From Wet’suwet’en Access Point on Gidimt’en Territory (Facebook)
It has been almost one year since the call went out for peoples across so called canada for solidarity; to respect Wet’suwet’en laws and jurisdiction to our lands and to fight together against colonization, industrial genocide, and to stop CGL and RCMP from invading our yintah.
As we asserted full control over access to our yintah and brought industry to a halt, many others rose up with us. From large demonstrations to rail blockades to clandestine sabotages against the infrastructures of colonization, many nations, groups and people fought alongside us. These actions gave us strength in the face of the looming buildup of militarized police.
After the police raided four checkpoints on the yintah and stole dozens of people from our territories, Peoples across this land Shut Down Canada. From our allies in Mohawk and Haudenosaunee territory who occupied lands near rail tracks and highways in Tyendinaga, Six Nations, Kahnawake and Kanesatake and our Gitxsan neighbours and relatives, to Indigenous youth who occupied the ‘BC’ legislature to everyone in between and beyond who put their hearts and bodies on the line.
The movement grew for Indigenous Sovereignty from coast to coast. Still a fight for our lands, life-ways and the assertion of our law but also a dialogue between Indigenous nations acting in solidarity with each other. It acted as a turning point for many settlers to practice true reconciliation with the rightful owners of the lands they live on. A reconciliation that means: “Land Back” instead of empty dialogue with morally bankrupt governments.
Many of those who acted with us are still facing criminal and civil charges. Our Haudenosaunee and Mohawk allies are still being criminalized. Others in Hamilton still face charges as a result of solidarity actions there. Our Gitxsan relatives that took action are still facing charges. Recently two people in so-called Washington state were arrested on absurd, trumped-up charges of terrorism for allegedly acting in solidarity with us. We know there are likely many others who are being criminalized for supporting and respecting Indigenous sovereignty.
We see the charges for what they are: A desperate attempt by the colonial system to break the bonds of solidarity that were forged and renewed last winter. Scared of the backlash they would face from pursuing charges against our people and guests arrested on our own lands they doubled down on criminalizing and attacking our allies. They hoped to scare people into passivity and leave us, and all indigenous peoples, isolated from each other and from allies who would fight with us. They want to paint sovereignty and justified resistance as a crime. But they failed. We know the righteousness of Indigenous sovereignty and they will never break our solidarity.
We stand with our allies facing the weight of the colonial legal system and we demand that the colonial courts drop all charges!
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For updates about criminal charges from the movement in solidarity with struggles on Wet’suwet’en territory, follow #BlockadeDefense on Twitter or check the Blockade Defense tag on North Shore