URGENT UPDATES Feb 7, 2020:
[Please SHARE widely – this post will be continually updated
9:10pm -Chief Woos of the Gidimt’en was denied access to his territory. Chief Ste ohn tsiy left the 27km camp and was denied re-entry. Wet’suwet’en Chiefs are being denied access to Wet’suwet’en territories.
9:09 pm – We hear RCMP are demanding the camp at 27km be shut down & evacuated. The RCMP exclusion zone is now at the 3km mark on Morice Forest Service Road.
People can’t leave because police towed their vehicles away. Elders, chiefs, and a pregnant woman are stranded.
7:10 pm – We have heard that RCMP have removed vehicles that were blocking the road at 27KM, and bulldozers are now driving down the road back towards town.
6:21 pm – We are hearing that 30 RCMP are surrounding Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs and supporters at 27KM who have blocked the road. Among them, Dini’ze Smogelgem, Dini’ze Dsta’hyl, and Tsake’ze Sleydo’.
6:16 pm – Denzel Sutherland-Wilson from the Gitxsan nation was arrested and removed from Gidimt’en tower earlier today. Only those in Chief Woos’ cabin remain. The Gitxsan are the oldest allies of the Wet’suwet’en.
6:15 pm – 27KM has said that they are now being surrounded by RCMP and not allowed to leave
6:13 pm – Everything is quiet at Gidimten checkpoint. Those in the cabin no longer see or hear police. It seems like the majority of the force has headed out and at least 15 RCMP have headed to 27km. The tower is still standing. The road is still blocked.
3:30 pm – Over 20 Wet’suwet’en and supporter vehicles have amassed at 27km mark, effectively blockading the exit route to RCMP paddy-wagons leaving the territory. They’re holding a ceremony and ensuring the safety of those arrested.
3:23 pm – Anne Spice has been walked across the bridge leaving Woos’ territory. One person remains in the tower, but updates from the tower have stopped.
3:14 pm – Anne Spice has been taken down from the tower. One person remains on top of the tower. Legal observers, @GitxsanJt, and a documentary filmmaker are still on site but far away.
3:00 pm – The Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs are not being allowed onto Gidimten territory by RCMP. Anne Spice, Tlingit supporter of the Wet’suwet’en, is being removed from the tower in a harness.
2:56 pm – A tactical unit member is up on the tower. Those in the tower say they will come down if Chief Woos is allowed up to his territory. An Indigenous woman in the tower has asked for a female officer to do the arrest, RCMP are refusing.
2:45 pm – RCMP won’t specify what the charges are or why the people in the tower are under arrest.
2:34 pm – People in Woos’ cabin can hear chainsaws and yelling outside. People are still in the tower. RCMP have cut down prayer ties on the tower. RCMP have said that the people on the tower are already under arrest and they are just trying to get them down.
2:22 pm – Within the last 10 minutes, the paddywagon has left.
2:19 pm – RCMP are on the first platform to remove people from the tower overlooking the Gidimt’en checkpoint.
2:02 pm – RCMP are now using ladders to move up the wooden tower overlooking the territory
1:51 pm – People in Woos’ cabin are being told they could be facing charges of “obstruction” under the criminal code for remaining in the “exclusion zone”. RCMP have declined to clarify anything about what defines the exclusion zone.
1:45 pm – The two arrestees have been put into a paddy wagon. The paddy wagon has left the territory
1:34 pm – Eve Saint, daughter of @Gidimten Chief Woos, has been arrested along with one other. They were removed from the bus blocking the road. They have been walked out by RCMP. They are not hurt.
1:07 pm – RCMP are using chainsaws to remove the wooden gate. Tactical officer couldn’t start one of the Wet’suwet’en snowmobiles, so they had to tow it away.
1:01 pm – Many RCMP throughout the site are refusing to identify themselves, give names or badge numbers, and are wearing masks, we’ve heard.
