Friday, May 6, 2022

Wet’suwet’en report round-the-clock surveillance and harassment by RCMP and pipeline security


RCMP police aboriginal native peoples indigenous unceded ancestral territory violence brutality lawlessness thugs goons human rights violations resource extraction Canada

It’s mid-afternoon and 67-year-old Wet’suwet’en Elder Janet Williams startles awake from a nap, rushing to put on her jacket and shoes. She’s been abruptly woken by unwanted visitors to her remote cabin home. But this isn’t the first time the RCMP has marched onto the traditional territories of her Gidimt’en Clan. It’s been happening multiple times a day for over two months, she says.

“There’s no need for you guys to be here at all,” she addresses them sharply once she gets outside. “I’m a matriarch here. This is my land. You keep coming here. None of you are welcome to be here.” She’s leaning on a long, wooden walking stick carved from a tree that fell in the surrounding forest, which is enclosed by snow-capped mountains approximately one hour outside of Houston, B.C. The sound of the rushing spring waters of a sacred river the Wet’suwet’en call Wedzin Kwa is the soundtrack to this repetitive scene that’s become a nightmare to Williams and her husband, Lawrence.

“You have no legal right to be here. And none of you will answer my questions. You just keep walking around it here like you’re zombies.” She’s gritting her teeth now. Lawrence walks to her side and rubs her back for comfort.

Over half a dozen RCMP officers are combing through the site, which consists of tents, wooden structures, a kitchen and a cabin. They say they’re looking for criminal activity.

One officer unfolds a piece of worn paper and reads aloud a statement:

“Since 2019 this location has been used as a base of operations for individuals committing criminal code offences and actions breaching a Supreme Court Injunction. Many of those individuals have been arrested and released by the court on conditions. We are conducting patrols to ensure criminal code offences are not being committed and that individuals with court order conditions are not breaching these conditions.”

“This is Crown land,” another RCMP officer tells her.

“It’s not Crown land,” Williams declares. “This is Cas Yikh territory. You guys should know this by now. You keep coming around and reading the same damn script!”  (more...)

Wet’suwet’en report round-the-clock surveillance and harassment by RCMP and pipeline security

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