Dear Friends and Supporters,
It is becoming clear that the situation here is moving toward an escalation point. Chevron has set up a base in Houston in order to do work on the secton of Pacific Trails Pipeline that crosses our traditional territory.
In recent days a low-flying helicopter has flown over the camp several times following a route that corresponds to the path of the proposed PTP pipeline. We were also visited by the head of the RCMP detachment who clearly stated to Freda that they intend to “ensure the work crews can do their work safely.”
Our supporters maintaining an Unist’ot’en check point on Chisolm Rd were also visited and threatened by the police. In both cases, the officers asserted that we could be arrested for blocking a “public road”.
It is clear by the timing of these recent police actions that they are working in tandem with the pipeline companies.
We have made it clear to the police and industry that we are not blockading the road. We are establishing check-points on the boundaries of our unceded Unist’ot’en territories. People and companies who gain our consent are allowed to enter.
Many of you have visited our yintah (territory) and have experienced first-hand our critical infrastructure of water, salmon, berries and medicines. We are determined to protect this land for future generations, and in the process do our bit to shut down the toxic fossil fuel infrastructure that threatens all forms of living life on this planet.
At this time we would like to ask our supporters for the following things:
1) If you have been to our camp before and/or if you feel comfortable to put your self on the front-line to stand with us against Chevron, you can register here: http://www.jotform.ca/unistoten/actioncamp
2) If you are unable to assist in person but would like to send financial support to help us with equipment and operational costs, donations can be sent by email transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org
Or if you would like to donate online you could contribute to the Healing Centre fundraiser: https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/axsMd/ab/24dGu0
Cheques can be made out to “Tse Wedi Elth”, 620 CN Station Rd, Smithers, BC, V0J 2N1.
3) You could organize solidarity actions where you live, either against Chevron directly or one of their investors.
Sne Kal Yah!
Less than eight months ago, a small but determined group of people wrote the words “No New Animal Lab” in black paint across a flannel bed sheet. Although they were preparing late into the night, the full impact of their efforts would last well beyond…
The following morning the Board of Regents of the University of Washington prepared to approve the construction of the Animal Research and Care Facility (ARCF). This move came after a lawsuit against the Regents for hosting private dinner meetings in violation of Washington’s Open Public Meetings Act. It was under this shroud of secrecy that the Regents developed and approved the ARCF contract with Skanska USA. As a hollow gesture towards accountability and transparency, UW decided to produce this spurious re-vote to skirt public criticism. As the Regents prepared to review and approve project construction, the group unfurled the ad hoc banner and began a disruption.
That day marked the beginnings of the No New Animal Lab campaign. In a little over half a year, it has made a transformation from that first small disruption into a high-profile campaign that spans over a dozen cities, multiple countries, and two continents, employing a diversity of tactics–letter writing, petitions, public comment, office protests, office disruptions, home protests, mass demonstrations, and direct action. The campaign’s dynamic tactics, expanding momentum, accumulating pressure, and radical foundations have aroused the animal liberation movement.
Now with the arrival of summer, UW and Skanska leadership likely hope that they have weathered the storm. They could not be more wrong. No New Animal Lab is launching two big pushes in order to escalate pressure even further.
The first is the No New Animal Lab Tour. We will take this campaign around the US with two goals in mind–to stop the lab and to build a movement. We want to distribute the pressure model, build a network, and foster organizational skills and resources. Please watch for further details as we announce them.
Following the tour, please join us for the 2nd March on the University of Washington on Friday, October 2nd. UW will be in its first week of Fall Term, students and faculty will be returning, and freshman will be starting anew. University administration would like the new academic year to kick off without a hitch, and they celebrate this homecoming with their annual Dawg Daze week of events. Public pressure will follow them well into the new year. There is no turning back. The 2nd March on the University of Washington will make that abundantly clear.
On April 25th we had 500 people in the streets showing mass public advocacy for animals and opposition to UW and Skanska’s plans. On October 2nd, we want to increase those numbers, increase the pressure, and employ mass action to stop this lab. There is no distance that is too far to travel. Take off work. Skip class. Join us in Seattle. We will show solidarity. We will stop this lab. Where will you be?
Grassroots Mobilizing for Animal Liberation
Animals in captivity or whose habitats are being destroyed live in a constant state of resistance. When their lives are threatened, they kick and bite and scream. When their homes are taken, they attempt to rebuild and regroup. When they are confined, they desperately grasp for an existence beyond captivity. Animals fight to live, to be wild, and to be free, and their fight is always urgent. If we are fighting in solidarity with animals, where is our urgency? What are we missing in our movement for animal liberation?
