A supporter of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs works to set up a support station at kilometre 39 just outside of Gidimt’en checkpoint near Houston B.C., on Wednesday January 8, 2020. The Wet’suwet’en peoples are occupying their land and trying to prevent a pipeline from going through it. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Unist’ot’en Camp say RCMP have changed 27 kilometre roadblock rules

Footage shows RCMP telling an unidentified lawyer they can’t re-enter the checkpoint

The Unist’ot’en Camp’s social media is claiming that RCMP have changed a number of rules to their roadblock set up at the 27 kilometre point of the Morice West Forest Service Road.

A Jan. 22 post to the camp’s social media features video of RCMP telling an unidentified individual they will be allowed access past the checkpoint but will not be allowed subsequent re-entry.

“We’re only allowed to bring in or allow people in who are credited lawyers who are able to practice law in the province in B.C., [that’s] been the development since we let you guys through the first time so going out you won’t be allowed back in,” the officer says in the video.

READ MORE: RCMP create access control checkpoint on Morice West Forest Service Road

The RCMP officer also says that vehicles without forest service radios and chains won’t be allowed past the 27 kilometre point of the road because of the conditions, adding that the decision was made for public safety.

“The decision has been made through our … lawyer that if you’re not able to practice currently in the province of B.C., you’re not going in,” the officer says.

“[RCMP] have now stated that they will not allow any lawyers onto our territory who are not licensed in BC,” a Jan. 22 release posted to the camp’s social media reads.

“This is a clear attempt to target and exclude legal professionals with the Water Protector Legal Collective who were invited onto Wet’suwet’en territory to conduct legal observer training and help us keep the police accountable in the event that they invade our territory.”

A recent post by the Unist’ot’en Camp website calls for legal observers to “[monitor] the actions of law enforcement agencies and security forces and [collect] information for the purposes of legal defence.”

The Interior News has reached out to a spokesperson with the Office of the Wet’suwet’en for clarification on the identity of the individual speaking in the video and whether they have plans to take further action regarding the incident.

The Interior News has also reached out to the RCMP for clarification regarding the incident.

In the release Unist’ot’en Camp said RCMP have also requested the camp provides medication information about guests and residents at it’s healing centre.

“This is a clear violation of our clients’ right to privacy, and creates an obstacle to accessing adequate medical services.”

“We continue to expect that the RCMP will enforce CGL’s injunction, and again use force to invade our unceded lands.”



trevor.hewitt@interior-news.com

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