By Lynda Powless
A barricade was shut down, a second one sprung up and by Monday night OPP had cleared the Highway 6 bypass ending a more than three week old protest by Six Nations people over Ontario’s broken promise to return the former Burtch correctional centre lands to the Six Nations people and Haudenosaunee Confederacy Council.
Six Nations land protectors/protesters along with supporters removed a barricade on Argyle Street just outside Caledonia but shut down the Highway Six bypass Monday .
OPP and Six Nations police blocked off roads leading to the bypass, so no one could get in and according to one police officer they were trying to clear the area as much as possible.
Meanwhile cars and trucks formed a makeshift barricade across the bypass. At one end near Sixth Line was a large sign saying Honour Our Treaties.
But some protesters said by nightfall OPP had threatened them with mass arrest unless they left the Highway 6 bypass barricade. Protesters left voluntarily. But groups of people had begun gathering at Sixth Line and Oneida Road in Six Nations unable to get to the protest and were unaware that protesters had already left the site.
The move followed an attempt Saturday night to take the rail lines. A fire had been lit on the railroad tracks and about 20 people were sitting or standing around it. Another two dozen OPP were on the roadway. After a stand off between the two groups, the protesters decided to walk as a group behind a pick up truck back to the site leaving the fire burning on the track. One person told Turtle Island News they were going to block the rail line and once it was blocked removed the barricade on Argyle Street. No one was injured in the attempt to block the rail line.
Haldimand County OPP Const. Rod LeClair said on Saturday Sept., 2 at about 8:05 p.m. OPP saw a group of people headed to the railway line near Sixth Line, in the dark and found wooden pallets on fire. The investigation into that act of mischief is ongoing, says LeClair and no charges have been laid.
Six Nations fire put out the fire after protesters/land protectors refuse to allow a Caledonia fire truck to pass through the barricade.
Haldimand County OPP said in the interest of public safety, Highway 6 between Argyle Street North and Greens Road, and Sixth Line between Argyle Street South and Oneida Road was closed.
As of Tuesday September 5, 2017 at 2:20 p.m., Highway 6 has been reopened to through traffic and Argyle Street South is also opened to through traffic.
OPP continue to monitor the area and remain committed to public safety and security.
OPP continue to investigate and identify individuals responsible. Land protectors/protesters have not commented to Turtle Island News, but did speak to broadcast media .