The RCMP has been spying on a group of British Columbia First Nations whose vocal opposition to Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline has taken them to the company's annual shareholders meeting in Toronto, according to documents obtained through an access-to-information request.
The documents show that a provincial RCMP unit has been closely tracking the potential for "acts of protest and civil disobedience" by the Yinka Dene Alliance, a coalition of northern B.C. First Nations who have been at the centre of resistance to Enbridge's $5.5 billion pipeline proposal.
Angeline Eileen Pete, 28, reported missing from British Columbia in May. Roberta Dawn McIvor, 32, found murdered near Lake Winnipeg in July. Kimberley Nolin Napess, 15, last seen in Quebec City in August. And two Friday's ago, Verna Simard, 50, dead after plunging from the sixth-floor window of her residence in Vancouver.
The phone call to organizers was a bittersweet confirmation that the story was being carried around the continent. It came from activist Tim DeChristopher -- new folk hero and symbol of the increasing risks taken by the climate justice movement, after being jailed for peacefully disrupting a land sell-off to the oil industry under the Bush administration.
Across from DeChristopher's cell in a penitentiary in the small town of Pahrump, Nevada, where he has started serving a two-year sentence, a small television was flickering images of the protests in front of the White House in Washington, DC in late August.
A climate-related record is about to be broken this summer, joining the others that have already been experienced so far. However, it's not in the form of the devastating heat waves, droughts, storms and torrential floods we have been seeing around the world. Consider it, instead, as a sign of hope, as Washington, D.C. hosts the largest act of civil disobedience for the climate ever seen in America.
The opening ceremonies at the Vancouver Winter Olympiad were flush with aboriginal motifs: hundreds of costumed indigenous dancers, giant illuminated Salish house poles, and the broad smiles of representatives from the "Four Host First Nations."
But when a massive Quebec police force pepper-sprayed and billy clubbed their way through her small Algonquin community, enforcing the federal government's March 10 decision to oust the traditional Chief and Council and appoint a small faction as the leadership, she took on the new documentary subject with bitter irony.
With its Olympic Games at hand, the country would rather the international community dwell on its national achievements than cast scrutiny on these abuses.
The country? Canada, of course.