12:53 pm – RCMP are telling those in the cabin that they do not wish to destroy the cabin, but that everyone inside must leave. They have no warrant
12:51 pm – Eve Saint, Woos’ daughter, and her partner, are in the bus and are refusing to leave. The media is far away with a poor visual and no sound. Paddywagons are pulling in now.
12:50 pm – Media are being kept 60 ft from bus, but are allowed to film.
12:48 PM – RCMP refused to provide a map of the exclusion zone – they said the cabin is not part of the injunction, but the exclusion zone is part of the injunction. Those inside the cabin asked how long the “exclusion zone” will be in place. The responding officer did not “know anything about anything.”
12:44 pm – A very large excavator has been brought to the bridge, and is being lined up to push across the wooden gate. Those inside the cabin are asking police if they have a warrant to enter the building. The police responded that they do not have a warrant.
12:42 pm – Corporal Tanguay is trying to convince those in Woos’ cabin that they are a part of the exclusion zone, and asking questions. Those inside are not responding to the questions.
12:41 pm – The metal gate at Gidimt’en is down. Legal observer is trying to get RCMP badge numbers and police names but RCMP won’t respond. Some RCMP are wearing masks to cover their faces.
12:38 pm – RCMP are knocking on the door of Woos’ cabin, shouting “RCMP exclusion zone” at those inside, surrounding the cabin. The cabin is not within the injunction zone, is about 30 meters from the nearest road, and is not impeding any work.
12:33 pm – RCMP are now approaching the door of Woos’ trapping cabin.
12:27 pm – We just heard that the camp is “just overrun with officers – both sides of bridge and through the camp. They’re currently grinding the metal gate off.” Commanding Officer Dixon is trying to tell people to come off the tower. Gidimt’en supporters said they would leave when all police are off the territory.
12:25 pm – Multiple units of RCMP with tactical gear are now breaching the camp’s palisade structure and heading toward Woos’ cabin – which, again, is well outside of the injunction zone.
12:14 pm – 3 RCMP tactical team members are now looking into Woos’ cabin – a permanent homesite outside of the injunction area – peering into the window from afar.
12:10 pm – RCMP have one person staged for lethal overwatch on the bus sending updates. “They’ve got a gun pointed at us, underneath the warrior flag.” RCMP are apparently trying to limit the visibility of tactical teams to the press.
12:07 pm – RCMP “have one person stationed on the other side of the flipped van. They’re the one doing the lethal overwatch. They’ve got a gun pointed at us, underneath the warrior flag,” we’ve just heard. RCMP said they surrounded the bus to create a “safety bubble”. RCMP are trying to limit the visibility of the tactical team to media.
12:04 pm – RCMP are attempting to breach the bus that is sending out updates.
12:03 pm – Silverking helicopters is a local company that has refused to fly supplies and media into #Unistoten / #Wetsuweten territories. Looks like they’re flying RCMP tactical teams in to steal our land. We’ve heard RCMP are using their hanger as a staging ground. Their #: (250) 877-1989 https://silverkingheli.com/
12:02 pm – The bus where Gidimt’en updates are coming from is now surrounded by tactical RCMP.
12:00 pm – Officers have approached – K9 unit and at least four with assault rifles – they’re negotiating with press right now. One officer is staged behind with a gun pointed at the Wetsuweten supporters.
11:57 am – We’ve just heard that the RCMP team and K9 unit are getting ready to move into the camp, checkpoint also reports they see officers in the bushes. RCMP are surrounding them and trying to flank them with snowmobiles.
11:50 am – Those at Gidimten just said the teams dropped off by the helicopters included K9 units – so they are surrounded by snipers and police dogs.
11:48 am – DLT officers are trying to convince those at Gidimt’en to come down off the tower & asking them to negotiate. They told RCMP they cannot negotiate – and RCMP must talk to chief Woos. RCMP are asking people to be escorted off the territory now or to be arrested.
