Dear Friends and Allies,
My name is Clarence, I’m reaching out to share news and ask for support from you and your community in regards to Indigenous land defenders of the Wet’suwet’en Nation, in so-called British Columbia, Canada. I am working with my comrades of the Trans Asylum Seeker Support Network of Western Mass to share about this struggle and fundraise support.
The Wet’suwet’en people, under the governance of their hereditary chiefs, are opposing the largest fracking project in Canadian history. The Coastal Gas Link pipeline (CGL), owned by TC Energy (formerly TransCanada), aims to connect the fracking operations of Northeastern B.C. with a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility on the West Coast of B.C.
After 10 years of the Wet’suwet’en nation fighting pipeline companies attempting to illegally trespass on unceded Wet’suwet’en territory, CGL tried to bypass Indigenous Sovereignty and Title Claims by issuing a temporary injunction to individuals in the Unist’ot’en clan in 2018. On January 4, 2020, Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs from all five clans of the nation issued and enforced an eviction notice against the Coastal Gaslink pipeline. Since then, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have been attempting to push their way further onto the territory to build the largest fracking project in Canadian history, planning to destroy one of the last expanses of wilderness stewarded by Indigenous people in the global Northwest to do it, including drilling under the sacred headwaters of the Wedzin Kwah.
The police have been unbelievably brutal and aggressive, with nonstop raids, physical abuse, arrests, property destruction, and more. They have blocked the delivery of essential warm clothes, food, and medicine to the Wet’suwet’en nation, impacting the health of Indigenous elders.
Recently, two trans women of color (one a good friend of mine) were arrested when police broke down the door of a cabin they were peacefully hiding out while defending Gidimt’en territory. They were jailed in separate cells in the men’s jail unit for 5 days, without access to crucial medication and without charges. Now, they are charging my comrades with throwing debris at police, despite video footage showing that this never happened. They were kidnapped and arrested along with the spokesperson of the Gidimt’en clan Sleydo’ and others, and they are now all banned from returning to Wet’suwet’en territory and are forced to stay local to go through their court hearings. They are having to pay for hotel stays and food out of pocket and will have to do so until February. This is only the most recent event in a long history of colonial violence against the struggle to defend Indigenous land.
My comrades have been crucial in holding down the frontlines against colonial invasion and environmental destruction at Gidim’ten for months, as well as helping to keep the other land defenders safe, warm and fed. My comrade beyon, who was recently jailed, is a northern Cree two-spirit activist and artist, who has been committed to defending this land and work for years.
We are fundraising monetary support for our comrades as well as trying to spread the word among our allies and folks who have a platform to promote Indigenous solidarity. Please share this information with your community, networks and organization.
- Issue a solidarity statement from your organization or group and raise awareness on social media. There’s a helpful Media Backgrounder here: https://www.yintahaccess.com/media-background
- Email your solidarity statement to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Venmo @transasylumsupport with the note “land”
- CashApp $TASSN with the note “land”
- Paypal email@example.com with the note “land”
- Please consider buying beyon’s print to fundraise for Gidimt’en
- Become a monthly donor here: https://www.yintahaccess.com/donate
Thank you, with love and rage,