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Canada's First Nations - CF help, protests, solutions, etc. (merged)

The Bread Guy

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milnews.ca said:
What this guy is quoted saying to the CBC ...
... Calls to send in the army, particularly at this stage, are "ludicrous," said Bland, who added he believes that kind of solution is "way beyond anything we need to do now, or in the future."

The military is — and should be — the federal response "of last resort," he said.

The army's mission is to fight foreign enemies and terrorists, not Canada's own citizens. Treating the blockades like a full-blown insurrection would not only be perilous, said Bland — it would ignore the real nature of the Crown-Indigenous relationship.

"There is nothing so dangerous that you have to send (the army) in," he said.

Seven years ago, Bland said, he would have estimated the probability of an actual Indigenous uprising much higher than he does today — simply because governments have finally acknowledged Indigenous Canadians' real grievances and have made attempts, however imperfect, at reconciliation.

An overwhelming number of First Nations leaders and their people appear to be behind the federal government in its push for a negotiated end to the current crisis. A military response, Bland said, would destroy that goodwill while setting back the growing rapprochement with Aboriginal communities.

Political aims, political options

The aim of the current wave of protests is political, said Bland, and it's not likely the activists want (or are prepared) to escalate the confrontation into an armed conflict.

"They know if they decided to block down railways for a long time, or if they use weapons of any kind, in any strength, that the army and the Mounties and everybody would be down their throats," he said.

"They're not interested in getting into a war with Canada. What they want to do, like a lot of other people, is put enough pressure on the government so that the government recognizes their claims and demands." ...
... with a bit of interesting backstory on the current Indigenous affairs minister ...
... Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller recently raised the spectre of that two-and-a-half-month standoff near Montreal. Thirty years ago, Miller told the House of Commons, he was a young army reservist serving alongside "four Mohawk brothers." When the unit was ordered to Oka, the four Mohawk brothers left their unit.

"They were asked to make a difficult choice ... between the country that they would lay down their life for and their families. For them, the choice was clear," Miller said.

Like Miller, many of the current crop of Canadian military leaders were junior officers at the time of Oka and remember what a divisive, dangerous time it was. Bland said he would be shocked if a chief of the defence staff ordered soldiers into an Indigenous community to put down a protest.

"Some of the officers would quit before they did that."
 

Kirkhill

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Haggis - here's something that you might be familiar with.

I don't know what the comparable Canadian cases might be but I "suspect" that our situation is not too dissimilar from that of the Brits.

A female serial offender with 390 previous convictions and a man with 291 previous convictions were spared jail sentences last year (2019) , official figures have revealed.

The woman was given a sentence of one-day detention and the male offender was given an absolute discharge.

In 2018 a woman with 376 previous convictions was given a conditional discharge, a man with 285 convictions was ordered to pay a fine and a man with 285 convictions was given a conditional discharge.

And one more thought - If there are privately funded Railway Police with Federal Powers, why aren't there privately funded Pipeline (or Powerline) Police with Federal Powers?

in 2017 a woman with 366 previous convictions was given a one-day detention and a man with 284 convictions was ordered to pay compensation.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2020/02/20/offender-390-previous-convictions-spared-jail-prosecutions/

How do I tie this into the Civil Disobedience debate?

It seems to me that when the policing forces have more work than they can handle they opt for a quiet life - like any other rational sentient being.  What is the point of policing if you receive no support,  are constantly crlticized when you do it, and you still get to pick up your pay check if you don't?

It seems to me that we have created reactive forces more focused on Investigations after the fact than proactive forces focused on creating a secure, Policed environment before the fact.  And in my view, maintaining lines of communication, removing blockades is a clear Policing matter.

In the same sense that we used to police up our barracks, armouries, parade squares and ranges.  We removed that which was superfluous and unwanted and restored order.

Do we actually have Police forces any more (outside of the traffic control beat) or do we simply have an Investigative department for crimes?

My suspicion is that the Railway Police of old would not have countenanced the current situation.  Their methods might have been less than the modern world would tolerate but can we argue that the need for their intervention is any less now than it was?