11:27 am – Two more helicopters just dropped off another wave of tactical RCMP, bringing the total number as high as 32. RCMP are reading the injunction over and over through a loudspeaker.
11:25 am – Up to 24 tactical RCMP have been dropped in helicopters right behind the Gidimt’en checkpoint, likely with snipers. Injunction is being read out as tactical teams are being dropped from the sky. 30 cops are approaching the gate with TAC Team and a commander.
11:20 am – A third round of helicopters just dropped off more tactical teams, bringing the total of police behind the Gidimt’en camp anywhere up to 24 if they are dropping off full teams.
11:18 am – “They’re reading us the injunction as they’re dropping off tactical teams,” we just heard from Gidimt’en. RCMP have kettled the camp. 30 police up front, at least a dozen behind.
11:17 am – RCMP are now in front of the Gidimten bridge reading the injunction through a loudspeaker. Two helicopters have landed behind the camp once more, dropping two more tactical teams. 3 to 4 officers getting off each heli – so a dozen or more RCMP are behind them.
11:11 am – Two RCMP helicopters landed behind Gidimt’en and dropped off at least four members of the tactical team, then took off again. Tac team was seen heading into the bush with snowshoes. RCMP has approached the gate again. Gidimt’en checkpoint is now surrounded.
Two snowmobiles are staged in front of the gate, and two tactical teams are staged behind. So the Gidimten camp has been kettled, likely by snipers.
10:59 am – The Gidimten Checkpoint has a visual of RCMP Bronze Commander Rob Pikola. They have now confirmed visual of an officer with an assault rifle. There are now 30 officers counted at Gidimten
checkpoint, including tac team and a commander.
10:57 am – A group of industry workers are inspecting the metal gate to figure out how to get through it. A couple tactical officers were seen moving sleds of equipment that they stashed out of view.
@Gidimten are wondering if the equipment is weapons of some kind.
10:43 am – Officers inspected the Gidimt’en’s metal gate, and then retreated it, likely to figure out how to breach it.
10:38 am – RCMP officers have now all lined up at the gate of
10:33 am – Gidimten can now see 12 vehicles including a bulldozer & ambulance. The bulldozer is clearing right up to the bridge. 1 industry worker is present with 13 officers standing behind them, with likely many more behind them. We’re told “we can’t see the end of the line of vehicles.”
10:19 am – There is now a low-flying chopper overhead as police move in. It is a black chopper, not an RCMP chopper.
10:04 am – can now see three tactical officers.
10:02 am – @Gidimten checkpoint has visual of 14 RCMP including liaisons. One tactical police officer. No assault weapons visible yet, just sidearms.
9:52 am – The plow clearing the road is being escorted into Gidimten by two tactical units and 11 other RCMP.
9:48 am – The RCMP have arrived at Gidimten checkpoint, and are walking into the camp. We’ve heard 8 regular RCMP and one tactical RCMP officer are on foot.
The plow is moving forward to plow into the gate at 44.
9:39 am – RCMP walking on foot to checkpoint at 44km. A plow is now visible approaching the Gidimten checkpoint, clearing the way for RCMP.
8:45 am – RCMP are apparently idling around the corner from the Gidimten checkpoint. We’re hearing reports that they are under drone surveillance. We heard this this morning that the convoy of RCMP was 2km long.
8:15 am – 55 vehicles were seen heading up the road past 27km towards the Gidimten checkpoint. We’ve just heard 44km can hear RCMP but have no visual.
For more updates see Wet’suwet’en Access Point on Gidimt’en Territory
For Gidimt’en’s call to action: www.yintahaccess.com
Donate to Gidimt’en camp: https://www.gofundme.com/f/gidimt039en-strong
Unist’ot’en Supporter toolkit: unistoten.camp/supportertoolkit2020/
Unist’ot’en legal fund: https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/unistoten2020legalfund