Thursday, July 27, 2006

Seperation Lake Bridge, Ontario

On Wednesday July 26th at approximately 9:30 PM, nine people were arrested in a police raid of a logging-road blockade. On Tuesday, July 25th, a blockade was started at the Seperation Lake Bridge, the border of Grassy Narrows' traditional territory, at approximately 2:00 PM.

The blockade, led by Grassy Narrows community members Bonnie, Chrissy, and Adrienne Swain was peaceful, and was attended by around fifteen people, including four children. At 9:30 PM on Wednesday, approximately 30 police officers approached the blockade without warning, and arrested nine of the eleven adults who were present. All of the arrests took place in front of the children who were present: Shayne Swain, 6 years old; Robyn Swain, 14 months old; Tanisha Swain, 4 months old; and Corissa Swain, 5 years old. The only two adults who were not arrested were Adrienne Swain, mother of Shayne and Robyn, and Shelagh Pizey-Allen, who was taking care of the children. Chrissy Swain, mother of Tanisha and Corissa, was arrested by the OPP in front of her children. Eight of the nine arrestees were female. Several of the arrestees were pushed forcefully to the ground and dragged to the paddywagons. The OPP seperated the more vulnerable arrestees, putting the white Canadian females in one paddywagon, and putting the only male, a female American, a female Aboriginal, and a female Canadian of colour in the other vehicle. At the time of this update (Thursday, July 27th, 6:00 AM), 6 of the 9 arrestees have been released. All have been charged with two counts of mischief. The conditions of their release state that they must leave the Kenora area within 24 hours.

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