Contempt of court charges laid against Sarnia blockade for not shutting it down

APTN National News
A contempt of court order was issued against the Sarnia CN Rail blockade Tuesday for failing to comply with a previous court injunction to remove it when it began 13 days ago in support of the Idle No More movement.

Named in the court order is Ron Plain, the spokesman for the people mounting the blockade. He is scheduled to be in Sarnia court Wednesday at 11 a.m. according to a statement released by members of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation blockade.

Plain was charged for failing to remove the blockade of a CN Rail spur line that runs through the Aamjiwnaang reserve, that is also within the city limits of Sarnia.

Mayor Mike Bradley isn’t named in the court order he said Wednesday morning.

“I am not aware of any contempt order against me. The relationship with CN is very strained because of their tactics so wouldn’t surprise me (if) they did although I have no power to direct the police or end the protest,” said Bradley.

Bradley said Sarnia police is also in court Wednesday morning “to provide evidence explaining the steps (if any) the Sarnia Police Service has taken to enforce the orders of Hon. Justice David Brown dated Dec. 21 and Dec. 27,” according to a court document.

On Dec. 27, Brown made the Dec. 21 injunction indefinite calling on Sarnia police to end the blockade.

Police chief Phil Nelson and Bradley have said they didn’t support the blockade but refused to move in on the protestors as long as it remained peaceful. They wanted to negotiate shutting it down, rather than using force.

CN has steadfastly been against the blockade saying it was illegal, but maintained they supported First Nation peoples’ right to protest.

Several meetings have taken place with CN, Bradley and Nelson, as well as members of the band council. A staff member from the office of Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan also participated in talks to negotiate a peaceful end.

Plain has said the blockade would stay up until a meeting between Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the governor general and First Nations leaders took place to discuss treaty agreements. They were doing so in support of Chief Theresa Spence who been on a hunger strike, only consuming fish broth and tea, since Dec. 11.

She is vowing not to eat until a meeting takes place.

Online Producer / Ottawa

Before moving to become the APTN News social media producer, Mark was the executive producer for the news in eastern Canada. Before starting with APTN in 2009, Mark worked at CBC Radio and Television in Newfoundland and Labrador and Ottawa.

20 thoughts on “Contempt of court charges laid against Sarnia blockade for not shutting it down

  1. This is an example of civil disobedience which is an integral part of democratic society (which is something i hope we are all working towards…). When the system is not working this is a justified recourse to remedy political disharmony. I have, and continue to stand behind the community’s decision to use this harmless tactic (i do no consider a small economic disruption, esp in neo-liberal economic times a harmful act…) to communicate with the government and people of Canada and the world about environmental and indigenous racism in these lands.

    1. You mean Her Majesty’s Court? Wouldn’t that in fact be a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms on so many levels or don’t we believe in rights and freedoms anymore in Harperland previously known as Canada.?

    2. is it? or is the CN’s continued trespassing on the land? there remains no formal or court document stating that the CN has any right to run trains through the community. i know a lot of people are looking for one but as of this day, it does not exist. this, of course, would mean the land belongs to the people standing on the blockade at this moment until proven otherwise.

      so, who is in the wrong here? legally speaking.

      i suspect the ‘cowards’ are smarter than you think. some run in with fists, regardless of the facts, and others do the work. study the facts. act accordingly (and usually responsibly).

    3. The blockade is not illegal,it’s illegal for cn to be crossing that road,no deal was ever made. Show me the paperwork .

    4. read the story again it happened on the reserve side
      no different if people trespassed on your land the government
      is just going to have to agree to a meeting a stones throw away.
      it would be better than what we see now.

    5. polluting, theft is illegal yet politicians and the corporate world get away with illegal acts all the time – sometimes you put a fire out with fire – just because a court says something is illegal doesn’t mean it’s actually illegal and just because a court says something is legal does not mean it’s actually legal – our justice system works only for criminals – wait until your a victim of it – then talk until then you appear to support criminals

  2. So now they think they are above the law and apparently so does the police. The fact remains they were ordered to take down the blockade and like all good citizens they are expected to obey the law. In fact now we have the police refusing to do their jobs. Did they not learn anything from Caldeonia?

    1. When the Prime Minister seems to believe he is above the law it tears down the whole social fabric of the society. Bill C-45 is an abomination both in its content and the way it was pushed through the House of Commons. Power to Idle No More from a non-aboriginal Canadian.

    2. did you learn anything from Caledonia? i mean really take the time to do the research and understand what has transpired? work at it, be non-judgemental and put forth the effort?

      i suspect not. the first petition before the courts for breaching a state to state agreement, filed by the First Nations of the area, was in the middle of the 19th century. the First Nations community of the Haldimand land tract, or Grand River Territory, was under the authority of the Simcoe document and the Federal Courts have agreed many times. Haldimand never had the authority or jurisdiction to purchase the land from anyone. So says the Federal Judiciary in Canada. Thus, the land belongs to the First Nations People who live on it today until a case can be brought that proves otherwise.

      after 150 years of in-action and continual breaches of the legal document governing ownership/stewardship of the disputed territory what would you do? it wouldn’t even be your decision as you would be dead, thus making it your children’s and their children’s issue. sound familiar?

      i do not mean any of this with disrespect. i urge you to do a little bit of work and actually know what is happening beyond partisan half-truths.

    3. now whos looking to the past read the story will you or here

      CN has steadfastly been against the blockade saying it was illegal,
      but maintained they supported First Nation peoples’ right to protest.

      Several meetings have taken place with CN, Bradley and Nelson, as
      well as members of the band council. A staff member from the office of
      Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan also participated in talks to
      negotiate a peaceful end.

      1. They are breaking the law. They have been ordered by a court to remove the blockade. That’s it. They can talk until the end of time but that does not stop them from doing what the court ordered.

        1. just because a court says “this is right” does not mean it’s RIGHT. our courts in Canada can’t tell right from wrong – the last organization I would trust in Canada would be our justice system they get it wrong more then they get it right. but you go ahead and use an injust system until it’s used against you – that’s how we all end up learning how wrong the system is- it has to happen to you first, you don’t trust others who warn you about it- it’s a deaf, dumb and blind syndrome

          1. I have some sympathy for your comment. However, it is what it is and if we choose to disregard our laws we will have anarchy in the country. Because individuals disagree with a certain law or the administration of that law does not give them the right to simply ignore it. That is not what democracy is about.

    4. obeying laws? that’s funny – politicians, corporate CEO’s judges, lawyers police NEVER follow our laws but victims of criminal acts are always expected to follow a law. news flash criminals right laws just to make a wrong act legal – never trust a law, never trust a law maker especially when society suffers from the injust laws constantly being created. why make new laws when old laws are never followed by criminals. maybe rethink what a GOOD CITIZEN looks like – the guy running our country, the people making up our laws are not the good citizens they would be the bad citizens that are raping our country, polluting are air, water and land. they would be the people destroying our global economics – the depression is coming unless writers like you CHANGE the way you preceive reality. #idlenomore is a global thing fighting for justice – current laws and justice systems do not provide justice they serve the rich to get richer and unless you are the one on top of that pill YOUR NEXT.

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