Anishinaabe student from Ottawa arrested at blockade of oil exploration site
Freddy Stoneypoint, 29, charged with mischief, theft, break and enter; bail decision expected Friday
- Freddy Stoneypoint was released with conditions on Aug. 18. He will appear in court again Nov. 13.
An Indigenous man from Ottawa arrested by police at the blockade of an oil exploration site in Quebec is today expected to find out if he'll be released on bail or not.
Freddy Stoneypoint, an Anishinaabe 29-year-old Carleton University student, was arrested by Quebec provincial police as they dismantled a blockade Monday night. He was charged with breaking and entering, mischief and theft.
The blockade had been set up Aug. 8 on the road leading to the Galt No. 4 well, which is owned by the oil-exploration company Junex, about 20 kilometres from the city of Gaspé, Que.
- SQ dismantle blockade at oil exploration site near Gaspé
- Masked protesters block road to oil exploration company's well
A bail hearing was held Thursday at a courthouse in Percé, Que. Radio-Canada's Joane Bérubé reported that about 15 people attended the hearing in support of Stoneypoint with another 20 demonstrating outside, calling for his release.
Crown objects to release
The Crown objected to Stoneypoint's release, arguing Stoneypoint poses a risk to public safety and might not appear in court for trial.
The defence reiterated the principle of the presumption of innocence and pointed out that Stoneypoint did not act alone at the blockade. Three letters from colleagues and teachers were read aloud at the hearing, describing Stoneypoint as a good student and an inspiration to Indigenous people of his generation.
Stoneypoint was one of about nine people detained and released without charge when a group of young people tried to erect a teepee on Parliament Hill just ahead of Canada Day.
The teepee was eventually allowed to go up, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau later visited it.
- 'A state of crisis': Indigenous group calls for change as Canada Day nears
- Justin Trudeau visits 'reoccupation' teepee on Parliament Hill
A Montreal-based website released a statement Thursday purportedly from Stoneypoint:
"As a representative of Bawating water protectors, my only wish is to activate my ceremonial being in defence of land and waters through peaceful means," the statement reads.
"I am not an activist, I am an Anishinaabe man working to protect the land for future generations. I thank all of my supporters working towards the same future for all on Turtle Island. Tomorrow at 10:30 a.m., I will receive a decision on my bail hearing."