ILPS stands with Indigenous people struggling for self-determination and liberation from Canadian imperialism and capitalist plunder.
The International League of Peoples’ Struggle and its member organisations across the country stand in solidarity with land defenders facing sentencing this week for actions to defend unceded Indigenous territories from the development aggression of the TMX pipeline and the imperialist Canadian state. The eight land defenders – Romily Cavanaugh, Henry Sauls (also known as Secwépemc hereditary Chief Sawses), April Thomas, Jocelyn Pierre, Susan Bibbings, Miranda Dick, Heather Lamoureux and Laura Zadorozny – were charged with criminal contempt for two actions attempting to block and disrupt the construction of the TMX pipeline in defiance of a court ordered injunction against protests at any Transmountain Pipeline worksites.
The pattern of repression against land defenders, particularly against Indigenous land defenders asserting their right to self-determination on their unceded territories, shows the true face of Canadian imperialism. In 2018 the TMX pipeline was purchased for $4.5 billion by the Canadian government, a direct bail-out and subsidy to the Kinder Morgan pipeline company and its wealthy owners and investors. In this instance, as with the attacks on Indigenous people resisting the the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline on Wet’suwet’en and the successful Mi’kmag resistance to fracking at Elsipogtog, we can see that while superficially Canadian politicians shed crocodile tears for the crimes of colonization and genocide and talk about ‘reconciliation’, in practice the role of the imperialist Canadian state is to guarantee the continued functioning and profitability of big business and the rich, using whatever violence is necessary to do so.
Both inside and outside its claimed borders, Canadian imperialism tramples the rights of Indigenous people to protect the profitability and the smooth functioning of its extractive industries. This is the true face of Canadian imperialism.
The real criminals are the corporate shareholders of these companies that plunder the earth to increase their individual wealth, the banksters who finance them, and the politicians who give them cover and the veneer of bourgeois legitimacy. Justice will be when these real criminals are prosecuted and held to account for their crimes, and land defenders are celebrated for their steadfastness and their commitment to the future generations.
Stop criminalising land defenders!
Solidarity with Indigenous people struggling for self-determination and liberation!
Long live international solidarity!