Saturday, 19 January, 2019

Premier 'confident' for peaceful resolution after arrests at Gidimt'en camp checkpoint

Downtown pipeline protest draws small crowd Locals protest B.C. RCMP action
Laurie Berry | 10 January, 2019, 00:41

Indigenous groups are fighting the construction of a 670km (416 miles) liquified natural gas pipeline, Coastal GasLink, which would cross through Wet'suwet'en territory. "The provincial and federal governments must revoke the permits for this project until the standards of free, prior and informed consent are met". "The hereditary chiefs are".

One of those hereditary chiefs, John Ridsdale, told CTV News Channel on Tuesday that he is opposed to the project on his traditional territory because it his "responsibility to look after the land".

"I've never been in a situation where I've had to come here and stand and see a big opposition happening when we're just peacefully talking, peacefully lending our voices", he said.

"We didn't expect such an extreme action", he added.

"If this was really about the "rule of law" then governments would be honouring the rights and title of First Nations in their traditional territories, which are recognized by Canada's own courts", Perry Bellegarde said in a statement.

The UBCIC is calling "upon the Canadian Justice system to uphold the human rights and dignity of Indigenous peoples".

Pamela Palmater, chair in indigenous governance at Ryerson University, said the case points to the limits of rhetoric about reconciliation. They said pipeline workers could only pass with consent from hereditary leaders. "There is no reconciliation in the actions that unfolded yesterday".

On Wednesday, Horgan said he respects the right to protest but said protesters are "breaking the law and there are consequences for that". Coastal GasLink was most recently prevented from accessing the area on November 20, it said.In a statement posted on its website, the Unist'ot'en camp issued an worldwide call to action for the Gidimt'en access checkpoint.The statement describes potential RCMP action as "an act of war", and evidence that Canada is criminalizing and using violence against Indigenous people, despite paying "lip service" to reconciliation.

NDP MP Romeo Saganash asks a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, March 13, 2015.

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The protests also disrupted a scheduled speech from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was to address a forum bringing together federal officials and representatives from self-governing First Nations that have modern treaties with the Crown.

"We're here because obviously consent matters", said Michelle Robinson, co-organizer of the event, which was held in conjunction with nearly 60 other rallies across Canada. Some held banners with skulls drawn on them and the words "no pipelines".

About 500 people gathered at the B.C. legislature in Victoria chanting and carrying placards.

The rally will include a round dance and remarks from Indigenous elders and activists.

One man at the North Bay protest told CTV Northern Ontario demonstrators want "peace and dialogue" and want politicians to demand that the RCMP "not move in and forcibly remove sovereign people from their own land".

If you didn't already know, on Monday RCMP officers pushed through the barricade that was set up by the Wet'suwer'en people in order to protest the pipeline.

She says the pipeline is going to "compromise and jeopardize" the vision the First Nation has for the space as a healing centre, and cites safety concerns for the community. They were greeted by about the same number of pipeline supporters who were encouraged to come out by Canada Action, a Calgary-based lobby group.

The pipeline by TransCanada subsidiary Coastal GasLink would carry natural gas from the Dawson Creek area to Kitimat.

The 670-kilometre Coastal GasLink pipeline would supply natural gas for the LNG Canada project, which is a joint venture between Shell, PETRONAS, PetroChina, Mitsubishi Corporation and KOGAS.

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