Arcade Fire have joined a group of 200 Canadian musicians in publishing an open letter in support of indigenous protestors.
The letter, which was also signed by Destroyer, US Girls, Pup, and Godspeed You! Black Emperor among others, follows the arrest of 14 people earlier this month. The group were arrested for defending indigenous land that belonged to the Wet’suwet’en Nation in British Columbia.
They were protesting the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline, which, once complete, would run 416 miles across the Canadian state. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police [RCMP] broke up the protest at gunpoint.
“As musicians, we know a PR campaign when we see one,” the letter read. “Since 2015 Justin Trudeau has promoted a message of Truth and Reconciliation and professed the goal of building meaningful nation-to-nation relationships, but his government’s actions don’t align. Meaningful nation-to-nation relationships are not made at gunpoint.”
It continued: “Many of us grew up in Canada as uninvited guests, misinformed about Canadian history and the settler-colonial project of expansion. It’s 2019, and we refuse a willful ignorance and take seriously the responsibility dealt to all Canadians by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to learn about Canada’s legacy of colonial violence. We recognise the pattern of the RCMP’s role in expanding Canadian influence over Indigenous peoples’ lands for the purpose of resource extraction.
“We are horrified by the violence of last week and the RCMP’s continued harassment of your people, and troubled by the exclusion zones erected to keep the press from reporting and Wet’suwet’en citizens from returning to their homes.”
The letter also discussed the need for alternatives to fossil fuel in light of global warming, noting the pipeline would not help matters. It praised the Wet’suewt’en people’s government for “showing more leadership in climate action than Canadian elected officials.”
Meanwhile, Arcade Fire have been quiet since wrapping up their tour for ‘Everything Now’ at Las Vegas’ Life Is Beautiful festival last September. The record, which was released in July 2017, was awarded five stars from NME upon its release.