BC NDP government orders surprise raid at newly established Namegans Nation tent city in Saanich
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SAANICH, UNCEDED LEKWUNGEN TERRITORY: On the morning of Tuesday September 18th the Province of BC sent police to reinforce its trespass order and break up Namegans Nation (formerly Camp Namegans). More than 50 police officers - Saanich police supported by Victoria police and the Oak Bay police - showed up at 8am and surrounded the camp with police tape to declare it a police operation.
Yesterday, the Saanich police told the camp's lawyer that they would not do a surprise raid at camp - they promised that any actions against the camp would first be communicated to the camp through the lawyer. The police lied.
"When I walked up towards the police line, one cop told me I would be arrested for obstruction of justice if I crossed the line," said camp organizer Ashley Mollison. As of 9:30am police have arrested one person who approached the police line to try to support campers being displaced.
As they started their raid on camp, the Saanich Police Department posted on Twitter, "On Sept 15 a group (self referred to as Namegans Nation) claimed [Ministry of Transportation of Infrastructure - MOTI] land as theirs in #saanich. MOTI has requested our assistance to ensure the property is vacated today." In one tweet, the Saanich police managed to pack in both anti-Indigenous colonial panic (Namegans Nation never "claimed the land as theirs," they declared they they would share the land, using it to protect their community) and anti-homeless hate that treats homeless people as a threat to the public rather than part of the public. The Saanich police act as though they are enforcing the law but they are acting as a private security force dedicated only to protecting the sanctity of Provincial property ownership.
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