The Ontario Provincial Police, Cayuga Detachment has issued a statement saying that they will not be pursuing charges against Six Nations people who were responsible in the shutting down of a section of Highway 6 last October.
Last October 17, 2013, Onkwehon:we people along with their supporters, shut down a portion of Highway 6 between 5th and 6th Line in response to the RCMP raid against protestors and supporters of the Elsipogtog First Nation in New Brunswick who were demanding the government and oil companies stop fracking on their territory.
According to a news station release, Haldimand Mayor Ken Hewitt was said to have been very upset that the OPP were not going to pursue charges.
Media Relations/Community Service Officer for the OPP, Mark Foster told Two Row Times that, ‘these types of incidents are dealt with and evaluated on an individual basis. The role at these events for Police is public safety. The OPP respects everyone’s constitutional right to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly and will continue to work with any group to ensure the safety of everyone. In the case of the Oct 17th incident, the OPP’s Provincial Liaison Team (PLT) was in attendance and spoke with the organizers and came to a peaceful and successful conclusion.’
Haldimand Mayor Ken Hewitt is on vacation for the next couple of weeks and could not be reached for comment.
However, Craig Grice who is Councillor for Ward 3 which includes Caledonia was available for comment. When asked what his thoughts were regarding the OPP’s decision to not pursue charges stemming from the October 17, 2013 incident, Grice told Two Row Times that, “As for the OPP not filing charges for the blockade on Oct 17th, they are within their authority to do as they please. There were support protests against “fracking” (by all walks of life) across Canada that didn’t involve blocking roads. The blockade on Hwy 6 did nothing to move that agenda forward. I think we’ve all seen enough protests that have solved absolutely nothing.”
Whatever the case, the OPP were on hand before the blockade went up on Highway 6 and they did come to a peaceful resolution with those involved. The message was sent that Onkwehon:we people will stand with their Mi’kmaq brothers and sisters in defense of Mother Earth.