What was Justice R. John Harper thinking?
The Superior Court in Ontario was given the opportunity to correct historical wrongs and failed miserably.
CAYUGA – While sitting in a courthouse built upon the ruins of a Cayuga longhouse, family lawyer turned honourable Justice John Harper poured some more gas on the conflict smoldering over the Haldimand Tract. Harper realized his full potential as a Grade-A colonizer by granting a permanent injunction on the #1492LandBackLane site situated in Caledonia, Ontario.
In his October 9th ruling, Justice Harper provided an ultimatum to Skylar Williams that if he did not comply with a court order to vacate the land, that he could not participate in the next October 22nd ruling. Vacating the land would allow Foxgate developments to continue building and thereby result in permanent and immediate loss of further territory for Onkwehon:we.
The land in question borders both Caledonia and the Six Nations reserve, so whoever builds upon it first halts the expansion of the other.
It was clear that Harper was unaware of the history of Canada as he stated to Mr. Williams “It’s not an option to take the law into your own hands, to occupy others land” before striking any evidence to contradict his ruling from evidence and further preventing a rebuttal based in fact be provided before the court.
Straight out of Duncan Campbell’s Scott playbook, Judge Harper also refused to consider any of the systematic contributing factors that created the current environment and the role of all levels of governments have played in the dispossession of land from the Onkwehon:we.
In a useful summary of the day’s event’s the #1492WindsorLawCoalition came up with the following analysis:
Counsel for Foxgate relied on two cases to support their argument that those who are in openly in contempt of court should not be allowed to participate in an injunction hearing. Counsel introduced a video from Mr. Williams’ Facebook page, using it as evidence Mr. Williams intends to continue his contempt and incite further protests. Counsel for Haldimand agreed. Mr. Williams responded by saying, “You’re asking me to comply with an order that is fundamentally flawed in law, ignoring the glaring use of discretion that doesn’t address systemic factors that brought me before the court.” He continued: “Our rights aren’t rewards for being ‘good little Indians’. They are entrenched in law.”
Harper ruled that “it is not an option is to take the law into your own hands, to occupy others’ land […] I find that Mr. Williams continues to be in contempt […] and I will not allow any further participation by Mr. Williams… due to abuse of this court’s process. Any material pleadings he has filed… they will be struck.” An unidentified woman in the courthouse addressed Harper. She was forcibly removed from the court, but not before saying: “Excuse me your honour – I’m here to defend myself. I am here to address the court and Mr. Williams is not the leader. I want it on the record. Get your hands off me.”
Mr. Williams attempted to address this, but was immediately and forcibly muted at the direction of Harper.– analysis from the #1492WindsorLawCoalition full post is available here.
Finally, Judge Harper unsurprisingly sided with Foxgate Development and handed down a ruling in favour of a permanent injunction. Making it abundantly clear that this is what reconciliation is all about!
Attempts to reach out to Skyler Williams were halted by the news that OPP had been firing lethal rubber bullets into a crowded intersection at the 6×6 Safety Zone – Home in Six Nations. Hwy Six at Sixth line has now been closed to all traffic.
However, we do have the video of the press conference that Skylar gave from the site of 1492 Land Back Lane shortly before the OPP began firing “less than lethal” bullets at land defenders at the 6×6 Safety Zone.