NEWS: RCMP spying on the Yinka Dene Alliance
The Toronto Star reports, “The RCMP has been spying on a group of British Columbia First Nations (opposing) Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline…, according to documents obtained through an access-to-information request. The documents show that a provincial RCMP unit has been closely tracking the potential for ‘acts of protest and civil disobedience’ by the Yinka Dene Alliance, a coalition of northern B.C. First Nations who have been at the centre of resistance to Enbridge’s $5.5 billion pipeline proposal. …The revelations add ammunition to critics who have charged that the Harper government is waging a campaign to demonize legitimate opponents of resource developments like the Northern Gateway, by labelling them as radicals or including them in Canada’s ‘counter-terrorism’ strategy.”
“According to the documents, the RCMP unit gathered intelligence from unspecified ‘industry reports’, newspapers and websites, and Facebook and Flickr photo accounts. They also appear to have monitored private meetings, including one between First Nations and environmental organizations held in Fraser Lake, B.C., at the end of November, which Saik’uz First Nation Chief Jackie Thomas says was not announced publicly. The meeting’s purpose was ‘to strengthen the alliance between First Nations and environmental groups opposing Enbridge’, an intelligence report from December states. …The monthly intelligence reports note that the oil company ‘will experience increasingly intense protest activity due to the environmental sensitivity of the Northern Gateway path, combined with the fact that the territory has never been ceded to the Crown by First Nations in B.C.’ …An intelligence report notes that the Yinka Dene Alliance will show an ‘increasing propensity and likelihood of utilizing blockades and confrontation to deter industry from accessing disputed territory.’”
“Enbridge declined to comment about whether it has been exchanging information with the RCMP.”
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