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Activist defies court's authority

Justice moved arraignment to Mohawk's cell after he refused to be fingerprinted or photographed

Paul Legall
The Hamilton Spectator
CAYUGA (Apr 22, 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.]

Six native activists facing criminal charges are challenging the authority of Canadian courts. One man refused to come out of his cell for a bail hearing yesterday.

The 20-year-old resident of the Kahnawake reserve south of Montreal has refused to co-operate with the authorities since the OPP arrested him for contempt of court at the Douglas Creek Estates occupation site Thursday.

He would only identify himself by his Mohawk name of Gu-Heh-D-Yo and wouldn't allow police to fingerprint or photograph him as the contempt order required.

As a result, he was charged criminally with failing to comply with a probation order.

The other five accused, who were also arrested Thursday on and off the occupation site, face charges of assault with a weapon, mischief to public property, intimidation, resisting arrest, creating a disturbance, assaulting police and dangerous driving.

They were all released on bail of $1,000 or $2,000 without actually having to put up any money and ordered to keep away from Douglas Creek Estates, which has been occupied by native protesters since Feb. 28. They were also prohibited from having firearms, crossbows, ammunition or explosives, except for a native protester who hunts as part of his survival.

The five were all ordered to return to court on May 17.

Outside the courtroom, lawyer Chris Reid told reporters the accused all believe they belong to a sovereign Mohawk nation and the Canadian laws don't apply to them. He stated in court they respected the law, however, and would abide by their bail conditions.

At least three of the accused told reporters they'd probably return to Douglas Creek, including Wayne Van Every, 30, who has been living in a tent there for 35 days.

"I don't see any reason why not. It's my land. I've got a tent pitched there for the summer."

Weighing more than 180 kilograms, Van Every said he was charged with mischief after he damaged a video camera in a police van and broke a pair of metal handcuffs. Like the others, he was held overnight in Simcoe before appearing for a bail hearing in Cayuga.

Gu-Heh-D-Yo -- also identified in court as John Doe and Nicholas Diabo -- was to appear before Justice of the Peace Paul Welsh for a bail hearing yesterday.

But he'll have to spend the weekend in custody, after refusing to leave the holding cells at the Cayuga courthouse. He will be held until his bail hearing Monday.

Welsh took the unusual step of moving the judicial party into Diabo's cell for the arraignment. Welsh also authorized police to use as much force as necessary to obtain Diabo's fingerprints and photograph.

One of the most vocal protesters, Jeff Henhawk of Caledonia, was released on $2,000 bail on charges of creating a disturbance, intimidation and assault with a weapon in relation to an incident near a Canadian Tire store in Caledonia at 8:38 a.m. Thursday.

Assistant Crown attorney Alexandra Paparella alleged that Henhawk and Alex Crawford, 18, were seen getting out of a vehicle near the store. Reading the Crown brief, she alleged Henhawk brandished a large stick while shouting at store employees and that he struck civilian and police cars with the club.

She also will try to prove Crawford, who was charged with intimidation, jumped in front of cars, waved his arms and shouted obscenities at motorists. The incident occurred less than 500 metres from the main entrance of Douglas Creek Estates after police swooped in for an early morning raid.

Released on $1,000 bail, Crawford told reporters he was reluctant to violate a court order. "I don't want to go back (to Douglas Creek) ... If I have to go, I will."

Albert Douglas, 30, who emerged from the courthouse in camouflage hunting gear, also indicated he might resume the protest.

"I live my life and will be where the people need me," said Douglas, who was released on $2,000 for charges of resisting arrest and assaulting police.

The Crown is alleging he struggled with police and wrenched an officer's leg when they arrested him at the construction site.

David Martin, 44, was released on $1,000 bail for dangerous driving. It's alleged he endangered police officers during the Thursday raid by driving his 1997 pickup truck on the construction site at excessive speeds and in an aggressive manner.

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