In recent months, having learned nothing from previous mistakes, the oil company Coastal GasLink (CGL) attempted a new extractivist offensive. Having been thwarted two years ago by the #shutdowncanada movement, the company planned to drill under the Wedzin Kwa River. However, land and water defenders blocked access to the drilling site starting September 24, using CGL's machinery to block workers from entering. They also established an encampment.
This Sunday, November 14, members of the Gidimt'en clan made effective an eviction notice that was originally issued to CGL in 2020 by the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs. CGL workers were given eight hours to evacuate the Cas Yikh Territory before the Morice River Forest Service Road, the only forestry road providing access to the territory, would be permanently closed. At the scheduled and announced time, the road was sealed off, preventing further work on the Cas Yikh territory. Shortly thereafter, a railroad blockade was organized by Gitxsan, the neighboring nation. These events represent an important reclamation of territory for Gidimt'en and a return to a position of strength following the pandemic.
In 2020, following a militarized raid on Wet'suwet'en land defenders, a massive wave of solidarity actions under the banner #ShutDownCanada swept across the country, paralyzing "Canada" for weeks by disrupting ports, bridges, roads, rails. The increduble scope and diversity of these disruptive actions demonstrated the extent of the opposition to this dismal project and its like.
Sleydo' (Molly Wickham), a leader of Cas Yikh (Grizzly House) of the Gidimt'en clan and spokesperson for the Coyote camp, has in recent weeks repeatedly called for solidarity actions across the country. This morning's blockade is a sign that these actions will increase if CGL and the RCMP refuse to listen to the Gidimt'en and Likhts'amisyu clans of the Wet'suwet'en Nation.