First Nations activist Ambrose Williams says Canada is “police state”


Ambrose Williams has experienced firsthand the active surveillance of activists by the police and security establishment.

A 25-year-old Vancouver man of Gitxsan and Dene ancestry, Ambrose was interviewed in this week’s cover story by the Georgia Straight about the opposition faced by planned oil and gas pipelines in B.C.

“The government is monitoring us. They’re watching us,” Williams said.

In the interview on December 27, Williams recalled the experience he and his fellow activists had last year, when they left Vancouver in a three-vehicle caravan bound for New Brunswick, where they went to reinforce the Mi’kmaq in fighting a company exploring for shale gas.

They posted on social media the place, date, and time of their departure. They barely made it four blocks from their starting point when they were stopped by the police.

“The cops pulled us over and took all of our names,” Williams said.

That happened over and over again as they made their way east to New Brunswick.

“They also were waiting for us in Alberta,” Williams recalled. “I remember we’re driving along the Trans-Canada Highway and a cop was waiting by an exit...and then he started following us. And then he looked at all the licence plates. He dropped back and then literally at the next exit, another cop, like two more, came out and stopped us all.

“This happened like pretty much in most of the provinces,” he continued. “Like we were being monitored and followed the whole way.”

Williams has one conclusion: “It really is becoming a police state. We need to become aware of that.”

The Straight asked Williams what he did in New Brunswick alongside the Mi’kmaq of the Elsipogtog First Nation.

“Without incriminating myself? “ Williams responded in amusement. “I was chopping firewood. I was being there in support. Helping people decompress from the situation. My training is in children and youth care counselling. So I was working with the youth while I was there.

“What else was I doing?” Williams continued. “I was just there to do whatever they felt I needed to do there to help them. Without incriminating myself.”

Comments (5) Add New Comment
The following link is to an excellent recent story in The Guardin about corporate espionage against nonprofit, citize organizations aided by government. One has to wonder who the real terrorists are.
Rating: -2
I never ceased to be amazed by just how naive "activists" can be. The state has always used its monopoly on legal violence to maintain the status quo at the very least. This did not begin with Harpo and it will not end when we have a supposedly "different" government.
Rating: -6
Bugz Brown
Myself habe experienced the same but on a different level. I am been experiencing the complications The New Age Residential Schools called Vancouver Aboriginal Child And Family Services Society. We have been under their watchful eye for over a year now and my family has DONE NOTHING WRONG to be placed i such situation. My partner had a domestic issue in his past 13years ago which involved his children. This history i was aware as first nations we decide to begin a Healing Journey. Which VACFSS became involved simply because he wantex a visit with his other daughter in care. Skipping a lot of family has been under serious supervision with us noticing a specific ghost car circling our block at the times my partner has supervised visits. Then we noticed it everyday. With the occassional visit from the After Hours worker and police. We try to maintain records of them in the area. In december i make a move to a cometely different area and we see the exa t same car circling my block. I get a visit last month again from after hours ....after hours is a MCFD resource to intervene in families under domestic distress and they are used to che k into families to make sure children are safe. so the last they arrived in my home..i expressed my tiredness of being under VACFSS control and monitoring. I said to the Afterhours worker Exactly how much resources is being used to monitor us and told her of thd daily sightings of thd cop car. Of course shd expresses that she highly doubts that its for me. I expressed even the lady who does the thirdparty i ho.s visits noticed the car in plain sight making obvious circles in the neighborhood and sitting near bus stops. it cant be my imagination. So almost immediately..we no longer see the grey undercover car in the is now a black suv truck. I have also been questioned for things that appeared on my facebook that they took as possible abuse from my partner....when all i was doing was sharing a picture of abuse that happened to someone else. The wierd thing is first i didnt even realuze they were spying on me but that they new my facebook name. So yes the police and government systems do spy. We as a people have to be more open about this and stand up and make change. My goal is to make change within the MCFD system...including having VACFSS removed.
Rating: -2
Naive is definitely the right word. Maybe she should move to Iran or N. Korea and get a new perspective on things.
Rating: +1
I think most canadians are basically dumb and don't believe how corrupt govts and cops can be in their own country and there are those that are very complacent and wimpy so they never do anything, just tolerate things. If the govt told them to wear their underwear inside out over their pants they would do it. Sounds like nazi germany. This attitude of canadians is a breeding ground for canada to develop into a brutal police state regime controlled by dictator Stephen Harper. Quebec will probably separate because I don't think they will tolerate something like that. He is not well liked in Quebec and that is one reason why the PQ is in office now.
Rating: +2
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