Two journalists have been released after being arrested and incarcerated by Canadian police for covering pipeline protests in what is now Northern British Columbia. Photojournalist Amber Bracken of The Narwhal and documentarian Michael Toledano were reporting on the construction of TC Energy’s 416 mile (670 km) Coastal GasLink pipeline, across Wet’suwet’en territory and over the opposition of the Tribe’s hereditary chiefs. The journalists believe they were targeted by the heavily armed police forces who also arrested at least 13 land defenders. “This was a punitive arrest. A punitive incarceration. I was put in a holding cell for four days for filming Indigenous people being removed from their land at gunpoint,” Toledano told CBC News upon his release. He also said one of the police officers knew him and “gloated” over his arrest, the AP reported.
“I’m cognizant that the charges have not been dropped, and so, in that way, I think it’s still very much ‘Fasten your seatbelts,’” Brent Jolly, president of the Canadian Association of Journalists, told the New York Times. “This ultimately has an effect on chilling media freedoms.” (AP, New York Times $, CBC, The Narwhal, Guardian, Grist, Reuters; Arrests: Grist, Democracy Now!)