FightC Brings a Piece of the Peace to BC’s Attorney General

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 24 May, 2018  

Vancouver, Unceded Coast Salish Territories

FightC Brings a Piece of the Peace to BC’s Attorney General

At noon on Friday, May 25, Fight C, a Vancouver-based group dedicated to solidarity with the Peace River Valley’s protectors, will be gifting David Eby mulched Peace Valley trees that were clearcut in preparation for the Site C dam. This destructive, wasteful project would destroy forests and farmland that BC needs intact as its best possible response to climate change. Fight C asserts that it is NOT too late to stop the dam, as the trees will grow back if the northern valley is not flooded.

“Because not many people in the Lower Mainland have been up north to the Peace Valley, they may not realize the vast territory that would be flooded for the dam is a huge violation of Treaty 8,” says Lianne Payne, a member of Fight C. “Because the Province of BC signed onto Treaty 8, everyone in BC is responsible for upholding this treaty that protects the right of First Nations to live, hunt, fish and practice their culture on the land. As settlers and treaty people, we need to hold our governments accountable to act honourably.”

June 21, National Aboriginal Day, is also the 119th anniversary of the signing of Treaty 8, largest and last treaty. Vancouver author Rita Wong asks, “How long will it take for us as Canadians to honour our treaties in this era of “reconciliation”?” She and hundreds of other citizens are pledging at a new website, http://witnessforthepeace.ca, to follow and support the West Moberly and Prophet River court case seeking to protect the Peace Valley,

“We cannot allow this to be out of sight, out of mind. Since BC’s MLAs aren’t making the trip to witness the destruction of the land, we will bring it to their doorsteps. Hopefully this reminds them of what they are allowing when they don’t stand up against the Liberal bullying tactics to force the dam upon Indigenous people, despite its blatant environmental racism,” states Mike Gildersleeve.

“When the government fails us, it’s up to the people to step up,” adds Lindsay Hughes. “This dam amounts to attempted genocide. In this time of supposed reconciliation, BC must do better. It must walk its talk of implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.”

We invite the media and all members of the public to join us at 2909 West Broadway, at David Eby’s constituency office in Kitsilano, where Fight C has been holding weekly actions in solidarity with the Peace Valley every Friday from 12 pm to 2 pm. The actions have ranged from a vigil, complete with a coffin to mourn the death of evidence-based decision-making, to a lemonade stand to raise funds for the legal battle waged by West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations and for our children’s exorbitant Hydro bills if the dam is not stopped. The court case for these two First Nations from Treaty 8 is expected to begin in late July 2018.

“In a recent turn of events, the Federal government is not opposing the injunction sought by the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations. Why can’t BC follow this lead?” asks Shahira Sakiyama.

The photographs below show how perfectly healthy, good trees were wastefully mulched, and not used for timber in BC Hydro’s destructive haste to clear the valley while the West Moberly First Nation is still seeking justice and recognition of their sacred relationship with the Peace River, “the main artery of West Moberly territory, the lifeblood of their culture,” according to the injunction application they filed in January 2018.

For more information, contact Rita Wong at 604.653.4006, witness4thepeace@gmail.com.

 

 

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An Update on FightC

FightC is a grassroots community organization that has has been working to stop the Site C dam for the last several years. Tremendous effort around Site C took place before and during the 2017 provincial election. The fight continues following the NDP government's ill-advised decision Dec. 11, 2017 to continue this ecological travesty. The cumulative impacts from this destructive megadam are a violation of Treaty 8 Nations rights, and will be irreversible. 

The strategic focus now is to raise public attention and support regarding Indigenous treaty rights and the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations legal efforts to protect the Peace River Valley. Two dates to watch for: the Blueberry River First Nation court case on cumulative impacts begins in April 2018. The West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations are seeking an interim injunction to halt the project pending a full civil trial that aims to kill Site C. A hearing on the interim injunction application is expected to begin in July. Ahead of this injunction, the two First Nations secured a victory via a major work stoppage in February in critical areas of the Peace this March, delaying (and hopefully eventually preventing) the logging of old growth forest and sacred sites. Look for a Court Watch website to be launched on Earth Day, April 22!

