For Immediate Release - Tuesday, October 22, 1996 posted by Anti-Colonial Action Alliance
The Crown cited that the 23 counts of Forcible Detainer were withdrawn because "The accused have raised the defence of colour of right on the basis that there is a Chippewa burial ground within Ipperwash Provincial Park and that therefore they were justified in being in the Park during the time set out in the charges." The Crown was acting on the indications of the Provincial Division Judges that "this defence will succeed in all instances when it is raised."
20 counts of Forcible Entry were withdrawn by the Crown because "the Crown is not able to establish specifically when or where or how they [Stoney Point People] made entry into the Park." The crown is still proceeding with 3 counts of forcible entry against 3 people. 6 people still face over 20 various charges relating to the Stoney Point First Nation's struggle to regain unceded territory taken be the federal government.
The trial against Stewart George facing 3 charges began with one count of mischief causing $100.00 damage to a police car belonging to Her Majesty the Queen being dismissed by the Judge. In his concluding remarks the Judge said that there was "reasonable doubt as to the willfullness or negligence of the accused."
Despite dismissing the charge the Judge removed the events from the context of the Stoney Point People asserting their indigenous rights to their territory. He said that "the rights of occupation are not at issue in this particular trial." All of the criminal charges that have been laid are part of a campaign to criminalize the people defending their inherent rights to self-determination.
For more information contactMarcia Simon
phone (519) 786-4052
fax (519) 786-6642