RCMP: “We always get our activist.”

Well, if nuke happy Arizona legislators don’t raise your blood, how about the RCMP taking on climate activists on behalf of the oil industry?

We like to think of Canada as our dull but infinitely more responsible continental sibling.  Largely overlooked by its flamboyant southern neighbor, that characterization has quietly slipped since Conservative Steven Harper seized the helm.

The current Prime Minister is an approximation of George Bush in his worldview, and a big friend to tar sands oil.  As a longtime MP from Alberta, his political fortunes have always been linked to the material ones of the fossil fuel industry.

With Harper in charge for a decade and much Canadian wealth tied up in burnable resources, it now appears that the RCMP has been appropriated to serve those interests.

An internal RCMP memo has recently emerged that paints a sinister picture, wholly inconsistent with the organization’s “Duddly Do-Right” reputation.

The Globe and Mail, which was the first to report on the memo, said the tone of the RCMP memo reflects the hostility of the Harper government towards environmental activists.

Judging by the language in the memo, it would seem that, girded for a climate clash, they have settled on “terrorist” as a fair identifier for activists who would limit Canada’s contribution to carbon emissions.

Bucking the international trend toward arresting climate change, Harper and his henchmen appear to be preparing to arrest the other side.

From the memo:

“There is a growing, highly organized and well-financed anti-Canada petroleum movement that consists of peaceful activists, militants and violent extremists who are opposed to society’s reliance on fossil fuels,” the memo says.

“If violent environmental extremists engage in unlawful activity, it jeopardizes the health and safety of its participants, the general public and the natural environment.”

It’s pretty funny that concern for the “natural environment” gets mentioned in this context.

Apparently the RCMP isn’t having a lot to say about the leaked memo.  For now, at least, we must assume that their faces are as red as their uniforms.

About Sue Prent

Artist/Writer/Activist living in St. Albans, Vermont with my husband since 1983. I was born in Chicago; moved to Montreal in 1969; lived there and in Berlin, W. Germany until we finally settled in St. Albans.

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