Alliance for Peoples’ Health would like to thank Audrey Siegl, Freda Huson, Dini Ze Toghestiy, Glen Coulthard, the artists, the performers, the volunteers, Heartwood Community Cafe, Astorino’s, and all those who attended the event for contributing towards the Fundraiser for Unist’ot’en Camp. The event raised $5223 for the protection of sovereign Wet’suwet’en territory from destructive pipelines.
Here is our Solidarity Message:
The Alliance for Peoples Health welcomes you to the Fundraiser for the Unist’ot’en Camp.
APH, a grassroots organization of health workers and health activists committed to the struggle for health for all, stands in solidarity and offers our support for the Grassroots Wet’suwet’en and the Unist’ot’en Camp. APH hopes this event contributes support (financial, inkind, and moral) for the Unistoten Camp’s legitimate resistance, a resistance today’s speakers will discuss further.
Last year, after undergoing the Traditional Wet’suwet’en Law of Free Prior and Informed Consent Protocol, APH organizers had the opportunity to learn and share on the lands of the Unist’ot’en of the Wet’suwet’en, particularly at the Unist’ot’en Camp. Their experience with Freda, Toghestiy, Satsi, and the animals on their sovereign traditional territory deepened APH’s commitment to expose and oppose the structural violence of ongoing Colonialism, Imperialism, and Neoliberalism.
APH understands colonialism, precisely settler colonialism in Canada is not an event of the past. Ongoing is the violent dispossession and disappearance of Indigenous lands and peoples, especially women. Canada’s past and present tactics of assimilation and genocide, including the spread of disease and medical science; as well as colonial relations and relationships embedded in Canadian bureaucracies, like Health Canada, has produced and reproduces conditions and environments that destroy health and healing. Settler colonialism, along with racism, is a structural determinant of health; a structural determinant that only benefits the health of privileged settlers.
APH understands Imperialism, and its violent and aggressive ways to acquire territories and extract super-profits, have never ceased. By military, political, economic, and cultural means, imperialist nation-states, including Canada, instigate and engage in wars of aggression and occupation, plunder resources, and destroy ancestral lands and environments. Imperialism, like colonialism, is a structural determinant of health. Imperialism’s unbridled greed, terrorism, and inter-imperialist rivalries, inflict suffering, displacement, poverty, homelessness, and disease upon the mass majority of the peoples of the world.
Another structural determinant of health is the Imperialist policy of neoliberal globalization. Imperialist nation-states uses agencies like the IMF, World Bank, and WTO to push the liberalization of trade and investment, privatization of public assets, and the deregulation of social and environmental protection. Neoliberal globalization has opened entire countries, like the Philippines, to resource extraction industries, like Canadian mining companies, destroying lands and displacing people. Neoliberal globalization has forced the displacement and migration of peoples within nation-state borders from rural areas to urban centres, only to find unemployment and live in poverty. Neoliberal globalization has forced the displacement and migration of peoples from the Third World to the First World to work as cheap, precarious, temporary labour. Neoliberal globalization has pushed public assets such as health and health care, into privatization. Neoliberal globalization only serves to suit Imperialist greed to amass territory and super-profits, not to serve the health and healing of the people.
Colonialism, Imperialism, Neoliberalism create conditions and environments that produce and reproduce disease and ill-health. And it forces peoples’ dependency on the biomedical-pharmaceutical industrial complex it creates to treat these diseases and ill-health.
As health workers and health activists of APH, it is our responsibility to contest neutrality pervasive in mainstream health work. As health workers, it is our responsibility to challenge ourselves and seriously ask ourselves what it means to be wrapped up in settler colonial relations.
We encourage other health workers to contribute, take part, and be in solidarity with movements and struggles, like the Unist’ot’en Camp, as ways to address and transform the structural violence that impacts health for all.
Alliance for Peoples’ Health