Senior RCMP officers leave no doubt that Coastal GasLink injunction will be enforced against Wet'suwet'en people

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      At a news conference at E Division headquarters in Surrey, senior Mounties indicated that the national police force will "clear obstructions" blocking development of a controversial pipeline project. 

      Assistant Commissioner Eric Stubbs told reporters that when the Morice West Forest Service Road is cleared, the RCMP will reassess the situation.

      He gave no indication when the Mounties will enforce a B.C. Supreme Court injunction obtained by Coastal GasLink Pipeline Ltd.

      "As enforcement of the injunction nears, we've assembled a team in the area," Stubbs said. "We encourage all of the protesters to abide by the injunction and leave the area."

      His higher-ranking colleague, Deputy Commissioner Jennifer Strachan, said that enforcement will occur "in the near future".

      The corporation is developing a $6.6-billion, 670-kilometre natural-gas pipeline from northeastern B.C. to provide fuel for an LNG Canada plant in Kitimat.

      Royal Dutch Shell is the largest shareholder in LNG Canada. The $40-billion infrastructure project has been approved by the federal and B.C. governments.

      Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs have given the company an eviction notice, saying the project is on unceded Wet'suwet'en territory and is in violation of Wet'suwet'en law. 

      Stubbs said that the project's opponents have various options.

      "There is a number of people who can leave voluntarily and will not be arrested," he said.

      Stubbs added that some can choose "voluntary arrest", in which case they won't be handcuffed.

      Others may engage in passive resistance and according to Stubbs, they can be easily taken away.

      "Our members are trained to respond to behaviours they're presented with," he added.

      He expressed a wish for positive dialogue.

      "We are hopeful that people will have second thoughts about doing anything but being peaceful," Stubbs said.

      When the RCMP enforced a Coastal GasLink Pipelines Ltd. injunction at the Gidimt'en checkpoint on January 7, 2019, there were 14 arrests.

      The Guardian later reported that the Mounties employed a tactic called "lethal overwatch" and were prepared to shoot people had they encountered resistance.

      The Gidimt'en Checkpoint Twitter feed pointed this out after the RCMP stated that nobody was kicked or punched during the last enforcement action.

      The commanding officer of the B.C. RCMP, Deputy Commissioner Jennifer Strachan, said that the Mounties have been "exercising limited the discretion" provided by the B.C. Supreme Court on when and how to enforce Coastal GasLink Pipeline Ltd.'s injunction. She also insisted that the RCMP has made "significant efforts" to facilitate dialogue.

      "As I stated, as enforcement of the Injunction occurs, we will continue to liaise in hopes of finding a path to peaceful, lawful and safe enforcement of the court order," Strachan said.

      Below, you can see various reactions on Twitter.