Six Nations Solidarity

News | Background | What you can do | Links 

Court order on natives clarified

'Immediate' OPP response predicted

Paul Legall
The Hamilton Spectator
Caledonia (Mar 29, 2006)

[SISIS note: The following mainstream news article is provided for reference only, as an example of how mainstream media treats indigenous resistance to genocide. Mainstream media often presents biased and distorted information, lacking pertinent facts and/or context. Inclusion of this article on our site should not be considered an endorsement by SISIS.]

A Cayuga judge reluctantly changed his contempt of court order against native protesters after the Crown suggested it was too vague for the OPP to enforce.

The lawyer for the developer of Douglas Creek Estates now hopes police will quickly remove protesters who have occupied the construction site for over a month.

"We can expect to see an immediate response by the OPP," Hamilton lawyer Michael Bruder said after the revised order was issued. Ontario Superior Court Judge David Marshall was clearly irate at the suggestion the original order, issued 12 days ago, had ambiguities and needed to be toughened up.

"This is an important public extremely urgent matter and it doesn't speak well of the court to come a week, two weeks and three weeks later and say we should have done this and we should have done that," Marshall told regional Crown attorney John Pearson, who asked for the changes.

Marshall stressed the original order had been drafted in the courtroom on March 17 with the help of lawyers for the attorney general, the OPP and the developer, Henco Industries.

In the original order, Marshall ruled protesters found on the site would be arrested, fingerprinted and photographed under the Identification of Criminals Act.

They would be immediately released on a six-month suspended sentence on condition they keep the peace, maintain good behaviour and stay off the site.

If they returned to the site, they would be arrested and have to serve 30 days in jail.

But Pearson, who didn't attend the March 17 hearing, suggested the order should be clarified to facilitate enforcement. He wanted to make it clear the protesters were guilty of criminal contempt, as well as civil contempt, and asked they be fingerprinted and photographed as part of a probation order.

He submitted that the Identification of Criminals Act can only be used when people are arrested for indictable criminal offences. He didn't think it applied to contempt of court. The judge agreed to include all the changes, although he felt the original order was enforceable.

Christopher Diana, who represented the police, said the OPP wanted the order clarified.

John and Don Henning of Henco Industries were in court but didn't want to comment.

Native spokesperson Janie Jamieson said the change won't weaken protesters' resolve or create fear of imminent arrests. "They're still missing the whole issue of jurisdiction and title and that we're allies, not subjects," she said.

The protesters say Douglas Creek Estates is being built on land that is Six Nations' territory.

Don Henning issued a press release last week, saying Henco has clear title to the land and is being held hostage in a dispute between the protesters and Ottawa, which he urged to step in.

Ottawa sent an independent mediator last week.

BackBack to updates

Top Top