Actions in 2017

Raising awareness of Indigenous land and treaty rights in BC and forging solidarity with those who call he Peace River Valley home is key to protecting the Peace. In addition to extensive canvassing in key provincial riding, FightC held two public events/meetings per month, including a sold-out Poets for the Peace event in March which raised awareness locally and funds for the Yellow Stakes Campaign in support of the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nation' legal actions. Another benefit was held with energy expert Harry Swain and Grand Chief Stewart Phillip in April with 600 attendees, and a 2017 Vancouver Paddle for the Peace vent more than 200 paddlers. Important solidarity alliances have also been forged with groups such as the Sierra Club, Force of Nature, Climate Convergence, Amnesty International and other groups that share inter-connected concerns about land and water.

Post-Betrayal and Ongoing Outreach

A candle light vigil - The Betrayal Vigil - was held outside BC Hydro offices every night for a week immediately following the December announcement. This was followed by the Site C Summit held in Victoria in January with a roster of speakers from Treaty 8 groups, energy experts and environmental groups. FightC members continue to hold regular information pickets outside the Vancouver offices of Attorney-General David Eby and Minister George Heyman to engage citizens on the rights of First Nations and the environmental and financial implications of the dam.

To date, FightC has contributed mightily to the huge effort to stop Site C. Our members have distributed over 25,000 Just the Dam Facts anti-Site C brochures, delivered 3450 post cards to MLA offices throughout the province, and collected more than 6,000 petition signatures.  Similar efforts have taken place in Prince George, Quadra Island and Kelowna as well as by other grassroots groups throughout the province, and collectively we have gathered over 120 000 signatures calling for this dam to be halted!

Peace Valley farmer Ken Boon also embarked on a successful tour of coastal communities in March to speak about the devastating impact the Site C dam will have on food security. These well-attended Peace River Solidarity Nights helped raise funds for legal challenges underway. Other speakers attending have made the connections between mega projects, destruction of the land  and violence against women, particularly Indigenous women.

Everyone is urged to contribute what they can to First Nations legal funds at www.stakeinthepeace.ca

Where to Next?

The challenge is to keep the Peace River Valley alive and robust. FightC continues to grow and now has a mailing list of hundreds of concerned people. Strategy meeting are held on a monthly basis, and upcoming activities include the Court Watch website and solidarity events in various parts of the province, including a 2018 Paddle for the Peace. If you care about the rights of First Nations, the land, water and generations to come, please join us and lend your voice. When we fight, we win. If we have a movement that’s large and tough enough, we can change the zeitgeist. Stay tuned!

The final countdown

The BCUC will issue a report on November 1st. Shortly thereafter, the cabinet will make a decision on Site C.

That means they need to hear from us, now. 

Can you call your MLA now to set up a meeting?

Any constituent can meet with their MLA. We'd like the meetings to happen before November 10th, so please call your MLA today! You can find out who your MLA is by typing your postal code in here.

We'll be writing a meeting guide, if you're not sure how a meeting with your MLA is supposed to go, and we'll be publishing a briefing note that you can take to your MLA to make sure they know what's going on with Site C. We also have experienced MLA-meeters who are happy to come to a meeting with you - but we need you, the constituent, to help us make that happen!

Please sign up here so we can keep track of which MLAs have been met with :)

If you want more information before meeting your MLA, or just want to get more involved, come on out to our next public meeting: Oct 23rd, from 6:30-8:30 pm. 

It's the final stretch! Ready to stop Site C forever?

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FLOOD THE HEARINGS!

Are you ready to flood the BCUC hearings, not the Peace Valley? We sure are! Please invite your friends!

This Thursday, the BCUC is open to public input about the Site C dam project. We need to make sure they hear us loud and clear, so we're meeting an hour early (5 pm) outside the hearings to get organized, then flooding the room with opposition to the dam.  (Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1713495542291448/)

We really encourage you to register to speak (http://www.sitecinquiry.com/public-community-input-sessions/), but we also need folks to show up to wear our Stop Site C t-shirts, hold signs, and show the Cabinet that this decision is important to British Columbians, and that we're ready to hold them accountable. 

Want to do more to help? Email morag@forceofnaturealliance.ca, and we'll get you set up to make calls from home encouraging other folks to come out to these hearings. 


Address: 1125 Howe Street, 12th floor

 

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Postcard Delivery!

