Tag Archives: Protest

Manitoba protesters stand with Six Nations, fight promised anti-blockade law

A demonstration along Highway 75 near Morris, Man., lasted roughly 2½ hours on Friday. (Patrick Foucault/Radio-Canada)

More than a dozen people protested along Highway 75 in Morris, Man., Friday afternoon

Demonstrators gathered in Morris, Man., on Friday, standing in solidarity with the 1492 Land Back Lane camp in Ontario and protesting the Manitoba government’s throne speech promise to introduce anti-blockade legislation.

“We’ve come together to protest, to show solidarity with Six Nations in Ontario and Land Back Lane camp,” said Harrison Powder, one of more than a dozen people at the protest on Highway 75 at the south end of Morris.

“Those people have been arrested there … while they’re trying to defend their treaty rights.”

Members from the Haudenosaunee community of Six Nations set up the camp in July on an area of land in Caledonia, Ont., slated to become a subdivision, but which people at the encampment say is stolen, unceded Haudenosaunee territory.

Ontario Provincial Police have arrested demonstrators at the site. On Friday, an Ontario Superior Court judge gave the camp until Oct. 22 to vacate the land before he rules on making an injunction against their presence permanent.

Powder said Friday was a national day of action for communities across Canada to stand in support of the 1492 Land Back Lane camp.

“We’re not the only community [and] we’re not the only groups who are protesting,” he said. “It’s happening across the country right now.”

Demonstration to fight promised anti-blockade law

The demonstration, which lasted roughly 2½ hours, was also a protest of legislation promised by Manitoba’s Progressive Conservative government that would restrict future blockades.

The government announced its intention to bring forward the new law in its throne speech earlier this week, saying the legislation will prevent “illegal protests and blockades,” referring to railway blockades earlier this year.

“There’s no way that this is designed to infringe on anyone’s right to lawful protest,” Premier Brian Pallister said at the time.

But Powder said that’s exactly what the law will do.

“The Charter of Rights guarantees us these rights … in Canada, to be able to protest bills, to express ourselves, to be able to … defend our communities,” he said.

In comments prior to the throne speech Wednesday, Pallister said blockades “take away” the rights of people they impact. Powder said Friday that’s incorrect.

“The most we do is disrupt the public for a few minutes,” he said.

In the case of prolonged blockades like the railway blockades earlier this year, Powder said people fighting government action are sometimes left with no other venue to make their voices heard.

“For us, you know, that’s the only way we get attention sometimes,” he said. “The public won’t pay attention, the politicians don’t pay attention to us, until we do something like blocking the railway. And that’s unfortunate.”

With files from Radio-Canada’s Patrick Foucault

By CBC News · Posted: Oct 09, 2020


OPP arrest 25th person over Caledonia housing site dispute

A 1492 Land Back sign near Highway 6 in Caledonia. (Aug. 20, 2020)

KITCHENER — The number of people who have been arrested in relation to a demonstration at a residential development in Haldimand County has reached 25.

A 29-year-old from Toronto was arrested and charged on Thursday with disobeying a court order and mischief. They were released and are expected to appear in a Cayuga court at a later date.

The Ontario Provincial Police say this was in relation to a current court injunction in effect at the site, known as McKenzie Meadows, near Caledonia.

The first demonstration arrests were made by OPP on Aug. 5.

The court injunction prohibits anyone from being on the property at 1535 McKenzie Road, also known as 1492 Land Back Lane, or from setting up road blockades in the county.

“The OPP Provincial Liaison Team is engaged in significant collaborative and respectful dialogue aimed at bringing about a peaceful resolution, while ensuring everyone’s safety and preserving their respective rights guaranteed by Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” the OPP said in a news release.

Protesters have said they will remain on the Indigenous land for as long as it takes.

By Chris Thomson – CTV News Kitchener, Published Saturday, October 3, 2020

Federal ministers agree to discuss ‘Six Nations’ historical claims’ as occupation continues

Demonstrators have occupied the McKenzie Meadows development in Caledonia for more than a month, renaming it “1492 Land Back Lane.” (Dan Taekema/CBC)

Demonstrators have been at McKenzie Meadows for more than a month

The federal government has committed to engage in negotiations around unresolved land issues related to Six Nations amid a month-long occupation of a housing development outside Caledonia.

Skyler Williams, a spokesperson for demonstrators at the McKenzie Meadows site, said the Six Nations Elected Council and Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council have received a letter from Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller and Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Carolyn Bennett agreeing to sit down and discuss the situation.

“Understand that we are a nation unto ourselves, we’re not Canadian citizens. We’re Haudenosaunee people and need to be treated as such,” Williams explained Thursday.

“The peaceful occupation of our lands is what we’re about and being able to move that conversation forward is paramount for us.”

A spokesperson for Bennett confirmed the letter was sent, adding Canada “deeply values” its relationship with Six Nations and is “committed to continuing to work collaboratively to address Six Nations’ historical claims and land right issues.”

The statement stressed the importance of peaceful dialogue for building a stronger relationship.

“With regard to the McKenzie Meadows Caledonia housing development, we encourage the parties involved to continue to work together through open dialogue to find a constructive, respectful, and positive way forward,” it added.

Dialogue is something Ontario Premier Doug Ford also pointed to when asked about the land occupation Thursday, revealing he’d met with Six Nations Elected Chief Mark Hill.

Demonstrators set up camp at the McKenzie Meadows on July 19, saying it’s  unceded Haudenosaunee territory and renaming it 1492 Land Back Lane.

On Thursday they began dismantling barricades across area roads set up after an OPP raid on August 5 where police fired a rubber bullet and arrested several people at the site.

