Indigenous protesters arrested at TRU Trans Mountain meeting

The protest on Monday led to three arrests by Kamloops RCMP and closure of the Campus Activity Centre at TRU.

Mayuk Manuel, Snutetkwe Manuel and Isha Jules arrested 

Kamloops RCMP arrested three people at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) on Monday morning and access to part of the campus was restricted as a result of a protest.

According to media reports, a Trans Mountain roundtable consultation meeting about the proposed pipeline expansion was taking place at TRU.

It is believed former Supreme Court of Canada Justice Frank Iacobucci and his team were meeting with local Indigenous groups when the protesters arrived.

Handprints in red paint could be seen outside TRU’s Campus Activity Centre, as well as splatters of paint on the pavement.

The RCMP confirmed the arrests but wouldn’t comment on what the protest was about.

However, those arrested have been identified in a social media post as Indigenous protesters opposed to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

According to tweets by Kanahus Manuel, a spokesperson for the Tiny House Warriors, her twin sister Mayuk Manuel was one of those arrested along with Snutetkwe Manuel and Isha Jules.

An RCMP investigation into mischief and assault is underway.

In an statement, a TRU spokesperson said “the incident (and the protest) was related to a private event.”

As a precaution the university restricted access to the Campus Activity Centre until 4:30 p.m.

Cpl. Jodi Shelkie said the Kamloops RCMP detachment was aware of the consultation meeting in advance and had formulated a plan for dealing with demonstrations if they took place.

The roundtable meetings are designed to determine how the consultation process will unfold.

To see the demonstration, check out the video below.

Video posted to Facebook by Snutetkwe Manuel

By Black Powder, RPM Staff

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Indigenous protesters again block entrance to Pinery Provincial Park

Maynard T. George is leader of the Indigenous family group claiming ownership of Pinery Provincial Park. (Submitted by Colin Graf)

Protester Maynard George says the action is connected to a First Nations claim to the land

Indigenous protesters are again blocking the entrance to the Pinery Provincial Park, an action they say stems from a longstanding dispute over First Nations claims to the park on the shores of Lake Huron.

Maynard George of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation told CBC news that he and about four other protesters have pulled into the park’s front entrance in a trailer, preventing visitors from entering the park.

He said Pinery staff told people using the park to leave. As of Monday evening, about 10 trailers have already left, said George.

“We’ve moved in, we’ve taken up our residency here,” said George. “And we’ve shut down the park permanently. We’re in a position where we have to do something to resolve the claim.”

​George was involved in a similar action that ended in November with the park re-opening.

He said the protesters’ claim to the land stretches back to the War of 1812.

The park’s superintendent would not comment on the situation.

Indigenous protesters say they are again blocking the entrance to the Pinery Provincial Park. (Submitted by Colin Graf)

No court action

George’s lawyer Wanda Corston said for now, there are no plans to file any official court claim. She said the OPP have spoken to George about the protest.

“They’ve decided to take over the park with regard to some claims they have,” said Corston. She said for now, there has been no action to file a claim in any court.

“There’s no legal position at this point in time, we just hope the claims can be settled in an amicable way,” she said.

Ministry response

George said police were present in the park on Monday, but that they are only there to maintain order. He said there have been no arrests or confrontations.

In a statement to CBC News, a spokersperson for the Ministry of Natural Resources said, “Ontario Parks is working toward a resolution to this situation – we are engaging with the individuals, their counsel and police to better understand their claims.”

George said he intends to stay at the park. It’s unclear for how long.

CBC News Posted: Mar 19, 2018

[SOURCE]

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.

[SOURCE]

 

 

 

Indigenous Protesters Ordered to Pay Oil Giant Thousands Over Pipeline Legal Battle

Haudenosaunee man Todd Williams has been ordered to pay thousands in legal fees after disrupting work in protest at Enbridge dig sites in Hamilton this year. (Adam Carter/CBC)

Haudenosaunee men spent months protesting at Enbridge dig sites

By Adam Carter

Todd Williams spent months sparring with Enbridge all over Hamilton, trying to disrupt the company’s pipeline operations. And now it’s costing him.

