Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Police deploy in nearby towns during ‘de-escalation’ of Coastal GasLink pipeline conflict

indigenous Canada RCMP sovereignty land invasion resource extraction appropriation

On Thursday, the B.C. government announced a seven-day “de-escalation” to allow for mediation talks with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs opposed to the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline across their territory. During this week-long mediation period, however, tensions remain high and the RCMP presence has increased significantly.

Thus far, no attempts have been made to clear the trees blocking the road or to transport Coastal GasLink employees into the area. But the RCMP are amassing in nearby settlements such as Houston and Telkwa, B.C., and an RCMP checkpoint set up to control access into Wet’suwet’en territory remains a serious point of contention.

Legal observers are now joining the Wet’suwet’en to record police actions and violations amid the conflict.

Journalists and supporters bringing food have been turned away at the RCMP checkpoint, a transgression under scrutiny by the BC Civil Liberties Association. A lawsuit is being pursued on behalf of Delee Nikal, Wet’suwet’en, and Cody Merriman, Haida, who were denied access by the police.

More recently, Carmen Nikal, 73, mother of Delee and one of those arrested during last year’s police raid on the Gidimt’en checkpoint, faced arrest at the RCMP checkpoint. On Jan. 31, 2020, Carmen refused to produce personal identification to cross the RCMP checkpoint. Given that having to show identification is not a requirement of the injunction, it remains to be seen what law was broken.  (more...)

No comments:

Post a Comment