Demonstrators handed over a pair of bulldozers to OPP liaison officers Thursday, 26 days into their occupation of the nearby McKenzie Meadows residential development. (Dan Taekema/CBC)

Demonstrators also previously returned two bulldozers that ended up behind the blockades.

Williams said both actions were aimed at deescalating the situation and ensuring the focus of discussions stays on “the real issue here and that’s the land.”

by: Dan Taekema · CBC News · Posted: Aug 21, 2020


Police presence and blockades continue through weekend for protesters in Caldeonia

A camp of protesters reclaiming a housing development in Caledonia. (Photo: Johnny Mazza – CTV Kitchener) (Aug. 8, 2020)

CALEDONIA — Blockades and a heavy police presence in Caledonia have now stretched across five days into Sunday, as a group of protesters are reclaiming a housing development construction site.

OPP first moved in to the McKenzie Meadows location on Wednesday to enforce a court order and arrest nine people.

This was when the protesters started throwing large rocks at them and striking some of the officers, according to officials.

Police say officers responded by firing rubber bullets at the camp and add that no one was injured.

Another court order was approved Friday morning that would force the protesters to vacate all roadblocks and remove anything on the road.

Haldimand County OPP says it’s up to the court sheriff to determine whether the new order, which would also prevent more blockades on any roadways in the area, will be delivered.

The camp has been set up at McKenzie Meadows since mid-July and has halted the construction. Police say the court injunction was first read to the protestors last week.

Haldimand County says the land historically belonged to the Indigenous community, and was purchased by Foxgate Developments in 2015.

In 2019, an agreement was reached between Foxgate and the Six Nations Elected Council, which confirmed that Six Nations supported the development.

One of the protesters tells CTV News they do not support the agreement and calls it, ‘a slap in the face to our people for prime real estate to be given away’.

In a statement, Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt says he does not support the protesters on the development.

On Saturday, both the protesters on the site and the police told CTV News they will stay where they are.

On Sunday, OPP tweeted that the Hwy. 6 in Caldeonia remains closed due to a demonstration.

CTV News Kitchener, Published Sunday, August 9, 2020


Road blockades up at Caledonia after OPP arrest demonstrators at residential development

Some Six Nations residents set up a blockade on Argyle Street in Caledonia after OPP officers enforced an injunction on demonstrators at a nearby housing development. (Dan Taekema/CBC)

Police moved in to enforce a court injunction and arrested ‘fewer’ than 10 demonstrators

Provincial police say they’ve arrested several demonstrators who were occupying a residential development near Caledonia, Ont.

The OPP’s Haldimand County Detachment released a statement Wednesday saying its officers assisted with enforcing a court injunction against demonstrators at the Mackenzie Meadows development and arrested fewer than 10 people.

In the wake of the police action, Six Nations demonstrators set up a blockade on Argyle Street south of the Town of Caledonia and on the Highway 6 bypass.

Some vehicles were being let through after a short delay. Smokey fires at the blockade flared up at points with people shouting sometimes near the barricade.

A group of protestors from Six Nations of the Grand River took over the Mackenzie Meadows site roughly two weeks ago, dubbing it “1492 Land Back Lane” and creating a Facebook page by the same name where they’ve been sharing updates.

“Mackenzie Meadows is one of several housing developments within the area that are directly violating the sovereignty of the Haudenosaunee,” reads a description of the group.

“Collectively we remain firm in our stance that action must be taken to stop the ongoing development of our lands.”

The Six Nations of the Grand River elected council, however, says the band had been “accommodated” in two ways for the work being done at the site.

In a community update released on July 24 the council said Ballantry Homes, which is one of the companies developing Mckenzie Meadows along with Losani Homes, transferred 42.3 acres to Six Nations in 2016. The builder also transferred $325,000 to the elected council, which was put into a land banking account for future purchases in 2019, according to the release.

An OPP officer guides car past the blockade on Argyle Street, south of Caledonia. (Dan Taekema/CBC)

“Ballantry Homes, as a third party owner of the land, has no legal obligation to accommodate Six Nations but it did anyway because it is aware of the Claims by Six Nations against Crown Canada and Crown Ontario,” it states.

The elected council noted out that most of the land in Oneida Township went out of Six Nations possession in the 1850s, 60s and 70s.

“The remedy for lands and money that were unlawfully taken back in the 1800’s is against Crown Canada and Crown Ontario,” reads the release, adding the claim is that the Crowns breached their fiduciary duty by unlawfully dispossessing Six Nations of all its land and money.

“Six Nations commenced an action against both Crowns in 1995 in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. The suit is being actively prosecuted and the trial is scheduled to start in October of 2022.”

Representatives for Ballantry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

William Liske, vice-president and chief legal officer for Losani, said he was at the site Wednesday.

“Our only comment is that today’s events allow us to re-commence construction activities, and deliver our products to the 180 families patiently waiting for their homes,” he wrote in an email to CBC.

Videos show heavy police presence

The OPP say they helped a court sheriff read and deliver an injunction on July 31 and then “attended the demonstration site and assisted with enforcement of the court injunction,” on Wednesday.

In a statement the OPP said it took a “measured, professional and safe approach”  to enforcing the injunction.

Images shared on social media showed barriers burning near Caledonia. (Jl Jamieson/Facebook)

Videos shared on the 1492 Land Back Lane Facebook page showed a large number of OPP officers walking toward demonstrators at the development.

Later posts included photos of burning barriers across area roads.

By: Dan Taekema · CBC News · Posted: Aug 05, 2020