An official with Idle No More says it comes as no surprise the federal government has been closely monitoring the movement.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that Aboriginal Affairs and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service were keeping close tabs on Idle No More rallies and other activities this past winter and spring.
Clayton Thomas Muller, who is based out of Ottawa, says it is clear to him that this close surveillance by the Harper government is an effort to undermine the grassroots Indigenous movement.
“You know, through monitoring democratic social movements like Idle No More, they are trying to one, I think intimidate,” he says. “Two, they are trying to find any tidbit, that they can try and distort, of intelligence to try and further criminalize Indigenous dissent in this country.”
The federal government admits it was monitoring Idle No More but only as a means of protecting the movement from groups that may be hostile to it.
However, Muller says this makes little sense.
He says if the Harper government truly wants to combat hate groups, it should be changing policies and attitudes that are causing racism in the first place rather than spying on grassroots movements like Idle No More.
Muller adds he does not view such tactics as railway blockades as violent but sometimes more drastic measures are necessary when First Nations land, water and air are threatened by government and corporate forces.
The Idle No More movement was originally sparked by the Harper government’s controversial Bill C-45.