climate change, Coastal GasLink, direct action, environment, fracking, Gidimt’en, indigenous solidarity, LNG, natural gas, nopipelines, pipelines, shutdowncanada, unist'ot'en, unistoten camp, Wetsuwetenstrong
The following was received anonymously.
A brief summary of some recent actions in Coast Salish Territories on Southern Vancouver Island, in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en land defenders under attack in northern BC by the RCMP and Coastal Gaslink pipeline:
January 8, Victoria — Hundreds of people blocked Belleville Street in front of the BC Legislature before marching to Finance Minister/Local MLA Carole James’ constituency office on Fort Street. Victoria Police barricaded the entrance to prevent marchers from entering the office. According to a report, at least one person entered the office prior to the march and locked himself to office equipment, causing the office to be shut down completely for at least a few hours.
January 16, Langford — A wildcat street march shut down traffic and various major intersections as it wended its way from the Millstream shopping area to NDP Premier John Horgan’s office, with a convenient stop at the Westshore RCMP detachment on Atkins Avenue. The RCMP admitted to several local media outlets that their operations were disrupted by the march, which blocked an entrance to the detachment with the aid of three electric vehicles.
January 21, Sooke — According to local media, a solidarity rally was scheduled for the Sooke Town Centre Kiosk, 6660 Sooke Road on Monday, Jan. 21 between 4pm and 5pm.
January 30, Victoria — A $250 per plate BC NDP fundraiser dinner was disrupted at Heron Rock Bistro on Simcoe Street. Finance Minister/Local MLA Carole James and her assistant attempted to flee the restaurant, at the first sight of a group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous protesters. James and her assistant were chased down the street, and confronted for their hypocrisy and complicity in the colonial fracking pipeline project. While many of the moneybags and big-wigs had to abandon their own fundraiser due to the disruption, leaflets were distributed throughout the restaurant to those who remained. Banners and signs included slogans such as “NDP: Frack Off!”. Handfuls of leaflets were tossed in the air within the restaurant and through its entrance, and anti-pipeline, anti-NDP anarchist graffiti was visible directly outside the venue.
February 4, Victoria — In response to a call from Unist’ot’en for occupations of politicans’ offices starting on Jan. 31, dozens of local residents turned up and blocked traffic at NDP Finance Minister Carole James’ office on Fort Street, and NDP Education Minister Rob Fleming’s office on Hillside Avenue. These particular actions were not publicly announced, yet both offices were preemptively locked during their normal opening hours. This may indicate that the government’s constituency offices (often branded as “community offices”) are being disrupted on an ongoing basis — under threat of occupation — and perhaps even shut down for indefinite periods of time defensively, as has been reported about the frequently besieged and occupied office of Nelson MLA/NDP Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Michelle Mungall.
Huge shout outs to these nearby actions!
For more information on this ongoing struggle:
The following was received anonymously.
January 24, 2019 – A balmy evening in late January saw a disruption of business as usual in the Comox Valley, unceded K’omoks territory. A group of community members gathered to oppose the new RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki’s speech on restorative justice at North Island College, in solidarity with those inhabiting their traditional Wet’suwet’en territory, where the RCMP are showing their true colours as the foot soldiers of resource extraction company Coastal GasLink. (more info: http://unistoten.camp and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdB6W8YMy6M)
We couldn’t stand by and watch the new female (how strategic to mitigate all those sexual assault charges!) big-wig of the RCMP pigs speak to the 1% of this region about how fantastically restorative justice is working to find harmony between First Nations and the law, while up north those very cops are breaking every agreement made with First Nations communities and violently occupying the unceded land, and protecting the extractive industry as it prepares to break ground for this pipeline.
A group of us stood outside as attendees made their way into the theatre for the talk. A large banner was held, leaflets distributed, and general hullabaloo was created, as the space was held with a large presence. There was a tangible sigh of relief from the security guards when the last attendees had trickled in and the doors closed on us. They had done their job and kept us outside!
