July 15 - Ontario Provincial Police have reportedly arrested 17 people at Grassy Narrows in retaliation for Thursday's peaceful blockade of the Trans-Canada Highway near Kenora, Ontario. The blockade by Rainforest Action Network activists and Grassy Narrows First Nations people drew worldwide attention to the decade-long fight to stop clearcut destruction at Grassy Narrows
The latest reports from the camp say more than fifty police officers have cut off all access to and from the camp. Police set up a highway checkpoint yesterday and began arresting native and non-native people involved in Thursday's action.
The barricade on the Trans-Canada Highway Thursday included activists locked down to cement barrels and a Weyerhaueser logging truck, and one who perched at the top of a 10-meter tripod. The protests succeeded in blocking logging trucks from operations in Grassy Narrows for most of the day and evening. Police made no arrests at the time and did not attempt to remove the barricade, which was dismantled voluntarily around 10 pm Thursday.
An anonymous report on Infoshop.org states that police are trying to arrest specific individuals, but they are citing and releasing any non-native protestors they find "trying to screen out the organizers and the ones that did the direct action stuff." link to www.infoshop.org
A press release from Rainforest Action Network and Forest Ethics says police are singling out indigenous activists for special treatment. "White arrestees have been cited and released on mischief charges, while Natives and other people of colour have been taken to jail and interrogated before release and charged." http://www.firstperspective.ca
Six Nations warriors involved in a standoff over development on traditional territory near Caledonia, Ontario traveled to Grassy Narrows at the invitation of the Anishinabe Nation. Now they find themselves targeted by Ontario police.
Brian Skye is a citizen of the Cayuga Nation Wolf Clan of the Six Nations Confederacy and one of those invited to the Earth Justice Gathering: He accuses police of "entering the Grassy Narrows reserve without permission, violating the community's sovereignty and legal juridiction over their reserve lands."
Skye adds that "Grassy Narrows Band councilors seized an OPP police cruiser over jurisdictional issues and later released it."
"The act of war perpetrated by the OPP in taking members of our delegation hostage and
holding them ransom (bail) is an act of terrorism on the First Nations peoples of North America. The ramifications of this aggressive, violent instigation will be reciprocated swiftly and justly, as it is the obligation of all First Nations to do so." http://friendsofgrassynarrows.com/item.php?600F
More about Thursday's action on Zoe Blunt's blog: http://people.tribe.net/zoe_blunt
Background about Grassy Narrows and Rainforest Action Network: http://www.freegrassy.org