After a legal battle with the oil giant that centred on the company’s property rights versus Indigenous treaty and hunting rights, Williams and another Haudenosaunee man, Wayne Hill, were ordered by a Superior Court in Hamilton this month to pay Enbridge $25,381.81 in legal fees. The costs award comes after Enbridge won an injunction barring them from maintenance dig sites.

Williams says that Enbridge has approached him with an offer to forgo those costs if he agrees to stay away, but he isn’t sure if he wants to sacrifice his principles.

He contends that Enbridge’s isn’t properly consulting with Aboriginal communities about maintenance work on its Line 10 pipeline, which runs through Hamilton — though Enbridge says otherwise.

“It’s about not allowing us to participate. We’re concerned about the land,” Williams said.

“We have rights — treaty rights.”

An Enbridge spokesperson said she couldn’t comment on the specifics of the case as it’s before the courts, but Senior Communications Adviser Suzanne Wilton told CBC News that “seeking legal remedies is always a last resort.”

“Safety is our top priority and these steps were necessary to ensure that preventative maintenance required for the continued safe operation of our pipeline could continue,” she said. “We would prefer to achieve mutually agreeable solutions through conversation.”

Blocking roads and tearing down fences

According to court documents filed as part of the injunction, Enbridge says that Williams and Hill have been “regularly interfering” with its work crews at maintenance dig sites along the pipeline since Jan. 26, 2017.

The documents say there have been “dozens” of incidents where Williams interfered with work crews, and at least six incidents involving Hill.

“Enbridge alleges that one or both of the defendants have torn down snow fences, blocked roads and gates, and have verbally demanded that work be shut down,” the documents say. “In one incident Mr. Williams blocked a maintenance dig site such that Enbridge employees working at the site could not leave until he was persuaded to move his truck.

“Enbridge alleges that after two weeks of obstruction the defendants placed rabbit traps to obstruct its access to certain maintenance dig sites, asserting treaty hunting rights.”

Williams says he used these kinds of traps at Enbridge dig sites in Hamilton. (Adam Carter/CBC)

Other protests have sprung up over Enbridge pipelines in Hamilton in recent years, including an occupation of the North Westover pump station in 2013.

Williams, who is an engineer, is part of the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI), which is in turn part of the traditional Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council.

He wants Enbridge to notify the HDI of work along the pipeline, and to pay to have Haudenosaunee monitoring staff on worksites to make sure the work is being done safely and to environmental standards.

In court documents, Enbridge says that it wrote letters to two First Nations (Six Nations of the Grand River and the Mississaugas of the New Credit) and to HDI describing the nature of the work.

For Williams, that wasn’t enough. “We need more engagement, more consultation than just a notice,” he said.

Treaty rights versus property rights

Williams says he started camping out at sites and setting traps (which are humane cage traps), citing the Nanfan Treaty of 1701, which he says include his harvesting and hunting rights to the land.

In the end, the court found that Enbridge was entitled to an injunction restraining Williams and Hill from interfering with any dig sites.

“They determined their rights override my treaty rights. They’re pretty much saying I can’t have my treaty rights on private property,” Williams said.

“Well, when that agreement was signed, there was no private property.”

Williams said that ruling is not being appealed.

Workers were present at the Enbridge maintenance dig site on Wilson Street in Ancaster on Tuesday. (Adam Carter/CBC)

In the end, the two men are now on the hook for Enbridge’s legal costs — which amounts to $18,387.81 to Williams and $7,000 for Hill.

Williams says that he can dip into his retirement funds to pay it off, but that treaty rights and environmental safety are both bigger issues.

He also says that Enbridge has made an offer to forgive the costs award, if he stays away from the company’s work sites for two years.

Enbridge would not confirm or deny that offer when asked, citing the court proceedings.

“I’m considering it, but we’re talking about my rights and how they’re considered,” Williams said.

“If I get up and walk away, they’re just going to continue.”

Article By Adam Carter, originally posted in CBC News on May 31, 2017

[SOURCE]