December 05, 2011

Mounties spied on Natives

Mounties spied on native protest groups

By Tim Groves and Martin LukacsThe federal government created a vast surveillance network in early 2007 to monitor protests by First Nations, including those that would attract national attention or target “critical infrastructure” like highways, railways and pipelines, according to RCMP documents.

Formed after the Conservatives came to power, the RCMP unit’s mandate was to collect and distribute intelligence about situations involving First Nations that have “escalated to civil disobedience and unrest in the form of protest actions.”

The documents, obtained through access to information requests, include an RCMP slideshow presentation from the spring of 2009, which says the intelligence unit reported weekly to approximately 450 recipients in law enforcement, government, and unnamed “industry partners” in the energy and private sector.

A RCMP spokesperson told the Toronto Star the unit was never considered “permanent” and that last year it was “dismantled” at least at headquarters. But the Mounties can’t say if the work is continuing in the field.
Comment:  "Civil disobedience and unrest"? That would be shocking if it weren't completely legal in most democracies.

Note the nexus of stories we've seen recently. Across the US and Canada, the Occupy movement is standing up for the 99% against the 1%. Similarly, people have protested the Keystone XL pipeline and the alternative Enbridge pipeline supported by big business and the government.

In response, the powers-that-be are doing everything from attacking lawful assemblies with pepper spray and batons to passing a law allowing the indefinite detention of US citizens suspected of "terrorism." Unless Obama vetoes this legislation, expect to see Indians and other protesters in Guantánamo Bay eventually.

For more on the subject, see MPP Compares Caledonia to London Riots and Indigenous Resistance = "Terrorism"?

Below:  "The RCMP unit’s mandate was to collect and distribute intelligence about situations that have “escalated to civil disobedience and unrest in the form of protest actions.” (Lars Hagberg/The Canadian Press)

1 comment:

Rob said...

For more on the subject, see:

First Nations furious they’ve been under surveillance

Representatives of regional First Nations are furious at revelations that their political activity has been subject to a surveillance campaign by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The Toronto Star reported on Dec. 4 that a 2007-2010 "vast surveillance network" entitled the Aboriginal JIG (Joint Intelligence Group) monitored First Nations in the run-up to the G8 and G20 meetings, as well as the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Northwestern Ontario communities Asubpeeschowagong (Grassy Narrows) and Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI or Big Trout Lake) First Nations were chosen among the 18 who had "a history of violence; history of tension or conflict towards police involvement; militants operating within the community; threats against critical infrastructure (roadways, railroads, etc.) and external influences (i.e. activist groups, government policies, major events, etc."

Released documents redacted specific names but internally "identifies individuals who are causes of concern to public safety."