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8 protestors arrested inside Hamilton courthouse

By: 
Swamp Line 9

August 15, 2013

On August 14, Hamilton Police arrested 8 individuals at the Hamilton Court House, in the midst of the Swamp Line 9 Trespassing Hearing.

Many friends and allies attended the trespassing hearing, offering support to those arrested and charged on June 26th at the Swamp Line 9 Blockade, a blockade of Enbridge's Westover site. Activists had been occupying an Enbridge pumping station north of Hamilton, Ontario. 18 protestors were arrested at the blockade, 13 of whom were on trial today. This action, dubbed Swamp Line 9, was aimed to prevent construction on Line 9 and block the transport of Tar Sands through Ontario and Quebec. This action is also part of the Idle No More campaign Sovereignty Summer.

During the hearing, supporters were applauding in a show of solidarity for their comrades on trial. After being told by the Judge to 'stop clapping or everyone will be asked to leave the court room', after awhile some supporters continued by snapping their fingers. Immediately following this, one female supporter was asked to leave for disrupting court. She was then removed from the courtroom, handcuffed, and taken into a "prosecution room" alone with two male officers. Protesters and supporters, concerned about her safety and well being, demanded she be released. Over 30 individuals crowded outside of the holding room chanting 'Let Her Go!' With almost as many police officers as protestors, the space erupted quickly. While cops began physically moving individuals and yelling threats, protestors began chanting 'Cops, Pigs, Murderers!' The police proceeded to mass arrest all those chanting or who wouldn’t clear the space immediately, citing the "public works protection act" (a law that was previously invoked in the arrest of over 1,000 people during the Toronto G20 protests) . 

The eight individuals were arrested and held at the Hamilton Court House. Many of the officers employed pain compliance techniques to subdue those who were arrested. Onlookers watched horrified as protestors and supporters were thrown to the ground, dragged along the floor, shoved into walls, and kicked. The aggressive police response reveals an escalation in state violence directed at activists and land defenders. 

News is developing. Stay posted for more information. 

BACKGROUND
Press Statement on Injunction, June 25: http://swampline9.tumblr.com/post/53851715699/swamp-line-9-press-conference-statement
Media Advisory on Injunction: http://swampline9.tumblr.com/post/53838872671/swamp-line-9-locks-down-and-rallies-after-receiving
Solidarity Action in Support of Line 9: https://www.facebook.com/notes/swamp-line-9/update-swampline9-continues-support-actions-in-13-cities-sovsummer/191416174354528

UPDATES
www.facebook.com/SwampLine9

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