A group that accuses police of being too easy on aboriginal protesters claims it is being muzzled after it was refused meeting space in an eastern Ontario town facing a land dispute with local Mohawks.
“It’s typical suppression of free speech,” said Gary McHale, after trying unsuccessfully to book the Lion’s Club hall in Deseronto, Ont., on behalf of a group that’s been critical of the way police have handled an ongoing Six Nations occupation in Caledonia, Ont., and runs the website Caledonia Wake Up Call.
A group of protesters from the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory near Deseronto, Ont., has occupied a quarry close to the town for more than two months, and McHale said he wants to help town residents.
“The purpose of our meeting was to teach people how to gather evidence and how to file police service complaints,” said McHale, who is from Richmond Hill, Ont.
McHale was told he could not book the hall in Deseronto because local functions take precedence over events from out of town.
He said he doesn’t believe that’s the real reason his group was turned away, and that his group will try other means to meet with Deseronto residents.
Caledonia Wake Up Call accuses Ontario Provincial Police of allowing aboriginal protesters to break the law and of not protecting non-aboriginals during an occupation such as the one in Caledonia.