Delivering his ruling during a hearing on Friday, Justice John Harper said both the injunction at the McKenzie Road site and another injunction prohibiting roadblocks in Haldimand County will remain in place until the next court date on Oct. 22.
The Superior court granted the injunction to Foxgate Developments on July 30 and it has been extended multiple times since then.
It was granted after the group of Six Nations land defenders began occupying the site in mid-July, saying it’s unceded Haudenosaunee territory.
To date, 30 people have been arrested on charges related to the injunction.
OPP Chief Superintendent John Cain told the court on Friday that another 22 people have been identified and will be arrested on similar charges.
During Friday’s hearing, defendant Skyler Williams acknowledged that he was in contempt of the court by refusing to obey the injunction, but said he has no plans to obey it going forward, citing the ‘prejudicial nature of the courts against Indigenous people.’
Harper said Williams was ‘abusing the court process’ in doing so.
As a result, he said the Oct. 22 hearing could go one of two ways, depending on whether or not the land defenders leave the McKenzie Road site.
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If they do leave, Harper said Williams could continue to be involved in court proceedings and raise a constitutional challenge.
If they don’t, the next hearing will be ‘uncontested’ and will proceed with a permanent injunction.
Williams told Global News that the ruling is “typical of the Indigenous experience of the court system.”
“The last … 500 years of colonization and oppression, racism, over-incarceration of Indigenous people, all of these things — they need to be taken into account whenever the liberties of Indigenous people are in jeopardy.”
He also objected to Harper’s characterization of him as the group’s leader.
“This isn’t just one person,” said Williams. “This is hundreds of people that have voiced their support for this, including leaders in our community, within the Confederacy, within the band council system; as well, many families have issued their support for what it is that we’re doing. And so to say that just one person is leading the charge here — the only thing that I’ve been is the spokesperson for the camp.”
Williams said he has no plans to leave, despite the judge’s ultimatum.
“Right from the very first day, I’ve been saying that our people have been here for the last 10,000 years and we plan on being here for the next 10,000.”