RCMP were prepared to shoot Indigenous people attempting to defend their land from the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline set to run through northern B.C. as per released documents to The Guardian Friday.
The documents came from notes made during a strategy session for a raid to remove the protesters who were mostly of Wet’suwet’en nation. The notes show commanders of the RCMP arguing that “lethal overwatch is req'”–a euphemism used for deploying snipers.
Commanders also instructed their officers to “use as much violence toward the gate as you want.” This was prior to the operation to remove the Wet’suwet’en people from the roadblock they had built. The roadblock prevented access to their territories which halted construction of the pipeline.
The Coastal GasLink pipeline is supposed to be 670 km long.
The raid took place on Jan. 7 2019. RCMP dressed in military-green fatigues and armed with assault rifles approached the roadblock and dismantled the gate, arresting 14 people.
Prior to the raid one RCMP officer stated that arrests would be necessary for “sterilizing the site.”
The leak has spurred outrage across the nation and rallies in solidarity of Wet’suwet’en people are planned in cities throughout country for Tuesday.