The Highway 6 bypass in Caledonia, Ont., has been shut down by protesters, in support of Indigenous land defenders in B.C.
Skyler Williams, spokesperson for 1492 Land Back Lane, said the action was carried out in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs who are against a pipeline through their territory in northern B.C.
Earlier this month, the traditional government of the Six Nations shared a message of “unwavering support” for the Wet’suwet’en. “We stand with the Wet’suwet’en and their decision to say no to the further degradation of their lands,” reads a statement from the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council shared Oct. 9.
Williams said Thursday that declaration obligates Six Nation members to stand in support of them as well.
“We are living up to that obligation to make sure we’re amplifying those voices there on the West Coast in whatever way we possibly can,” said Williams, who recently returned from spending 10 days protesting the Coastal GasLink (CGL) pipeline project.
Williams said arrests Wednesday of protesters in B.C., including the reported arrest of a Chief from the Likhts’amisyu (Fireweed) Clan, instigated the actions Thursday in Ontario.
The RCMP confirmed two people were arrested, after police were called to a blockade near Houston, B.C. “to assist with keeping the peace as CGL workers evacuated the worker’s camp.”
Large companies and governments have “criss-crossed our lands with roads and highways, railways, hydro electric lines,” Williams added. “The era of just simply taking advantage of Indigenous people and their lands … without the consent of our nations, those days are over.”
The highway is blocked between Greens Road and Argyle Street South, according to Williams.
BREAKING: Highway 6 bypass through Haudenosaunee Territory in the Haldimand Tract blocked in solidarity with <a href=”https://twitter.com/Gidimten?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@Gidimten</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/AllOutForWedzinKwa?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#AllOutForWedzinKwa</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/1492LandBackLane?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#1492LandBackLane</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/LandBack?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#LandBack</a> <a href=”https://t.co/FEASfwe6ki”>pic.twitter.com/FEASfwe6ki</a>
Haldimand County OPP showed up on scene shortly after demonstrators began stopping traffic but have not communicated with them so far, he added.
Police have tweeted about the closure and are directing drivers toward a detour.
Williams would not reveal how long they plan to shut down the bypass, saying that decision will be up to the community.
“It will most certainly be overnight and we’ll see what it looks like in the following days.”
<a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/HaldimandOPP?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#HaldimandOPP</a> Highway 6 Bypass is closed between Argyle St. South and Greens Rd. Detour route: N/B traffic can detour E/B on 4th Line from Hwy 6. S/B traffic can detour E/B on Haldimand Rd 66 to McClung to Hwy 54. Further updates to follow. <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/hwy6?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#hwy6</a>. ^mg <a href=”https://t.co/safTxjVWI2″>pic.twitter.com/safTxjVWI2</a>