RCMP were prepared to shoot members of the Indigenous Wet’suwet’en Nation who were blocking pipeline construction on their land in Northern BC, documents show.
The contents of the documents were first reported by The Guardian this past weekend and consisted of transcripts from an RCMP strategy session.
The documents reveal that RCMP commanders at one point advocated for “lethal overwatch”, a term alluding to snipers.
In addition, those commanders instructed officers to “use as much violence toward the gate as you want”, the Guardian reports.
The RCMP strategy session was centered around a roadblock the Wet’suwet’en Nation had set up on their land. The roadblock was set up by the nation to “control access to their territories and stop construction of the Coastal GasLink Pipeline (CGL).
The incident, which the Guardian described as “a militarized raid on ancestral lands of the Wet’suwet’en nation”, took place on January 7th, 2019, in Northern BC.
The moment RCMP came over the gates and started making arrests to enforce the Coastal GasLink injunction. pic.twitter.com/n6Cy1RLUu4
— ChantelleBellrichard (@pieglue) January 8, 2019
According to reports from the time, 14 people were ultimately arrested, despite the Wet’suwet’en Nation never signing a treaty to cede their land to Canadian government.
A spokesperson for the Indigenous community in the region said that the actions of the RCMP at the pipeline protest resembled that of colonial violence.
“In our experience, since first contact, RCMP have been created by the federal government to dispossess Indigenous peoples of their lands. They have proven [that] through their harassment of my people to support Coastal GasLink in invading our territories.”
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