The RCMP are setting up exclusion zones and closed roads to the public and media as officers get set to dismantle two camps on unceded Wet’suwet’en territory.
“During the police enforcement operation, temporary exclusion zones and road closures will be established for police and public safety reasons,” said the news release sent out Monday morning that confirmed the RCMP will enforce a court order requested by a pipeline company trying to build a pipeline through Wet’suwet’en territory.
“Those areas will be clearly marked and media/public are welcome to stand at the perimeter, but no one will be allowed to enter the exclusion zones. These zones will only be maintained as long as necessary.”
See full statement here: What to expect during the police enforcement of court ordered injunction in Houston, BC
The raids have been highly anticipated after a B.C. judge granted an interim injunction in December against two check points leading to the construction site for the LNG Coastal GasLink pipeline.
The Unist’ot’en camp closed access to its site across the Morice River in 2010.
Since then, workers for Coastal GasLink, a subsidiary of TransCanada Corp., have been refused access to the construction site the company claims is a kilometre from the Unist’ot’en camp, where a number of buildings sit.
After the court injunction was granted, members of the Gidmit’en clan set up a check point and camp on the same access road but in their portion of the Wet’suwet’en territory.
The injunction was then amended to include that area, about 20 kilometres away from the Unist’ot’en camp.
It’s not clear how many RCMP officers are involved in the raids but some reports on social media claim 30 police vehicles are involved.
“The local residents and the motoring public may be inconvenienced during the injunction enforcement period as pedestrians and vehicles will not be allowed to enter any temporary exclusion zones,” said the RCMP release.
“We will have officers stationed at publicly accessible roads within the exclusion zones who can assist with any concerns or issues from the motoring public so please do not hesitate to approach any of them and seek assistance with alternate routes.”
The Gidmit’en Clan, whose members are at the second check point, have called any RCMP raid an “act of war.”
The elected chiefs and councils of the five Wet’suwet’en bands have approved the pipeline.
More to come.