Canadian railroad blockades for Wet'su'weten spread to Seattle after Vancouver injunction

On the 16th of February, the Canada-wide railroad blockades and sabotage that have forcibly halted most rail traffic (people and freight) in Eastern Canada and much of it elsewhere spread to the US with a solidarity rail blockade in Seattle.

The Seattle blockades lasted hours and stopped two freight trains before cops threatened to gas everyone with pepper spray, fire grenades, and make (presumably mass) arrests.This was a single solidarity blockade that the cops were able to focus on, not one of hundreds dividing the attention of the same RCMP north of the border

This continental Indigenous uprising began as resistance to early February's militarized assault on Wet'su'weten lands aimed at ramming the Coastal Gaslink pipeline through unceded First Nations land. This triggered the wave of "Shut Down Canada" railroad blockades. Via Rail had to shut down service on their Montreal-Toronto and Toronto-Ottawa passenger routes. Freight rail shipments ranging from grain to wood pulp(for paper)have been severely reduced. Even chlorine from US-based Olin (used for water purification) will "soon stop being delivered" to about 50 Canadian companies as the shipments apparently are not getting past the blockades. There is talk of outright closure of major parts of Canada'
s rail network.
Both passenger and freight service in especially hard-hit Eastern Canada were reportedly shut down within days of the early February RCMP assaults on Wet'su'weten land defenders. On Feb 16, an injunction reportedly caused removal of blockades within Vancouver. In response, new railroad blockades shut down rail traffic in Seattle, on the US side of the border.

So-called "Canada" is now in real trouble. Indigenous warriors and their allies have the advantage, as injunctions only affect peaceful protesters and have no effect on the copper wire jumper installers(whose wires throw red "track busy" signals) and other railway saboteurs who are the other half of the campaign. The spread of the blockades to Seattle warns the US not to intervene if the Canadian government is unable to stop the uprising, or risk biting off more than they can chew south of the Canadian border in the process. If Trump's racist supporters want to eat, they had better not support intervention in Canada against Indigenous sovereignty.

To get Canada's rail traffic (which includes FOOD) going again by force would require removing almost all of hundreds or even thousands of separate blockades and somehow defeating the incredible wave of night action sabotage that would surely result. Barring that, eastern Canada in particular and the rest of Canada to a lesser extent is under a literal siege, a "siege by swarm," by a very large number of small units that cannot be defeated all at once, only one at a time, hard fight by hard fight with lots of do-overs. Blockaders can safely abandon any position that is too-hard pressed, knowing others are still gettting the job done, that saboteurs will take over at their old position, and the visible protesters can save themselves to fight again at a new location.

A single unsupported blockade in Seattle wasn't able to hold long, but if this mushrooms into blockades all over the US Northwest, the whole uprising could spread to the US and finally the entire continent: a coordinated, continent-wide Indigenous uprising on a scale not seriously thought possible since Tecumseh.

The term "siege" comes from the Romans, from the latin meaning "to sit." It is the sitting war used against an enemy too strong to overwhelm by raw force. In a siege you surround your enemy and cut off all their links to the outside world. You win the war literally one meal at a time. Possible endings of a siege are the beseiged position surrenders, is weakened until it can be taken forcibly by the beseigers, the beseiged position fights their way out (breaks the siege themselves) or the seige is broken by an outside army that fights their way in.

As of Friday, the 14th of Feb the Canadian government has reportedly opened negotiations aimed at ending the blockades. If Canadian settlers want peace it hve to will be on First Nations terms.First and foremost Canada will have to to cancel the Coastal Gaslink and probably every other contested pipeline on First Nations land(the Keystone XL, LIne 9 etc all included). Beyond that, every other issue that exists between First Nations people and the settler regime called "Canada" may now be on the table. This isn't protest, it is a determined uprising to support not only the Wet'su'weten but all other First Nations people whose backs are to the wall. A slogan heard throughout "Canada" is "Reconciliation is Dead!" That being so, history may show the Coastal Gaslink to be the most expensive pipeline ever proposed by TransCanada, even if they never turn another spade of dirt. It is quite possible that the rest of Canada's capitalists will decide they want their dinner and their trade, and throw TransCanada and the Coastal Gaslink under the train hoping to end the conflict before they have to concede all the other issues too.

Railroad blockade in Seattle to support Wet'su'weten resistance to the Coastal Gaslink pipeline (Photo by Matt Remle via Twitter)

Railroad blockade in Seattle to support Wet'su'weten resistance to the Coastal Gaslink pipeline (Photo by Matt Remle via Twitter)

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