The Whole Orchard: Policing in Indigenous Communities

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Apr 132022
 

From the Convergence des luttes anticapitalistes

The Whole Orchard launches its third episode of the second season. This month, the podcast addresses the stakes surrounding the police in Indigenous territories, whether led by native people or settlers.

We talk about the Kanien’kéha language camp in Akwesasne and the relation of Indigenous communities with police forces with one of the founders of the camp.

Music
References

To learn more about the langugage camp: https://newsinteractives.cbc.ca/longform/reclaiming-land-language

Transcription

RBC: Divest from CGL

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Apr 122022
 

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

Monday April 11th, 2022
Tiohtià:ke/Montreal

In the early afternoon, a small group of anarchists snuck into the RBC offices at Place Ville-Marie. Armed with flyers, stickers and spray paint cans, they left a message for the bank: DIVEST FROM CGL. Since the Fall of 2021, the Wet’suwet’en have been actively campaigning for RBC to stop funding the destruction of their land, but RBC continues to ignore them.

As long as RBC is funding pipeline projects, they will find us in their way.

– some fucking angry anarchists

Reflections On Ongoing Anticolonial Solidarity:

Imminent Threat: Coastal Gaslink (CGL) is set to drill under the Wedzin Kwa this Spring 2022. The people, land, language and culture of Wet’suwet’en as well as the animals residing on these territories are facing annihilation of their lifeways. For those who have heard the call to action, this upcoming year is crucial to the future of Wet’suwet’en self-determination and sovereignty.

Solidarity actions keep the Gidimt’en fight visible and the people on the frontlines safer from police repression and CGL harassment (https://twitter.com/Gidimten/status/1450808498833473549) Just in the past month alone, the RCMP made 54 visits to Gidimt’en Checkpoint, waking elders at all hours of the night and threatening arrest. These ongoing acts of intimidation and police repression are a part of a broader strategy by the Canadian state to use the legal and judicial systems to continue to deny Wet’suwet’en sovereignty, despite the fact that the Canadian judicial system recognized Wet’suwet’en sovereignty in the Delgamuukw v British Columbia decision.

Longterm Struggle: Commitment is a long breath that is constantly threatened by exhaustion. This struggle against CGL takes on many dimensions: decolonial, environmental, anti-capitalist and feminist. The numerous “man camps” invading the Yintah intensifies and facilitates men’s ability to kidnap, rape and murder Indigenous women, girls and two-spirited individuals (see the Final Report by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, p. 593). As long as CGL and the RCMP remain on the territory so too do the heightened levels of colonial gendered violence.

We continue to support Gidimt’en Checkpoint’s fight against Coastal GasLink and extractive companies because the struggle towards Indigenous self-determination is a long, arduous struggle. Solidarity organizing is most effective when it is consistent and strategic. Our ongoing efforts contributes to the strength and `visibility of their fight for self-determination, sovereignty, and freedom.

Imagine the strength and capacity of solidarity work if people engaging in this kind of organizing had personal and collective stakes in the game? For instance, there are many Indigenous people fighting across Turtle Island to be free from the settler state and to be free to govern themselves as they deem in accordance to their own ways. There are also many non-Indigenous people fighting to be as free as they can from the institutionalization and regulation of their bodies, relationships, and communities. These varying experiences and histories of struggle provide a basis for profound points of connection.

Imagination is an asset when it facilitates various ways to make this fight visible. Adapt the tactics and organizing strategies to your capacities and resources. Most importantly, act. It’s time.

Hamilton: RBC Branches Attacked For Funding Pipeline

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Apr 122022
 

Anonymous submission to North Shore Counter-Info

This week across southern ontario and quebec, we’ve lost count on how many RBC branches were targeted (we estimate 10+) for disruption and attack. So-called toronto, hamilton, montreal… friends in places as small as orillia and as distant as nanaimo. These actions respond to a need to target investors in the Coastal Gaslink pipeline project – which is currently behind schedule thanks to the direct attack that took place in february as well as the successful campaigns to block the project thus far lead by Gidimt’en Clan – but is still rapidly being constructed on unceded Wet’suwet’en territory.

RBC is one of its largest financial backers, and in the past week and preceding months, has been the subject of pressure tactics ranging from direct action interfering with bank branches, to pushing elites/clients to pull their money out of RBC accounts, to organizing to disrupt RBC’s Annual General Meeting in Toronto. The message is clear: the Royal Bank of Canada needs to divest from CGL immediately.

In hamilton, where we’re writing from, bank branches were vandalized, had their locks glued, and ATMs damaged. We chose these methods to directly interfere with the operations of the bank, hurt them financially and in their public image, and to contribute to the spread of easily-replicable, anonymous actions.

