Unist'ot'en Camp Twitter feed says RCMP has made first arrests in enforcing Coastal GasLink Pipeline Ltd. injunction
It appears as though the Mounties have started taking Wet'suwet'en traditionalists and their allies into custody.
It comes less than 24 hours after senior RCMP officers held a news conference at E Division headquarters indicating that they would enforce a B.C. Supreme Court injunction obtained by Coastal GasLink Pipeline Ltd.
The Unist'ot'en Camp Twitter feed says that police "are surrounding people" at a Wet'suwet'en monitoring post on the Morice West Forest Service Road.
The same feed reports hearing of 13 RCMP vehicles headed up the road early this morning and the arrest of four people.
It also states that a media exclusion zone is keeping journalists away from the site.
Gidimt'en Checkpoint spokesperson Sleydo', a.k.a. Molly Wickham, issued the following statement on Facebook.
CBC News and Ricochet have both reported that the RCMP initially prevented their journalists from covering what was happening. But then the Mounties relented and have allowed the media to observe what's happening.
Here are more comments on Twitter.
The B.C. RCMP has issued a statement saying an "exclusion zone" was created on January 13 "to prevent further escalation of the situation and to mitigate safety concerns over hazardous items placed on the roadway".
It's now a full exclusion zone.
"As of February 6, 2020, the RCMP will not allow access to anyone who is not part of the enforcement team, with some exceptions for Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs and Elected Council members by arrangement with the Senior Commander," the RCMP stated. "The exclusion zone's purpose is to temporarily create an area where police and Coastal GasLink work can safely operate to deploy heavy machinery and equipment needed to clear hazards and re-establish access as intended by the Court."
Chief Woos, a Wet'suwet'en hereditary chief, told the CBC Early Edition program that about 10 people have been arrested at the 39-kilometre mark on the Morice West Forest Service Road and that the RCMP smashed a window in a pickup truck.
He said that RCMP officers "look like they're ready for war". Chief Woos also claimed that the B.C. Supreme Court injunction is a "circumvention" of the 1997 Delgamuukw ruling in the Supreme Court of Canada, which recognized the existence of Aboriginal title on Wet'suwet'en unceded traditional territory.
In addition, Chief Woos claimed that the Wet'suwet'en people had no knowledge of agreements reached by elected Wet'suwet'en chiefs with Coastal GasLink Pipeline Ltd.