Saturday, April 01, 2006

The Struggle at Douglas Creek

Once again people of the First Nations are organizing and taking direct action to protect their lands. For over a month now protesters, with the guidance and support of the traditional Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Clan Mothers and Chiefs, have been preventing Henco Industries from building luxury homes on its so-called “Douglas Creek Estates”. The land in question is part of a much larger tract of land – the “Haldimand Grant” – which the Iroquois received as compensation for their support for the British during the American revolution.

Here is a brief timeline of the struggle at Douglas Creek:

  • October 25th, 2005 Protesters hold an information picket at Douglas Creek, where Henco Industries plans to build luxury homes.
  • February 28th Protesters, including representatives of the Iroquois Confederacy, occupy Henco’s construction site. The protesters erected barriers and let workers enter the site – but just to retrieve their tools.
  • March 3rd Henco Industries obtained a court injunction to have the protesters removed from the construction siteMarch 9th, superior court “justice” David Marshall issued a permanent injunction against the protesters.
  • March 16th, “justice” David Marshall is asked to step down due to conflict of interest, as he himself owns land on the Haldimand Tract. He refuses, and takes steps to enforce his injunction by ruling that anybody occupying the site could be arrested for criminal and civil contempt of court. He states that Ontario Provincial Police will be sent to clear the protesters on March 22nd.
  • March 22nd, lead by Clan Mothers, hundreds of protesters, including supporters from across the continent, gather on the Douglas Creek Estates in support of the occupation. The police did not try to make any arrests.
  • March 27th. Haudenosaunee chiefs publicly voice their support for he occupation.
  • March 29th “justice” David Marshall clarifies court order. “Immediate” police action predicted.
  • March 31st. Mood is tense as Sheriff John Dawson of the Caledonia Police Department reads protesters judge Marshall’s latest eviction order. Protesters read Dawson their own “Notice of Violation of the Law”, accusing the authorities of crimes of genocide against First Nations people.

At the moment the fear is that the police will attempt to evict the occupiers (from their own land!), and so people have been asked to contact Michael Bryant, the Ontario Attorney General, and tell him to make sure the police are not sent in, as this is a political, not policing matter.

Click on this link to email Bryant

Telephone: (416) 326-2220 or 1-800-518-7901

TTY: (416) 326-4012

Fax: (416) 326-4007

Below i have posted a series of documents regarding this…

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  1. Good summary of the events so far. I've made a couple of entries over at my blog on this and have tried not to take sides, but I am beginning to wonder whether this could turn into another Oka or Ipperwash.

    Just one point, though -- there is no "Caledonia police department" and there hasn't been as long as I can remember. The Ontario Provincial Police and the Haldimand-Norfolk police split enforcement duties in the area next to the reserve. About a decade ago, the HN force was officially disbanded and the officers became members of the OPP.

  2. Yah there's no Caledonia Police.
    But who cares, your synthesis is great. Do you know where any of the original documents are located? We've got a blog too and we're trying to put something together. We live nearby so we hope to have photos and possibly some commentary from the protesters themselves after a visit tomorrow.

  3. Thanks for theheads up on that both of you - i corrected the posting re: Caledonia PD.
    As for the original documents, this article relies on Hamilton Spectator articles, in the other articles i provided links to the documents where i found the information.
    BTW i checked out your blog and will add a link to it from today's posting...

  4. I've actually found out that you were right after all!! Haldimand County does in fact have a Sheriff. No police force just a Sheriff. I'm not sure what duties Sheriffs perform that aren't covered by the OPP, but when you're right, you're right....sorry.

  5. i agree with this guy. he is right in every way and should write a collum about it all and explain his reasonings.

  6. i agree with this guy. he is right in every way and should write a collum about it all and explain his reasonings.

  7. Luxury homes ?? You have got to be kidding ! This whole mess is right it my back yard and the situation revolts me. I have nothing against protests, but that does not include the acts of terrorism that these "peaceful" protestors committed in my town. Of course they were arrested for trespassing and blocking a developer from getting on his own land that he obtained legally. They were given plenty of chances to get out and deal with this in the proper channels.
    Instead, they have held our spineless government hostage because no one has the balls to enforce the law, which they say they don't recognize. Well they sure recognize all the treaty money, lotteries proceeds, tax breaks and plenty of other benefits our goverment throws their way, don't they ?

    I say give them the land, but first remove all the buildings, roads, bridges, hydro and water services, and of course financial support. If the land is the real issue, than everyone should be happy.

    Let call this thing what it really is folks, another money and attention grab to test our new federal and provincial governments' resolve, and it's coming right out of our pockets.

    You know what you get when you give a child their way when they throw a tantrum ?? .. A spoiled kid who wants his way every time he kicks his feet or holds his breath.

    I say it about time to give this kid a time out !