RBC was the central target this week, but they are not alone in complicity. We can also set our sights on other big banks, TC Energy, many related contractors and developers, the RCMP, and the State of so-called Canada.

This is only going to escalate. CGL, and their financial allies like RBC, perpetuate the situation by continuing their exploitative projects and violent attacks on Wet’suwet’en territory. The Wedzin Kwa remains under the looming threat of being destroyed via drill. Elders, matriarchs, supporters, comrades, and land defenders face daily assault. We all need to prepare for more, to respond with more boldness, to do more damage. If they push, then we then will push back, but harder. With only a bit of planning and courage, we can act in ways that feed our spirits and keep the fight alive. Stay safe, and we look forward to seeing your work out there in the days to come.

RBC Quebec President Evening Home Visit! *Video*

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Mar 012022
 

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

Around dinner time on the night of February 23rd, two dozen anticolonial militants paid a surprise visit to RBC Quebec president Nadine Renaud-Tinker, at her 734 Upper Lansdowne avenue Westmount home. While Indigenous land defenders and settler accomplices resist wave after wave of colonial assaults to defend the Wet’suwet’en Yintah and the Wedzin Kwa river, investors like RBC comfortably profit off of the ongoing genocide of First Peoples and the destruction of unceded land for capitalist extractivist projects. Let’s remember that the Royal Bank of KKKanada leads a group of 27 banks providing the 6.8 billion dollars needed to build the Coastal GasLink Pipeline. It has, since 2016, contributed more than 200 billion dollars to the fossil fuel industry.

Though it is neither possible nor desirable to recreate the cruelty financed by president Renaud-Tinker on Wet’suwet’en land, militants wished for her to also experience the feeling of seeing unwelcomed visitors at her doorstep. They stayed for more than an hour, chanting slogans and dancing to music. The energy was high and comrades didn’t shy away from expressing their dissatisfaction, before leaving safely.

Following the recent sabotage of a Coastal GasLink drill site, increased RCMP repression and surveillance is already being deployed on Wet’suwet’en territory, and our solidarity is more important than ever! Stay tuned, the fight continues! #AllOutForWedzinKwa

In Defence of the Attack on the CGL Drill Site

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Feb 252022
 

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

On February 17 the Coastal GasLink drill pad site by the banks of the Wedzin Kwa (morice river) was seriously damaged by an unknown group of courageous individuals. As anarchist individuals living in the North who are supportive of struggles in defence of the land and against ongoing colonization by canada and its corporate interests we declare our support for this action and encourage others to do so.

While we don’t know exactly what happened that night we can study the statements by CGL and the RCMP to read through the bullshit and get some picture. It seems undeniable from the photos that tremendous property damage was done: Vehicles used by the ex-cop ex-military mercenary Forsythe Security were damaged (the so-called poor traumatized “CGL workers”) and machines and trailers were trashed almost certainly by means of commandeered CGL heavy machinery. Other claims by CGL and the pigs are unsupported by their facts and are almost certainly bullshit: “Workers” themselves were clearly not the subject of attack since all damage was limited to vehicles and buildings and ceased as soon as security left the site. The supposed attempt to set a vehicle on fire with a security guard inside is nothing but conjecture and nonsense. In a video interview CGL released with the mercenary involved he made that claim based on the fact that a flare landed in the back of his truck while he attempted to force his way through land defenders back to the drill pad after having been expelled. Hardly seems like an attempt at lighting a vehicle on fire and in the context clearly a defensive act. Throughout the incident it seems clear that force was only used as necessary to scare CGL security into leaving so that the real work of demolishing CGL’s infrastructure of violence could begin. The axe-murderer narrative hardly stands up to their own facts!

Let’s talk for a minute about the RCMP’s claim about officers being led into a trap and injured. They claimed that they were met with projectiles while attempting to dismantle a blockade and that they then charged in the dark through the road block at which point one of them stepped on a spike board. Spike boards are defensive instruments used to stop vehicles from ramming through road blocks. Rather than their “lulled into a trap” spin this sounds like a defensive action in which people tried to stall a likely-violent police response, only used projectiles when it became necessary to defend the blockade and in which the only police injury was self-inflicted by an officer running through the dark into an unknown situation. Given the history of RCMP police violence in the region and their deployment of assault rifles, attack dogs and use of torture against land defenders it seems clear that this “violence” was defensive in nature and protected people from the far more serious violence the RCMP would reasonably be expected to have done to people if they’d reached the drill pad.

What we are left with is this: After years of trespassing and violating consent, after three militarized RCMP raids at the service of CGL, after years of harassment and intimidation of land defenders by CGL’s Forsythe security and after more peaceful methods had failed to stop CGL’s continuing violence against the land and indigenous relationships and laws some unknown individuals struck back with an impressive act of sabotage and destruction against corporate property. There is a very big difference between violence against property and violence against people and life and compared to the violence that CGL and the RCMP have been unleashing this action at the drill pad seems restrained, proportional and commendable.

