Hamilton: Into the Streets: Stand with the Wet’suwet’en – Rally Reportback

Anonymous submission to North Shore Counter-Info
Dish with One Spoon Territory
Hamilton, ON

On Friday, January 10th, around 50+ strong rallied in Gore Park in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en who are defending their unceded sovereign land against violent colonial invasion.

Equipped with a marching band, signs, and a giant balloon banner that read: “STOP CGL”, we proceeded onto King Street, catching cops and bankers by surprise when we detoured into the RBC in Jackson Square to disrupt as they prepared to close for the day. One perturbed employee who tried to head off the procession protested “you can’t do this! We’re trying to do business here!” to which a speaker in our midst retorted that was exactly the point.

And that is exactly the point: Business will not go on uninterrupted and unchallenged while indigenous lives are under attack.

Rallying supporters weaved into Jackson Square and back out onto King Street, chanting “Bankers, bankers, you can’t hide! We can see your greedy side!” leaving behind our balloon banner to float up to their ceiling. And since RBC is a key financial backer of the CGL project, which promises to have a devastating environmental impact, we thought it would only be fitting to pollute their bank with clouds of fart spray on our way out.

Taking the street again, we stopped at the federal building on Bay Street to make our position known. In an all-too predictable fashion, the Canadian state and RCMP have sided with profit and corporate interest over indigenous lives. A Guardian article released earlier in December confirms what we have known all along: the RCMP are willing to kill indigenous people who interfere with this pipeline being built, and deliver more indigenous children into foster care, both a continuation of the legacy of residential schools and further acts of genocide.

Our message to the federal government, the RCMP, the banks, and anybody involved in the attacks on the Wet’suwet’en people, their terriroties, and their infrastructure is this: We are watching, and we are ready to take action. We will not stand by inactive, and watch in complicity. And while we did not risk much in our action on Friday, especially compared to what is being risked by the Wet’suwet’en who are reoccupying their traditional territories, this is just the beginning.

We will stand against the violence of colonialism, and with the Hereditary Chiefs and Wet’suwet’en nation whose stewardship protects the land from environmental destruction. Industry must not prevail over sacred laws and human lives.