An effective movement for animal liberation must challenge the systems in which animal use is rooted — capitalism, colonialism, imperialism, and patriarchy. Our organizing must be informed by solidarity and inspired by the passion with which animals fight. We need a path forward that is forged through on-the-ground actions, movement building, strategic campaigning, a diversity of tactics, and coalition organizing. We need a movement that is grounded in the urgency of the animals’ own resistance.
Join us for a presentation and discussion about effectively resisting the use of animals and embracing the urgency of the fight for animal liberation. We will explore the recent history of animal advocacy and share our experiences of organizing within the context of the current state of the movement, and discuss ideas about how we can work together for a stronger animal liberation movement — a movement that is driven by grassroots activism, resistance against all of the systems that support animal exploitation, and solidarity with the animals and others who fight for liberation and self-determination. We will also share our plans for next summer and invite you to take part. We are working to create a summer of regional campaign development and nationwide mobilization of grassroots activists, and we look forward to talking with you about how your community wants to be involved.
Dec 13: Bay Area
Dec 14: Southern California
Dec 16: Phoenix, AZ
Dec 18: Denver, CO
Dec 20: Salt Lake City, UT
Dec 22: Reno, NV
Dec 31: Florence, MA
Jan 2: Philadelphia, PA & Washington, DC
Jan 4: Charleston, SC
Jan 5: Gainesville, FL
Jan 7: South Florida
Jan 9: Dallas, TX
Jan 11: Seattle, WA
For more info
Operation Great Bear has set out to defend wildlife from the annual, senseless slaughter known as the British Columbia trophy hunt. The Wildlife Defence League has blockaded the only road leading into the Sacred Headwaters from resident hunters to ensure wildlife are not pursued for trophy. We are working in solidarity with the Klabona Keepers, documenting, monitoring and exposing the trophy hunt.
This video introduces the campaign and the folks involved in defending one of the last truly wild places on the planet. We will remain on this blockade for the duration of the hunting season in this area.
BRITISH COLUMBIA, Unceded Tahltan Territory – September 18, 2014
The Wildlife Defence League (WDL) has been invited by the Klabona Keepers to blockade the only road providing access to the Sacred Headwaters. This area is home to numerous species of wildlife, including moose, grizzly bear, black bear, and stone sheep. In recent years these animals have been exploited by resident hunters, mainly for trophy. Moose populations have been most effected, due to no bag-limits that have precipitated a massive decline in the species. Consequently, the Klabona Keepers and the WDL are firm in their conviction that protecting wildlife and safeguarding habitat in the Sacred Headwaters from exploitation is a pressing priority. The Klabona Keepers with the support of the Wildlife Defence League, intend to blockade the entrance to the Sacred Headwaters from non-Indigenous and resident trophy hunters. Tahltan hunters will not be blockaded, as the Wildlife Defence League supports their right to live off the land as they have done for thousands of years.
Wildlife Defence League member Tommy Knowles stated, “It’s taken us 3 days to drive through what feels like the most wild place on earth. We’ve seen Grizzly Bears, Black Bears and Moose living out their natural lives in this unique habitat. It’s disheartening to arrive in the Sacred Headwaters today knowing that this land is a trophy hunters paradise, but it feels amazing to be standing in solidarity with the Klabona Keepers to put an end to this exploitation.”
Not only are the wildlife and the community that is dependant on them being exploited, but so is the land. This past week, RCMP surrounded a group of
unarmed, peaceful members of the Klabona Keepers. The group was occupying a drill site on the mountain behind this blockade because the company was drilling without consultation or consent. The Klabona Keepers had simply requested that the company (Firesteel) meet with the elders prior to releasing the drill. However, in a show of disrespect, Firesteel and the government disregarded that request and arrived by helicopter to remove the drill. They came unannounced and heavily armed. Thereafter, the RCMP prohibited members of the Klabona Keepers from communicating via radio to anyone outside the blockade, cutting the only means of communication they had with the elders and their family in Iskut, to assure them of their safety. They were threatened with arrest if they attempted to use their radios.
The situation unfolding in the Sacred Headwaters is illustrative of the interconnections between these issues; the corporate and political exploitation of the land, resources and animals of this territory and the communities that rely on them. The Klabona Keepers, with support from the Wildlife Defence League, are asserting their lawful authority to defend their territories and both organizations hope that the hunting blockade will raise awareness about the devastating impacts of trophy hunting and will draw attention to corporate and political exploitation of the Sacred Headwaters.
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