January 9, 2019
GREEN PARTY OF ALBERTA SUPPORTS UNIST’OT’EN AND GIDIMT’EN
CALGARY – The Green Party of Alberta fully supports the Unist’ot’en and Gidimt’en peoples and condemns the unnecessary, expensive and over-the-top actions of the RCMP yesterday (January 8, 2019) in BC. The Green Party of Alberta is concerned about the ‘police state’ mentality resulting in military weaponry, violent confrontation and communications blackout as an alarming over-reaction to peaceful protesters.
Cheryle Chagnon-Greyeyes, Leader of the Green Party of Alberta, said “It was troubling to see the RCMP arrest 14 First Nation citizens clearly defending their traditional lands from the TransCanada $6.2-billion pipeline carrying natural gas in unceded Wet’suwet’en territory. They are indigenous people living on their territory, practicing their culture, taking care of and protecting their land and water, living by their teachings and laws. The RCMP forced removal of Indigenous people from their own territory is unjust, illegal, and contravenes Canada’s agreements with the United Nations and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”
The Calgary-Varsity Nominated Candidate pointed out that the use of police force against people peacefully protesting pipeline construction is a violation of their human and Aboriginal rights, and a blatant violation of democracy. These actions do not advance reconciliation in this country; Canada and BC need to abide by the Supreme Court of Canada rulings and address outstanding land claims issues without violence and confrontation.
We are also deeply concerned that the RCMP prevented members of the media from visiting the two protest checkpoints. Media and communications were blocked, preventing documentation and evidence gathering, and sharing of truth in real time, a democratic necessity. Said Chagnon-Greyeyes, “We cannot underestimate the important role journalists play in promoting democracy, revealing truth and shining a light on our darkness.”
Alberta Greens thank the courageous people who turned out in Calgary and Edmonton to rallies supporting the Unist’ot’en and Gidimt’en peoples protecting Wet’suwet’en territory, showing solidarity with our Indigenous brothers and sisters who are fighting for a clean, green future.
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For more information, please contact:
Cheryle Chagnon-Greyeyes, Leader of the Green Party of Alberta and Nominated Candidate in Calgary-Varsity.