Six Nations demonstrators are back in Caledonia, Ont.
Police moved in on Indigenous demonstrators occupying the McKenzie Meadows development site in Caledonia Wednesday, a town of around 4,000 people south of Hamilton.
The protesters, who prefer to be referred to as “land defenders,” assert members of the Iroquois Six Nations have claim to the land along the Grand River, part of a centuries-long dispute between governments, developers and the Indigenous community. They oppose the subdivision development.
Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) moved to enforce an injunction order Wednesday to disband the encampment. Police allege rocks were thrown by demonstrators, while the land defenders allege the use of force and rubber bullets from police.
- Ontario Police Union Flies Controversial Flag Tied To Blue Lives Matter
- Contentious Alberta Bill Is 'Racially Targeted': First Nations Leaders
- Alberta Minister Says Pandemic A ‘Great Time’ To Build A Pipeline
In total, nine people were arrested and later released. In response to the injunction order, land defenders erected blockades of several roads and a rail line going in and out of Caledonia. As of Friday, they’ve also regained control of the subdivision site — dubbed “1492 Land Back Lane.”
And they say they aren’t going anywhere.
On Thursday, Premier Doug Ford condemned the action, and while he said he could not and would not direct the police, he called the incident “disturbing.”
“I have a great deal of respect for [Indigenous] communities right across the province. We’re there to support them and help them. But it has to be a two-way street here. You just can’t go in and take over people’s future homes. It’s wrong,” said Ford.
“You don’t start throwing rocks, you don’t start tossing things. This is about living together, working...