RCMP break into camper to arrest pipeline protesters
Published Thursday, January 11, 2018 7:59AM PST
Last Updated Thursday, January 11, 2018 1:18PM PST
A large group of Burnaby RCMP closed off two roads, served anti-pipeline protestors with a warrant and used a battering ram to arrest two women Wednesday evening.
Several activists recorded the encounter, posting portions to social media and sharing further documentation with CTV News. The videos depict a chaotic scene with Mounties trying to arrest two people inside a mobile camping trailer as protesters yell at them. One officer ultimately smashes the camper door with a portable battering ram.
"It's not a major event," Supt. Chuck McDonald told CTV News. "During the course of entry [the subjects] closed the door and locked it. We had a warrant, so we forced the door."
Witnesses were horrified at the level of force RCMP used to arrest two elderly First Nations women.
"It was scary," said Megan Bryden, who lives close to the protest site and has often attended to show her support. "It was the first time I was scared by police. I wasn't sure if I was going to get arrested, if my kids were going to be arrested."
The warrant, stamped with Wednesday's date, reads in part "this warrant is issued in respect of the arrest of an unidentified male and an unidentified female" and gave RCMP authority to do so from 7:30 p.m. until 8:59 p.m.
McDonald says the two women were arrested "in relation to an obstruction investigation."
The move comes after weeks of peaceful defiance against the Kinder Morgan facility on the southern flank of Burnaby Mountain. On Tuesday, the City of Burnaby attempted to tow away the camper but gave up after activist Uni Urchin climbed on the roof and refused to leave.
She climbed atop once again when the RCMP arrived after 8:30 p.m. and recorded the clash from her perch above.
"I'm just doing my part to protect against Kinder Morgan," she said.
The contentious Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion has been mired in controversy, and despite receiving federal approval for the project, progress has been slow in the face of protests and opposition at several sites, including the Burnaby tank farm.
BREAKING: @BurnabyRCMP have arrested 2 women at Kinder Morgan protest camp after a large group of Mounties arrived shortly before 9pm. Battering ram used to remove them from a camper here with support of this warrant. @CTVVancouver #bcpoli #canpoli pic.twitter.com/fDXtLzNzYt— Penny Daflos (@PennyDaflos) January 11, 2018