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Injustice at Unist’ot’en

Volume 52, Issue 4: Winter 2019

Since 2009, members of the Unist’ot’en Camp (C’ihlts’ehkhyu / Big Frog Clan) have been re-occupying Wet’suwet’en territory – in the northwestern part of what is known as British Columbia – to affirm their sovereignty and block any oil and gas development on their unceded lands. They are taking a stand to protect that land for future generations.

In January, direct conflict erupted when the government of Canada sent in the RCMP to dismantle the Unist’ot’en Camp checkpoint and allow Coastal GasLink to begin pre-construction activity related to the company’s planned natural gas pipeline, taking fracked methane to LNG’s $40-billion export facility in Kitimat.

To echo the statement of solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en people issued by more than 1,000 scholars from Canada and abroad, “Our best hope for justice and sustainability in Canada lies with communities like the Wet’suwet’en nation, who take their relationship and responsibilities to their lands and waters so seriously that they will risk all they have to defend it. Our hope also lies with the many Canadians respecting and actively supporting the rights of these Indigenous communities to take care of their territories.” We at Canadian Dimension condemn the injustice at Unist’ot’en and stand with land and water defenders across Turtle Island and around the world.

This is the 342nd issue of Canadian Dimension published in our 56-year history. Over half a century and in all this time not a year has gone by when our behemoth neighbour has not been imposing its will on some country or another: Cuba, Dominican Republic, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Chile, El Salvador, Grenada, Nicaragua, Panama, Haiti, Iran, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Is Venezuela next? In all these instances Canada played a helping role as the empire’s ally, in Greg Albo’s memorable phrase. In the case of Venezuela, the Canadian state is playing a much more central role. For example, at a February 4th meeting in Ottawa, called by Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, the 14 countries of the Lima Group organized by Freeland denounced Venezuela’s elected president Nicolás Maduro as illegitimate. Freeland declared “the Maduro regime is now fully entrenched as a dictatorship.” Freeland said that she opposed a coup but wanted the Venezuelan military to depose Maduro and install Trump’s choice for president, Juan Guaido.

Canadian Dimension calls on the NDP, the labour movement, the churches, and the peace movement to press the Trudeau government to cease its sanctions against Venezuela and to accept the results of Venezuela’s elections.

Have a good read.

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