Thursday, November 27, 2014

Response to Constable Jim Ingram of the Burnaby/Delta RCMP

The following is a response to Constable Jim Ingram's blog-post "MY 4 DAYS AS A “JACKBOOTED NAZI STORMTROOPING CORPORATE THUG”

I am posting this here because I remain skeptical about a. whether or not it will make it through comment moderation on Constable Ingram's blog, and b. whether or not it will be seriously considered by him, or by the Burnaby/lower mainland RCMP more generally.

Over these past four days there were many people who came onto the protest boards who are suspected of being there to disrupt. Though there were many more who weren't, and who genuinely wanted to communicate and work together, some people clearly did not want to help, but rather to shut-down, of these some are suspected of actually being Police, or CSIS. Even those who eventually didn’t seem like they were Police sometimes obscured discussion – wanting to emphasize how ‘nice’ Fort McMurray is (Cf. this) and how they dislike Neil Young, or deemphasizing colonial violence. ‘I’m just asking a question,’ they’d say – sometimes with a frustrating earnestness. Constable Ingram's piece has a frustrating earnestness to it. So I will ‘just ask some questions,’ but not as the troll asks them – but rather as a Citizen of Canada from the unceded Coast Salish Territories who thinks this situation is very messed up.

Constable Jim Ingram writes: “Was the court wrong? Perhaps. I know the decision is being appealed. I know the Mayor of Burnaby is against the pipeline."

It is not unreasonable at all to expect that Police Officers know and understand the law and enforce it not only against the public, but against those in power who would abuse it [and you], and this is clearly the latter kind. It is not unreasonable to expect that Police Officers really think and act among themselves on the question of whether they are violating the Consitution by acting as paramilitaries for foreign capital [and post-Enron execs, at that] in opposition not only to the Coast Salish, but Canadian citizens too.

Ingram writes ‘I didn’t show up for a pay check. I didn’t show up because I thought if I didn’t I’d lose my job. I showed up because I’m passionate about upholding the oath that I swore.’

The first part sucks, and I have empathy, but not if nothing about it is actually done; the latter part doesn’t wash and it is the thing about which something can be done – stop violating the constitution, switch sides, the lower mainland officers currently policing criminality ought to, must, switch sides; that they haven't, that they have been complicit, will be remembered, as will what they do now.

The oath that Constable Ingram swore is to protect the Constitution, the Citizens of Canada, and the First Nations whose land we are on, and the police are violating this. I know this is a terrible bind, but it is absolutely not unreasonable for everyone to expect the Police to really, practically consider whether what they are ordered to do is illegal, and not just treat it as idle speculation while they nonetheless 'do their job.’

Ingram asserts he was ‘there to uphold the law of the land’

Many of us doubt that very much, and moreover doubt that 'the law of the land' is very just if this can happen.

“Wouldn’t it be better to crowd source funding”

When the Police say this, it informs us that, in spite of their discomfort (sometimes precisely in their discomfort) these tactics both work and ought to be done. When they try to disuade people from informing them forcefully of their criminality, which they ought to think about practically (is there dissension in their ranks? there ought to be), they are acting counterproductively.

Insofar as Ingram's piece is pitched very earnestly, these are earnest questions. There is every reason to suspect that the RCMP are in violation of the very essence of Canadian Law, and Constable Ingram and the Burnaby RCMP have an opportunity to do something about it.

Dock Currie
York University
(From Sidney, BC)

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

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