RCMP WEAR BANNED SYMBOL AS THEY ARREST INDIGENOUS LEADER AT FAIRY CREEK

August 12, 2021 (Ada’itsx, Fairy Creek): Since Monday, August 9, almost 90 protesters have been arrested at Fairy Creek during RCMP raids undertaken in military style. Many officers wear the banned Thin Blue Line badges further intimidating people of colour. Among those arrested is one of Fairy Creek’s Indigenous leaders known as Rainbow Eyes, a pseudonym used for her safety. Since the beginning of the blockade, Rainbow Eyes and other Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) have reported being singled out. With a strong voice as an Indigenous land defender, Rainbow Eyes believes she’s consistently at greater risk because of her ancestral roots.

“The Thin Blue Line badges they wear on their uniforms are a symbol of hate and the oppression of my people. I have zero per cent trust in the RCMP in terms of my safety and the safety of my Indigenous brothers and sisters,” says Rainbow Eyes.

The Thin Blue Line is a badge sewn by officers onto their uniforms that was banned by the RCMP on October 9, 2020, yet is seen daily at Fairy Creek in many photos taken of the police, “except on the special operatives, the green men,” says Rainbow Eyes about the C-IRG military-style unit that raided the main headquarters in full camouflage gear equipped with chainsaws and zap straps.
During the Black Lives Matter movement in the last years, the Thin Blue Line was usurped by white supremacists. The Canadian Anti-Hate Network states that it’s a symbol often used by hate groups. BIPOC people and human rights advocates consider the Thin Blue Line a visual, silent opposition to the racial justice movement. As a result, police departments across North America have banned its officers from wearing the symbol.
Rainbow Eyes adds, “They remind us every single day that we are not safe when they wear those blue lines. We are called by these ancient forests—to stand up for them. But this has also become a fight against racism and Indigenous oppression. I use my voice to advocate for the people they repress, suppress and oppress, and for these ancient forests.”
In a video released online yesterday, a forest defender of colour stated that she consistently sees RCMP being “outwardly racist” and said they are “targeting Indigenous and black people on the front lines, literally picking them out in the middle of the line.” The Thin Blue Line was seen as recently as yesterday at Fairy Creek as the Rainforest Flying Squad awaited the overnight release of Rainbow Eyes who was arrested during the raid.
“We are a nonviolent movement here to save ancient forests,” says Rainbow Eyes. “Why are we subjected to RCMP who wear banned symbols of racism? Do they think they are above the laws they are employed to enforce?”