Here is information on Coast Protectors click here.
Whatever it takes to stop Kinder Morgan
We call upon our friends and allies to stand with us to defend our land, our water, and our air, from Kinder Morgan’s pipeline and tanker project.
We stand in solidarity with Indigenous land, water and environment protectors across Turtle Island, from British Columbia to Quebec, from Burnaby to Lelu Island, from Muskrat Falls to Standing Rock.
Indigenous Peoples have consistently and repeatedly rejected Kinder Morgan’s pipeline and tanker project, including the arrest of Grand Chief Stewart Phillip on Burnaby Mountain in 2014.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s November 2016 approval of the project denies our inherent Indigenous Title and Rights, and violates a core principle of Reconciliation: the United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Coast Protectors is proudly hosted by the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC).
Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs
Working towards the recognition, implementation and exercise of our inherent Indigenous Title, Rights and Treaty Rights
342 Water St, 500 Vancouver, BC V6B-1B6 Canada
604-684-0231 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is the link to sign up for email updates:
Protect the water, land, and climate
Nearly 200 people have been arrested challenging the Kinder Morgan pipeline. They are now facing charges in court for standing up for Indigenous rights.
People of Faith and Spirit will be standing up to Kinder Morgan on Saturday, Apr 28.
For facebook event information click here.
(On April 28, the Faith community will return to Burnaby Mountain. Last week, twenty members of the faith community risked arrest taking bold action against Kinder Morgan.
This Saturday, over 100 members of the Faith community are answering the call to take a stand for Indigenous rights and are asking peoples of all faiths and all spiritualities to support them on Burnaby Mountain.
Please arrive at 8am ready for a march.)
Stay up-to-date on the fight against Kinder Morgan. Click here.
A Watch House, (“Kwekwecnewtxw”)
Visiting Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10am-6pm
Indigenous Coast Salish members, spiritual leaders and youth have erected a traditional “Watch House” as part of their ongoing resistance to the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion pipeline.
A Watch House, (“Kwekwecnewtxw” or “a place to watch from” in the henqeminem language, used by members of the Coast Salish Peoples) is grounded in the culture and spirituality of the Coast Salish Peoples. It is a traditional structure they have used for tens of thousands of years to watch for enemies on their territories and protect their communities from danger.
Today, this danger is Kinder Morgan’s new pipeline from the Alberta tar sands, which seeks to cross Indigenous and Coast Salish traditional territories despite the fact that more than half of Indigenous communities along the pipeline’s route have refused consent for the project. It would also mean a seven-fold increase in tanker traffic in the Salish Sea, bringing hundreds of tankers through the Burrard Inlet each year.
The Watch House will be occupied by Coast Salish members, including members of the Tsleil-Waututh and allied communities, and used for ceremony and Indigenous gatherings.
Want to plan an event at the Kwekwecnewtxw Watch House? Send an email here.
Want to volunteer? Send an email here.
“Kwekwecnewtxw – Protect the Inlet” is an Indigenous-led initiative, supported by allied organizations.
How do I pronounce Kwekwecnewtxw?
Kwekwecnewtxw is pronounced Kwu-kwe-ow-tukh.
Is this a project of the Tsleil Waututh Nation?
No. This project is led by members of the Tsleil Waututh communities but not Tsleil Waututh Nation government or band council. It is supported by allied groups.
Why is the Watch House significant?
It has been a long time since Coast Salish communities have been able to build a Watch House, which makes this project historically significant. The Watch House will continue to be an important place for prayer and ceremony. The Watch House will be a base for ongoing opposition to the Kinder Morgan pipeline, which seeks to cross Indigenous land and waters without consent.
Who do I contact for more information?
Please contact email@example.com.
Is there a public camp at the Watch House?
No. The Watch House is a space for Coast Salish spiritual leaders and members and their guests.
“Kwekwecnewtxw” translates to “a place to watch from.” A Watch House is a traditional structure of the Coast Salish people that’s been used for tens of thousands of years to watch for enemies on their territories. The Watch House will be occupied by Coast Salish members, and used for ceremony and Indigenous gathering.
