B.C. First Nation group was not involved with pro-Wet’suwet’en highway blockade: leader
|National Post 14 Feb 2020 at 15:57|
The K’òmoks First Nation says it was not involved in a Wet’suwet’en supporter blockade on Highway 19 near Courtenay, British Columbia earlier this week.
According to a report from Chek News , K’òmoks First Nation Chief Nicole Rempel said in a statement that the K’òmoks First Nation was not contacted or advised about the event.
“This event was organized by non-indigenous Comox Valley residents who aren’t connected to our territory in the same way as K’òmoks, and in no way represent K’òmoks or our values,” Rempel wrote.
In the statement, Rempel said that on social media, some people had responded to news of the highway blockade with racism.
“It is saddening to see the racist comments in social media aimed at our community when K’òmoks was not involved,” she added.
The barricade was set up on Monday, and it blocked the highway in both directions.
Protestors who set up the blockade encountered verbal threats, and at one point a truck drove through the barricade. At another point, a group of five people arrived and tore the barricade down.
Extinction Rebellion Nanaimo supported the facilitation of the event, Chek News reports, and that group had claimed that the blockade had the “aid of” some K’omoks Nation people.
“We, a group of concerned residents defending our home in the K’omoks Territory with the aid of some K’omoks Nation people blockaded highway 19 at exit 117 for approximately 22 hours in response to the violent oppression happening in the Wet’suwet’en nation,” Extinction Rebellion Nanaimo said in a statement.
On Feb. 6, RCMP in B.C. began arresting people who were blocking the construction of a Coastal GasLink pipeline in Wet’suwet’en territory. On Feb. 7, people around the country began blocking railways in solidarity with the protesters who had been arrested.
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