We're meeting with MLAs to hand-deliver postcards to them. If you'd like to be part of our postcard delivery (take 2) effort in September, please email moragkh@gmail.com. 

What's the deal with the Site C Dam?

Welcome to the fight against the Site C Dam!

Want to learn more and see answers to some of the frequently asked questions about Site C? Check out http://justthedamfacts.ca/, or take a look at our "Why Stop Site C" page. 

Looking to get more involved? You're in the right place! FightC is out there every day talking to folks about Site C, organizing banner drops, canvassing shifts, rallies and more! We'd love your help:

  • making phone calls to our supporters
  • organizing an event
  • holding a banner at a march
  • canvassing with our teams
  • helping us plan our strategy
  • standing with the big White Elephant
  • wearing a Stop Site C t-shirt to an all-candidates debate
  • making signs & banners
  • creating videos 
  • managing some social media

If you'd like to join our regular canvassing teams, email Ariel Martz-Oberlander at a.martzoberlander@gmail.com. If you'd like to get involved with FightC in another capacity, email moragkh@gmail.com or text 778 998 6793. 

To donate, please go to http://stakeinthepeace.com/.

Past Event: The True Cost of the Site C Dam

Are you wondering what the big deal is about the economics of the $8.8 billion Site C dam? 

Check out this livestream from the event: https://www.facebook.com/SierraClubBC/videos/10154651968756429/

Join us for an educational evening and Q&A session featuring Harry Swain, Chair of the Joint Federal-Provincial Review Panel, and Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC). These respected experts will go through the economic case against the Site C dam and the impacts of continuing this project without a proper review on British Columbians.

You'll learn about the questionable history of this expensive project, the 70 years of debt that it is creating for British Columbians, and the reasons why we'll end up selling the unneeded power from Site C at a serious loss - not to mention the impacts of Site C on your Hydro bills! You'll also learn about the Treaty that we'll be breaking by going through with this dam, the huge impacts of this project on the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations, and the blow that we'll all experience to our food security due to the flooding of thousands of acres of valuable farmland.

All are welcome, and we strive to make our events as inclusive as possible. Entrance is free or by donation at the door - all funds raised from this event will be donated to the Treaty 8 First Nations legal costs via http://stakeinthepeace.com/.

Doors open at 6:30 pm and the event will begin at 7 pm sharp.
St. Andrews-Wesley United Church, 1022 Nelson St Vancouver.

Tickets available at https://truecostsitec.eventbrite.com/ The event is free, but please RSVP to reserve your seat as space is limited. 

Accessibility info: 
This venue is wheelchair accessible. This event will be conducted in English. If you require childcare, please email us with the number of children and their ages. Please email sitecevents@gmail.com if there are other barriers to your attendance, and we will do our best to make this event accessible to you! 

We acknowledge that this event takes place on unceded and occupied Coast Salish territory, specifically that of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), and mi ce:p kʷətxʷiləm (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. 

Poets for the Peace

 Winter blues got you down? Bring your friends out to celebrate all our work and our vibrant community of resistance and revolution!  An evening of spoken word and rap to raise funds for the Indigenous struggle against the Site C Dam. Let's nourish ourselves with good food, good company, and good art!  The funds raised will go directly to the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations for their legal challenges against Site C, through the purchase of Stakes in the Peace ( http://www.stakeinthepeace.com/ ).   Performers include:   Crystal Smith   Ostwelve   Molly Billows   Nipawi Mahihkan Misit Kakinoosit   Audrey Siegl  ... and others  As well as special guest speaker Caleb Behn, Treaty 8 lawyer and activist!  Keep watching this page as we announce more incredible performers.

Winter blues got you down? Bring your friends out to celebrate all our work and our vibrant community of resistance and revolution!

An evening of spoken word and rap to raise funds for the Indigenous struggle against the Site C Dam. Let's nourish ourselves with good food, good company, and good art!

The funds raised will go directly to the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations for their legal challenges against Site C, through the purchase of Stakes in the Peace (http://www.stakeinthepeace.com/). 

Performers include:

Crystal Smith
Ostwelve
Molly Billows
Nipawi Mahihkan Misit Kakinoosit
Audrey Siegl
... and others

As well as special guest speaker Caleb Behn, Treaty 8 lawyer and activist!

Keep watching this page as we announce more incredible performers.