Jailed Indigenous Protesters Offered Release If They Agree To Stay Away From Muskrat Falls

Eldred Davis, left, signed an undertaking to stay away from Muskrat Falls site. Jim Learning and Marjorie Flowers are both under house arrest. (Katie Breen/CBC)

Majorie Flowers and Eldred Davis accept conditions; Jim Learning later accepts house arrest

CBC News Posted: Jul 31, 2017

Three Indigenous protesters jailed over a week ago at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary in St. John’s appeared in court today before a judge.

Majorie Flowers, Jim Learning and Eldred Davis have been jailed ever since they refused to promise a judge on July 21 they would stay away from the Muskrat Falls site.

On Monday, each protester appeared before a judge to determine whether they’ll remain in jail until their next appearance.

Davis said his time in HMP has been very difficult, and signed an undertaking promising he would comply and was released.

He’ll still be able to protest at Muskrat Falls in a location across the main gate that’s known as the “protest pad.”

Flowers’ lawyer asked she be given house arrest and the judge accepted the offer.

Learning, the eldest of the three at 79, initially refused to sign a similar undertaking.

However, later in court, Learning he did eventually agree to house arrest.

Labrador MP wants injunction dropped

In an interview with Labrador Morning on Monday,  Labrador MP Yvonne Jones said she wants Nalcor to drop the injunction preventing protesters from peacefully rallying outside of Muskrat Falls before more of them are jailed.

Majorie Flowers, Jim Learning and Eldred Davis appeared before a court Monday via video-link in St. John’s. (Submitted)

“My fear in all of this is that a lot of innocent people in Labrador who are firmly believing in standing up for their position on Muskrat Falls [are] going to be incarcerated and serve time as a result of it,” she said.

Jones believes there are other ways to discipline protesters who block access to the Muskrat Falls site or damage property than imprisoning them.

Labrador Liberal MP Yvonne Jones says that she would like to see Nalcor drop an injuction that has put several protesters behind bars in St. John’s. (CBC)

Peaceful protest should be a hallmark of our democracy, said Jones.

“It’s a sense of being free in a democratic country and being able to stand up for what you believe in and being able to have your message heard,” she said.

Supporters deliver petition demanding release

Prior to the court appearance today, over a dozen supporters of the imprisioned protestors marched to Confederation Building from Allandale Road to deliver a petition asking that Flowers, Learning and Davis be released.

Similar protests took place in Halifax and Happy Valley-Goose Bay as well.

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