Hamilton

OPP make more arrests connected to Caledonia development and ongoing demonstration

Provincial police say two more people have been arrested in connection with court orders barring anyone from being at 1535 McKenzie Road.

Police say a 34-year-old and 31-year-old were arrested Saturday

Demonstrators have occupied 1535 McKenzie Road for more than 50 days as of Tuesday. (Dan Taekema/CBC)

Provincial police say two more people have been arrested in connection with court orders barring anyone from being at 1535 McKenzie Road.

The site is known as McKenzie Meadows by the developers who plan to build hundreds of homes there and 1492 Land Back Lane by demonstrators who say it's unceded Haudenosaunee territory and have occupied it for more than 50 days.

Skyler Williams, a spokesperson for the demonstrators and one of the people arrested at the site on Aug. 5 when the OPP first enforced an injunction there, said the OPP has begun to arrest people away from the camp.

"It is deeply offensive and unjust for Haudenosaunee people to be arrested for defending their territory," he stated in a media release shared Sunday.

Among those facing charges are Courtney Skye, a Mohawk researcher, and Karl Dockstader, a journalist from Oneida Nation of the Thames.

A 34-year-old and 31-year-old from Guelph were also arrested Saturday and charged with mischief and disobeying a court order, according to provincial police.

Const. Rodney LeClair said 20 people have been arrested as of Tuesday.

"OPP is reminding the public that individuals who engage in illegal activities such as failing to comply with a court order, may face criminal charges," he wrote in a media release.

It notes anyone at the site could face a number of charges including obstructing a peace officer, causing a disturbance or intimidation if someone were to block a highway.

Posts on social media show a concert was set to take place at the site Saturday, followed by a game of lacrosse and a potluck.

Demonstrators and their supporters also have a Chase the Ace competition and various auctions underway as fundraisers.

A GoFundMe campaign aimed at raising financial support for those facing charges had raised more than $85,000 as of Tuesday.

"We need to fight for the land, but more then that we need to fight for each other," wrote Williams on Facebook Monday morning. "Divisions in our community have crippled us. The one thing that all of us know, this is land is ours and today it still sits in our hands. It's been 50 days!!! We are still here!!! This is Haudenosaunee territory!!!"

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