Back in January when Canadian Prime Minister Harper and Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver demonized environmentalists and First Nations opposed to government plans to violate the Canadian constitution and international law on behalf of the Enbridge oil pipeline, we noted that characterizing political opponents as enemies of the state would have unsavory repercussions. As reported recently by David P. Ball in Indian Country Today, RCMP spying on First Nations working with environmental organizations not only undermines trust, but also exposes indigenous activists to unsafe conditions. As we know from earlier confrontations between First Nations and the Government of Canada, spying is the tip of the iceberg; infiltration, agent provocateurs, and malicious harassment go hand in hand–especially when the federal police believe they are above the law.
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