Went down to the Sit-In today. The minister was out of town, but her office was a lively place, with about 60-70 First Nations and allies demanding the provincial government revoke ‘Licenses of Occupation’ granted to “fish farm” operators throughout British Columbia. The office occupiers are in sympathy with those currently occupying fish farm platforms in protest on the central coastal region of the province. Below is information sent out by the organizations of the minister’s office occupation. – ape
Stop open-pen Atlantic salmon farms operating on indigenous territories without consent- the time is now! Please invite your friends and allies only to this lunch-hour sit-in at Agriculture Minister Lana Popham’s constituent office, demanding immediate action in solidarity with the Namgis, Mamalilikala, Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw, Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwamis First Nations on-going fish farm occupations of the Marine Harvest Swanson and Midsummer island fish farms in their territories and with all coastal First Nations’ right to defend and continue their wild salmon food fisheries, in the face of collapsing wild salmon runs, from the spread of introduced, Eurpoean pathogens from fish farms located on migratory salmon routes.
The Community Action Bus will be offerring a ride to everyone wanting to participate in the action. We will be departing from the Save On Foods Arena parking lot adjacent to Quadra St at 11 am sharp. Please be there at 1045.
This is a surprise action so please don’t share publicly! Please also try to attend an important logistical meeting and art build at 7 pm on Wednesday September 27 at the Victoria Event Centre. Thia meeting is to discuss specifics of the action and to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.
As many of you may know there has been a recent call out for support from frontline wild salmon protectors from Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw, Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwamis and Namgis. Currently, these three nations are occupying fish farms that have been operating in their territories for 30 years without their consent. This solidarity action of occupying provincial government offices is specifically to pressure government to act within its powers to cancel the permits on these fish farms, as promised on the election trail.
These actions have been given the blessing of many of the elected and hereditary leadership in the Kingcome inlet territories. Lana Popham’s office is the first of several targets.
Indigenous Solidarity Working Group (ISWG) and many individuals are prepared to respond to this call out as a basic civic duty and responsibility to support indigenous frontline resistance to the threats to wild salmon and on-going colonialism and environmental racism threatening traditional indigenous ways of life on this coast.
This creative action will keep in mind that the new NDP government has made promises to move these fish farms to closed containment on land and that we are hopeful and encouraging them to honour these promises. We are asking all involved to maintain an attitude of friendliness, respect and assertvieness. The action will end at 2:30 and after a list of demands are presented. The action will include music, drumming, a film screening with popcorn, intersaction leafletting and art. Please bring placards, salmon puppets, something to sit on ( if needed) and a bag lunch.
N.b. A diversity of roles can be involved on this action and people are welcome to be present as observers/ picketing and/or leafletting outside or as people involved in taking up space in the actual office space.
The Community Action Bus will be taking people out to the action, leaving Save-on Arena parking lot ( Quadra St. side at 11 am.) Please let us know if you will need a seat on the bus to ensure space availability.
This action will be taking palce on the ancestral lands of the W’sanec and Lekwungen peoples, who have never given up their inherent rigths to self-determination over their lands, territories and waters.