FEBRUARY 8, 2020
On the morning of February 8th, 2020, RCMP officers landed at the gates of Unist’ot’en Village by helicopter. Unist’ot’en chiefs and house members began calling on their ancestors for support. They held a cremation ceremony for Canadian/Indigenous reconciliation, and burned a copy of the injunction that the RCMP was there to serve on behalf of Coastal GasLink (TC Energy). After about 30 minutes, the RCMP got back into their helicopters and left.
Earlier today, RCMP were trying to intimidate our chiefs and threatening charges against land defenders for damaging the bridge leading to the Gidimt’en checkpoint.
The Gidimt’en have maintained a metal gate to protect their yintah, as is their right under Anuk nu’at’en (Wet’suwet’en law) and UNDRIP. The metal gate was sturdily attached to the bridge.
Instead of taking proper steps to remove the gate, RCMP, or industrial contractors under the escort of RCMP, pulled the metal gate with a tow truck and damaged the bridge. RCMP denied access to the Gidimt’en checkpoint to the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs, by claiming that the Gidimt’en checkpoint had damaged the bridge and that safe access was impossible. It is our firm belief that RCMP actions are directly responsible for any damage to the bridge.
Accredited journalists present on site were originally told they could film from five feet away, but were detained repeatedly by police, and were removed from the immediate area. They were then made to stand 60 feet away from any police action and were denied access by the RCMP to film the removal of the metal gate. Accordingly, in the absence of impartial witnesses, the RCMP are claiming that the Gidimt’en checkpoint damaged the only road access to their yintah.
Unist’ot’en Supporter toolkit: unistoten.camp/supportertoolkit2020/
Unist’ot’en legal fund: https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/unistoten2020legalfund
For Gidimt’en’s call to action: www.yintahaccess.com
Donate to Gidimt’en camp: https://www.gofundme.com/f/gidimt039en-strong