On Sunday Green Party of Quebec leader Alex Tyrrell visited the protest camp at the site of the Kahnawake rail blockade to show his support for the blockade before issuing the following statement.
The Green Party of Quebec fully supports the Kahnawake rail blockade as well as the many other blockades taking place across the country in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en heredetary chiefs. What is hapening on Wet’suwet’en territory is a disgrace to Canada. It’s a blatent and violent continuation of the colonization process. It is an assult on the rights of indegenous peoples of this land. It is out of step with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indegenous Peoples. It is a black eye for Canada on the international stage. It’s a profound injustice and it’s the latest example of racist and extractivist policies which prioritize fossil fuel extraction and economic development over indegenous rights. Canada should not be forcing fossil fuel infrastructure or other projects on communities who have said no.
With respect to court injunctions against the various rail blockades I call on federal and provincial government to rely on dialogue, negotiation and compromise in order to resolve these stand offs. Intervening with force would be an escalation and a huge step backwards for reconciliation. Canada should immediatly suspend construction of the Costal Gas Link pipeline, withdraw the RCMP from the Wet’suwet’en territory and to prevent any police intervention on the rail blockades or other solidarity actions occurring across Canada.
– I Support the Rail Blockades –
After just a few days of peaceful rail blockades Andrew Sheer and to a lesser extent François Legault are calling for violent police interventions as a means to resolve the conflict. By doing so they are demonstrating how little they care about indigenous rights, reconciliation, dialogue and a nation to nation relationship.
Canada is a racist and colonial state. The sooner mainstream politicians recognize this the quicker we will be able to begin resolving these issues and moving forward together with indigenous communities. Andrew Sheer and the others are acting irresponsibly at a time when they should be showing leadership, understanding and patience.
Indigenous communities have little options other than direct action. Despite all the promisses of the Trudeau government, we are still living in a country where the indigenous population receives inferior services, is subject to systemic discrimination based on race and in which many communities do not even have universal access to life’s most valuable resource; clean drinking water.
These are some of the many reasons I continue to support the ongoing rail blockades. The time for action on reconciliation is now. If the blockades are lifted everything will go back to normal and there will be no significant progress on these issues.
The trains can wait; reconciliation can not.
Solidarity with the rail blockades,
Leader of the Green Party of Quebec
Candidate for leadership of the Canadian Green