Meanwhile, a small group of us who had bought tickets to the event waited for the perfect moment to continue the mayhem. The who’s who of the Comox Valley were in attendance, three mayors, many police officers and retired officers, and much of Brenda Lucki’s family. Finally, after a half hour or so of introductions, Lucki was introduced and took the stage in casual, “I’m one of you” attire.
She began by telling us all how nervous she was, garnering sympathetic laughter and comradery amongst the audience. As Brenda Lucki began to pick up steam in her talk, moving onto the subject of how we need to move a step beyond the scripted territorial acknowledgement and into a real reconciliatory relationship with First Nations, we decided we’d had enough of the hypocrisy and stood up with a large banner, walked down the stairs to stand right in front of her, and unfurled a banner reading “We Stand With the Unist’ot’en”. The banner was so large as to completely obscure the stage, and a seething Lucki from the audience’s view. At this moment, others in the crowd stood up and raised their voices in solidarity with the struggle up north, and the hypocrisy of the event.
We could not let the police commissioner’s talk go forward without letting her know that we see through her veil of magnanimity and won’t stand for it.
Security was baffled, and the commotion lasted about 5 minutes before security amped up their presence and physically escorted the banner holders out of the auditorium, with a psychic kick to our back ends as they booted us through the emergency exit and back into the night. Nevertheless:
The resistance and disruptions will continue as long as the state and its RCMP continue to evict Wet’suwet’en people from their traditional territories and act as paid escorts to CGL. No Pipelines on Stolen Native Land!
Local Residents Oppose Lecture by RCMP Commissioner
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Brenda Lucki cannot be a spokesperson for Restorative Justice as her forces carry out militarized invasions on Wet’suwet’en territory.
Courtenay, BC – January 24, 2019
The Comox Valley Community Justice Centre (CVCJC), North Island College, and School District 71 have invited RCMP National Commissioner Brenda Lucki to deliver the 2019 Iona Campagnolo lecture on Restorative Justice. The lecture happened the evening of Jan. 24, and local residents came out to highlight the contradictions inherent in having Lucki fill this role.
Restorative justice is commonly seen as having roots in Indigenous societies, where, as the CVCJC website notes, individuals and communities are urged to “seek non-violent solutions” to conflict, and to “live harmoniously together.” However, in its capacity as the enforcer of the will of the Canadian state over that of traditional Indigenous forms of government, the RCMP has shown, most recently at the Unist’ot’en camp, a tendency towards simple, unreasoning violence.
There can be no reconciliation, no harmony – no justice – when one side has all of the guns, and the other, only right, on its side.
Corporate media coverage: https://www.mycomoxvalleynow.com/49117/rcmp-commissioner-met-with-protest-at-north-island-college/
We are a volunteer collective of musicians, artists, and organizers who aspire to belong to vibrant communities working towards social justice, Indigenous resurgence, reconciliation, stewardship of local ecosystems, and community-driven alternatives to the status quo. We believe in the power of music and art with purpose, and in the importance of gathering in numbers to build our strength and amplify our voices.
Koksilah Music Festival takes place in the unceded territories of the Quw’utsun People at Tuwe’nu (Providence Farm), at the base of Pi’Paam’ (Mt. Tzouhalem) in what is commonly known as Cowichan Bay, or Tl’upalus in Hul’qumi’num.
The festival is organized in recognition and celebration of the sovereignty of Indigenous Nations throughout BC. While 2017 marks the Canada’s 150th year, it also marks more than 500 years of Indigenous resistance to colonial exploitation and assimilation in this region. Our intention is to highlight the perspectives of Indigenous musicians, artists, activists and knowledge keepers. We are partnered with Quw’utsun elders and traditional leaders to ensure that this gathering reflects proper protocols and is accessible to the local Indigenous community.
