Hundreds of people gathered at Nathan Phillips Square today in Toronto to express their outrage and anger at the reprehensible and violent actions of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) last night in British Columbia. There were other gatherings across the country.
The shameful brutality of the colonialist and racist state is on full display yet again as our elected officials continue to show that the needs of capital will always trump hollow words about "reconciliation", as well as land rights and human rights until we force change.
The RCMP arrested 14 peaceful protesters after invading their land armed with assault rifles.
In a statement by the BC Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN), Regional Chief Terry Teegee stated, “The BCAFN is very concerned that the RCMP are questioning the ownership of Aboriginal title, and they continue to assume jurisdiction for policing in unceded First Nations territories. This is a major problem which requires political intervention from both Prime Minister Trudeau and Premier Horgan in order to protect the advances that have been made in the reconciliation process. The RCMP cannot be allowed to hold discretion or discuss the legal interests and rights of First Nations peoples in BC.”
Today's Toronto rally was organized by groups like Idle No More, No One is Illegal, Black Lives Matter and others as a solidarity action taken in response to the ACTION ALERT – International Call to Action for Gidimt’en Access Checkpoint.
Despite the fact that tonight "RCMP are headed to a second camp and checkpoint on a northern B.C. forest service road to enforce a court injunction that would allow Coast GasLink access to the road and a bridge" Horgan and Trudeau have so far failed to act.
At the rally activists such Eve Saint, Vanessa and Beze Gray, CBC broadcaster and writer Jesse Wente and others spoke of the need for all Canadians to stand up against these continued injustices. Speaker after speaker emphasized that the damage to the environment caused by the energy sector
As Wente put it "Reconciliation does not come at the end of a gun".
It was a deeply powerful, moving call to action from all on the stage.
After the speakers had finished the crowd took the struggle right into the epicenter of Canadian evil, Toronto's downtown business district. This message was going to be heard today by those who most want to ignore it.
Organizers have said that for ways to support go to: https://www.facebook.com/wetsuwetenstrong/posts/225163691762758
To donate go to: https://www.gofundme.com/gitdumt039en-access-point?fbclid=IwAR3uNyb3T86dmGNuKlRH-m4DKfB5AcFbh2M4MMC8U6xVr3bm30Zagn1WgkI
Stayed tuned for updates about future solidarity actions.
At the Rally:
Official Rally Leaflet:
Into the Streets: