The Frontline Is Everywhere (in support of Unist'ot'en land defenders)

by Jack Garton

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ALL PROCEEDS FROM SONG DOWNLOADS GO TO UNIST'OT'EN LEGAL FUND. DIRECT DONATIONS CAN BE MADE AT UNISTOTEN.CAMP

While recognizing that indigenous people in Canada and around the world bear the vast majority of the violence of capitalism and colonialism, there are opportunities everywhere for settlers to educate ourselves and take meaningful action in favour of having a better future.

This idea for this song was inspired by Dave Ages of Gulf Islands Frontlines, whose example over years of working at the Unist'ot'en healing centre has been very inspiring to me personally.

Through Dave, I had the fortune to spend time helping and playing music at the healing centre in 2016. What I saw in action there is a beautiful, creative and robust vision for the future of the Wet'suwet'en people.

The way I see it, all people have three fundamental questions to answer for themselves: who am I, where do I come from, and where am I going? I will always support and fight for the Wet'suwet'en people's right to answer those questions for themselves, not be told the answer by a foreign Canadian government or an energy company. I have seen for myself the profound part their traditional territory plays in the answers to those questions. I believe there is only one right course of action: give the land back; begin to heal.

lyrics

The year is 2020 and the NDP
want to push a pipeline through sovereign territory
and it makes me wonder: what does sovereign really mean
and who does it get to mean that for?

Now the RCMP are tearing people off the land
and I'm 500 miles away, doing what I can
and I hope that it's enough,
but I can feel it in the air
the frontline is everywhere, my friends
the frontline is everywhere

There's a frontline at the ballot-box
Those awkward dinner-table talks
the frontline is everywhere

There's a frontline at Clark and Hastings
C'mon no time for wasting,
the frontline is everywhere

It's where you choose to buy your stocks
It's Oka and it's Standing Rock
the frontline is everywhere

If you live upon the land, drink the water
breathe the air
the frontline is everywhere, my friends
the frontline is everywhere

There's a frontline in Montreal
And at your local City Hall
the frontline is everywhere

In Bellevue and in Halifax
On the streets and on the tracks
the frontline is everywhere

On the dancefloor, on the page
On the canvas, on the stage
the frontline is everywhere

If you live upon the land, drink the water
breathe the air
the frontline is everywhere, my friends
the frontline is everywhere

(instrumental break)

And if you are still wondering
if you should take part
then I guess the frontline
is in your heart

But if you live upon this land
drink the water
breathe the air
the frontline is everywhere
the frontline is everywhere
the frontline is everywhere
the frontline is everywhere

credits

released February 21, 2020
Jack Garton - accordion, vocals
Shelley Okepnak - drums
Rob Butterfield - guitars
Phillip Buller - bass

Recorded and mixed by Rob Butterfield

Galiano Island, BC traditional territory of the Penelakut, Lamalcha, Tswassen First Nations, and other Hul'qumin'um speaking peoples with rights and responsibilities here

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Jack Garton Galiano Island, British Columbia

Coming from Galiano Island in the Salish sea, Jack Garton's pursuit of foot-stomping beautiful songs has taken him as far as Europe, Canada's arctic, and the Southern USA, playing his unique combination of trumpet and accordion. Parts writer, composer, player and showman, Jack's show is a roller-coaster tour through roots music in the folk and blues traditions. ... more

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