As protests in support of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs heighten across Canada, over 100 individuals took the streets of Downtown Guelph to show their support.
The demonstration organized by Your Downtown Guelph Friends saw protesters walk into the Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Montreal, and Scotiabank in Downtown Guelph demanding that the banks stop funding the pipeline. They also handed them a letter that questioned their actions.
"How do you operate your business on stolen lands and sleep at night knowing you're funding land theft? Your bank will be known in history as an institution that aided in the destruction of the planet," read the letter.
Protesters walked from St. George's Square to MP Lloyd Longfieeld's office yelling chants such as ‘‘from Turtle Island to Palestine, occupation is a crime,’ and ‘Shut down Canada,’ as they stopped traffic.
The protesters left Longfield a message asking what the federal government will do to stand against the colonial violence after several protesters sat in the lobby waiting for Longfield.
“We're situated on stolen lands and we all have a responsibility to end this ongoing cycle of violence and yet here we are still seeing Indigenous people being persecuted at the hands of the state and we’re here to say no to that,” said the organizer of the protest, Kate Nixon.
“We’re telling them for generations to come that they are a player in the destruction of Indigenous medicine, water and food.”
Speaker Joanne Schuller, an Anishinaabe spoke about the invasion of Wet’suwet’en territory, murder of Indigenous women and incarcerated young Indigenous men as the protesters stood in solidarity with her.
“Truth and reconciliation will never come because they’re not being truthful,” said Schuller of the Canadian government.
Nixon said it’s important to show solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en because it raises awareness and gets the conversation going.