CoyoteCampRaid Wet'suwet'en Coastal GasLink The Narwhal 01

Amber Bracken is out of jail, but we have a long battle ahead

The need for independent, on-the-ground reporting is more important than ever amid threats to press freedom in Canada. That's why we're turning to our readers to ask for help

With freedom of the press under attack in Canada, we here at The Narwhal are grateful for all of you, our loyal readers. (Especially the 6,000 of you who sent messages to the federal public safety minister, calling for an investigation into RCMP conduct in recent days.)

When we sent photojournalist Amber Bracken to Wet’suwet’en territory to report on one of the biggest stories in the country, we didn’t anticipate she’d become part of the story. Then, Friday came: the RCMP arrested Amber and 14 others, including Wet’suwet’en land defenders, as officers enforced an injunction for the Coastal GasLink pipeline.

It should go without saying: journalism is not a crime. Amber was one of the only journalists present to document a story of vital public interest — and the RCMP took her away in handcuffs, despite the fact she clearly identified herself as a journalist.

The actions of the RCMP prevented us from publishing photos last week of police destroying the door of a tiny home with an axe and a chainsaw, and then pointing assault rifles at Wet’suwet’en people defending their unceded territory. While Amber sat in jail for three days, she could have been reporting on an alleged assault on Indigenous Rights, and the role of government officials and a private gas pipeline company.

Amber has finally been released from jail, on the condition she appears on contempt of court charges in February. But we have a long battle ahead of us in defending Amber — and, ultimately, the right for all journalists to report from within injunction zones.

And we need your help: our insurance won’t cover the legal fees for Amber’s ordeal. So I’m turning to all of you, our most loyal readers: will you help ensure The Narwhal can continue to stand up for press freedom by becoming a member today? As a token of our appreciation, anyone who signs up by midnight on Friday will get a Narwhal toque.

Amber was on the ground documenting the fight of Wet’suwet’en land defenders against a pipeline that runs directly through their unceded territory. As legal experts have noted, the restrictions on press freedoms are by their very nature an effort to silence land defenders seeking to assert their Indigenous Rights.

That’s why I’m reaching out to you to keep The Narwhal’s fearless, independent reporting alive and well — especially at a time when those in power want to limit our freedoms. As a non-profit, reader-funded news organization, we rely on everyday people, not advertisers, to help us shine a light in darkness.

Will you become a member today and stand up for press freedom?

Thanks for believing in what we do,

Emma Gilchrist
Editor-in-chief

P.S. Our existing 3,700 members provide us with the reliable cash flow necessary to send Amber to Wet’suwet’en territory in the first place. But here’s the thing: Amber’s legal battle isn’t our first and it won’t be our last. That’s why we need you to become a member for any amount you can afford. If you sign up by Friday at midnight, we’ll even pop a Narwhal toque in the mail for you.

We hear it time and time again:
“These are the stories that need to be told and you are some of the only ones telling them,” John, a new member of The Narwhal, wrote in to say.

Investigating stories others aren’t. Diving deep to find solutions to the climate crisis. Sending journalists to report from remote locations for days and sometimes weeks on end. These are the core tenets of what we do here at The Narwhal. It’s also the kind of work that takes time and resources to pull off.

That might sound obvious, but it’s far from reality in many shrinking and cash-strapped Canadian newsrooms. So what’s The Narwhal’s secret sauce? Thousands of members like John who support our non-profit, ad-free journalism by giving whatever they can afford each month (or year).

But here’s the thing: just two per cent of The Narwhal’s readers step up to keep our stories free for all to read. Will you join the two per cent and become a member of The Narwhal today?
We hear it time and time again:
“These are the stories that need to be told and you are some of the only ones telling them,” John, a new member of The Narwhal, wrote in to say.

Investigating stories others aren’t. Diving deep to find solutions to the climate crisis. Sending journalists to report from remote locations for days and sometimes weeks on end. These are the core tenets of what we do here at The Narwhal. It’s also the kind of work that takes time and resources to pull off.

That might sound obvious, but it’s far from reality in many shrinking and cash-strapped Canadian newsrooms. So what’s The Narwhal’s secret sauce? Thousands of members like John who support our non-profit, ad-free journalism by giving whatever they can afford each month (or year).

But here’s the thing: just two per cent of The Narwhal’s readers step up to keep our stories free for all to read. Will you join the two per cent and become a member of The Narwhal today?

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Every new member between now and midnight Friday will have their contributions doubled by two generous donors.