When the Mounties descended on a blockade in traditional Wet'suwet'en territory in January, the protesters knew that the stakes were high.
But they weren't aware that RCMP commanders had given instructions that heavily armed officers could "use as much violence toward the gate as you want".
This was revealed today in a Guardian article, citing notes from a strategy session.
The Guardian also reported that these notes mentioned that "lethal overwatch is required", which meant that snipers could be deployed to enforce an injunction obtained by Coastal Gaslink Pipeline Ltd.
On January 7, 14 people were arrested at the Gidumt'en checkpoint, which as one of two blockades set up to oppose the Coastal Gaslink project.
It had been approved to transport natural gas from northeastern B.C. to the yet-to-be-built LNG Canada plant near Kitimat as part of a $40-billion private-sector project.
The RCMP claimed at the time of the arrest that it was "impartial and we respect the rights of individuals to peaceful, lawful and safe protest".
The Unist'ot'en Camp tweeted today that nothing has changed in 150 years.
"They are willing to kill us for our lands and steal our children," it said.
The heavy-handed RCMP action earlier this year was photographed by Michael Toledano.
Today's news has elicited some strong reactions over Twitter.