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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Civil suits against individuals participating in illegal protests may put Idle no More in peril

On December 21st, 2011 members of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation partnered with members of Toronto’s anarchist community and setup a blockade of a CN Rail track. They claimed that the track was unauthorized to run over their territory so they had every right to block it. The blockade was rather controversial, as not only did it hurt CN Rail, but it also affected the credibility of Aamjiwnaang’s industrial park, putting them at risk of losing revenue from some valuable tenants.
CN went to court the next day and was able to secure an injunction, but the Sarnia police were reluctant to take action. The blockade was finally shut down on January 2nd after CN filed a suit against the blockade’s spokesman Ron Plain who now faces having to pay CN’s legal fees estimated to be at least $200,000. The radicals, as they do, claimed that this decision has resulted in the court “criminalizing dissent”.

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