Editor’s Note: The RCMP in B.C. and Trans Mountain replied to APTN’s request for comment after the story was originally published.
Two members of the Tiny House Warriors say they were arrested Saturday for “bugging” road construction workers on their unceded territory in northern B.C.
“At 9 a.m. on Oct. 19, Kanahus Manuel and Isha Jules were arrested on Highway 5,” the group opposed to the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion said in a news release Monday.
“They had stopped to tell construction workers they had no Secwepemc consent to flag in preparation for roadwork.”
The release says this happened north of Blue River, B.C.
Manuel and Jules, who were staying nearby at a camp they built to protect a river crossing, were kept in custody and transported about 200 km south from where they were arrested in a police van, the release said.
They say their lawyer was prevented from meeting with them and Manuel was injured during the arrest.
“Defence counsel was not permitted to see Manuel or Jules for five hours,” the release said. “Initially, counsel was told this was because RCMP did not have the manpower to facilitate a visit.
“Later – almost 10 hours after the arrest – he was called from an ambulance transporting Manuel to the Kamloops hospital for injuries to her wrist sustained during her arrest.”
The hospital is approximately 130 km south of Clearwater.
Secwepemc land defenders @KanahusFreedom & Isha Jules were arrested Sat morning for "bugging" construction workers. RCMP slammed Kanahus to the ground & her arm was seriously injured – she was not taken to hospital for 10 hrs. Read the family's statement: https://t.co/jxyxrJANv9
— Yellowhead Institute (@Yellowhead_) October 20, 2019
APTN News left several messages with RCMP seeking more information but did not hear back by the time this story was posted.
The release said the pair was charged with mischief and intimidation but didn’t elaborate.
The release said Manuel was forced to yell from her hospital bed to be heard by family members because “eight police officers and hospital staff” would not permit her to see them in person.
It said she remained in police custody following medical treatment.
The release alleges police acted in an “irregular” manner by keeping the pair in custody longer than usual before conferring with the Crown about their release on a promise to appear.
“Instead they waited until 10 p.m. at night to seek remand into custody until Monday morning,” the release claims.
“This is very irregular as people with much more serious charges and extensive criminal records are routinely released on a promise to appear and conditions.”
The two accused were to appear at a bail hearing Monday morning in Kamloops.
Tiny House Warriors oppose construction of a proposed Trans Mountain worker’s accommodation complex or “man camp” for pipeline construction in the area over fears of violence against Indigenous women and girls.
The risk of violence and loss of access to traditional lands and resources are all part of the wider issue of colonization, Manuel has told APTN .
RCMP in British Columbia confirm they arrested two “activists” on Sept. 30 and another two from the same group on Oct. 19.
In the first incident, officers from the northern Clearwater detachment say they were summoned by a contract security employee.
They said the employee told them six “demonstrators” approached the Trans Mountain pumping station in Blue River, B.C. They said he said two female members of the group confronted him about the pipeline expansion project “using language intended to intimidate.
“The interaction was reportedly captured on video by both the demonstrators and security staff,” RCMP said in the release Monday. “During the interaction, a security padlock to the compound was allegedly stolen.”
One female was arrested for intimidation and theft and released on a promise to appear in court at a later date, police said, adding charges were pending against a second female.
The women were not named in the release.
In the second incident on Oct. 19, RCMP said members of their Community-Industry Response Group were on patrol when members of a road construction crew complained of being “disrupted.”
The workers said a male and a female were bothering them as they set up a temporary work zone.
“Two suspects were located and arrested for mischief,” the release said. “During the arrest the female was unco-operative and complained of injuries.”
Police said they took the suspect to hospital where she was “cleared for custody with no noted injuries.”
All aspects of the arrests were captured on video, police added, and will be shared with the court.
Kanahus Manuel and Isha Jules were both charged with mischief and intimidation.
They were released on bail with conditions they not wear masks, keep the peace, and don’t impede Trans Mountain employees.
Trans Mountain declined to comment as the matter is before the courts