Archive for October, 2008

Charges dropped against four Six Nations people

Posted in Repression, Six Nations Confederacy on October 21, 2008 by wiinimkiikaa

Charges dropped against four native protesters

October 16, 2008
Paul Legall
The Hamilton Spectator
CAYUGA

The Crown has dropped criminal charges against four native protesters arrested by a heavily armed OPP tactical squad at the controversial Stirling Woods survey in Caledonia last year.

The operation involved about 50 officers in riot gear, including shields and batons, who marched into the partially constructed residential subdivision in September 2007 to remove a small pocket of native activists occupying the site.

The massive sweep came about a week after 52-year-old Sam Gualtieri was attacked and beaten by intruders inside a house he was building as a wedding gift for his daughter. He suffered severe head and facial injuries and has since launched a suit against the Ontario Provincial Police, alleging they didn’t protect him against the protesters.

In a surprise move yesterday, assistant Crown attorney Mitchell Hoffman announced he wouldn’t be proceeding against Skyler Williams, 25, who was charged with mischief and resisting arrest, or against Stephen Powless, 43, June Jamieson-Maracle, 42, and Francine Doxtator, 48, who were all charged with mischief.

Hoffman also told Ontario Justice Joe Nadel he wouldn’t be prosecuting an 18-year-old woman, who was also charged with mischief and will appear in Cayuga court Oct. 23.

He said he will be proceeding with charges against the four remaining Stirling Woods defendants, however, when the trial starts late this year or early next.

They include: Ronald Cook, 31,of Akwasasne, N.Y., for mischief and possession of a prohibited weapon; Gregory Powless, 19, of Ohsweken for mischief; and Sheranne MacNaughton, 25, of Hagersville and Teresa Jamieson, 42, of Ohsweken, who both face charges of mischief and assaulting police to resist arrest.

The defendants are all out on bail awaiting their trial.

Defence lawyer Sarah Dover, who at one time represented all nine Stirling Woods defendants, said her clients are anxious to have the matter heard in court as quickly as possible.

She told Nadel she intends to bring a pre-trial application to have the charges dropped against her two remaining clients, Powless and MacNaughton, on the basis that the OPP used “excessive force” in arresting them and the mischief charges couldn’t be proven. She also indicated she may argue charges should be thrown out because of the undue delay in bringing the case to trial.

Nadel adjourned the case until Nov. 5 when the lawyers and judge will try to come up with a suitable date for the trial, which is expected to last about four weeks.

Last month, Hoffman also withdrew charges against 19-year-old Byron Powless. He was one of three people charged in connection with the attack on Sam Gualtieri, his nephew Dominic and another man during the confrontation at Gualtieri’s partially built house Sept. 13, 2007.

After hearing the evidence of a key Crown witness at the preliminary hearing, Hoffman told the judge he was dropping the charges against Powless because there was no reasonable prospect of convicting him.

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Algonquins Block Highway, Hospitalized After Police Attack

Posted in Algonquin Nation, Repression, Resistance on October 21, 2008 by wiinimkiikaa

Algonquins Hospitalized After Police Attack

Barriere Lake Solidarity Collective, October 7, 2008

UPDATE: An Algonquin man is hospitalized the morning after Quebec police shot him in the chest with a tear-gas cannister. A disabled teenage girl was also treated with oxygen in the local Health Clinic. Twenty two children under eight and two babies were caught in the tear gas shot by the police.

To view photos:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/31135244@N07/sets/72157607795831835

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, October, 7, 2008

Canada and Quebec use riot police, tear gas, and “pain compliance” on peaceful Algonquin families to avoid negotiations: ‘pain compliance’ perfect description of Conservative’s aboriginal policy, say community spokespeople

Kitiganik/Rapid Lake, Algonquin Territory / – Yesterday afternoon, the Conservative government and Quebec used riot police, tear gas, and “pain compliance” techniques to end a peaceful blockade erected by Algonquin families from Barriere Lake, rather than negotiate, as requested by the community. The blockade on Highway 117 in Northern Quebec began at 6:00am Monday, with nearly a hundred community members of all ages and their supporters promising to remain until Canada’s Conservative government and Quebec honoured signed agreements and Barriere Lake’s leadership customs. Around 4pm, nearly sixty Quebec officers and riot police encircled families after a meal and without warning launched tear gas canisters, one of which hit a child in the chest.

“Our demands are reasonable,” said Norman Matchewan, a spokesperson who was racially slurred by Minister Lawrence Cannon’s assistant earlier in the election. “We’re only asking for the government to uphold the agreements they’ve signed and to stop illegally interfering in our customary governance. The message we’ve received today is that Stephen Harper and Jean Charest are unwilling to even play by their rules.”

“We will not tolerate these brutal violations of our rights,” added Matchewan. “Forestry operations will not be allowed on our Trilateral agreement territory, and we will be doing more non-violent direct action.”

Nine people, including an elderly women, a pregnant woman, and two minors, were roughly arrested. While a line of police obscured the view of human rights observers from Christian Peacemaker Teams, officers used severe “pain compliance” techniques on protestors who had secured themselves to concrete-filled barrels, twisting arms, dislocating jaws, leaving them with bruised faces and trouble swallowing.

“In this election alone, the Conservatives have labelled us alcoholics and vilified our community’s majority as “dissidents,” said Michel Thusky, another community spokesperson, referring to an op-ed published by Minister Lawrence Cannon in regional newspapers. “Now they and Quebec have chosen violence over meeting their most basic obligations to our community. ‘Pain compliance’ is the perfect description of the Conservative government’s aboriginal policies.”

Barriere Lake community members had promised to maintain the blockade until the Government of Canada honoured the 1991 Trilateral agreement, a landmark sustainable development and resource co-management agreement praised by the United Nations and the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. To end federal interference in their leadership customs, they wanted the Government of Canada to appoint observers to witness a leadership reselection according to their codified customary selection code, respect its outcome, and then cease interfering in their internal governance.

– 30 –

Media Contacts:

Michel Thusky, Barriere Lake spokesperson: 819 – 435 – 2171

Norman Matchewan, Barriere Lake spokesperson : 514 – 831 – 6902

Marylynn Poucachiche, Barriere Lake spokesperson : 819 – 435 – 2171

Collectif de Solidarité Lac Barrière
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www.solidaritelacbarriere.blogspot.com