Summit Strengthens Alliances Against Coastal Gaslink Pipeline

The conflict over the Coastal GasLink project is about more than the fate of a single pipeline or the territory of one Indigenous nation. The precedent set here will have far-reaching consequences, and Indigenous nations and leaders from across Turtle Island are paying close attention.

The hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en Nation hosted a Peace and Unity Summit in the town of Smithers on Jan. 15. Wet’suwet’en leaders and representatives of other Indigenous nations gathered to offer solidarity and support in the fight against the Coastal GasLink pipeline.

The Wet’suwet’en argue that their Indigenous and human rights, and rights to their territories, are threatened by the multibillion-dollar project, which is backed by the provincial and federal governments.

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No-Brainer Child-Care Programs Proving Popular

After decades of contentiousness, it’s surprising how quickly Canada’s new national child-care program has become as familiar and comfortable as your dog’s favourite squeeze-toy.

Or maybe it isn’t surprising. Why wouldn’t Canadians welcome a program that makes their lives as parents so much easier, giving them the freedom to work if they want while sparing them the exorbitant costs—often compared to a second mortgage—of child care?

Now that it’s arrived, the $30-billion national child-care program, announced by the Trudeau government last April after years of Liberal stalling and Conservative opposition, seems like a no-brainer. The aim is to provide $10-a-day child care across the country by 2026.

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Canada Should Strip Charitable Status From Groups Funding The Israeli Army

Canada Revenue Agency rules state that “supporting the armed forces of another country is not” charitable. Yet newly released files confirm that the Canadian Zionist Cultural Association (CZCA), a registered charity based in Toronto, supports the Israeli military.

In July, a formal legal complaint was submitted by Canadian-Palestinian activist Khaled Mouammar and Rabbi David Mivasair to the CRA detailing CZCA’s support for the Israeli military. At the time more than 1,800 people emailed the CRA to call for an investigation into the charity, which raised over $3 million in 2019. Through tax receipts for individuals’ donations, the public is on the hook for a significant share of that sum.

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The Ties That Bind Canadian Military To USA

Canadian admirals and generals often act as if this country’s armed forces are an appendage of the US military, but it’s a mistake to simply label them US lackeys.

As I detailed recently, the Canadian Forces (CF) have assisted their US counterparts through naval missions, special forces deployments, peacekeeping missions, chemical weapons testing, wars and much more. Canadian military leaders are constantly seeking to strengthen their ties with the US military. In 2013 secret discussions were held to “fully integrate” the US and Canadian militaries, according to the CBC. The meetings for a “Canada-U.S. Integrated forces program” were “led at the highest levels, with then Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Tom Lawson and the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, meeting on ‘several occasions’ to hash out a plan that included an option for ‘fully integrated forces.’”

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Noise Demonstrations Held For The Incarcerated On New Year’s Eve

As people counted down to 2022, across multiple cities in the so-called US and Canada, people hit the streets to hold noise demonstrations outside of prisons, jails, juvenile halls, and detention facilities. For over 10 years, anarchists and abolitionists have held noise demonstrations on New Year’s Eve as a way to mobilize energy for the new year and also continue to build connections with those locked behind bars.

Here’s our roundup of noise demos. On New Years Eve 25 anarchists, abolitionists and other rebels gathered outside of the (in)Justice Center in downtown Cleveland, Ohio for the second annual New Years Eve Noise Demonstration hosted by Forest City Anarchists.

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CN Rail Wins Right To Privately Prosecute Rail Blockade Participants

CN Rail has won the right to privately pursue criminal charges against three people who participated in a 2020 rail blockade in northern B.C., despite the fact that provincial prosecutors declined to get involved.

The ruling cements the B.C. Supreme Court’s ability to enforce court injunctions, with or without the participation of Crown prosecutors, who unsuccessfully fought the decision.

A group of people, including three Gitxsan hereditary chiefs, were arrested at a blockade on a CN Rail line in New Hazelton, B.C. on Feb. 24, 2020.

An injunction against the blockade had been issued two weeks prior amid nationwide protests in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs fighting against the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline.

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Wet’suwet’en Resistance And Solidarity: Evicting The Colonizers

One month ago today, the RCMP violently raided unceded Gidimt’en territory (November 18-19, 2021), removing Indigenous people from their land at gunpoint on behalf of TC Energy’s proposed Coastal GasLink pipeline. The Wet’suwet’en enforced our standing eviction of CGL by closing roads into the territory November 14-17. Following the raids, arrestees received cruel and violent treatment in prison. The conditions set forth by the court are human rights violations to Indigenous peoples. We’re still here. We’re still throwing down. We are more determined than ever to protect our traditional territories for future generations.

In September 2021, Gidimt’en Checkpoint reoccupied Lhudis Bin territory, building a clan cabin on the drill pad site where Coastal GasLink pipeline wants to drill underneath our sacred headwaters, Wedzin Kwa.

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Toronto High School Students Walk Out In Solidarity With Palestine

Let’s give credit to the roughly 200 brave students who walked out of Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute last month. They were protesting how the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) has handled what it considers to be antisemitism within its schools.

They were fed up with the way their Board – supposed to represent them – puts the brakes on statements, information or discussions that might offend some members of the Jewish community in Toronto who regard certain criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic. As I mentioned in an article a month ago, the Board has simply adopted the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre (FSWC) website as its own when it comes to setting out rules for what is and what is not antisemitic in TDSB schools.

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Report-Back From A Rail Blockade In Saint-Lambert

On Saturday, more than sixty people acting in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en land defenders blocked the CN main line in Saint-Lambert south of Montreal for over six hours. It was the longest rail blockade in Quebec since the winter of 2020, interrupting Via Rail service and immobilizing six freight trains. These notes reflect the experience of a couple participants in Saturday’s blockade.

Nostalgia mixed with anticipation as we arrived at the tracks where they cross rue Saint-Georges, with banners ready to hang across the rail crossing and no police in sight. It was a bright morning, temperatures just below freezing and the ground snowless, a contrast with that first night in February 2020, when temperatures sunk to 25 below and snow could be piled into mounds atop the rails.

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Activists Disrupt Business As Usual In Toronto’s Financial District

Greenpeace Canada activists blocked entrances to the RBC’s corporate headquarters today by suspending climbers from fifteen foot high tripods as part of a call for Canada’s big five banks to stop funding fossil fuels and to respect Indigenous rights . The protestors said that despite their claims, Canada’s big banks are still amongst the largest funders of fossil fuels in the world and are thus fueling the climate crisis, destroying biodiversity and violating Indigenous rights.

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Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs Evict Government Liaison Nathan Cullen

The Gitxsan have posted on Instagram: “Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs evict MLA Nathan Cullen from Gitxsan Lax’yip [territory].”

Their post continues: “The NDP has failed to uphold good relations with our peoples, and due to the violence inflicted on Wet’suwet’en and Gitxsan Wilp [house group] members, the NDP is no longer welcome on our territories.”

“Someone needs to be accountable for the violent actions inflicted upon our peoples and territories by the RCMP and Coastal GasLink.”

It concludes: “We do not believe these are simply renegade police actions following the rulings of a mere Provincial Court. We know that the feds and the province are guilty of trying to exterminate our way of life.”

Cullen was a federal NDP Member of Parliament from June 2004 to October 2019.

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Global Indigenous: Chemicals, Climate And Consultation

The Ontario-based Aamjiwnaang nation is surrounded on all sides by petrochemical facilities, and members had long suspected that the facilities in “Chemical Valley” had exposed them to potentially dangerous chemicals.

The data, which had been held secret for many years, was disclosed by the environment ministry following questions from Global News.

The Aamjiwnaang people, situated along the Michigan border, think that the government of Ontario has been disrespectful by withholding the data from them.

“This is just the continuation of the Canadian legacy of putting Indigenous people, people of color, at a lower place,” Janelle Nahmabin, also known as Red Cloud Woman and chair of Aamjiwnaang’s environment committee, told Global News.

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Violence Against Wet’suwet’en And Apparent Police, Industry Collusion

By January 24, 2014, the RCMP’s Critical Infrastructure Intelligence Team (CIIT) had produced an intelligence assessment on Criminal Threats to the Canadian Petroleum Industry that notes “violent aboriginal extremists” and includes in Appendix E an article from the Georgia Straight that briefly mentions the Unist’ot’en clan of the Wet’suwet’en nation.

A further document dated April 1, 2015, from the Government Operations Centre (GOC), which compiles information from the RCMP and other agencies, describes an unnamed Unist’ot’en leader as an “aboriginal extremist.”

Within five years of that second report, the RCMP had launched two militarized raids against the Wet’suwet’en.

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Healing In A Time Of Truth And Justice

National awareness about the role of the federal government and Christian churches in the U.S. Indian boarding school policy is growing rapidly.

Ignited by the discoveries of children’s graves at Canada’s Indian residential schools, the U.S. is poised to face its own reckoning for a similar history.

The Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition seized on the growing awareness during its Healing in a Time of Truth and Justice Summit, held virtually on Nov. 19-20.

Presenters at this year’s summit encouraged people to reach out to their congressional representatives in support of the Truth and Healing Commission on U.S. Indian Boarding Schools Act that was reintroduced to Congress on Sept. 30 by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, and U.S. Reps. Sharice Davids, D-Kansas, Ho-Chunk, and Tom Cole, R-Oklahoma, Chickasaw Nation.

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Wet’suwet’en Supporters Shut Down LaSalle Causeway

A blockade shut down the LaSalle Causeway for part of Sunday afternoon. The Causeway was unusable for nearly an hour due to the protest, before Kingston Police officers were dispatched to remove the crowd from the crossing between Kingston East and downtown. This comes in the wake of continued and escalating RCMP presence, which on Thursday saw dozens of heavily armed police officers move in on a blocked stretch of access road, arresting fifteen. Among those fifteen arrested were two journalists documenting the standoff.

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