Arrest warrants out for Land Back Lane supporters

·2 min read

The Ontario Provincial Police have arrested 36 people in connection with the ongoing McKenzie Meadows land dispute in Caledonia, with 16 other land defenders or allies who have not been arrested also facing charges.

Const. Rod LeClair of the Haldimand OPP said the latest arrest took place on Jan. 3, when a 26-year-old Bradford woman was charged with mischief and disobeying a court order.

There are permanent Superior Court injunctions in force against occupying the Foxgate Developments construction site — also known as 1492 Land Back Lane — and barricading any roadway in Haldimand County.

A group from Six Nations has defied those injunctions by setting up a camp on the disputed land and digging up sections of McKenzie Road, Argyle Street and the Highway 6 bypass, prompting police to close the roads.

On Dec. 28, police arrested a 28-year-old Six Nations man, charging him with intimidation, assaulting a police officer and mischief.

No further details about the circumstances or reasons for the arrests were provided.

LeClair said there are arrest warrants out for some of the 16 people who have been charged in absentia.

“Attempts to contact individuals has been done in the past and are ongoing to give the opportunity for people to turn themselves in,” he said.

The arrests are part of the OPP strategy to enforce the court injunctions without inciting a violent conflict at the site or sparking retaliatory protests and civil unrest elsewhere.

1492 Land Back Lane spokesperson Skyler Williams said his group wants dialogue with the federal government over what they contend is unceded Haudenosaunee territory that should not have been sold to developers.

“The police cannot be the only answer. Money is not the only fix. Jails can’t be the only outcome,” Williams said.

“Injunctions do not hold sway in Haudenosaunee territory.”

J.P. Antonacci, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator