Meanwhile, to date, federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has, predictably, said nothing.


Since this was first posted the federal NDP has released a farcically bad statement on the situation that mentions the RCMP and the federal government, but does not mention the BC NDP government at all!!! A total, gutless travesty: NDP statement on the situation on Wet'suwet'en territory « Canada's NDP



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