Oregon isn’t the only place on the West Coast fighting polluting energy pipelines. The Unis’tot’en and Wetsu’wet’in First Nations have blockaded the pathway of five proposed pipelines collectively called The Northern Gateway leading from the tar sands out through ancient forests and native lands to the coast of British Columbia.
Max Wilbert of Deep Green Resistance is part of a speaking tour to promote the upcoming Unis’tot’en Action Camp in early August that will caravan up to Canada and support the blockade. The Unis’tot’en Action Camp speaking tour comes to Eugene 6 pm July 25, at the Maitreya (Strawbale House), 882 Almaden Street.
“That land belongs to the Wetsu’wet’in people,” who never signed a treaty and ceded their land, Wilbert says. He says the first pipeline planned is a natural gas pipeline called Pacific Trails that will carry gas produced by hydraulic fracking, and it will be followed by tar sands pipeline along almost the same course.
The pipelines will pass through the small amounts of remaining ancient forests, he says, as well as salmon habitat.
The oil would then be loaded onto tankers 10 times the size of the Exxon Valdez, making tight turns and navigating through reefs and rocky islands on their way out to open water, where they will carry the fossil fuels west to China and south to U.S. refineries in Washington and California.
According to Wilbert, a wreck — ships have sunk in the area before — and spill could lead to an oil slick extending to the Puget Sound, through hundreds of miles of salmon, bear and wolf habitat along the shores.
Wetsu’wet’in organizers have invited indigenous and nonindigenous allies to come up and attend a gathering August 4 through 10 on their lands, Wilbert says, where there will be trainings and skills sharing, and volunteers will assist the camp with cabins and structures along the right of way of the pipeline.
At the July 25 presentation Deep Green Resistance welcomes supplies and donations, including nonperishable food, money, camping supplies, blankets, buckets, tarp, rope, white gas, climbing gear and anything useful in a remote location, as well as ceremonial gifts and statements of solidarity.
To find out more about how to support the effort, or to participate, go to wkly.ws/1bq or attend the July 25 presentation.