Court orders call for Caledonia barricades to be removed, demonstrators to leave development

A pair of orders issued by Ontario Superior Court Friday call for Six Nations demonstrators occupying a residential development to tear down their tents any barriers blocking area roads.

A group from Six Nations has taken over the site and dubbed in '1492 Land Back Lane'

The court orders call for barricades around Caledonia to be removed. (Dan Taekema/CBC)

A pair of orders issued by Ontario Superior Court Friday call for Six Nations demonstrators occupying a residential development to tear down their tents and any barriers blocking area roads.

The group took over the McKenzie Meadows site roughly two weeks ago, dubbing it "1492 Land Back Lane" and creating a Facebook page by the same name where they've been sharing updates. This week barricades went up on some roads around Caledonia.

But on Friday Superior Court Justice John Harper ordered the demonstrators leave the development and stop blocking local roads.

The first order stems from a motion from Haldimand County. The interim order directs those who built the road blockades to "tear down and remove" them and to vacate the area where the barriers were. It also prohibits obstructing all roads in the area.

The second order was an extension to an earlier injunction won by Foxgate Developments — Losani and Ballantry Homes — which plans to build at McKenzie Meadows.

It bars anyone from "hindering, interfering with, intimidating, physically obstructing or otherwise impeding" those working for the builders while they develop the site.

The interim order also calls for the demonstrators to "remove any banners, flags, tents, structures or vehicles and to tear down and remove any barricade placed or maintained by them."

William Liske, vice president of Losani and its chief legal officer, said it's the company's "sincere hope that all persons involved honour and follow these orders."

The demonstrators were not represented in court, according to the first injunction.

Both orders call on the OPP to help enforce them, including removing anyone who doesn't obey.

Const. Rod LeClair with the Haldimand County Detachment said police don't have a timeline for when that would happen, noting injunctions are served by a court sheriff.

"We continue to have open dialogue with the parties involved," he wrote in an email to CBC. "Maintaining public safety is our primary goal."

Some Six Nations residents set up a blockade on Argyle Street in Caledonia after OPP officers enforced an injunction on demonstrators at a nearby housing development. (Dan Taekema/CBC)

Several people were arrested at the site by the OPP Wednesday following a clash that police say involved large rocks being thrown at officers who LeClair says used "non-lethal force" including firing a single rubber bullet.

Less than 24 hours later, the demonstrators had returned to the development.

"McKenzie Meadows is one of several housing developments within the area that are directly violating the sovereignty of the Haudenosaunee," reads a description on the group's Facebook page.

"Collectively we remain firm in our stance that action must be taken to stop the ongoing development of our lands."

Representatives of 1492 Land Back Lane did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the situation and the court orders that was sent to an email address associated with the group.

The development went ahead after the builders had negotiated an "accommodation" with the Six Nations elected council.

The matter is scheduled to return to court in Brantford on August 25.