Charges Dropped Against Journalists Arrested on Wet’suwet’en Territory

"Amber Bracken and Michael Toledano were detained for three nights, attracting international scrutiny of ongoing RCMP violations of press freedoms"

"Charges have been dropped against journalists Amber Bracken and Michael Toledano, who were arrested and detained for three nights on civil contempt charges while reporting on militarized police raids on Wet’suwet’en territory in northwest B.C. on Nov. 19.

Their arrests drew international media attention and marked an escalation in an ongoing battle between journalists and the RCMP over the right to report from within injunction zones without risking arrest.

The plaintiff, Coastal GasLink pipeline, owned by TC Energy, filed earlier this week to discontinue proceedings against the two journalists on charges of civil contempt of court. Bracken and Toledano have also been relieved of the terms of their release, which included agreement to appear in court on Feb. 14, 2022, and to obey a Coastal GasLink injunction.

Bracken, who was on assignment for The Narwhal at the time of her arrest, said she’s relieved the charges have been dropped, but the fundamental issue hasn’t been resolved.

“I should never have been arrested or charged, let alone detained, in the first place,” Bracken said. “I can’t get those days of my life and work back. Nothing in these proceedings provides any feedback to RCMP for their gross interference with journalists, so what’s stopping police from just doing it again?”"

Emma Gilchrist reports for The Narwhal December 24, 2021.

Source: The Narwhal, 01/06/2022