The festival is named after the Koksilah river, which drains into the Cowichan river not far from the festival grounds. The Koksilah’s deep pools, eddies, and waterfalls are where locals revitalize during the heat of summer. These same swim spots used to provide sanctuary to a healthy salmon run that returned each year to create a new generation of coho, steelhead, chinook, pink, and chum salmon. Weirs maintained by the Quw’utsun people once provided abundant Coho and Spring salmon for the smokehouses every fall. It is now rare to catch a glimpse of a Spring or Coho salmon headed upstream, and we have named this festival in recognition of the broad-based community support the Koksilah will require to return to its former strength, so it can again provide sustenance to the Quw’utsun community.
All festival proceeds will be donated to grassroots initiatives led by Indigenous people asserting sovereignty over their ancestral territories. Funds will be split between the Xwaaqw’um cultural resurgence project, Unist’ot’en Camp, and Lax U’u’la Camp (Lelu Island). These groups are working tirelessly to re-occupy and protect their traditional lands and waters, revitalize their cultural practices, and reconnect people with the land.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, SEE FUNDRAISING.
<<This event is taking place on Lkwungen Territory. We would like to gratefully thank local carver and artist Clarence Dick for being the key note at this event.>>
UPDATE: Tentative Timing and Order for the Expanding Event!
Part One: Talking (6:30PM-9:00PM)
Wild Salmon, Moose Meat Chili, and Vegan Dinner
Key note by Clarence “Butch” Dick
Stand-Up by Jeff Corntassel
Panel with Billie Pierre, Kachina Bige and Brandon Gabriel
INTERMISSION from 9:00-9:30PM
Part Two: Music (9:30PM-12:00AM)
Questions about Part One to Seb Bonet (email@example.com; 250-477-9071)
Questions about Part Two to Chris Fretwell (firstname.lastname@example.org; 250-884-5573)
Kinder Morgan wants to start construction on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in September. For Kwantlen and Nlaka’Pamux Nations, Kinder Morgan’s plans represent the continuation of 150 years of colonial encroachment, which they continue to resist and resurge against.
We invite you to come and hear from keynote speaker Clarence Dick from the Lkwungen Nation, as well as Kachina Bige (Cree and Dene from Lutsel K’e) and Brandon Gabriel from Kwantlen Nation about the history of their territory (which stretches from New Westminster, Surrey, Maple Ridge, Mission, Langley, Glen Valley, and Fort Langley ), and their plans to begin construction of a Healing Lodge in the path of the expansion, among other elements of their planned and ongoing resistance.
We will also hear from Billie Pierre from Nlaka’Pamux. Billie lives in Merritt, and has been actively involved in the grass roots Indigenous movement since 1995, and will also speak to her people’s long struggle against colonialism, which she has been directly involved in since the mid-90’s, and share her wisdom from the grassroots about impacts the Trans Mountain expansion project has already had, and the ways her people are resisting it.
There will also be a stand-up performance from Jeff Corntassel, who is Tsalagi (Cherokee), and hip-hop by Savage Fam, from Klallam.
This event is a fundraiser for grassroots resistance to Kinder Morgan; its details are still being finalized. We will be requesting donations on a sliding scale from $0-$15 at the door to support our panelists.
If you can’t make this event, but would like to hear video recordings from these speakers, try these links:
http://bsnorrell.blogspot.ca/2017/03/vancouver-stoking-sacred-fire-live.html (the whole panel is amazing; Brandon and Kachina begin at one hour and 2 minutes)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubj6CF7vFvM (billie begins at 2 minutes, 30 seconds)
To keep up with Kwantlen resistance and donate directly to them: http://standwithkwantlen.org/
Please see pinned post for accessibility information.
WHO IS ORGANIZING THIS EVENT:
Details for this event are still being finalized. It is being coordinated by some of the people who participate in an informal, relationship-based network called OUST Victoria. Please contact Seb Bonet (email@example.com, 250-853-3926) if you have questions or concerns about who is organizing this event, or how it has been put together. We would also like to thank Social Justice Studies at UVic for donating to make this event happen.