Crown appeals Land Back Lane acquittals

Land defenders from the Land Back Lane site in Caledonia who received an absolute discharge earlier this year, will be back in court March 1 after the Crown appealed the acquittal.

Defenders had been facing numerous charges, including mischief and trespassing, but the victory has been short-lived, after spokesperson Skyler Williams announced Tuesday that the Crown appealed Justice Gethin Edwards’ decision to grant them an absolute discharge of all charges.

“The fight drags on,” Williams wrote in an update to followers on his social media pages. “In /October, I, along with a handful of my brothers, were granted an absolute discharge. Meaning we will serve no other consequences, aside from the three years of targeted police violence, arrests and surveillance, of course. When we managed to pry even a bit of recognition and understanding from these courts, the system can’t help but claw it back.”

Williams, who has been the face of the Land Back movement in Caledonia on a former housing construction site on McKenzie Road since July 2020, said the win was short-lived.

“The colonial system designed against us from the start will once again be asked to weigh in on the merits of our stance. I will be appearing before the Ontario Court of Appeal on March 1.”

Williams and a handful of allies and Six Nations land defenders stopped construction of a housing development site in Caledonia citing it as unceded Six Nations land.

Since then, the land has turned into a tiny village, with tiny homes, a garden and a  batch of permanent residents on the site.

“We must defend ourselves again…fight to prove the worth of our laws, again,” Williams wrote.

He criticized Canadian courts and police.

“The courts and cops stand behind decades of atrocities, aimed at disconnecting our people from our lands. They have been relentless in their oppressive assaults on our people. If a pound of flesh is what they’re after, our people before their courts have paid more then (sic) enough. The silencing of indigenous voices by courts, crowns and cops has gone on for far too long. The unabated development of our lands will not go on uncontested. We will no longer ask to be heard.”

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