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21 Sep 2020

Amanda Follett Hosgood, The Tyee

Facebook disables hundreds of accounts linked to Wet’suwet’en support rally

More than 200 Facebook users have been blocked from posting or sending messages through the popular social media platform after what appears to be a targeted attack on those supporting an anti-pipeline protest in northern British Columbia...

... Annie Morgan Banks, a member of Wet’suwet’en Solidarity Team and an event organizer, said... She said she’s never experienced a suspension on the platform and wonders why Facebook didn’t just remove the event instead of banning moderators and administrators on pages that shared it. “It’s just such a huge overreaction on the part of Facebook when, in other ways, they don’t react at all,” she says. “When it’s hate speech online, misinformation about coronavirus being spread, people literally murdering people on a livestream. That stays up.”

... The initial event, called Online Action and Rally: KKR and Chase, Defund Coastal GasLink!, targeted the $6.6-billion Coastal GasLink project, which is currently under construction and would carry fracked gas from northeast B.C. to a liquefied natural gas plant in Kitimat.It included... a plan to flood KKR & Co. Inc., a major U.S.-based investor in the Coastal GasLink project, with emails and phone calls... Despite band councils along the route signing benefit agreements with the pipeline builder, Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs oppose to the project.

... Delee Nikal is Wet’suwet’en and a member of the Gidimt’en clan... She denounced the platform for allowing racism and violence to remain while silencing the protestors. “Facebook is actively suppressing those who oppose fascism and the colonial capitalists,” she said. “We have to remember this also shows the power that we have as a collective.... What we are doing is working..."

... The Tyee reached out to KKR and Coastal GasLink for comment but did not receive a response.