Canadian Pacific Police Service

Canadian Pacific Police Service are responsible for all aspects of railway security. They are duly appointed and armed federal police officers that gather their authority in Canada via the Railway Safety Act as well as other acts.[citation needed]

The Railway Safety Act is a federal act that allows for any federal railway to appoint officers as police constables. These police constables have all the powers of a regular police officer as it relates to the protection of property owned, possessed or administered by a railway company and the protection of persons and property on that property.[1] Railway police are unique in Canada as they are essentially a private company that employs sworn police officers. CPPS are "a fully authorized federal force, bound to uphold Canada's laws" and licensed to carry arms.[2]

The main duties of a railway police officer are to protect the public using the company facilities, the employees and its assets. This includes public education on trespassing, school awareness programs, investigating crimes against the railway, assist the local police services, issuing tickets and many other duties including security of property and buildings. CP Rail assigns individual officers large sections of railway tracks to patrol and conduct active enforcement and public safety initiatives.[citation needed]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Pacific_Police_Service

Canadian National Police Service

In Canada, members are federally sworn in under section 44.1 of the Railway Safety Act granting powers as police constables and have the same powers of arrest as any police officer in Canada anywhere in Canada as 'Peace Officers' under Section 2 of the Criminal Code. Police constables are employed by Canadian National and are also considered public servants, sworn to the Crown to uphold the law and protect

The CN Police federal oath of office primarily directs their duties 'on and along' CN infrastructure, protecting properties owned and administered by CN. CN Police have additional provincial appointments which allow them to extend provincial enforcement such as the Highway Traffic Act outside the boundaries set under the Railway Safety Act of Canada.

Under section 26.1 of the Railway Safety Act, it is an offence for any person to "enter on land on which a line work is situated". Offenders can be dealt with in multiple ways such as being compelled to Federal Court by means of a promise to appear or can simply be issued a ticket through the relevant provincial Contravention Act and released. Maximum penalties for contravention of the act for any offence can be up to a $10,000 fine and imprisonment in the case of a private person. A company can also face up to a $200,000 fine for contravention of this act.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_National_Police_Service

Are the protesters private persons? Or are they agents of an organization (or organizations)?


And another thought, if there are privately funded Railway Police with federal powers why aren't there privately funded Pipeline (or Powerline) Police with federal powers? 


 

Good2Golf

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Recalling that CAF Aid to the Civil Power remains entirely conditional on a request from a Province, as effected through its Attorney General or Minister of Justice (depending on a Province’s judicial structure), to the CAF Chief of Defence Staff.

From the National Defence Act of Canada:
NDA §277. Where a riot or disturbance occurs or is considered as likely to occur, the attorney general of the province in which the place where the riot or disturbance occurs or is considered as likely to occur is situated, on the initiative of the attorney general or on the receipt of notification from a judge of a superior, county or district court having jurisdiction in the place that the services of the Canadian Forces are required in aid of the civil power, may, by requisition in writing addressed to the Chief of the Defence Staff, require the Canadian Forces, or such part thereof as the Chief of the Defence Staff or such officer as the Chief of the Defence Staff may designate considers necessary, to be called out on service in aid of the civil power.

The Federal government has no direct control in use of the CAF except possible the case where the MND directed the CDS to refuse a Province’s request for ACP.

Regards
G2G
 

brihard

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Chris Pook said:
And another thought, if there are privately funded Railway Police with federal powers why aren't there privately funded Pipeline (or Powerline) Police with federal powers?

I’m not sure we want to go down the American path of niche police services all over the place. I’m bloody sure I don’t want police powers in the hand of agencies entirely answerable to corporations. We’ve already seen recently that CN might have unduly influences an investigation by their police into a triple fatal train wreck.
 

brihard

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CloudCover said:
I guess that’s because the current police services are so effective?

Depends how you measure efficacy, and whether you’re looking purely in the short term tactically, or long term strategically.

This particular situation is a really, really ugly overlap of quite a few things with long term political ramifications at both levels of government. Nobody wants a repeat of Oka or Gustafsen Lake.
 

GAP

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Brihard said:
Depends how you measure efficacy, and whether you’re looking purely in the short term tactically, or long term strategically.

This particular situation is a really, really ugly overlap of quite a few things with long term political ramifications at both levels of government. Nobody wants a repeat of Oka or Gustafsen Lake.

Well.....after Oka or Gustafsen Lake, things settled down a lot....just say'n.... ::)
 

Remius

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Brihard said:
I’m not sure we want to go down the American path of niche police services all over the place. I’m bloody sure I don’t want police powers in the hand of agencies entirely answerable to corporations. We’ve already seen recently that CN might have unduly influences an investigation by their police into a triple fatal train wreck.

