Early this morning, dozens of indigenous sovereignity supporters occupied the London offices of investment firm KKR, in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en nation who are facing violent, militarized attacks at the hands of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Coastal GasLink (CGL), and the Canadian state. Armed with #wetsuwetenstrong signs, banners and the backing of thousands of others across the globe, the group demand a meeting with directors from KKR to discuss withdrawing their support for the CGL Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) pipeline.
The pipeline is set to be built through the lands of the Wet’suwet’en nation, an Indigenous nation that was occupied by the colonial forces of Canada but which never ceded sovereignity to the settler state (established, in part, by the British Empire).
In December 2019, TC Energy, the owner of Coastal GasLink pipeline, entered into a deal to sell a 65% equity interest to KKR Co. and Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo). TC Energy will make roughly $600 million from this sale, while KKR & Co stands to make millions dollars further down the line.
One occupier, Emily, said: “we stand against KKR’s forthcoming purchase and refuse to believe that the responsible investment KKR tout on their website is anything more than a public-relations stunt as they attempt to hide the blood on their hands. We are here today to expose their investment in colonial occupation and demand that KKR pulls all money out of Coastal GasLink immediately.”
This action follows a militarized operation by the RCMP on the 6th Feburary 2020, targeting checkpoints surrounding the Unist’ot’en camp, an Indigenous reoccupation of Wet’suwet’en land by the Unist’ot’en clan.
Since the RCMP attack, there have been over 100 international blockades, demonstrations and fundraisers involving tens of thousands of supporters in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en. A Tyendinaga Mohawk led blockade has resulted in the cancellation of all rail travel in Eastern Canada, and a Gitxsan nation lead rail blockade shut down the port of Prince Rupert in the west. These peaceful actions have resulted in the mass cancellation of rail services, and the rail system grinding to a halt, disrupting the flow of billions of dollars of capital on a national scale. Crowds of people have sat for hundreds of hours in legislative buildings, such as a powerful contingent Indigenous youth in Victoria who disrupted BC parliament, and banks alike, demonstrating the importance of targeting the root causes of the militarized attacks on the Wet’suwet’en – colonialism and capitalism. As participant Emily Luba explains, “we refuse to leave KKR for the same reason, noting our presence in London – a megacentre of empire and atrocious violence for mass profit worldwide.”
After four hours, the occupiers made the collective decision to leave the offices with a promise to return unless KKR withdraw their investment. No arrests were reported.
Photo Credit: Wet’suwet’en UK twitter