Two blockades of indigenous land from oil and gas companies: Wet'suwet'en First Nation (2020) and Kurdish youth of Shawre valley (2013).
One Kurdish sign says: "We will not exchange our water for oil. The riches lie above the ground, not beneath."
Prayers for Peacemakers, 12 February 2020 Iraqi Kurdistan
Today, let us remember in our prayers Indigenous peoples’ struggles to stop the ongoing destruction of their ancestral lands in Iraqi Kurdistan, on Turtle Island, in Palestine and around the world. The world’s insatiable thirst for resources that the transnational and local industries seek to fulfill are stronger than governments’ respect for human rights—including the rights of Indigenous peoples—and the rights of Pachamama/Mother Earth. We saw an example of this disrespect this past week when heavily militarized Canadian police protected a fossil fuel company tearing up Wet’suwet’en land, just like oil companies have done to Kurdish farms and villages in Kurdistan.
The Iraqi Kurdistan team would like to remember the pillars of bridges built between the struggles of Indigenous people in two places with a strong CPT presence: Mesopotamia and Turtle Island. The stories and struggles of the Indigenous peoples of Mesopotamia and Kurdistan are unique—as are the stories and struggles of the Indigenous people of Turtle Island. And yet they have much in common, including the irreversible destruction brought by the violent colonization and the continuing displacement of peoples and the devastation of their land for what lies beneath.
The Iraqi Kurdistan team, comprising Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, sends prayers of strength in solidarity with the blockade of the Wet’suwet’en First nation. We know in person two people whom the Canadian armed police arrested in the past days during their invasion of the camps built by the Indigenous defenders of their land in order to protect their rights from operations of a gas company. One of the arrested had done work in solidarity with the Kurdish people and the other with the Indigenous people of Palestine. We wish we could also know others in person. We may not be able to because of the borders dividing us. Yet, in our hearts we are with you. The struggles are many, but also they are one.