Friday, September 12, 2003

injunction function and first nations solidarity

Expressway opponents vow support for Aboriginal rights

Hamilton, Ont. -- Opponents of the Red Hill Creek Expressway expressed support today for members of the Six Nations Confederacy who are continuing to occupy lands in Hamilton's Red Hill Valley, despite a court injunction granted to the City of Hamilton.

"We agree with the Haudenonsaunee people that this decision has no bearing on their rights," said Jim Quinn, a spokesperson for the ShowStoppers Union, a coalition of individuals and groups opposed to the expressway. "We will try to support their struggle in any way we can."

The ShowStoppers expressed disappointment at the decision of Superior Court Judge Joseph Henderson in granting an injunction that allows work to begin on a bridge-ramp at the end of Greenhill Avenue in east end Hamilton.

"We respect the decision of the court but we will continue to oppose the expressway," Quinn said. "There has been a huge outpouring of support since the beginning of August to keep the Red Hill Valley expressway-free."

ShowStopper pickets successfully prevented the beginning of work at the Greenhill Avenue site in early August by Dufferin Construction. The picketing was peaceful and no arrests were made, in spite of police monitoring of the protest.

On August 11, the city applied to the Ontario Superior Court for an injunction to halt the picketing and allow construction to begin. Six individuals acted as defendants in the case and represented themselves in court hearings on September 5 and 8 against a high-powered team of seven lawyers hired by the City.

Justice Henderson's decision, released earlier today, can be read here (pdf).

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