Thursday, 6 November 2014

Leaders of October 2014 Highway 6 Blockade Facing Criminal Charges by OPP

In the online version of "The Sachem", an article dated 5 November 2014 entitled, Three men facing mischief charges after highway protest (seen here) informs us that justice will be served in the blockade of Highway 6 on October 4th and 5th organized by the Six Nations Men's Fire.

The article is short enough that it can be quoted in full here:

Three men are facing mischief charges a month after a protest demanding a federal inquiry into the high number of missing and murdered aboriginal women.

Prior to the demonstration – which took place on Oct. 4 and Oct. 5 – members of the Six Nations Men’s Fire informed the OPP of their intention to hold a protest at the intersection of Highway 6 and Fourth Line.

“Due to the safety concerns, detour routes were set up at the Third Line to the south and the Fifth Line to the north,” said a media release issued by the OPP on Wednesday, Nov. 5.

“As a result of the interference on the highway the OPP commenced a criminal investigation which resulted in three persons being charged.”

Three men – a 58-year-old from Six Nations of the Grand River, a 52-year-old from Mississaugas of the New Credit and a 35-year-old from Hamilton – will appear in Cayuga Provincial Court at a later date to answer to the charges.

The key clause is highlighted in bold above by the present author.

As noted in previous postings, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) warned the leaders of this misguided effort to supposedly bring attention to the plight of missing and murdered women across Canada, that they were breaking the law and charges could be brought.  Since no charges were laid in a similar more spontaneous action (egged on by social media and one of the Reserve newspapers) one year ago (October 2013), it is indeed encouraging to see that the OPP is now taking very seriously its responsibility to apply the law for all citizens equally. 

As I have noted many times, if I or any other resident of Haldimand County who did not have an Indian "status card" tried to engage in the same behavior we would without a shadow of a doubt have been arrested on the spot and charged with an offence.  While it is upsetting that the perpetrators were not arrested when they set up the blockade tent on Highway 6, and that anyone using Highway 6 during the two days of the action was inconvenienced in one way or the other, I do agree with the OPP that for public safety sake, some modification of what might otherwise occur (immediate arrest) was the best course of action.  The reality, as those of us who live here well know, is that with the barrier being set up so close to the Six Nations Reserve, hundreds of protesters could have streamed down to the site within minutes if an arrest was made at the time.  Prudence called for slightly different tactics.  Perhaps the OPP have realized that by allowing the perpetrators to "get away" with the same crime in 2013 only emboldened those in 2014 who chose to use the same tactics because there were no consequences or repercussions. 

What is important is that the perpetrators will not get away with their misdeeds entirely unpunished.  Even if it means that they simply have to attend Court, their being "inconvenienced", as the County residents were, is a form of justice.  Hopefully they will receive a penalty entirely in keeping with the provisions of the law under such circumstances.  In other words the penalty should be exactly the same as if a resident of Haldimand County had committed the same act.  Equal application of the law is exactly what the local people such as myself have called for since the illegal take over of the Douglas Creek Estates in 2006 by a group of Six Nations militants.  I would recommend to the Court that they institute a zero tolerance policy for courtroom disrespect - which would get any other citizen of Canada ejected from Court.  In the past, Six Nations members have attended hearings and trials and from the audience gallery shouted obscenities and even threats against a Judge.  This must not be allowed to happen here or it will be a travesty, a complete mockery of our system of justice should Six Nations members be allowed to disrespect the Court.

Update 12 November 2014:  Some further clarification of the positions of the OPP and the protesters is found in an article in "The Sachem" found here.  Basically the OPP are saying that they had no choice but to close Highway 6 for safety reasons; whereas the head of Men's Fire maintains that they had no intentions of blockading the Highway and would have allowed emergency vehicles through.  I don't believe the latter.  I saw the vehicles on both sides of Fourth Line with Confederacy and Mohawk Warrior flags and they were blocking the Highway, as was the tent which had completely blocked the west lane of Highway 6.  How people were supposed to get through this blockade and whatever persons would be standing in the way is fortunately not something we had to worry about thanks to the proactive efforts of the OPP.



  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you for bringing that perspective. Utterly ignored by media and (almost) all the polticial parties.

  2. You are welcome! Indeed, at times it seems that our only friend in the political arenas is MPP Toby Barrett. He is the lone voice who clearly understands the issues involved, and is who willing to speak publicly on our behalf - without the mealy mouthed political correctness seen elsewhere.