Kwekwecnewtxw is pronounced Kwu-kwe-ow-tukh.
The Watch House is located at Burnaby 200 Soccer Field. Here’s a map.
For Immediate Release
SECWEPEMC TERRITORY / KAMLOOPS – Today, members of the Secwepemc Nation known as the Tiny House Warriors are completing the installation of solar panels on a tiny house they’ve built to put directly in the path of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Expansion pipeline.
“The solar panels we installed on the tiny house today will stand in the path of Kinder Morgan’s pipeline to model the type of energy our communities need and that our children’s future depends on. By harnessing the power of the the sun, we are telling Kinder Morgan and the Trudeau government that our energy systems can help nurture life instead of destroying it. This is what Indigenous consent on energy projects and what climate leadership should look like,” said Kanahus Manuel, a leader with the Tiny House Warriors and member of the Secewepemc Women’s Warrior Society.
Each of the four panels installed is 265 watts. They will be connected to the inside of the home to produce solar energy for household use. The panels were donated by Lubicon Solar, which also provided onsite support for the installation.
The Lubicon Cree is a First Nation in the heart of the tar sands in Northern Alberta. The Nation installed solar panels in their own community in 2015 after experiencing a 2011 oil spill that was the worst Alberta had seen in decades. The partnership is the latest example of growing Nation-to-Nation resistance to toxic oil projects across Turtle Island (North America), including tar sands pipelines and the Dakota Access pipeline.
“I am from a community impacted by tar sands extraction and I’ve seen first-hand the devastation a spill can have on people’s health, rivers and the land. I’ve also seen the hope that solar energy and green jobs can bring to Indigenous communities. The solarization of these tiny houses provides the practical energy needs as well renewable energy solutions this world needs instead of more tar sands pipelines like Kinder Morgan’s. From the heart of the tar sands all along the route to Kinder Morgan’s supertanker port, Indigenous communities are standing together to find solutions that honour the Earth,” said Melina Laboucan-Massimo of Lubicon Solar.
The solar installer assisting the Tiny House Warriors, Brett Isaac, is from the Najavo Nation in the USA and designed the mobile solar units that were taken to Standing Rock last year.
“Tiny houses, especially those powered by solar energy and owned by communities, send a powerful message about how we need to find ways of living that are in tune with the needs of our planet. From Standing Rock to Secwepemc territory to the tar sands, Indigenous communities are finding ways to innovate and resist corporate and colonial control,” said Brett Isaac.
The Tiny House Warriors have now built two tiny houses out of an intended 10, all based on the design used in Standing Rock. A third house is being constructed by supporters in Victoria. The homes are symbols of resistance to the pipeline but also symbols of hope and resilience that will eventually provide housing and reconnection with the land for members of the Secwepemc Nation.
Earlier this month, a report commissioned earlier this month by the Secwepemc Nation, whose land Kinder Morgan’s new pipeline is slated to cross, further details risks related to Indigenous assertions of their rights and title over unceded land.
Our Land is Home is a part of a mission to stop the Kinder Morgan TransMountain pipeline from crossing unceded Secwepemc Territory. Ten tiny houses will be built and placed strategically along the 518 km TransMountain pipeline route to assert Secwepemc Law and jurisdiction and block access to this pipeline.
Melina Laboucan-Massimo, Lubicon Solar: 780-504-5567
A hydroelectric company that environmental activist Berta Caceres had fought plotted with Honduran military and security forces to kill the Indigenous leader in March 2016, an independent commission has found.
The investigation was carried out by the International Group of Advisors and Expert Persons, which is comprised of several lawyers from Guatemala, Colombia, Holland and the United States and was based on dozens of interviews, court records and partial access to evidence provided by government investigators.
The GAIPE found that high-level executives of Energy Development SA and government officials began planning the assassination of Caceres at least four months before they carried it out.
Roxana Althozt, a lawyer with GAIPE said, “DESA high-level directors, [Honduran] state agents and criminal elements” formed a criminal network to “assassinate Berta Caceres.”