Washington DC as something like 27 different law enforcement agencies. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_law_enforcement_agencies_in_the_District_of_Columbia
 

daftandbarmy

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One way to deal with the issue is to change legislation to recognize (some types of extreme protester activity) as terrorism:

'Protesters as terrorists': growing number of states turn anti-pipeline activism into a crime

Conservative lawmakers have put forward laws criminalizing protests in at least 18 states since 2017 that civil liberties advocates say are unconstitutional

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jul/08/wave-of-new-laws-aim-to-stifle-anti-pipeline-protests-activists-say



Oil Companies Persuade States to Make Pipeline Protests a Felony

States criminalize demonstrations near energy infrastructure

Alliance of chemical makers and oil refiners pushing measures

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-08-19/oil-companies-persuade-states-to-make-pipeline-protests-a-felony
 

Brad Sallows

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>One way to deal with the issue is to change legislation to recognize (some types of extreme protester activity) as terrorism:

I was turning that over in my mind - using the colloquial definitions of terrorism we sometimes toss around here (violence, or maybe merely criminal action, in pursuit of political aims, etc), wondering if protests which include theft writ large should be called terrorism.

A few protestors and supporters, following the advice of contemporary and prior activists, have explicitly declared that the point of blockades is to create economic harm, or, in plain terms, to steal.  The idea is to steal from parties with no power to directly meet demands in the hopes that they will indirectly assist by applying pressure to those with power to meet demands.  That's why they're not confining their gatherings to what most people would think of as "public spaces" - the lawn of Parliament, or of a legislature, etc.  Are some people really so protected that they can be responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars of theft and suffer no consequences?

That is also why the representatives of police who have taken to talk radio to proclaim their "neutrality", or bemoan being caught in the middle, are destroying the credibility of police.  You can be neutral if you are there to keep the peace between a group of protestors and a group of counter-protestors.  You can not really claim to be neutral if your chosen inaction gives one party everything it wants (the protestors, who want the theft to continue) and the other party nothing it wants (the freedom to get to work on time, or deliver goods, or not have to forfeit a day's pay for entirely failing to get to work).  From a "citizens" point of view, the "police" are there to serve a public need - to maintain order which allows "citizens" to go about their business - at the expense of "rats".  That's the job, and that's why the authority is delegated (from the "citizens", because we have consensual government).  Most people won't express it that way, but that's why they're calling in and writing letters wondering why the authorities aren't solidly on-side for public order, right now.

The more we tolerate, the further the boundaries will be pushed.
 

Strike

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Remius said:
They mentioned Membertou.  I've been there and it is a good example of what can be when done right.

There seems to have been a turning point with the new guard of FN leaders.  There is a big push now to become less reliant on government funding and become self-sustaining. But it seems with the OW, they are led by the old guard.

I recall reading an article written by a past Chief of Membertou, about a speaking tour he'd done once the band had gone into the black, and the push-back he received from so many, especially on the west coast, was shocking.
 

The Bread Guy

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Brad Sallows said:
... A few protestors and supporters, following the advice of contemporary and prior activists, have explicitly declared that the point of blockades is to create economic harm, or, in plain terms, to steal.  The idea is to steal from parties with no power to directly meet demands in the hopes that they will indirectly assist by applying pressure to those with power to meet demands ...
When you phrase it that way, sounds an awful lot like a strike could fit into that rubric, too.  "Stealing" vs. "Denying".  That may be tough to differentiate ...
 

Kirkhill

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Brihard said:
I’m not sure we want to go down the American path of niche police services all over the place. I’m bloody sure I don’t want police powers in the hand of agencies entirely answerable to corporations. We’ve already seen recently that CN might have unduly influences an investigation by their police into a triple fatal train wreck.

Maybe not, but I thought we already had "niche" police services.  The Canadian Pacific police (1881) are older than the OPP (1909) and many others.  And they are federally authorized.

Would the problems go away if pipelines and powerlines were built on CN/CP rights of way as common, federally authorized rights of way?  Policed by the existing federally authorized police?
 

Brad Sallows

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>When you phrase it that way, sounds an awful lot like a strike could fit into that rubric, too.  "Stealing" vs. "Denying".  That may be tough to differentiate ...

