An update: lawsuit against the RCMP Commissioner and RCMP spying

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Dear Friend,

Last month, we announced that we are suing RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki to demand answers about RCMP spying on Indigenous land defenders and climate organizations.

In 2014, we filed a complaint against the RCMP for spying on climate organizations and Indigenous nations opposed to the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline project.

In 2017, after we filed our complaint, the civilian watchdog Civilian Review and Complaints Commission (CRCC), completed an interim report. This interim report was then forwarded to the RCMP Commissioner. The RCMP Commissioner needed to respond for the CRCC to prepare a final report. She sat on this report for over three years.

Today, the CRCC released its final report into RCMP spying that we have been waiting six years for.

The CRCC report details countless examples of RCMP monitoring and spying on individuals who were opposed to pipeline projects.

The RCMP collected and retained opinions expressed by individuals online, and created secret profiles on organizers. They... created a profile of a person simply because she was “actively involved in signing petitions.” They tracked and kept records on people who attended demonstrations and even infiltrated a workshop on public speaking at the Kelowna United Church. ” The RCMP collected and retained extensive social media information, personal information, and license plate information. This means if anyone commented on social media that were attending an environmental protest, they are likely now in an RCMP database.

Despite this, the CRCC found most of these RCMP activities reasonable.

The BCCLA is deeply disappointed by this finding. It is unacceptable that the CRCC has sanctioned police profiling. It is unacceptable that Canadians have to accept being spied on if they are going to exercise their democratic right to protest.

Those who will be most targeted through police spying and surveillance will be racialized people.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he will review the CRCC report. The RCMP says that they will revamp their policies on the collection and use of information about protesters.

We’ll believe that when we see it.

For now, we are also still going ahead with our lawsuit against RCMP Commissioner Lucki.

Communities across these lands who have been demanding an end to police spying and the abuses of police power deserve better.

The RCMP is one of the most powerful institutions in our society. We want to see these systems radically changed, and we’re so grateful to have you on our side as we fight for change.

Make sure to connect with us on Facebook and Twitter to find out the latest about our lawsuit.

Thank you for your support,

Harsha Walia (she/her/hers)
Executive Director

P.S. - Court processes are long and complicated. They require time, resources, and creative tactics. If you haven’t already, you can make a donation of $30 to join our fight here.

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