From a Toronto prisoners’ rights publication comes a report on the trial of the protesters from last year’s Gustafsen Lake standoff.
The Crown’s own witnesses have testified that:
—The peace process initiated by RCMP officers of Native descent was working well and was to culminate in a meeting of all parties on Aug. 21. Yet, on Aug. 17, the Native officers were transferred to other duties and the SWAT team was brought in.
—Constable George Findlay made a report to his RCMP superiors on July 13 with detailed historical research which apparently validated most of the protesters’ claims. Findlay himself was secretly videotaped in the camp saying, “It’s a big rip-off. It’s genocide.” Yet, on Aug. 19, a senior RCMP officer, Len Olfert, told the press: “No one can really determine what they want or what the issues are. We kind of think they’re fanatical and they’re terrorist and they seem to want to engage in war for some reason.”
—The highly publicized Sept. 4 “ambush” by the Natives of an RCMP vehicle was in fact a collision with a tree branch. The officers
panicked and opened fire toward the protesters’ camp.
Also: One protester appears to have been beaten several times in custody, was deprived of his lawyer and clothes.
After the standoff, the RCMP cordoned off the area, cutting down bullet-riddled trees and burning down two shot up structures, thereby destroying physical evidence of what happened.
Source: Prison News Service