On February 6, militarized police conducted a five-day raid, complete with assault rifles, snipers, dogs, sound cannons, and helicopters on Wet’suwet’en land and illegally evicted hereditary chiefs, land defenders, and matriarchs. Why? To protect the profits of the fossil fuel industry and the investors that fund them. And let’s not forget, these corporations want to keep fueling the climate crisis that endangers us all.
The police raid was an attempt to disrupt more than five years of resistance to the construction of the TC Energy Coastal GasLink pipeline slated to cut through Wet’suwet’en territories in British Columbia, Canada. The Wet’suwet’en are on the frontlines of the climate crisis. Trying to jam through this gas pipeline is just the latest stark example of how corporations reinforce forms of oppression rooted in systemic racism to further their profits while destroying people’s lives and the planet.
But as we’ve seen from Standing Rock to British Columbia, and so many fights against injustice before, this tactic is nothing new. We see Big Polluters and the banks and financiers that fund them try to jam through harmful schemes that disregard indigenous sovereignty and dignity and accelerate the climate crisis over and over again. But you can stop these corporations in their tracks now and set a powerful precedent for other abusive corporations in the future too. You can force the financiers that are bankrolling the pipeline to cut their funding.
The Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs have reasserted their right to jurisdiction over their own lands, their right to determine access to prevent trespassing under Wet’suwet’en law, and their right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent as guaranteed by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. But, the corporations building the pipeline are still trying to trample their rights.
Despite the draconian raids, protests and resistance to this pipeline continue. And you can stand in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en. Right now, we’re joining the Wet’suwet’en and other organizations in demanding that JPMorgan Chase and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR), two key enablers of this project that are complicit in trampling the rights of indigenous people for the sake of greed, stop bankrolling the pipeline. And you can make a difference right now.
JPMorgan Chase, one of the world’s biggest backers of fossil fuels, is helping funnel more than $5 billion in loans to the company behind the Coastal GasLink pipeline. KKR, a New York City based investment firm with over $200 billion in assets, has plans to purchase 65 percent of the pipeline with Alberta Investment Management Corp (AIMCo). Companies like JPMorgan Chase and KKR actively perpetuate the destruction of stolen indigenous lands to fuel the climate crisis, and reinforce forms of oppression rooted in systemic racism.
There’s still time to ensure that this pipeline doesn’t get built, and getting financial backers to divest would be a huge step. We must hold these corporations accountable before it’s too late.