VANCOUVER: Occupation of MLA Office in Support of Wet’suwet’en

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A photo from the occupation

By: Jung Yul-Sung, A Supporter of MER-RSM Vancouver

In response to the illegal and ongoing invasion of the Wet’suwet’en nation by the colonial pigs of the Canadian state, progressive forces across Canada have been staging protests and shutdowns over the past week. Among the actions against the economy of the settler-colonial state such as shutting down major ports and blocking important rail arteries, a spontaneous protest also took place to occupy the Vancouver office of David Eby, a social-fascist of the provincial New Democratic Party (NDP) who lied to the people with a progressive face in order to win his spot as the Attorney General of British Columbia. This protest was led by a group of Indigenous protestors who began the sit-in with the intention of meeting with David Eby to request that he use his powers within the structure of the capitalist state to revoke liquid natural gas (LNG) development permits and withdraw the RCMP from the armed invasion of Wet’suwet’en land. A supporter of the Revolutionary Student Movement was present at the protest and here presents a report on the events.

The occupation began on the 13th after a large march through the city in the morning that many people from throughout the city attended. Protestors stormed into a small office building in the upscale Kitsilano neighbourhood of Vancouver, prompting one of Eby’s staffers to retreat to the bathroom and lock themselves inside with the characteristic fear that shills of the ruling class have of the masses. The protestors occupied the building for hours, waiting for David Eby to arrive as they listened to a group of drum singers, spoke with the present Indigenous elders, and shared medicine with the Indigenous people who were at the sit-in. They took time out of their day to help take up space, defend fellow protestors against the settler-capitalist police, and talk to passersby who showed interest in the occupation of the office. The protest was over around 4pm.

The primary thing to note about the protest was its militant, anti-colonial character that went beyond what could normally be expected in the current subjective conditions of Vancouver. Whereas previous large scale protests such as the climate strike of 2019 were largely legal and obedient in character, the response of progressives to the RCMP’s fascist oppression of the Wet’suwet’en as a whole have been increasingly illegal and disobedient, from the blockade of major road intersections to the ongoing sabotage of the Canadian Pacific railway in Port Coquitlam which has severed one of only three routes through which a train can leave or enter Vancouver. Revolutionaries in the region have noted that this is a positive development, which has been made possible by the fact that the current protests are an extension of the anti-colonial struggle which concerns the founding contradiction of the Canadian state. The protestors occupied David Eby’s office without permission or prior notification, and this demonstration of their fighting spirit is laudable. As a direct result of the protestors’ militancy, there was massive police presence, with police vans surrounding the block and the pigs at one point even outnumbering the protestors. The organisers worked to prevent the pigs from stopping their occupation of the office and ensured that when the protest was over the pigs could not snatch anyone as they left.

Despite the overall militant, anti-colonial spirit and lack of cooperation with the police, the protest must be criticized out of genuine desire for improvement and the eventual victory of the Indigenous peoples’ struggles against the sadistic atrocities of the Canadian state. The main criticism that revolutionaries must make is that the occupation of the depraved social-fascist David Eby’s office was motivated with the intention of petitioning to a talking head of the settler capitalist class. As much as the style of the protest was militant, this fundamental intention was not – revolution can be waged and victory be won only by relying on the great masses of oppressed people, not by pleading to the very class that fattens their fleshy backsides off the sweat of the workers and the blood of the colonised. These mangy dogs in tailored suits will promise mere scraps and deliver even less. The organisers of the protest themselves learned this through practice when the fraudulent David Eby, too cowardly to speak to a ragtag group of elders, youth, and drum singers, chose to instead denounce the protestors and have all nearby MLA offices closed until the next week in an effort to persuade the determined protestors to go home. Seeing the threat of mass arrest and that their goal of speaking with the “Honourable” David Eby as a dead end, the organisers wisely ended the occupation in an organised fashion, watching out for everyone present and even cleaning up the office so that Eby might not slip a disk having to pick up a broom of his own strength.

The revolutionary movement in Vancouver expresses a most determined solidarity with all of the colonised people of Canada in their ceaseless struggle for liberation. In over a century of genocide and colonization, the Canadian settler capitalists have yet to crush the revolutionary spirit of the Indigenous fighters and their mass allies. Chairman Mao, the greatest revolutionary leader that the people of the world have been gifted with to this day, said so clearly, that “Everything reactionary is the same; if you do not hit it, it will not fall,” and that “All reactionaries are paper tigers. In appearance they are terrifying, but in reality, it is the people who are powerful.” More than 70 years later, on the other side of the world, his words still ring true. The Canadian settler capitalist class seem terrifying in their ability to kill and maim, but when the oppressed people of the Indigenous nations and proletarian masses look past this initial terror, they will see that they are the ones with true power, and they will hit the reactionaries and the reactionaries will fall. In the infancy of the movement that we live in, even the successes are bound to contain almost equal degrees of error, but it is only a fact that the oppressed masses will triumph, and a great historical wind will blow the paper tiger away into the trash heap of history.

Long live the Wet’suwet’en people!

Reconciliation is dead! Canada will be next!

Workers and all oppressed of the world unite!

People’s war until communism!

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