FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Indigenous Sovereignty Supporters Stage Sit-in at Global Financial Corporation KKR & Co in Solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en nation.
When: Thursday, February 20th, 2020, 9:00AM
Where: KKR & Co London, UK office,
On Thursday, February 20th, dozens of UK residents are staging a sit-in at the KKR & Co London, UK office in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en nation who are facing violent, militarized attacks at the hands of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Coastal GasLink (CGL), and the Canadian state. Armed with #wetsuwetenstrong signs, banners and the backing from thousands of others across the globe demonstrating similarly for Indigenous sovereignty, the group will not leave until managing directors from KKR agree to meet with them to discuss our demand:
- KKR & Co Inc pull all money out of Coastal GasLink’s pipeline through unceded Wet’suwet’en territory
Why KKR & Co Inc?
In December 2019, TC Energy (formerly known as TransCanada Corporation), the owner of Coastal GasLink pipeline, entered into a deal to sell a 65% equity interest to global financial conglomerate KKR & Co and Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo). KKR & Co has an office in London, UK, a major hub for the transaction of global capital and the heart of the colonial empire. TC Energy will make roughly $600 million from this sale, and KKR & Co stands to make millions of pounds as well.
As attendee Emily states, “we stand against KKR’s forthcoming purchase and refuse to believe that the responsible investment KKR tout on their website is anything more than a public-relations stunt as they attempt to hide the blood on their hands. We are here today to expose their investment in colonial occupation and demand that KKR pulls all money out of Coastal GasLink immediately.”
Before dawn on February 6th 2020, the RCMP spearheaded a militarized attack against the Wet’suwet’en people, an Indigenous nation occupied by the colonial forces of Canada – a nation founded on genocide. The Unist’ot’en clan is a clan of the Wet’suwet’en nation, who established the Unist’ot’en camp ten years ago as an Indigenous reoccupation of Wet’suwet’en land. No pipelines have been built on Wet’suwet’en land to this date.
As participant Connor Clerke explains, “by attacking the checkpoints leading up to the camp, the RCMP have violated the Wet’suwet’en protocol of Free Prior and Informed Consent by invading Wet’suwet’en territories, in pursuit of Coastal GasLink (CGL)’s Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) pipeline that hereditary chiefs representing all 5 clans of the Wet’suwet’en nation stand in opposition to.”
On December 31st, 2019, the Supreme Court of BC granted an injunction to CGL , facilitating the violent RCMP raids. Since this attack, 28 land defenders at the checkpoints, surrounding areas and many more around the world have been arrested in what is a historic unified resistance struggle. As participant Zoe elaborates, “the UK was one of the main colonial powers that occupied Canada, and still nominally answers to ‘the Crown,’ hence it is our responsibility as residents to challenge the colonial power and violence the UK still exercises over Indigenous peoples, including the Wet’suwet’en.”
Since the RCMP attack, there have been over 100 international blockades, demonstrations and fundraisers involving tens of thousands of supporters in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en. A Tyendinaga Mohawk led blockade has resulted in the cancellation of all CN rail travel in Eastern Canada, and a Gitxsan nation lead rail blockade shut down the port of Prince Rupert in the west. These peaceful actions have resulted in the mass cancellation of rail services, and the rail system grinding to a halt, disrupting the flow of billions of dollars of capital on a national scale. Crowds of people have sat for hundreds of hours in legislative buildings, such as a powerful contingent Indigenous youth in Victoria who disrupted BC parliament, and banks alike, demonstrating the importance of targeting the root causes of the militarized attacks on the Wet’suwet’en – colonialism and capitalism. As participant Emily Luba explains, “we refuse to leave KKR for the same reason, noting our presence in London – a megacentre of empire and atrocious violence for mass profit worldwide.”
Other investors include JPMorgan Chase, Bank of Montreal, Deutsche Bank, Alberta Treasury Branches, Bank of America, Barclays, Citi, Crédit Agricole, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Credit Suisse, Desjardins, Export Development Canada, HSBC, Mizuho, MUFG, National Bank of Canada, Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank, SMBC, TD, and Wells Fargo.
There is a growing movement around fossil fuel divestment with the World Bank ending fossil fuel investment in 2019 and the European Investment Bank announcing they will no longer finance fossil fuels projects from the end of 2021.