5 people arrested as police investigate alleged spinoff of Coastal GasLink worker

The dispute over the Coastal GasLink pipeline near Houston has led to more arrests.

Following an incident in which a pipeline worker was allegedly swarmed on March 26 by a group of masked and camouflaged individuals at the 43 km mark of the Morice West Forest Service Road, the RCMP obtained two warrants search warrants related to theft under $5,000.

It is alleged that during the incident, the group gained access to a Coastal GasLink vehicle, poured some kind of liquid on it and stole a chainsaw from the bed of the truck.

While executing one of the police warrants on March 29, at a camp known as the Gidimt’en village site at kilometer 44.5 up the road, police said four occupants had refused to cooperate and that another had attempted to prevent the officers from executing the warrant. .

All five were arrested on charges of obstructing a peace officer.

Harassment and bullying: Gidimt’en

In a statement on the Yintah Access website, the group said a large force from the RCMP’s Community-Industry Response Group (C-IRG) raided the village site, arresting mostly Indigenous women. , including the daughter of Chief Gidimt’en Woos.

Sleydo’ (also known as Molly Wickham), spokesperson for the Gidimt’en checkpoint, said the alleged incident was just an excuse to continue the harassment.

“This harassment and intimidation is exactly the kind of violence designed to drive us out of our homeland,” she said. “The constant threat of violence and criminalization for simply existing on our own lands must have been what our ancestors felt when Indian agents and the RCMP burned our homes down to the 1950s in our area. The colonial project continues in the hands of the private mercenaries of industry – C-IRG.

Specialized police forces under surveillance

This month, the C-IRG, which was created in 2017 “to provide a coordinated response to public order events related to large-scale resource-based industrial projects in British Columbia,” attracted a lot of people. public attention in northwestern British Columbia.

On March 9, the Chair of the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission Against the RCMP, Michelaine Lahaie, launched a systemic review of the unit, which local First Nations call a “militarized squadron” of the RCMP.

A statement from the CRCC says the review will consider whether the C-IRG’s policies, procedures, guidelines and training comply with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and reflect previous relevant recommendations from the CRCC and other good practice.

It will also seek to determine whether the operations and actions of the C-IRG are consistent with the BC Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Calls for Justice of the Missing Indigenous Women and Girls Inquiry and murdered.

Also on March 9, neighboring Gitxsan First Nation issued a ban on C-IRG from its traditional territories.

Subsequently, the RCMP said that while it would do its utmost to enforce the ban, it had an obligation and responsibility to enforce court orders and maintain public safety, tasks for which the C-IRG unit is “uniquely located” due to specific training and resources. .


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