Canadian pipeline and railway protests

Railway protests across Canada in support of the Wet’suwet’en and other First Nation peoples have been used effectively for several years. Following are excerpts from a detailed discussion of Canadian railway protests found on Wikipedia.

“Rail was a harbinger of colonized settlements and the genocide of Indigenous peoples.”

And among the other interesting things in the article Glorious Rage below are the following expressions of Mutual Aid:

“As allies/accomplices/dissidents, one of our greatest strengths against the state or organized bodies is our own flexibility and adaptiveness – often a quality hierarchical systems or organizational bodies don’t have.

Also, “use your words to inspire others to action – not to beg for change from government bodies complicit in an active genocide.”

Canadian pipeline and railway protests

The 2020 Canadian pipeline and railway protests were a series of civil disobedience protests held in Canada. The main issue behind the protests was the construction of the Coastal GasLink Pipeline (CGL) through 190 kilometres (120 mi) of Wetʼsuwetʼen First Nation territory in British Columbia (BC), land that is unceded. Other concerns of the protesters were indigenous land rights, the actions of police, land conservation, and the environmental impact of energy projects.

In February 2020, after the RCMP enforced the second court injunction, removing the Wetʼsuwetʼen blockades and arresting Wetʼsuwetʼen land defenders, solidarity protests sprang up across Canada. Many were rail blockades, including one blockade near Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory which halted traffic along a major Canadian National Railway (CNR) line between Toronto and Montreal and led to a shutdown of passenger rail service and rail freight operations in much of Canada. The Eastern Ontario blockade was itself removed by the Ontario Provincial Police. Blockades and protests continued through March in BC, Ontario and Quebec. Discussions between representatives of the Wetʼsuwetʼen and the governments of Canada and British Columbia have led to a provisional agreement on the Wetʼsuwetʼen land rights in the area.

2021 Wedzin Kwa blockade

 On September 25, 2021, Cas Yikh house and Gidimtʼen clan members erected new blockades on the Morice West Forest Service Road to block CGL’s attempts to drill under the Morice River (known as Wedzin Kwa in Babine-Witsuwetʼen). Sleydoʼ (Molly Wickham), one of the leaders of Gidimtʼen Access Point, claimed that the work near the river would disrupt her people’s livelihoods as well as the salmon population. She called on supporters to join the new blockades. A Gidimtʼen Access Point press release called the Wedzin Kwa “sacred headwaters that nourish the Wetʼsuwetʼen Yintah [territory] and all those within its catchment area”.

Coastal GasLink president Tracy Robinson issued a statement about the drilling, saying “the clearing is now complete, and our crews will utilize a micro-tunnel method which is a type of trenchless crossing that is constructed well below the riverbed and does not disturb the stream or the bed and banks of the river”. Robinson claimed that micro-tunnelling was deemed to be the safest and most environmentally-responsible method after consulting with experts, regulations, and best practices. She also noted that there was still an enforceable injunction to prevent any opposition to CGL carrying out its work. In the days after the new blockades went up, the RCMP moved in to remove two of them, in the process arresting at least one individual.[56][57]

Solidarity Protests

Several major protests blocked access to the Port of VancouverDeltaport, and two other ports in Metro Vancouver for a number of days before the Metro Vancouver police began enforcing an injunction on the morning of February 10, 2020, arresting 47 protesters who refused to cease obstructing the port.[72][73][74]

Protests on February 15 over 200 people in Toronto blocked Macmillan Yard, the second largest rail classification yard in Canada.[75] On February 16 and 17 temporarily blocked the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls, Ontario and Thousand Islands Bridge in Ivy Lea, Ontario, two major border crossings between the United States and Canada.[76] At the same time, Miꞌkmaq demonstrators partially blocked access to the Confederation Bridge, the sole road link to Prince Edward Island.[77] On February 18, several activists were arrested for trespassing at BC Premier Horgan’s residence.[78]On February 24, 2020 individuals shut down a major junction in Hamilton, ON.

A nation-wide student walkout occurred March 4, with university students across the country showing their support for the Wetʼsuwetʼen protesters.[79][80][81]

The protests led to the creation of several hashtags, used widely on social media in relation to coverage of the protests. These include #ShutDownCanada,[82] #WetsuwetenStrong,[83] #LandBack,[84] and #AllEyesOnWetsuweten.[85]

Wikipedia 2020 Canadian pipeline and railway protests

I’m sharing part of a message from north-shore.info detailing how to disrupt rail service. I share this as a matter of education. As it says, “detailed below for your reference, education and delight!” I do agree with the statement that the violence against the Wet’suwet’en “is an act of genocide. An active genocide. An armed invasion by the colonial state.”

Each method used will have tripped the automatic block signalling system into its failsafe setting of “occupied track” – meaning all rail traffic on the impacted track comes to a stop until checked out and in some cases repaired. This also means interferences were safer than any of the militarized RCMP’s three unjustified raids on Wet’suwet’en people.

Glorious Rage: Rail Sabotage in Solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en

Our goal as North Shore Counter-Info is to make it easy to share ideas and practices as part of the struggle against domination. Sharing this text helps our project do its work. Soli to folks on the ground!

There is nothing left unsaid.
RCMP Out.
CGL off the Yintah.
Defend the Wedzin Kwa.

This is an act of genocide. An active genocide.
An armed invasion by the colonial state.

There is nothing left to say: they do not listen to words.
So just do; that is what we have done.

One recent evening, allies/accomplices went out into the night to pick up where others may have left off in the spring of 2020: targeting rail infrastructure.

Using various methods (detailed below for your reference, education and delight!) we disrupted rail all over so-called southern Ontario throughout the night, hitting nearly a dozen different spots on both CN and CP rail lines. We did this in heartfelt solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en defending their Yintah from destruction, and fuelled our actions with the justified rage we feel towards the RCMP and state for once against invading their territory on behalf of a private corporation.

Rail was a harbinger of colonized settlements and the genocide of Indigenous peoples across so-called Canada, and also an indefensible way to target the kkkanadian economy, so we find it an ideal target as people unable to be standing shoulder to shoulder with the Wet’suwet’en land defenders.

While some crews opted for the copper wire method, others found inspiration in other means of targeting railway circuits – including severing low voltage track circuits and the arson of railway signal bungalows.

Each method used will have tripped the automatic block signalling system into its failsafe setting of “occupied track” – meaning all rail traffic on the impacted track comes to a stop until checked out and in some cases repaired. This also means interferences were safer than any of the militarized RCMP’s three unjustified raids on Wet’suwet’en people.

We encourage others to join us in action. Use your words to inspire others to action – not to beg for change from government bodies complicit in an active genocide.

Shut it down. That’s all there is left to do.
Never Cede
Never Surrender.

Glorious Rage: Rail Sabotage in Solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en by Anonymous submission to North Shore, November 27, 2021

A map of the Canadian National Railway system, showing the system marked in red lines across the continental United States and Canada.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_Canadian_pipeline_and_railway_protests#/media/File:Canadian_National_System_Map.PNG

Map of the Canadian National Railway system. Much of the network east of Toronto was temporarily shut down on February 13, 2020, due to protests and blockades in eastern Canada.

#WetsuwetenStrong
#LandBack
#AllEyesOnWetsuweten
#ShutDownCanada

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