Tyendinaga demonstrators facing mischief, obstructing police charges
Ten individuals are facing charges as a result of the arrests made on Monday, Feb. 24, 2020 at the Wyman Road railway crossing near Tyendinaga.
A group of demonstrators has remained at the site since Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, the same day the RCMP moved in on the anti-pipeline camp on Wet’suwet’en territory in BC. Two small groups still remains at both the Wyman Road rail crossing and the Highway 49 rail overpass near Marysville at time of press.
According to the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), officers notified the demonstrators at 8 a.m. that an injunction regarding barriers to the rail line would be enforced. The demonstrators were encouraged to leave the site and advised that enforcement could involve arrests for those who failed to comply, the OPP said in a press release on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020.
Police lined up shoulder to shoulder that day, which the demonstrators mirrored as tensions grew. Police said that, when faced with “aggressive actions by some individuals” officers used force to facilitate the arrests and “maintain officer safety.”
One of the individuals arrested was taken to hospital due to injuries sustained in the incident. He was treated and later released.
The group of demonstrators consisted not only of individuals from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, but also several who had travelled to show solidarity with Tyendinaga.
Those arrested and charged are:
- Aaron Maracle, age 36 of Ottawa, Ontario
- Corey Jay Jocko, age 33 of Akwesasne, Ontario
- Tommy Gill, age 34 of Odanak, Quebec
- Harley Moses David, age 31 of Akwesasne, Ontario
- Trevor Spencer, age 45 of Belleville, Ontario
- Harry Joseph Benedict, age 30 of Akwesasne, Ontario
- Nicholas Kolbasook, age 25 of Akwesasne, Ontario
- Nathan Strongitharm, age 34 of no fixed address
- Jacob Sharpe, age 24 of Tyendinaga Township, Ontario
- Stewart Americanhorse, age 43 of Ohsweken, Ontario
Each of them is charged with:
- Mischief over $5,000
- Disobeying a court order
- Entering land where line work is situated, contrary to the Railway Safety Act
Additionally, Kolbasook, Strongitharm, and Sharpe were also charged with resisting arrest, and Strongitharm was additionally charged with obstructing police.
All parties have been released on conditions and are scheduled to appear in the Ontario Court of Justice in Napanee in March.
“Investigation into protest activities is ongoing and the OPP will continue to engage in dialogue, with a reasoned and tempered approach, and proper use of police discretion,” the OPP said.