FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
10 February 2020
OTTAWA – In response to the dozens of arrests of Indigenous Land Defenders and solidarity protesters made by the RCMP and other law enforcement organizations today and last week, Greenpeace Canada Executive Director Christy Ferguson said:
“Over the past five days, we’ve seen people from all walks of life take to the streets, blockade ports, occupy government buildings and even interrupt rail service across the country in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en people, who are being forced to put their lives on the line in an effort to protect their territory and their rights.
“People across Canada are right to be disturbed by what the B.C. Civil Liberties Association and Union of BC Indian Chiefs have called expanding and unreasonable powers of the RCMP, who are criminalizing Land Defenders, denying Indigenous Peoples access to their territory, and limiting media freedom to document the raids. The cross-Canada protests in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en have helped to keep national attention on the injustices happening on their territory. It’s the kind of vital role that peaceful protest has played throughout history in bearing witness and pressuring politicians to do what is right, not what is convenient.
“As B.C. Premier John Horgan prepares to open a new session of the Legislative Assembly with the Speech from the Throne, and as Prime Minister Trudeau campaigns abroad for a seat on the UN Security Council, we’d like to remind them of their duties to guarantee Indigenous rights, freedom of the press and the right to peaceful protest — core tenets of any healthy democracy.”
Article 10 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), which has been ratified by the Canadian government and which the B.C. government has adopted into provincial law, states: “Indigenous peoples shall not be forcibly removed from their lands or territories. No relocation shall take place without the free, prior and informed consent of the Indigenous Peoples concerned and after agreement on just and fair compensation and, where possible, with the option of return.”
For more information, please contact:
Jesse Firempong, Communications Officer, Greenpeace Canada
[email protected]; +1-778-996-6549