Uvic students march Friday in support of Wet'suwet'en' pipeline protesters
Students at the University of Victoria are answering the call of the Wet'suwet'en for international solidarity with pipeline opposers in Northern BC.
Elora Adamson works with the Sustainability Project, one of a number of groups organizing the march Friday at 11am.
UVIC Pride, UVIC Native Student Union, Students Open Forum Against Racism, Anti-Violence Project and the UVIC Peer Support Centre representatives have also expressed an interest.
"This week we are seeing a lot of escalation. I'm not an expert, or up there (Northern BC) for a first hand account of what's going on, but I think this week is a really important week, for one because they've called for this solidarity, but for two because the injunction was approved by the BC Supreme court at the end of December. So now the hereditary chiefs are blocking access to the territory again and there's a huge risk that there could be a repeat of what happened on January 7th," said Adamson.
The march on campus comes nearly a year to the day that 14 protesters were arrested at the Gidimt'en checkpoint near Smithers on January 7th, 2019, during their continued opposition to the LNG pipeline slated to begin construction on Wet'suwet'en Territory.
The protest is heating up again as the B-C Supreme Court granted an injunction to Coastal GasLink last week against members of the First Nation and supporters who oppose the pipeline. The Wet'suwet'en Access Point at Gidim'ten and the Unist'ot'en Camp called for an international week of solidarity from Tuesday January 7th through Sunday January 12th.
"It's crucial for everyone in the country to know what is going on in Wet'suwet'en territory. The ongoing colonial violence that's going on up there should be on everyone's mind." said Adamson.
Coastal GasLink has said it believes "dialogue is preferable to confrontation" and will delay workers returning to the area that's under dispute while a negotiated resolution remains possible, however the injunction could still be enforced at any time.
"What's important is looking at what did happen last year and realizing that we are in a situaiton where similar things could happen again, and this should not be allowed to happen. The RCMP should not be on Wet'suwet'en territory, Coastal GasLink should not be on Wet'suwet'en Territory trying to push through this project, we shouldn't be in a situation where any of this is happening," said Adamson.
The organizers are calling for students to leave their classes at 11am on Friday January 10th to meet in front of the Sub at 11:15, followed by a march around Ring Road.
After the march they will be headed to join Uvic student Kolin Sutherland-Wilson for his week long strike at the BC Legislature.