Gidimt’en land defenders report Canadian police surveillance and harassment on Wet’suwet’en territories

Published by Brent Patterson on

Share This Page

On March 8, Gidimt’en Checkpoint tweeted:

RCMP have been entering our village several times each day to harass, surveil, intimidate, and threaten our guests. When police came to her home at 4am, Auntie Janet confronted the officers and kicked them out of our camp.

This Gidimt’en Access Checkpoint video posted on March 8 also notes:

The last couple days the BC RCMP have been coming into camp, multiple officers at a time, to walk around harassing people claiming “crown land” patrols. There have been threats of arrest, recording of vehicle information, and intimidation.

This particular video is at 1am. They have been coming in multiple times a day with threats to keep coming every day. Their motivation seems to be purely intimidation. They have no reason to continue this behaviour other than to be bullies.

They have been told by the Hereditary Chiefs they are not welcome in Gidimt’en territory. They are trespassing on sovereign land and refuse to accept the 1997 Delgamuukw decision that upheld our Hereditary Chiefs jurisdiction and title. This is not something new. We will continue to hold our ground in the face of police harassment and the violence of the state.

Filmmaker Michael Toledano has also explained in this series of tweets:

Coastal Gaslink has stationed several private security (who are ex law enforcement) inside and at the entrance of Wet’suwet’en camps, while RCMP are conducting repeated foot patrols of Wet’suwet’en camps at odd hours.

RCMP are also providing 24 hour security at CGL’s drill site.

This policy of total surveillance involves continuous video surveillance of Wet’suwet’en home sites by ex law enforcement, and private security or police following your vehicle when you travel. RCMP pulled me over yesterday for no specific reason.

There are officers from the CIRG unit, but there are also police resources being pulled from towns over 150km away.

The “temporary” RCMP detachment set up in 2019 appears to be in use still, despite statements from police and even Justin Trudeau that it was removed in 2020.

The UN calls for Coastal GasLink to stop

At this time, we recall that the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination called on Canada “to immediately halt the construction and suspend all permits and approvals for the construction of the Coastal Gas Link pipeline in the traditional and unceded lands and territories of the Wet’suwet’en people, until they grant their free, prior and informed consent, following the full and adequate discharge of the duty to consult.”

That same decision urged Canada “to guarantee that no force will be used against Secwepemc and Wet’suwet’en peoples and that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and associated security and policing services will be withdrawn from their traditional lands.”

Canada was required to submit a report to the UN Committee by November 15, 2021, on its compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Instead, Canada delayed that until an unspecified date in 2022.

Coastal GasLink drilling to start this spring

Last month, a Coastal GasLink spokesperson stated: “We expect that the micro-drilling [under Wedzin Kwa] will take place starting this spring.”

The Terrace Standard adds: “In preparation, a drilling company is getting ready to install a starting shaft which is a deep circulation excavation acting as an entry point on the east side of the Morice. The active tunneling work is expected to take two and half to three months.”

PBI-Canada was present on Wet’suwet’en territories in November 2021.

We continue to follow this issue with concern.

Share This Page
Categories: News Updates

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *