This morning, about a dozen friends of the hanlon creek blocked the drive way of the Capital Paving Quarry located near the intersection County Road 34 and the Hanlon Expressway. We used a lock down device to secure a protester to an oil drum filled with concrete and positioned it in the center of the driveway. We chose that location because Capital Paving is involved in the development of the Hanlon Creek Wetland Complex and quarries are both the literal and figurative foundation of development.
The blockade lasted about four hours and there were no arrests.
Press release below.
***For Immediate Release***
October 20, 2010
Earlier this morning a group of Guelphites engaged in an act of civil disobedience and blocked the entrance to a Capital Paving quarry located on county road 34. We have interfered with business operations today because Capital Paving is a company that is helping to destroy the Hanlon Creek Wetland Complex, through their contract with the City of Guelph. In the last year the Hanlon Creek Wetland Complex has severely compromised as the City of Guelph continues to push ahead with this development despite treaty law, a massive public occupation of the wetland complex, and over a decade of public outcry.
“Today we take action to stop the development of the Hanlon Creek Wetland Complex from continuing. We take action to force the city of guelph to respect treaty laws, and recognise the significance of the Haudenosaunee in the development of the Hanlon Creek Wetland Complex. We take action to force our municipal government to respect the will of their constituents,” explains participant Faren Karbridge.
A large motivating principle for this work stoppage was respect for the (Kaswentha) Two Row Wampum agreement made between the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy) and the Dutch in 1613. The Two-Row Wampum is the basis for all other agreements and treaties made between Haudenosaunee people and non-native governing bodies, which includes the Nanfan Treaty and the Haldimand Proclamation. The pattern of the belt consists of two rows of purple wampum beads separated by three rows of white beads. The white beads were said to represent the purity of the agreement. The purple beads signify the courses of two vessels — a Haudenosaunee canoe and a European ship — traveling down the river of life together, parallel but never touching. Between the two rows of Purple beads, are three rows of white beads. These were made to stand for the Friendship, Peace and Respect between the two nations. As much as the three rows keep the two nations separate, it also binds them together. This wampum records the meaning of the agreement, which declared peaceful coexistence between the Haudenosaunee and non-native settlers, as long as one culture or vessel did not veer and interrupt the path of the other vessel.
“Construction at the Hanlon Creek affects the course of the Haudenosaunee vessel. Such actions are not in the spirit of Two Row Wampum or in the spirit of peaceful coexistence,” stated Zach O’Connor.
The development of the Hanlon Creek Wetland Complex will have untold ramifications for the Haudenosaunee. At a press conference on August 28, 2009 members of the Hoskanigetah of the Grand River, expressed concerns regarding the disregard for the Two Row Wampum, The Nanfan Treaty and the Haldimand Proclamation. The Nanfan treaty outlines the hunting and medicine gathering rights held by the Haudenesseunee people in all of southern Ontario, and many northern united states and the Haldimand Proclimination outlines their territorial boundaries. The development of the Hanlon Creek Wetland Complex is a violation of both as the environmental impacts disrupt their ability to exercise their rights as outlined in these treaties.
“We as Oikweonwe men will not support any development that destroys wetlands as this affects everyone downstream more so than the corporate world realises… the Hoskanigetah orders the Corporation of the City of Guelph to cease and desist the development of the Hanlon Creek Business Park,” Hoskangetha of the Grand River Territory.
The struggle to protect the Hanlon Creek Wetland Complex is also a personal struggle . It is our responsibility as non-native signatories to these treaties to ensure our governments respect them and our corporations abide by them. We have watched as everything within reach of the 401 is graded and paved under the guise of development and progress. The south end of Guelph is a sad mess and the people who hold the memory of what once was now shudder at the sight of what is. Quarries, form both the figurative and literal foundations for this development. We have drawn a line in the sand so that our children may see a Jefferson Salamander in their life time and so that we may show others what it means to be good neighbors to the Haudenessenee. We will set the stage for our children to honor the Two Row Wampum and show them the means of doing so.
For more information contact 519 820 6239