Strikes and lockouts usually occur after an exhausted sequence of other measures taken to negotiate a contract, and may be avoided entirely if one particular measure - binding arbitration - is accepted by the parties.

Strikers, and companies which lock out workers, are also stealing from themselves.

Workers and companies are the parties directly concerned, and each is the other's primary target.

Job actions mostly occur within the boundaries of well-established laws and rules.  Protests can also do so, but at least some of the current protestors jumped outside that framework immediately.

I suppose we could say that the people who broke into my garden shed and removed my chainsaw are "denying" me its use?
 

Colin Parkinson

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After poll results came in with a vast majority not supporting the protesters, JT apparently has borrowed a spine, perhaps from Butts?
 

Kirkhill

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I don't knoow if this has been posted yet - but here is the alternative to the Belleville method of managing the situation.

A CN Policeman, Edmonton city police and well-mannered concerned citizens assisting the lawful authorities in the performance of their duties.

‘Not in our backyard’: Alberta Wet’suwet’en rail blockade meets stiff opposition and shuts down after injunction granted

By Kieran Leavitt
Edmonton Bureau

Wed., Feb. 19, 2020

EDMONTON—Supporters of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs stood arm-in-arm around their railway barricade just outside Edmonton Wednesday afternoon as a man approached each of them with copies of legal documents from CN rail.

“You’ve been served,” he told them.

Moments later, as the blockade of about 40 people began to be dismantled, gleeful cheers erupted from counterprotesters, some of whom had spent the past few hours arguing and yelling at the protesters.

The blockade popped up in early Wednesday morning just west of Alberta’s capital city and lasted for about 10 hours. It was the latest addition to protests aimed at shutting down Canada’s railways in support of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs in British Columbia, who have been opposing a natural gas pipeline.

And here, in the heart of Canada’s oil country, the scene had at times been tense.

A counter protestor argues with supporters of the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs as they block a CN Rail line just west of Edmonton Alta, on Wednesday February 19, 2020.

City police and officers with the CN police watched as a group of 15 counterprotesters derided the Wet’suwet’en supporters and swore at them, calling them lawbreakers and “Liberal paid friggin’ protesters,” and trying to break down the barricade the demonstrators had set up.

Some passersby honked their horns in support, while others hurled insults from their car windows.

The demonstrators said they wanted to stay until Prime Minister Justin Trudeau intervened and the RCMP vacated Wet’suwet’en territory in British Columbia.

“The group is acting in solidarity with thousands of people across Turtle Island (North America) who are calling on the RCMP and Coastal GasLink (CGL) to leave Wet’suwet’en territory immediately,” a statement from the protesters said.

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have said they will do everything they can to stop Coastal GasLink from building the pipeline, claiming they hold the title and right to determine what happens in their traditional territory, not the elected band councils responsible for decisions on reserves.

Coastal GasLink has maintained it has the support of every elected body on its proposed pipeline route, which is meant to supply natural gas to the B.C. coast, where it would be converted to liquefied natural gas for export. The project would span 670 kilometres from Dawson Creek to Kitimat and is expected to create between 2,000 and 2,500 jobs.

Tents, supplies and food were brought in to the Alberta blockade throughout the day.

A 20-year-old student, who wore a black balaclava and would only identify himself as Poundmaker, said that he was “ready to stand by my convictions.”

“Making sure that we have freedom, justice and peace,” he said. “But, yeah, I’m ready to get arrested for that, so that’s how it is.”

He said he knew there would be opposition, but stressed that the protest wasn’t only about pipelines.

“This is about Indigenous sovereignty and Indigenous rights,” he said. “The RCMP forcefully removed Indigenous people from their lands … it’s disturbing.”

But after they were served with the lawsuit notice from CN — and a short conversation amongst themselves about who was prepared to get arrested — most began to pack up so they could leave.

The copies of the CN notice said that the rail protesters were being sued for unlawfully obstructing the railway and that the company was seeking an injunction against them. An Edmonton judge granted CN Rail a 30-day injunction for all of Alberta on Wednesday.

Lawyers said the blockade had held up 14 trains by lunchtime.

Guy Simpson, an oil industry worker, was at the scene for several hours arguing with the protesters. He eventually started grabbing plywood, pallets and barrels, attempting to tear down the main barricade. He said he was simply trying to clean up “litter.”

And, in fairness to the protesters, they also appeared to control their behaviour.

- Mod edit to add link to article -
 
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