This article originally appeared on VICE Canada.
Various Canadian government websites went offline Sunday following threats from online hacktivist group Anonymous, after the death of an alleged "comrade" at an Anonymous protest in British Columbia.
Anonymous says that it took down the RCMP's national websites in response to a fatal shooting on Thursday in Dawson Creek near a BC Hydro public hearing about the controversial Site C dam project. The man who was killed was carrying a knife and said to be wearing a Guy Fawkes mask at the protest, one which the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) knew about in advance, according to an Anonymous video press release published on Saturday.
The group is asking the government to release the identity of the officer who shot James McIntyre. If not, they said that they will release the identity of the officer themselves.
A local newspaper reported that police identified the victim today as McIntyre a 48-year-old who was shot outside of the Fixx Urban Grill but worked at another restaurant, Le's Family Restaurant. Little information has been released on McIntyre, but he has been linked to the Twitter account jay mack, which has not been active since July 16, the day of McIntyre's death.
One of the account's last tweets include one tagged with BC's RCMP Twitter handle saying, "Ready 4 our little showdown? Our people r going 2 b in place at that meeting in Dawson Creek(BC Hydro)."
BC's law enforcement watchdog had initially believed that a man who disrupted the protest and the person shot were the same man, but have since found that they are not. In a video statement, Independent Investigations Office of BC spokesperson Kellie Kilpatrick says that the IIOBC has not seen a case with "as many moving parts and changing landscapes as this one."
The massive Site C hydroelectric dam on Peace River was approved by the BC government earlier this month, and had been met with lawsuits from environmental and First Nations groups.
At time of publication, one of Anonymous's last tweets asked its audience to stand by for more proof of the "murder." They later tweeted that the Anon killed was Indigenous, and that BC Hydro is helping to cover up the situation. Both tweets have since been deleted.
A blurry but graphic video posted on Facebook by user Corey Pfeifer shows two officers, guns drawn, surrounding a man allegedly holding a knife, who had apparently been shot. The video also appears to show an officer kick an object away from the man on the ground. IIOBC now confirms that a knife was at the scene.
"He's fucking dead, there's blood everywhere," says a man's voice in the video. "This is fucked up."
The IIOBC reported that a masked man approached police in what they describe as in an aggressive manner. Police said that the victim did not comply with their directions and was shot and he later died in hospital.
In their statement, Anonymous also said that "an RCMP officer mercilessly shot and killed a masked anon without provocation or cause," and "if Canadian police were as brave as Canadian nurses they could deal with people with knives without hiding behind bullets."
"We will most certainly avenge our own," the group said, adding that they will also fundraise to cover the costs of the burial of their fallen comrade.
"If we do not receive justice, rest assured there will be revenge," they said. "Behind this mask is an idea, and ideas are bullet-proof."
According to a tweet from the Twitter account Anarcho Anon, on Saturday, the apartment of McIntyre's family was raided by police, who told them it was unrelated to the shooting.
In the most recent large-scale attack on Canadian government, Anonymous claimed responsibility for shutting down the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service sites, asking Canadians to protest Bill C-51. This past Wednesday afternoon, Anonymous also claimed responsibility for crashed federal emails and several department websites.
The CBC reported that an RCMP spokesperson from headquarters in Ottawa said that the websites were down due to maintenance issues, and that any other issues were not related to Anonymous.
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