Honduran authorities have arrested eight people for the murder, however, the GAIPE investigation points to other suspects.
Caceres was an important and vocal activist within the Civic Council of Popular Organizations and Honduran Indigenous. For over two decades she worked to protect the lands of the Lenca Indigenous of Honduras, and successfully fought DESA’s construction of the hydroelectric dam, Agua Zarca on the White River despite continual death threats and militarization of the area by Honduran forces.
A year before Caceres was gunned down in her home in northeastern Honduras, she was the awarded the Goldman Environmental Award for her continued environmental activism against DESA and the hydroelectric dam, located close to Lenca tribe sacred space.
Caceres’ family and COPIHN called for the creation of an independent panel in Nov. 2016 in order to investigate the activist’s death. The team read through over 2,000 pages related to the case, including “communications intercepted by Honduran authorities,” according to Reuters.
Althozt said at the press conference that DESA and police officials collaborated to follow and plot Caceres’ death. They also reported other environmental activists in the area were followed.
The Honduran Ministry of Security and Government and DESA did not respond to Reuters request for an interview regarding GAIPE accusations. DESA has repeatedly denied any involvement in the assassination of Caceres.
In an interview Caceres gave to COPIHN when awarded the Goldman prize, she said the Lenca and all Honduran Indigenous are “confronted with a hegemonic project created by national and international ‘big capital’ based in the energy, mining and agro-industrial sectors, adding, “we formally denounced the [Honduran] state’s participation in dozens of hydroelectric projects, but haven’t had any positive response.”
Only Nonviolent Resistance Will Destroy Corporate State
The Oceti Sakowin camp, near the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota, in November 2016. (Becker1999 / Flickr)
The encampments by Native Americans at Standing Rock, N.D., from April 2016 to February 2017 to block construction of the Dakota Access pipeline provided the template for future resistance movements. The action was nonviolent. It was sustained. It was highly organized. It was grounded in spiritual, intellectual and communal traditions. And it lit the conscience of the nation.
Native American communities—more than 200 were represented at the Standing Rock encampments, which at times contained up to 10,000 people—called themselves “water protectors.” Day after day, week after week, month after month, the demonstrators endured assaults carried out with armored personnel carriers, rubber bullets, stun guns, tear gas, cannons that shot water laced with chemicals, and sound cannons that can cause permanent hearing loss. Drones hovered overhead. Attack dogs were unleashed on the crowds. Hundreds were arrested, roughed up and held in dank, overcrowded cells. Many were charged with felonies. The press, or at least the press that attempted to report honestly, was harassed and censored, and often reporters were detained or arrested. And mixed in with the water protectors was a small army of infiltrators, spies and agents provocateurs, who often initiated vandalism and rock throwing at law enforcement and singled out anti-pipeline leaders for arrest.
The Democratic administration of Barack Obama did not oppose the pipeline until after the election of Donald Trump, who approved the project in January 2017 soon after he became president. The water protectors failed in their ultimate aim to stop the construction, but if one looks at their stand as a single battle in a long war, Standing Rock was vitally important because it showed us how to resist.
In November of last year I spoke with Kandi Mossett, one of the water protector leaders, when I visited the North Dakota encampments. We were standing over one of the sacred fires.
“He starts throwing rocks at police,” she said of an infiltrator who shadowed her and pointed her out to law enforcement for arrest. “When he throws rocks I see a few other people throw water bottles. One of our women says, ‘Stop throwing shit!’ So people stop. But there’s instigators and infiltrators. We’ve had, here at this fire, two women who were called bikers because of the way they were dressed. When they lifted up their hands with everybody, people saw they had wires on. [Water protector] security went to them. They said, ‘We see that you’re miked.’ They took off running. Went over the fence. And a car came zooming, picked them up, and they took off. It’s not easy to keep [infiltrators] out. They can roll under the fence. They can come from under the security gates. We know they’re here.”
The corporate state, no longer able to peddle a credible ideology, is becoming more overtly totalitarian. It will increasingly silence dissidents out of fear that the truth they speak will spark a contagion. It will, as in China’s system of totalitarian capitalism, use the tools of censorship, blacklisting, infiltration, blackmailing, bribery, public defamation, prison sentences on trumped-up charges and violence. The more discredited the state becomes, the more it will communicate in the language of force.
“This world is heading towards economic systems that continue to eat up life itself, even the heart of workers, and it’s not sustainable,” Native American and environmental leader Tom B.K. Goldtooth told me when we spoke at one of the camps last year. “We’re at that point where Mother Earth is crying out for a revolution. Mother Earth is crying out for a new direction.”
“As far as a new regime, we’ll need something based on earth jurisprudence,” he said. “A new system away from property rights, away from privatization, away from financialization of nature, away from control over our … DNA, away from control over seeds, away from corporations. It’s a common law with local sovereignty. That’s why it’s important we have a system that recognizes the rights of a healthy and clean water system, ecosystem. Mother Earth has rights. We need a system that will recognize that. Mother Earth is not an object. We have an economic system that treats Mother Earth as if she’s a liquidation issue. We have to change that. That’s not sustainable.”
“If the pipeline is built, is that a defeat?” I asked him. He replied wryly, “That oil is going to run dry a lot sooner than they think. Maybe that corporation is going to go bankrupt. Who knows?”
“I talk about the need for young people to have patience, to put the prayer first, rather than just jumping out there and putting their energy into action,” he said. Angry reaction is “what the corporations want. That’s what the government wants. They want us to react. They want us to feel that anger. When the anger escalates, our feelings, frustrations, it goes back to that rage. The rage of the machines. It’s also unhappy. It feeds off the unhappiness of people.”
George Lakey, the Eugene M. Lang Visiting Professor for Issues in Social Change emeritus at Swarthmore College and a sociologist who focuses on nonviolent social change, talked about Sweden and Norway’s response in the 1920 and ’30s to the rise of fascism and compared it with the response in Italy and Germany. We live in a historical moment similar to when fascism was ascendant between the two world wars, he argues. Lakey was a trainer during the civil rights movement for Mississippi Freedom Summer and co-authored “A Manual for Direct Action: Strategy and Tactics for Civil Rights and All Other Nonviolent Protest Movements,” one of the seminal texts of the civil rights movement.
“Fascism was a definite threat,” he said of the situation faced by Sweden and Norway. “And they were also experiencing [economic] depression. Norway’s degree of depression was even worse than Germany’s. It was the worst in Europe. The highest unemployment in Europe. People were literally starving. The pressure, the pro-fascist setup that the depression brings, was very present both in Sweden and in Norway. What the Nazis did there—what they did in Germany and what the fascists did in Italy—was provocation, provocation, provocation. ‘Bait the left. The left will come. And we’ll have street fighting.’ ”
Street violence, he said in echoing Native American elders, always “strengthens the state.”
“It puts more pressure on the state—which is presided over by the 1 percent—to step in more and more forcefully, with the middle class saying, ‘We care about order. We don’t want chaos,’ ” he said. “That’s what happened in Germany. It was a strengthening of the state. This happened in Italy as well. That’s what the game plan was for fascists in Norway and Sweden. It didn’t work. It didn’t work because the left didn’t play their game. They didn’t allow themselves to be baited into paying attention to them, doing street fighting.”
“Instead, [what was done] in the civil rights movement we would have called ‘they kept their eyes on the prize,’ ” Lakey said. “They knew the prize was to push away the economic elite, get rid of its dominance, so they can set up a new economic system, which is now called the Nordic model. What they did was: massive strikes, massive boycotts, massive demonstrations. Not only in the urban areas, which is what you expect, but also in the rural areas. During the Depression [in Sweden and Norway], there were lots of farmers who had their farms foreclosed on. Farmers are perennially in debt and had no way of repaying that debt. When the sheriff came, farmers in that county would come to join them and collectively not cooperate—not violently, but very strongly—in such a way that the sheriff couldn’t carry out the auction.”
