On Wednesday February 6th 2020, RCMP forces again began to invade sovereign Wet’suwet’en territory, in the name of the Coastal GasLink Pipeline. The Unist’ot’en and Gidumt’en clans have been calling for action: to keep attention on this enforcement of colonization, to act in solidarity, and shut down the systems which enable the pipeline, the RCMP, and business as usual.
We want to respond to these calls to action with the urgency that they demand. Community members came together to try to figure out what our best targets are in the area. We decided as a first step to make this invasion impossible to ignore. We started that night, plastering the town with posters containing news of the raid and the Wet’suwet’en peoples’ refusal to accept colonization of their land. Our time spent cooking up the wheatpaste and walking in the rain brought us joy. Anyone can do this! It feels so good to get out on the streets. The artwork for this poster was made by Gitxan elder Art Wilson, though we added the text. Feel free to print more of these to share or paste where you are.
The next day, we took the message from the streets to the highway. It was pouring rain, super windy, and all of our first time dropping a banner. For others who wish to do a banner drop; here are some things we learned. Big blocky letters are easiest to read from the freeway. Some method of tying down or securely weighting the bottom of your banner is useful if wind is a factor. Acrylic paint runs in the rain, so either covering it with a sealant or using oil base paints (which take much longer to dry) is ideal.
These actions were easy to take. After each one, we felt less stuck, helpless, or apathetic. We felt more energized. More empowered and connected. Every small step strengthened our community and reminded us that the front lines are everywhere. We feel very inspired by a call found on north-shore.info which read: “solidarity occurs in context of dialogue through action between different groups in struggle. those groups recognize each other as struggling towards compatible ideas of freedom and act in reference to each other so as to build a form of collective strength.” We remind ourselves to stay rooted in the struggles to defend the land and water where we are. Through organizing around distant sovereignty struggles, we remember to fight with those who’s land we are on and near when their sovereignty is threatened. We will also continue amplifying and doing everything in our power to act in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en who have energized and inspired us and so many over this past decade in their healing of the people and the land. This is just the beginning, and none of us are in this alone.