RCMP Prepare to Enforce Coastal GasLink Injunction

Kathy Brookes
02/05/2020

The RCMP are confirming they are getting closer to taking action to enforce the court injunction against interference with Coastal GasLink pipeline work -- on Wet'suwet'en territory south of Houston. 

This after discussions between the B.C. government and Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs broke down.

Senior RCMP officials spoke at a news conference in Surrey this afternoon. 

They say they've followed a measured approach to date and had weeks of discussions with the affected parties. But Assistant Commissioner Eric Stubbs says, as enforcement of the injunction order nears, they've assembled a team in the area. 

The RCMP are encouraging the people they call protestors to abide by the injunction and leave the area, but if they don't and arrests are made, Stubbs says there are peaceful options that would require minimal use of force. 

"Some people want to be arrested. We'll accommodate that," said Stubbs. "No handcuffs and you'll be processed.  Other people maybe they're what we call "passive resistance". They don't fight back. They just stand there and not move, or they lay on the ground.  We can easily take them away."

Stubbs says officers have been instructed to use the least amount of force that is reasonable to safely arrest a protestor. 

The RCMP they will be filming the events with body-worn and hand-held cameras, as well as from the air. 

The arrest of 14 people in January of 2019 at the Gidimt'en checkpoint set up by wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs and their supporters on the Morice West Forest Service Road led to angry demonstrations across the country.

Criminal charges against the 14 were dropped last spring.

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