LETTER | The Wet’suwet’en protecting their land is a legal right

Terrace resident asks why a militarized police force has been brought in for civil property dispute

Dear editor,

The RCMP have said that they may remove checkpoints in unceded Wet’suwet’en territory as early as January 10th in their role of “protecting people and property”. What people? Whose property?

The traditional Wet’suwet’en leadership, who have jurisdiction regarding this territory, are not threatening anyone. They are defending their territory against a use to which they have not agreed. They have an internationally recognized right to say no until their objection has been addressed to their satisfaction, a right recognized by both our national and provincial governments.

Further, this is not a criminal matter, it is a civil property dispute. So why are the police involved? Why especially a heavily armed, militarized police force, one with an allowance to use snipers against Canadian citizens if they care to? What country is this?

Ah but the court has issued an injunction, we are told. But injunctions are purportedly decided on the principle of convenience, which party is the most inconvenienced by the dispute?

In such disputes, the government, judiciary and the police have traditionally formed an unholy triad of convenience and sided with industry rather than Indigenous Canadians, despite the Supreme Court of Canada signaling that they are on the wrong side of the law, both national and international, to do so. The court could have simply enjoined both parties to return to the discussion table.

So much for them. So little for universal human rights or for national reconciliation.

Sincerely,

Robert Hart

Terrace, B.C.

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