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Rights + Justice

Riveting Video Captures RCMP Raid of Gidimt’en Camp

Newly released footage shows pipeline opponents’ defiance as police march in.

Tyee Staff 9 Feb 2020 | TheTyee.ca

Newly released video captures the moment more than 40 RCMP officers arrived to clear the Gidimt’en camp on Feb. 7.

As The Tyee reported that day, police arrested four people opposing a gas pipeline on the Wet’suwet’en Nation’s traditional territories.

Two people refused to leave and remain in a cabin at the camp.

The Gidimt’en camp, located at kilometre 44 on the Morice West Forest Service Road, is one of several encampments established by opponents of the Coastal GasLink project intended to carry fracked methane gas to the B.C. coast to be shipped in liquefied form.

In the video, which The Tyee has confirmed was made by allies of the encampment who wish to remain anonymous, a helicopter buzzes overhead as police in battle gear trudge into the camp.

Standing in defiance, Eve Saint, holding a feather shouts, “You are trespassing on Wet’suwet’en territory. This is Gidimt’en territory, the territory of Woos. I am his daughter.”

She declares, “Our hereditary chiefs gave no consent. Coastal GasLink is not allowed to be here.”

From the police, a loudspeaker voice states, “There is currently a civil injunction in place.” A man standing on a platform atop a bus responds, “There is currently a genocide at our doorstep.”

851px version of Wetsuweten-Map.jpg
The Unist’ot’en Healing Centre is the only protest site where RCMP have not yet made arrests. Map for The Tyee by Andrew Walsh.

Tyee reporter Amanda Follett Hosgood has in recent days reported from various encampments along the protested route, and continues to cover the tense developments from Unist’ot’en camp at kilometre 66 on the Morice road.

On Thursday, police launched a pre-dawn raid on the first Wet’suwet’en camp at kilometre 39 of the Morice road. They arrested six people, detained journalists and dismantled the camp.

On Friday, officers, including tactical squad members with rifles, moved in by helicopters and vehicles on the Gidimt’en camp.

On Saturday, the RCMP arrested another 11 people at a warming centre at kilometre 27 of the forest road.

Those arrests ramped up tensions as the centre was outside the original RCMP exclusion zone, which had been established at kilometre 27.

But on Friday, the RCMP extended the exclusion zone another 23 kilometres, almost to Highway 16 near Houston and said people could leave or be arrested. They cited risks from two earlier blockades on the road near the former checkpoint and said spikes had been placed along the road to damage the tires of vehicles operated by the RCMP.

People in the Unist’ot’en camp are ready for police action today after the RCMP visit Saturday. Two helicopters brought officers to the healing centre around 11 a.m.

Check back here at The Tyee, B.C.’s independent online news site, for more updates.  [Tyee]

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