We see this action as a natural outgrowth of the ongoing resistance against CGL and not in any way unprovoked or unexpected. While we don’t want to make assumptions about who was responsible we think it’s reasonable to believe this was undertaken by people acting in defense of the land and river. That is why we have referred to them as land defenders. May others continue this fight, take action against CGL, canada and on-going colonization where they stand and draw inspiration and courage from this action as we do.

Solidarity forever!
–A small group of comrades

Concerning the Attack on the Coastal GasLink Worksite on Marten Forest Service Road

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Feb 192022
 

From Gord Hill

What appears to be a highly effective act of sabotage carried out by Indigenous land defenders: cue the conspiracy theorists…

And some aren’t even theorizing, they assert it as fact: it was the cops, it was CGL… Here’s a theory: the attack was carried out by Indigenous people who, in the cold dead of night, set out on a mission to sabotage the CGL pipeline.

They carried out an audacious and complex attack that I would imagine started with getting the security guards away from vehicles and buildings. At some point after the security guards had fled, blockades and counter-vehicle devices were put in place on the only road leading to the site, delaying police response probably by hours. In that time the warriors carried out millions of dollars in sabotage.

Considering all this, I think it’s important to acknowledge that this may just be what it appears to be: an attack carried out by Indigenous warriors.

I’ve seen people posting about a bomb attack the RCMP carried out in Alberta in the 1990s as proof of cops carrying out fake attacks. This bombing was part of the police investigation of Wiebo Ludwig and his campaign against the oil and gas industry. The action was intended to entrap Ludwig. With cooperation from the oil company, the police blew up an abandoned, unused shed. It was in no way a major act of sabotage, in contrast to what is now being reported in Wet’suwet’en territory. It was insignificant compared to the actual sabotage that was occurring and for which Ludwig was widely suspected… and for which there was a virtual media blackout by the oil companies and RCMP who did not want the practice of sabotage to spread.

One of the problems with this conspiracy mongering is that is undermines the effectiveness of this action. The more it spreads and festers the more people question if it was a genuine act of resistance or not. Who does this inspire? In whose interests are acts of Indigenous resistance diminished rather than promoted? I also believe this conspiracy mongering demoralizes those who carried out the action (and who are now being hunted by police).

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence…

Anyway, that’s my theory…

New Disruptive Action in Solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en Targeting Royal Bank of Canada Branches (Again)

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Feb 102022
 

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

On the night of February 6th, 2022 in Montreal (Tio’Tia:Ke), non-Indigenous allies demonstrated their solidarity with the Gidimt’en clan of the Wet’suwet’en Nation. The instigators of this action are responding to a call by Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs to #ShutdownCanada in response to the invasion of their territory, the Yintah, by the RCMP for the third consecutive year.

We used many different tactics : smashed windows, glued locks and card readers, and spray-painting #FuckRBC on the interior, so all RBC clients were aware of why their bank has been consistently targeted for the past 5 months.

The Wet’suwet’en people are currently resisting the construction of an oil pipeline by Coastal GasLink, a TransCanada Energy company – which is known in Canada for attempting to build the Energy East pipeline – on their traditional territory. Among other things, the construction of the pipeline puts the Wedzin Kwa River at risk, since the pipeline is planned to pass under it. This river serves as a source of water and fish, and is central to the traditional practices of the Wet’suwet’en people.

These were small and easy actions, and we encourage everyone to get together with their trusted friends and test out all the different ways we can fuck with RBC. Several solidarity actions have indeed taken place in different places across so-called Canada, in the last weeks. The call for solidarity actions is ongoing: “The Gidimt’en Clan invites you to organize demonstrations and actions in your region. It also calls to put pressure on governments, banks and investors […] to make a donation […] and to come to the camp.

Solidarity with all peoples who resist! No to Coastal GasLink!

Call for Contributions to the Journal “Police State” for the 26th International Day Against Police Brutality

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Jan 162022
 

From COBP

Here as elsewhere in the world, the Police play a determining role in repressing anti-colonial, indigenous, environmental, immigration, etc. struggles. The struggle and resistance of Indigenous First Nations around the world will always be present at the front lines to counter capitalist interests and will be supported by international movements and solidarity links.

The theme for 2022 will be: “La police c’est colon en criss”-“shutdown the colonial police”.

Please see the call: https://cobp.resist.ca/fr/node/23061

We are calling on you to write texts, drawings, comics, photos, poems or any other ideas for the “Police State” newspaper of this 26th International Day Against Police Brutality.

You can also send us your texts or existing links already published.

Texts for the journal should be a maximum of 2 pages and can be written in French, English or Spanish. Authors who wish to have their texts translated must let us know in a reasonable time so that we can find people to translate them. Also, we invite you to send us images to accompany your text, if you wish. Images will not be counted in the two pages.

The final deadline for the content of the paper journal is February 1, 2022.

Please submit your text and other contributions to:
cobp@riseup.net

In solidarity
COBP

March 15th, 2022: Shutdown the Colonial Police!

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Jan 122022
 

From the Collective Opposed to Police Brutality (COBP)

It is difficult to look at what is currently happening in the Yintah, the Wet’suwet’en territory, without reflecting on the role of the RCMP in the Canadian colony. What eventually became the RCMP was founded in 1873, partly in response to the Red River Métis Rebellion of 1869-1870. The primary objective of the RCMP, from its inception, was therefore to maintain imperial hegemony over the territory in order to open it up to capitalist exploitation.

The list of RCMP crimes is too long to be fully enumerated here. From the suppression of the Northwest Rebellion of 1885, to the banning of indigenous cultural practices, to the blockade of reserves and the free movement of native people, to the killing of sled dogs, and of course, the separation of children from their families and sending them to residential schools. We invite you to read the article “A Condensed History of Canada’s Colonial Cops” in The New Inquiry for a quick overview of the history of the RCMP as seen by indigenous people.

But is the grass greener in Quebec? Northern Quebec was under RCMP control until 1960. Colonial residential schools continued into the 1970s, and abuses continued during this period, with the full support of the SQ.

The SQ replaced the RCMP, and it can be said that it has fulfilled and continues to fulfill its role as representative of the colonial authority towards indigenous peoples. Whether in Listuguj (Restigouche) in 1981, in Kitiganik (Barriere Lake) in 1988, in Kanehsatà:ke and Kahnawá:ke in 1990, the response of the SQ to indigenous mobilizations has always been the same: To crush.

The final report of the Viens Commission, presented on September 30, 2019, illustrates the place that the police occupy in the Canadian colonial state. The report explicitly writes:

“These [indigenous] demonstrations are the product of the persistent disregard for the indigenous rights of indigenous peoples and the slowness of the courts to resolve land issues. […] Compared to other demonstrations, […] the police are used to intervene on the side of the government to crush or dismantle the demonstration, assuming that the rights claimed are wrong, before the court has ruled on the inherent validity of the claims.”

In the Le rapport final de la commission Viens, local police like the SPVM are similarly blamed: “In the literature, it is recounted that indigenous communities are both over-policed for minor offenses […] and under-policed, in the sense of under-protection in the face of the violence to which they are subjected.”

The role of the police, then, is not to protect anyone, but always to crush any effort to resist the exploitation of the territory. This desire for exploitation was manifested in 2012 with the Harper government’s omnibus Bill C-45. This bill changed many canadian laws, with the goal of making it easier for extractive companies to access the so-called canadian territory. Territory that is, of course, mainly populated by indigenous people. C-45 led to the birth of the “Idle No More” movement. The reaction of the Canadian government was to reinforce the Canadian police apparatus and the coordination between the colonial police services. The result is what we see now in Wet’suwet’en territory.

So, in 150 years, the role of the police in so-called Canada has not changed at all. Their role is still to open up the land for exploitation, which means driving out the people who live there, no matter the cost.

The police as a colonial force of exploitation is not unique to Canada, however. In Chile, for example, the army has been deployed to support police repression against the Mapuche people who are demanding the return of their ancestral territory from the hands of landowners and multinational logging companies. Colombia beats every year new records of assassinations of environmental activists and defenders of the land, many of them indigenous, all under the gaze of the police, a situation denounced by Amnesty International. In Mexico, it is the Zapatistas of the EZLN, essentially indigenous, who are being attacked by militias armed by the State. And in Brazil, it is the Supreme Court that gives the police the right to chase indigenous people off their land to give it to mining companies, a situation denounced by the United Nations.

Faced with police violence against indigenous peoples, whether here or elsewhere, we all come to the same conclusion: Fuck the colonial police!

We meet at 5:30PM on Tuesday, March 15th, at the Lionel-Groulx metro station!

Photo: Amber Bracken

Wet’suwet’en Water Protectors Evade RCMP as Police Mobilize For Raid

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Jan 072022
 

From Gidimt’en Checkpoint

With plane-loads of cops on the way, Coyote Camp executed a strategic retreat to avoid police violence and criminalization. Cops are left with an empty camp.

We will continue to fight Coastal GasLink, but can not do so if all of our warriors are taken as political prisoners.

We call on supporters to continue to come to the yintah and to continue to take action where you stand. Visit https://yintahaccess.com for more info.

For more info on the strategic retreat, see Monday’s press release.