Earlier in the month, I woke up to my Facebook account blocked. I could not access anything and, as a result, I could not do my job to amplify your important calls for a more just and green world! In fact, all of Greenpeace USA’s online staff could not access their Facebook accounts, along with frontline Wet’suwet’en Indigenous leaders, grassroots land defenders, and hundreds more climate activists organizing against the Coastal GasLink pipeline.
Facebook claimed that a #ShutDownKKR online day of action we co-hosted back in May — targeting KKR & Co., a major funder of the Coastal GasLink pipeline — violated their terms of service. The accounts have been unblocked and the social media giant apologized, but they still have not sent the specific details about what happened.
Wet’suwet’en leaders who oppose the pipeline continually face repressive tactics from multi-national bullies like Facebook. With construction looming, we need to be as loud as ever to make sure the Coastal GasLink pipeline never gets built by pushing its biggest investor — KKR & Co. — to pull out of their agreement.
The Coastal GasLink pipeline is TC Energy’s latest pipeline project. It would pump fracked gas over 420 miles from northern Canada to the west coast of Canada where it would cross Wet’suwet’en territory without consent from the hereditary chiefs, before being exported to Asia.
Now is not the time to slow down — we need to ramp up.
Pipeline workers and militarized police officers are flooding into Wet’suwet’en territories, putting communities at even more risk for COVID-19. These “man camps” house hundreds of workers in tight quarters, and many members of the community are terrified that they will become breeding grounds for violence against Indigenous women and two-spirit people.
The Coastal GasLink pipeline is putting Indigenous communities at severe risk, and KKR & Co. is set to make a lot of money.
KKR & Co. must be held accountable for ignoring the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs demands to stop construction, putting the Wet’suwet’en land and water at risk, endangering Indigenous women and two spirit people by building man camps along the route, and fueling the climate crisis.
Not only are we taking our action online all week, grassroots activists from the Wet’suwet’en Solidarity Team, Seeding Sovereignty, and Rising Tide North America projected images onto the KKR building in NYC and sent a plane over the whole city with this message — Defund Coastal GasLink #ShutDownKKR!
Facebook’s banning of the Wet’suwet’en solidarity movement was absurd, and they’ve been largely unaccountable when it comes to telling us why it happened. The tech giant already has a massive disinformation crisis where climate deniers run rampant. It really begs the question of what is next.
We need to flex our power and stop billionaire oil CEOs, industry lobbyists, tech giants, and private equity firms who want to push through projects and platforms that deeply affect real people no matter the cost.
There is no climate justice without Indigenous sovereignty.
Vanessa Butterworth, Greenpeace USA, is a settler from Mississauga of the New Credit First Nation territory in Canada.