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Civil charges dropped against fourteen people arrested at Gidumt'en Access Checkpoint

In January, RCMP acting on Coastal Gaslink’s Temporary Injunction breached the Gidumt’en Access checkpoint to clear the way for preliminary work on the LNG Pipeline in Unist’ot’en

by Billie Pierre

Gidumt'en Spokesperson Molly Wickham and House Chief Dinize Madeek give a celebratory interview outside the Prince George courthouse. Photo: Still from Wet'suwet'en Access Point on Gidumt'en Territory Facebook page video on April 15, 2019
Gidumt'en Spokesperson Molly Wickham and House Chief Dinize Madeek give a celebratory interview outside the Prince George courthouse. Photo: Still from Wet'suwet'en Access Point on Gidumt'en Territory Facebook page video on April 15, 2019

On April 15, 2019, contempt of court charges against 14 people who were arrested at the Gidumt’en Access Checkpoint on unceded Wet’suwet’en territory last January 7 were dropped. The RCMP acted on Coastal Gaslink’s interim injunction and raided the Gidumt’en Access Checkpoint, making the arrests in order to clear the path for the pipeline company to begin preliminary work for the pipeline project.

Gidumt’en clan spokesperson Molly Wickham said: “This morning the civil charges dropped against all fourteen people and the way that that happened was that Crown council reviewed all of the evidence and determined that there wasn’t enough evidence for a likely conviction in criminal charges. And the test for civil charges is the same as criminal charges and so the Coastal Gaslink lawyer council advised not to proceed with civil charges because they would not win”. Chief Madeek of the Gidumt'en Clan said: “I was surprised they got this far. Because they didn’t have a leg to stand on when they started. And the way the proceeded, it was unlawful. They had no right to do what they did. But it turned out to be in our favour today”. Molly Wickham also stated “They tried to tell us we couldn’t wear our Wet’suwet’en Strong T-shirts in the courtroom and we won that one too! We’re just all around winners today!”

In December, the Gidumt’en Access Checkpoint which is 20 km from the Unist'ot'en camp, and acts as the first line of defense against attempts to enter Unist’ot’en, where the C’ihlts’ehkhyu / Big Frog Clan built a cabin at Talbits Kwah at Gosnell Creek and Wedzin Kwah (Morice River) to defend their territory from seven proposed pipelines nine years previously. This took place after, Coastal Gaslink LNG pipeline project received a temporary injunction to begin preliminary work on the 670 kilometre pipeline that has been approved to be built from Dawson Creek BC to Kitimat BC. Coastal Gaslink has applied for an injunction in order to build their planned pipeline, however, for years, the five traditional clans of the Wet’suwet’en nation have been unanimously opposing all pipeline projects on Wet’suwet’en territory. In 1997, the Supreme Court of Canada acknowledged that Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs have never relinquished jurisdiction over their 22,000 square kilometres of their territory in the infamous Delgamuukw decision.

Presently there's a call to help with new projects and the building of infrastructure on Wet’suwet’en territory for May 6-May 31

TO DONATE TO UNIST’OT’EN LEGAL FUND: https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/unistoten-camp-legal-fund DONATE TO GIDIMT’EN ACCESS POINT: https://www.gofundme.com/gitdumt039en-access-point Unist’ot’en Camp: https://www.facebook.com/unistoten/ Wet’suwet’en Access point on Gidimt’en territory: https://www.facebook.com/wetsuwetenstrong/ Sovereign Likhts’amisyu and Namoks: https://www.facebook.com/likhtsamisyu/ Tsayu Land Defenders: https://www.facebook.com/Tsayu-Land-Defenders-145084489749640/ Unist’ot’en Website: http://unistoten.camp/ Gidimt’en Website: https://www.yintahaccess.com/ ADDITIONAL IMPORTANT UPDATES FOR SUPPORTERS: If you are planning a fundraising event or campaign make sure to read the newly released fundraising protocols.: Unist’ot’en: http://unistoten.camp/fundraiserprotocols/ Gidimt’en: https://www.yintahaccess.com/fundraisingprotocol SIGN THE PLEDGE Join hundreds of organizations and 13,843 individuals in signing the pledge to support UNIST’OT’EN and the WET’SUWET’EN: https://goo.gl/forms/GE5bfm5ITDTyNPy12 #UNISTOTEN #WETSUWETENSTRONG #WEDZINKWA #NOPIPELINES #NOTRESPASS


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Billie (Jocelyn Billie Pierre)
Vancouver BC
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