By Kalinowski, Tim on February 11, 2020.
Chanting “Reconciliation is Dead” and “Stop RCMP Brutality,” about 35 protesters gathered outside the Lethbridge RCMP detachment to express their solidarity with the blockaders among the hereditary chiefs of Wet’suwet’en Nation in northern British Columbia, who are being forcibly removed by police for attempting to impede the Coastal GasLink pipeline.
The B.C. Supreme Court granted Coastal GasLink an expanded injunction against the Wet’suwet’en Nation members blocking access to the project last December, but the RCMP did not begin enforcing the latest court injunction until last Thursday when officers started tearing down encampments and arresting blockaders.
“We’re standing in solidarity with what’s going on in B.C. with Wet’suwet’en,” stated Lethbridge rally spokesperson Rebecca Many Grey Horses. “The forced removal of the hereditary chiefs that are holding down their traditional territory, and the lack of acknowledgement of their rights, their right to the land and their right to say ‘No’ to this pipeline.”
She called on the RCMP to end their campaign of “brutal force” against the Wet’suwet’en blockaders.
“There has been lack of consultation with the hereditary chiefs,” she said. “There has been lack of acknowledgement with their sovereign rights and governance. They (the B.C. government and Coastal GasLink) have consulted with the Indian Act chiefs, but they have failed to acknowledge there is a traditional governance system in place with the hereditary chiefs.”
The $6.6-billion 670-kilometre Coastal GasLink pipeline would carry natural gas across northern B.C.
– With files from The Canadian Press
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