Secwépemc land defender Kanahus Manuel warns RCMP C-IRG raid of Tiny House Warriors may be imminent
Secwepemc land defender Kanahus Manuel has posted on Instagram: “The pigs creeping around camp, surveillance and harassment continues, temporary fence that tmx [Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project] put up was removed yesterday, the government may be trying to raid or move in! Stay posted.”
If a raid does happen, it would likely involve the controversial Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Community-Industry Response Group (C-IRG) now under systemic investigation by the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission (CRCC).
The CBC has previously reported: “In 2018, early in their mandate, C-IRG officers faced off with the Tiny House Warriors, a Secwépemc-led activist collective blocking construction along the Trans Mountain expansion route near Blue River, but never conducted a comprehensive operation to break up the occupation.”
It has also noted: “The C-IRG has led ongoing operations for the $21.4 billion Trans Mountain expansion, which would twin an existing pipeline carrying oil from Edmonton to Burnaby, B.C., near Vancouver.”
In January 2023, the CBC reported the C-IRG had spent $3,535,542 policing resistance to the Trans Mountain pipeline between 2017-18 and 2022-23 (as of July 31).
United Nations calls for C-IRG to leave Secwepemc territory
The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) has called on Canada to remove the RCMP from Secwepemc territory in letters dated December 13, 2019, November 24, 2020, and April 29, 2022.
In its most recent letter, the Committee stated: “According to the information before the Committee, the Governments of Canada and of the Province of British Columbia have escalated their use of force, surveillance, and criminalization of land defenders and peaceful protesters to intimidate, remove and forcibly evict Secwepemc and Wet’suwet’en Nations from their traditional lands, in particular by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the Community-Industry Response Group (CIRG), and private security firms.”
And in his recently released report on his visit to Canada, UN Special Rapporteur José Francisco Calí Tzay wrote: “In Canada, Indigenous Peoples are taking up the fight for climate justice by opposing the construction of TC Energy’s Coastal GasLink pipeline and the Federal Government-run Trans Mountain pipeline, projects approved without the consent of all affected Indigenous Peoples.”
Abolish the C-IRG
Peace Brigades International-Canada participates in the Abolish C-IRG coalition that is calling for the abolition of this controversial police unit.
Note: Visit to Canada report by the Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples, José Francisco Calí Tzay: https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G23/139/12/pdf/G2313912.pdf?OpenElement