Report: Blockade of Imperial Metals Celebrates Two-Year Anniversary + Employee Attacks Protesters

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Source: ALBA Movements Canada / The Dawn News / August 5, 2016

On the two-year anniversary of the Mt Polley tailings pond spill that pumped millions of gallons of toxic tailings into Hazeltine creek, a gathering of indigenous land defenders, allies and supporters, including the Power of Women Down Town East Side group, joined the Sepwepemc Womens Warriors Society to bring awareness to the issue. There were work shops, feasting, and training, as well as ceremony and information sharing. Imperial Metals was issued a discharge permit recently and have done nothing in the way to rectify this situation. Two years later there is still tailings infecting everything it comes into contact with.

During the blockade today an Imperial Metals employee attempted to run his car into the line of frontline land defenders. This included elders and women and youth and children. He would NOT stop and several of us were in front of his car which he kept coming aggressively at us. While many of the people who were engaged in the blockade were annoyed, his rage was unwarranted and uncalled for.

I jumped onto the hood of this car and yelled “Stop, there’s children here!”. But he kept coming while some scrambled out of the way and to safety and others attempted to stop him. While I was on the car he intentionally revved and sped off throwing me off his vehicle. I then fell hard on my body causing bruising and damage. I went to a hospital and was told to expect at least a week of intense pain. After all of this, thunder and lightning came. A lightning struck a power line and broke it, then a transformer blew up and there was showers of sparks and a fire almost started. I am lucky to be OK. We have footage and his license and witnesses, and I am requesting anyone who witnessed this to volunteer and write detailed accounts. I am as of now working with a legal team and advocates on this matter.

I am deeply grateful to the Sepwepemc Women’s Warrior Society, the elders and youth and hereditary leaders of their nation who invited us all to come. I am also grateful to have been invited to help protect and defend land on your territory and stand for what is right and for the Earth and our collective future.

The workshops and training and direct action that happened are so powerful and inspiring and I am in awe of what can be done with people who are dedicated to this life and to organizing and to helping mother earth! There was a lot of good work that happened in these past few days! Movement is happening and we will only get stronger!

I want to thank all those cooked and cleaned and helped childmind and create a good environment to be in. I am deeply indebted to everyone who has supported us in this fight against Imperial Metals and have put themselves on the frontlines in this fight for Mother Earth. My hands are up to each and everyone of you and I have the deepest and utmost respect and gratitude to everyone who came and worked hard! WE WILL SHUT DOWN MT POLLEY and I will update more later as I am very tired and in pain. I will do a report back in Van City ASAP. Much love, with my heart afire and my rage against the machine!

#StopMtPolley #ImperialNoMore #StopImperialMetals #NoMiningCatfaceMountain #AncestralPride

In The Spirit of Resistance

Xhopakelxhit ~ Ancestral Pride

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