Episode 3: Sliders and Solidarity

How do we go about creating the conditions that would allow people to invest in each other’s survival?

On this episode of BlackChat, !Kona and Morgan discuss the recent actions and demonstrations held by land and water defenders on Coast Salish territory (Greater Vancouver Area). As a response to the RCMP raid on the Unist’ot’en camp and Wet’suwet’en lands, Indigenous youth and supporters have stood up against colonial violence and we want to talk about what that looks like.

We look at the timeline of most recent events, considering factors of being arrest-able, and the multiple ways we can show up for each other.

If there are parts of this that aren’t entirely correct, please let us know! We aim to deliver accurate content, especially about this topic. Mainstream media is not reporting as they should be, and it’s important for us to discuss the truth

For updates and ways to contribute, visit https://www.patreon.com/blackchat or follow us on Instagram and Facebook @blackchatvancouver

Graphic by Ifetayo Alabi

Timeline of Events

  • November 23, of 2018, Coastal Gaslink implied for an injunction of Wet’suwet’en territory. 
  • On December 14, that temporary injunction was granted.
  • January 7 2019. RCMP make their way onto Wet’suwet’en land and violently arrest 14 people. 
  • January 8, was marked as the International Day of solidarity for Wet’suwet’en. That was also 2019. 
  • December 31 of 2019  the BC Supreme Court granted the injunction on behalf of the Coastal Gaslink on for Wet’suwet’en territory. 
  • January 1 of 2020. Wet’suwet’en serves Coastal Gaslink with an eviction notice stating that they are not welcome and that they are on this land without consent. 
  • January 20 Indigenous youth organized a blockade at the Victoria ferry. January 21, there was a 15 hour standoff where Indigenous youth occupied a ministry building, which resulted in 12 of them being arrested. 
  • January 27, the BC government appointed NDP Nathan Cullen as the provincial liaison for Wet’suwet’en people and…
  •  on January 30 hereditary Chiefs and the province agreed to seven days of meetings. 
  • On February 5, the talks failed and RCMP began to prep for a raid on Wet’suwet’en land. 
  • Roughly 20 ish youth occupied the northern Affairs Ministry office in Manitoba. 
  • February 6, RCMP began the raid on what Wet’suwet’en land, putting the entire area into a media exclusion zone. They began breaking windows. 
    • This was post five o’clock in the morning, so around 3am on February or at 4:30am on February 6, RCMP began breaking the vehicle windows at Kilometer 39 causing a silence in radio communications. They arrested a handful of people I don’t have the exact number but this included peaceful witnesses and legal observers. 
    • The entire area got listed as a full exclusion zone by 10:55am. 
  • February 6 was the day that Indigenous youth began to re occupy the Legislative Building in Victoria BC. This was also the day that Vancouver ports were re- and the Delta port were re occupied by land defenders of the area. 
    • This was also the day that the Mohawk began their blockade of the CN rail trains, which is still ongoing. 
    • There were a couple of other blockades that they also by the Gitxsan First Nation, they blocked Highway 16 for two hours, and the Six Nations shut down Highway 403 in Ontario for an hour. 
  • On February 7 2020 bulldozers moved in on Kilometer 44 with helicopters circling helicopters were dropping off Tact teams and other uniformed folks surrounding the people at Kilometer 44. There were snowmobiles, snipers and canine units. Hereditary Chiefs were denied access to the area so they were held up at Kilometer 27 I believe. 
    • There were at least two people arrested on February 7 at Kilometer 44. 
  • On February 8, RCMP cut the internet at Kilometer 44 around 11am. At 11:20am the RCMP arrived at the Unist’ot’en gate. 
    • There were 11 arrests at Kilometer 27 that day. The Gitxsan rail blockade began in Hazleton, which I believe is Ontario. The Trans Canada highway in Duncan was blocked. 
  • February 9 2020, RCMP and Coastal Gaslink close in again with canine units, forms of heavy machinery, tact units, machine guns, snowmobiles, bulldozers. The Matriarchs of Wet’suwet’en area at the on their side of the gates at the I believe it’s Kilometer 66. My apologies, held a ceremony for missing and murdered Indigenous women and drummed at the bridge while dresses flew. The ceremony went on for roughly 24 hours. 
  • On February 10 The Matriarchs continued to drum and hold ceremony at the bridge. The Civil injunction by Coastal Gaslink was read at 8:49am arrested beat arrests began at 10:27am including Freda Husan, Lady Chainsaw, and Dr. Carla Tate. The seventh and final arrest of that day occurred at 11:05am. By 9:30pm six of the seven arrested were free. Lady Chainsaw currently remains in custody as she refuses to sign any documents that would allow her release because she’s a badass. 
  • February 11th. You youth were still occupying the legislative building in which they were blocking politicians and media from entering. 
  • February 12th, Broadway and Camby was occupied by land defenders. 
  • February 12th was also the day that the Crown Speech was cancelled for the first time in Canadian Federation history. This was the day that the youth decided to leave the legislative building peacefully to avoid violent arrest and interaction with the police and other hands of colonial force. 
  • February 13, the Granville bridge was occupied by land defenders here in Vancouver BC. 
  • February 14, land defenders picketed the ministry offices in Victoria, which is anywhere between like 16 and 22 offices. This happened between the hours of 8am and noon. It was, we were really lovely. 
  • February 15 2020 50ish people snuck into the second largest rail yard in Canada in I think it’s Vaughan, Ontario, causing a shutdown. There’s now at least 400 people, and this is blocking US bound CN trains. This was also the day Vancouver, folks in Vancouver attempted to join this blockade, and were served an injunction with five minutes to move around 8:30 in the evening. At this point, rail yards are still occupied trains have been shut down. The Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls has been occupied and there are talks about there being a border shut down from US into Canada and vice versa.