Joining dozens of other cities worldwide, Guelph will be host to its own solidarity event in support of the battered Wet’suwet’en First Nation starting at noon on Tuesday.
“Join us in solidarity in support of the Gidimt’en Checkpoint and the Wet’suwet’en clans,” the event page by multiple Guelph partners including student and community groups said.
The banner drop and rally will start at 12 p.m. in the University Centre Courtyard at the University of Guelph, and organizers encourage attendees to bring a drum and megaphone if they are able.
The five clans of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation in northern B.C. are attempting to halt the Coastal GasLink company from building a natural gas pipeline through their territory without permission from the chiefs.
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Tensions came to a head on Monday when the Royal Canadian Mounted Police broke through one of two checkpoints the Indigenous land defenders blockaded and several arrests were made.
Organizers from United Against Oppression told The Guelph Post that the main groups involved in planned include the University of Guelph’s OPIRG, Fossil Free Guelph and the Revolutionary Student Movement.
“We aren’t attempting to differ from other rallies going on, rather we are acting in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en clans,” organizers said, adding that they “desire a substantial change” and respect for Canada’s Indigenous.
“Perhaps what makes our action slightly different from others is that is it hosted in part by the Revolutionary Student Movement who believe that the so-called Canadian government has no right to build something as devastating to the environment as a pipeline in land that they violently stole centuries ago.”
“Further, the land that this pipeline will be built on is unneeded and the heavy-handed actions of the Canadian courts RCMP is in violation of the [United Nations] Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”
Image from the Gidimt’en checkpoint with permission from Sawyer Bogdan of My Bukley Lakes Now.