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Round 3: Judge wants answers on Caledonia file

Paul Legall
Hamilton Spectator
CAYUGA (Jun 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.]

A frustrated judge continues to demand to know why police aren't evicting native protesters from Douglas Creek Estates in Caledonia as he ordered three months ago.

Justice David Marshall, of the Ontario Superior Court, summoned the commissioner of the OPP, the provincial and federal attorneys general and other parties to appear before him on June 29 and explain why his orders continue to be flouted.

It was the third time in the last month that Marshall had asked the parties to assist in restoring the "rule of law" in Caledonia. He has suggested the lawbreakers are "emboldened" because court orders aren't being enforced.

Apart from protesters refusing to leave the site, there have been allegations of arson, vandalism, robbery, theft, mischief endangering life and attempted murder.

"This court can not indefinitely tolerate the contempt of the orders of the court that now prevails in Caledonia," he stated during a brief appearance in Cayuga court yesterday.

"For this reason, the court is compelled to call the parties -- now attempting settlement -- so the court will be in a position to properly monitor the matter and to make any appropriate order in the face of ongoing contempt, outstanding injunctions and outstanding warrants or arrests," he added.

He stated the communities involved should also have some idea when the contempt will end.

In his order yesterday, he summoned the same parties who had appeared before him on June 16 when a lawyer for the Attorney General announced the province had reached a tentative agreement to purchase Douglas Creek Estates from the developers, Henco Industries.

The transaction was hailed as a significant development in resolving the 115-day occupation, which started on Feb. 28 when a group of Six Nations protesters moved onto the site and stopped housing construction on the 40-hectare tract.

Apart from the attorneys general and the OPP, the parties included representatives of the local Crown office, the Six Nations elected band council, the Haldimand Law Association, Henco Industries and Railink Canada Ltd.

After meeting in private for an hour last week, the group reported they were making good progress in resolving the Caledonia impasse and they saw no need to meet again with Marshall in the near future. Apart from the tentative agreement with Henco, they cited the removal of barricades on the Highway 6 bypass and a rail line as examples of progress.

When he closed the hearing last week, however, Marshall made it clear he wasn't happy about the situation in Caledonia, despite assurances progress was being made.

"This isn't a peaches and cream case," he stated.

"This is a case with a nasty underbelly," he said.

Outside the courtroom, residents living near Douglas Creek Estates had told reporters nothing would change for them until the site was cleared.

They say they're living in a state of constant fear and anxiety because of activities on the site and confrontations with the protesters.

Early in March, Henco Industries had obtained the injunction to evict the protesters from Douglas Creek Estates and last month Railink obtained a separate injunction ordering protesters to remove barricades from a rail line through Caledonia.

The OPP made an abortive attempt to enforce the Henco injunction when they stormed the site on April 20 and arrested 16 persons. But they were quickly driven off by natives wielding clubs and other crude weapons. Shortly after, OPP deputy commissioner Maurice Pilon went on the site and promised the occupiers they had no plans to stage another raid in the immediate future.

During previous hearings before Marshall, it was noted Henco and Railink have the right to return to court and apply for a writ ordering the police to enforce their injunction. Marshall also has the inherent jurisdiction to assure his orders are enforced.

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