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Judge rules #Unistoten gate must come down for pipeline

Canadian territory: An Indigenous camp (Unistoten, EIE)was ordered Friday to remove a gate that’s blocking a bridge in northwestern B.C. and holding up a multi-billion-dollar gas pipeline project. A mainstream media report that was posted on Warrior Publications. As it is an important issue, we make an excemption and republish this mainstream media report. We added a statement from the Unistoten Facebook page.

Originally puvlished by APTN National NewsRe-published by Warrior Publications. Written by Kathleen Martens.

Note: Enough is Enough is not organizing any of these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.

An Indigenous camp was ordered Friday to remove a gate that’s blocking a bridge in northwestern B.C. and holding up a multi-billion-dollar gas pipeline project.

Judge Marguerite Church of the B.C. Supreme Court sided with Coastal GasLink, a subsidiary of TransCanada Corp., which filed an injunction to get construction going on the $40-billion LNG Canada build.

“People were crying but I feel emboldened because we are getting so much support,” said Warner Naziel of the Indigenous Unist’ot’en Camp – a land-based healing centre on Wet’suwet’en traditional territory south of Houston, B.C.

The locked gate on the Morice River Bridge must come down within 72 hours, the judge ruled.

She described it as an “interim” injunction giving the company access while defendants Naziel, and his partner Freda Huson, mount a fuller defence to the injunction and additional civil suit.

Church said she will hear more arguments on Jan. 31.

“That gate is a safety issue for us,” said Naziel.

“We see the land there for healing – not for profit and monetary gain. It’s obvious the courts agree with that; they don’t understand what we’re doing.”

Coastal Gaslink told court it can’t re-route the pipeline.

It said it won’t disturb camp buildings and people can remain on site.

“The camp that’s there will remain as is,” said CGL spokesperson Jacquie Benson in an interview prior to the judge’s ruling.

“They should feel secure in knowing the camp’s operations will remain unaffected,” she said.

“We simply need to access that public bridge, that public access road, to work on a pipeline right-of-way.”

Benson reiterated the legal action was taken after camp operators and Wet’suwet’ten hereditary chiefs rebuffed repeated attempts to reach a solution.

“We’ve had 120 in-person meetings with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs over the last five years,” she said.

“And we’ve had upwards of around 1,000 interactions, which would be emails, phone calls.”

But the Uni’stot’en have refused to budge, saying they reject fossil fuel development on their land.

“I’m heartbroken,” said John Ridsdale, hereditary Chief Namoks, after the ruling.

“They have a right to commit violence against us to get what they want. The company can instruct the RCMP to come in. The last time we dealt with the RCMP they sent in over 200 members.”

That was Enbridge and its pipeline project, Ridsdale noted.

CGL told court it had a tight timeline and needed to start pre-construction work.

It needs to clear trees and do field work one kilometre south of where the bridge and camp are located.

“We appreciate the court’s decision today in providing us with an interim injunction to move forward with our pre-construction activities,” the company said in a statement late Friday.

“We understand that a delay in the project process means a delay in providing thousands of employment opportunities and millions of dollars in economic benefits to First Nations groups and local communities in B.C. who are counting on it.”

Twenty First Nations along the pipeline corridor have signed agreements with CGL supporting the project.

The company said it move forward “respectfully and safely.

“We understand there are individuals who do not share the same opinions about this project, and we respect that. We simply ask that their activities do not disrupt or jeopardize the safety of our employees and contractors, surrounding communities or even themselves,” it said.

More Information:

In a first statement on the Unist’ot’en Camp Facebook page, the pipeline resisters said: An Interim Injunction was granted with an Enforcement Order to take affect in 72 hours. An extension of time was granted. We have until Jan 31, 2019, to respond to the volumes of affidavits presented by CGL.

The ruling had three main components:

–Adjournment of the hearing of the plaintiff’s (Coastal GasLink) application for an interlocutory injunction to a date to be set no later than May 1, 2019, unless the parties agree otherwise.

–Extension of the time for the defendants to file and serve an application response, and a response to civil claim to Jan. 31, 2019.

–An interim injunction in the form sought by the plaintiff that will remain in force until judgment is rendered in the interlocutory injunction application or until there is a further order of the court. It goes into affect 72 hours after Friday afternoon’s ruling.”

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