Friday, January 24, 2014
The Tyee Asks: Are the RCMP Ready for the Battle of The Northern Gateway?
It's looking increasingly unlikely that Harper will ever get bitumen into supertankers at Kitimat wihout one hell of a battle against First Nations, environmentalists and just ordinary citizens of British Columbia willing to stand against the Northern Gateway pipeline. The Tyee questions whether the RCMP is really up to the job.
The RCMP clearly can manage a demonstration or two. They can bring in buses and haul away the passive resisters, again and again and again. That, however, is a far cry from having to defend that pipeline from the Alberta border to Kitimat. The pipeline will be crossing through hundreds upon hundreds of miles of wilderness where it's vulnerable and almost impossible to defend against people who know how to move through that wilderness by cops who haven't a clue.
At least in Iraq the pipelines were open with vast desert sightlines. The Northern Gateway would be run across mountains and through forests. Those willing to use force against the pipeline have the initiative. They get to decide what to attack, where, when and how. The defenders have to be everywhere, all the time. It's a lot easier to defend against insurgents in a desert than in a jungle - or wilderness forest.
Who knows, maybe Harper will declare the pipeline route a free fire zone and patrol it with drones armed with Hellfire missiles. Who knows?