An exclusion zone set up by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Journalists were blocked from covering the police response to a pipeline protest in British Columbia. (APTN/Kathleen Martens)
New York, January 8, 2019–The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) yesterday blocked reporters from covering a pipeline protest near Houston, British Columbia, where police were due to dismantle camps set up by indigenous activists, according to reports.
“Authorities in Canada should immediately end the arbitrary restrictions on journalists covering the police breakup of the pipeline protest,” said CPJ North America Program Coordinator Alexandra Ellerbeck. “Journalists should be able to freely cover events of national importance, without fear of arrest.”
The RCMP blocked journalists from the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) and Canadian Broadcast Corporation from passing a blockade, APTN reported. News crews already behind the barrier were allowed to remain, the report said. APTN told CPJ today that police were still denying its journalists access and had told reporters they risk being arrested if they tried to get close enough to view the police action. Madonna Saunderson, a spokesperson from the RCMP, told CPJ via email that authorities had created a “temporary exclusion zone” to ensure public safety. MORE
Trudeau’s meeting with Indigenous leaders changed venues after First Nations pipeline protest
Trudeau addressed Indigenous forum in Ottawa as First Nations protesters marched through city
Protesters voice their opposition against pipelines during a rally on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday. Dozens of rallies are planned in British Columbia, across Canada and as far away as Europe to support pipeline protesters arrested in northwestern B.C. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)
Trudeau did not address the protests in his remarks, instead focusing on areas where he felt his government had made progress in its reconciliation efforts since the 2015 election.
Indigenous protesters take up positions in Ottawa’s Old City Hall to protest the RCMP’s actions in removing protesters arrested in B.C. (CBC/Tom Parry)