“Remember who is actually running things, and we keep our focus on them both politically and economically,” Lakey said.
“The group I’m involved with [Earth Quaker Action Team] loves to go after corporations,” he said. “We went after a bank [PNC], the seventh largest bank in the country but it was the No. 1 financier of mountaintop-removal coal mining in Appalachia. We forced that bank out of [the] business of financing mountaintop coal mining. Nonviolently. Disrupting. Disrupting. We were in bank branches all over the place. We shut down two shareholder meetings. We led a boycott in which people took out money from that bank and were putting it in their local credit unions. So there’s more than one way to go after the 1 percent.”
“These days, a very smart way to do that is to focus on the economic entities that are owned by the 1 percent, who are basically responsible for the oppression that we experience,” he said.
Resistance, he stressed, will come from outside the formal political system. It will not be embraced by either of the two main political parties or the establishment, which is now under corporate control.
“The Democratic Party is out to lunch,” he said. “The Republican Party is actively grinding us. But even so we can make tremendous strides and start building that mass movement, which in Norway and Sweden was able to push the economic elites away. So that’s an indication of the way to build a movement—which is not to take them on the way antifa suggests. Instead, in the way the civil rights movement did. It worked. I was there. The Ku Klux Klan was much stronger then than it is now. In the Deep South, the Ku Klux Klan virtually ran the [region].”
Resistance, he said, means movements have to keep “pushing, pushing, pushing. Campaign after campaign after campaign.” It must always stay “on the offensive. That’s the secret.”
“As soon as they lost that sense of going on the offensive, choosing campaign after campaign and winning those campaigns, that was when they lost their momentum,” he said of the civil rights movement. “The important thing about what happened in Norway and Sweden was they kept their momentum. The campaigns continued to grow in number and in power until the economic elite was out.”
“I was very influenced by Bayard Rustin, who was the chief strategist for Dr. [Martin Luther] King,” he said. “I heard Bayard say over and over and over, ‘If we don’t get this economic justice thing done, in 50 years we’re still going to have rampant racism.’ He was right. But Dr. King and the other leaders who understood that were not able to get a sufficient number of people to make it. Now, the ’63 march was for jobs and justice. So they were able to do it to some degree. They kept moving in that direction, involving white trade unions in that process. But in the situation of general prosperity, there were many people who were content with our economic system.”
Economic decline, deindustrialization, austerity, debt peonage, decay and collapse of social services and infrastructure and the impoverishment of the working class, Lakey said, have changed the configuration. The working class, in short, can no longer be bought off.
“We’re in a very different situation,” he said. “We’re still in austerity. There’s not the degree of [contentment] that there once was. Trump has obviously capitalized on that fact. There’s discontent. I think what Dr. King and Bayard and others wanted to happen in the ’60s is now realizable.”
“The impact of ignoring climate change is going to be more and more disastrous,” he added. “We’re just through it now with [a devastating hurricane in] Houston. We’re going to see more and more money drained off by that [kind of natural disaster]. Again, the 1 percent won’t want to pay their fair share. What that leaves us is a population that is more and more discontent. We see that polarization going on. Polarization always goes along with increased inequality. We can expect more polarization. That’s a part of the temptation of antifa: ‘I’m more and more upset.’ ”
“When dealing with mountaintop-removal coal mining, we went from an organization [Earth Quaker Action Team] that started in a living room to 13 states,” he said. “We were steadfastly nonviolent. And we were targeting something people understood. ‘Wow, you’re going after the bank that’s financing this? I want to join that.’ Even though there were some people who were like, ‘We’d like a little more politeness, please.’ They didn’t get it because what we were about was making the bank’s life so difficult that they would choose instead to get out of the business [of mountaintop mining].”
Lakey cautioned against diverting energy to attacking neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups. That, he said, is a gift to the state.
“There’s really no need for us to shift our attention from going after the 1 percent to go after, often, working-class guys on the extreme right,” he said. “For one thing, we look at their real, genuine grievances and address them. For example, how many people on the right are from working-class families who have family members who are not being served by our health care system? Many people on the far right are from a demographic that is actually losing life expectancy for the first time in U.S. history. The health care system in the U.S is a mess. Obamacare is better than previous, but it’s a mess. So what we can do is address the genuine grievances instead of writing people off as if obsession with racism is all that’s going on. Fascism grows when the economy declines. So let’s address the real thing instead of the symptom.”
While refusing to be baited into violent confrontations with the radical right, we must also be vigorous in using militant, nonviolent tactics to block hate speech. Article 4 of the International Covenant on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, adopted by the United Nations in 1965, stipulates that “all propaganda and all organizations” based on ideas or theories of racial or ethnic superiority should be illegal. It urges states to take positive steps to eliminate them.
Dr. Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese of Popular Resistance dealt with the issue of hate speech recently when a Baltimore chapter of the League of Women Voters held a series of panel discussions on immigration. The chapter invited speakers from anti-immigrant white supremacist groups listed as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Despite public outcry, the league refused to withdraw the invitations. At the initial event the speaker was prevented from completing his presentation by anti-racist activists and members of the local chapter of the Green Party.
“Organizations and institutions do not have a requirement to include those who espouse hate,” Flowers and Zeese wrote of the event. “They are not required to give a platform to or legitimize white supremacist views. In fact, one could argue that it is anti-social to do so.”
“We would do better as a society to debate the best ways to eliminate white supremacy,” they added.
Lakey’s prescription: “Consistently occupy the moral high ground, and that attracts support.” “It defangs those who want to do us in,” he said. “It’s not like the 1 percent was fond of the civil rights movement. They had to be dragged kicking and screaming into making concessions. J. Edgar Hoover was even quoted as saying, ‘He’s [King] the most dangerous man in America.’ ”
And, Lakey said, “there’s a psychological reward. Going for what you want, instead of opposing what you don’t want, is itself fulfilling. It was civil rights. It was called the Freedom Movement. It’s also called a black liberation movement. It was all about positivity.”
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe won a significant victory today in its fight to protect the Tribe’s drinking water and ancestral lands from the Dakota Access pipeline.
A federal judge ruled that the federal permits authorizing the pipeline to cross the Missouri River just upstream of the Standing Rock reservation, which were hastily issued by the Trump administration just days after the inauguration, violated the law in certain critical respects.
In a 91-page decision, Judge James Boasberg wrote, “the Court agrees that [the Corps] did not adequately consider the impacts of an oil spill on fishing rights, hunting rights, or environmental justice, or the degree to which the pipeline’s effects are likely to be highly controversial.”
The Court did not determine whether pipeline operations should be shut off and has requested additional briefing on the subject and a status conference next week.
“This is a major victory for the Tribe and we commend the courts for upholding the law and doing the right thing,” said Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II in a recent statement. “The previous administration painstakingly considered the impacts of this pipeline, and President Trump hastily dismissed these careful environmental considerations in favor of political and personal interests.
We applaud the courts for protecting our laws and regulations from undue political influence and will ask the Court to shut down pipeline operations immediately.”
The Tribe’s inspiring and courageous fight has attracted international attention and drawn the support of hundreds of tribes around the nation.
The Tribe is represented by the nonprofit environmental law firm Earthjustice, which filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for issuing a permit for the pipeline construction in violation of several environmental laws.
“This decision marks an important turning point. Until now, the rights of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe have been disregarded by the builders of the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Trump administration—prompting a well-deserved global outcry,” said Earthjustice attorney Jan Hasselman. “The federal courts have stepped in where our political systems have failed to protect the rights of Native communities.”
The Court ruled against the Tribe on several other issues, finding that the reversal allowing the pipeline complied with the law in some respects.
The $3.8 billion pipeline project, also known as Bakken Oil Pipeline, extends 1,168 miles across North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois, crossing through communities, farms, tribal land, sensitive natural areas and wildlife habitat. The pipeline would carry up to 570,000 barrels a day of crude oil from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to Illinois where it links with another pipeline that will transport the oil to terminals and refineries along the Gulf of Mexico.