On January 8, 2019, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and military forcefully breached a checkpoint on unceded Wet’suwet’en territory. Indigenous people were ripped from their homes by militarized police. There were at least 12 confirmed arrests, including an elder.
The Unist’ot’en Camp is an indigenous re-occupation of Wet’suwet’en land in northern “BC, Canada.” The Unist’ot’en are a clan of the Wet’suwet’en nation. They started re-occupying their territory in 2009, with the aim of kickstarting a process of decolonization, but also to block the construction of the Pacific Trails Pipeline, a fossil fuel transportation project that would have brought fracked gas from northeastern British Columbia to a liquefied natural gas port on the Pacific. Their first actions were to organize annual action camps and rallies.
By 2011, they had built a cabin in the path of the pipelines. They also confronted pipeline surveyors. In one case they confiscated their gear. In 2013, when one pipeline project shifted its route around the cabin, a pit house was built on the new route. Since then, a bunk house and two story healing center that aids indigenous people overcome trauma and addiction issues have also been built. Despite the threat of a police eviction in the summer of 2015, the Unist’ot’en remain in their traditional territory.
As neighboring Wet’suwet’en nation, Gidmt’en Access Point wrote in a statement, “The RCMP’s ultimatum, to allow TransCanada access to unceded Wet’suwet’en territory or face police invasion, is an act of war. Despite the lip service given to “Truth and Reconciliation,” Canada is now attempting to do what it has always done – criminalize and use violence against indigenous people so that their unceded homelands can be exploited for profit.”
While the Canadian police have invaded Wet’suwet’en territory in order to enforce the interests of capitalist exploitation, the Unist’ot’en people were defiant in their opposition to the RCMP. As resistance to police raids continues, revolutionaries around the world will act in solidarity with the Unist’ot’en people.