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SQ presence to protect Resolute loggers

July 17, 2012

SQ presence to protect Resolute loggers

SQ presence to protect Resolute loggers

It didn't take long after the protest camp was set up for the police to arrive. While the police presence mostly consisted of SQ officers, since the land around Barriere Lake is under their jurisdiction, riot police from Montreal were also dispatched.

While there have been no arrests yet, the police presence has been visible and intimidating, according to both ABL members and solidarity activists who have traveled to the camp to lend support and deliver supplies.

Over a dozen police cars, several paddy wagons and an SQ helicopter have been present. Police have been warning community members not to interfere with the logging and to wait for negotiations with the government. One officer even told protesters that he was there to protect them as much as to protect the loggers.

"They came in and they were saying, 'We're here to protect you,'" said Ratt. "But really, in about three, four days, they really showed their true colours. Why they are there is to protect the loggers. So they wouldn't even let us pass. They just stop us and say, 'Stay on your side, don't cross the border, or you'll be charged.'"

Despite the threats, on Wednesday, community members still moved out onto the land being logged. When the Resolute employees saw them in their path, they shut down their equipment and stopped their work. But logging resumed by Thursday, and despite guarantees from the SQ that the cutting would be halted from Friday at noon until Monday, it continued well into the weekend.

When logging began again Monday, ABL community members and supporters repeated their tactic of moving out into the path of the cutting, and logging was once again halted, although the workers and equipment are still there.

by Pei-Ju Wang

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