About the Blog:

Guelph Politico is locally sourced and dedicated to covering the political and cultural scene in the City of Guelph. Est. 2008.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

End of a (Short-Lived) Era

Yesterday, the protesters at the HCBP site packed up their trash and headed home as per the court injunction. But these time there was no threat of police involvement, this was the natural end of the protest thanks to the earlier reported injunction issues the same day that said the City can't do any building on the land for 30 days.

Here's a reflective post written on the HCBP blog yesterday:

This morning we packed up camp and, with mixed feelings, left the beautiful place that had been our home for the last 19 days. It has been a really amazing experience for us. Much digesting, debriefing, and continue scheming awaits. Again, we offer such huge thanks to everyone who has participated and helped out in any way. Really, there are no words.

Today was a hot day, and after camp was taken down, a few of us had a special dip in the creek, saying our goodbyes and humble gratitudes to this sacred place. The blue heron circled around the meadows as we hung around the front gate, and as much as we will miss this place, it feels great to give the heron it’s home back. The huge 4-lane road Drexler bulldozed looks green again, as new grasses and plants, particularly coltsfoot, reclaim the meadow.

A very special thing happened yesterday morning, that re-affirms for many of us just who we have on our side. Soon after we had got the call from our lawyer about the injunction decision, we gathered around the morning fire where breakfast was being made, to discuss next steps. We had mixed feelings, a tentative joy, a wary excitement, a bizarre situation in general. At the very least it was clear to us that this land is much closer to being kept wild than if we had done nothing.

As we gathered in a circle, a pack of 16 or 17 turkey vultures came from the forest and circled overhead. It was the first time they had been seen in such numbers, and the first time they had joined us overhead in such a way. At that moment, near the end of this particular stage in this struggle, we all fell silent and looked up, as the group of them circled above us. This was not the first time a significant flock of turkey vultures has appeared at a particularly profound time to show support to some of the people in this circle. For many of us it was a wonderful affirmation, a clear message of thanks and solidarity from the other species who we share this land with. That feeling will carry us for a long time.

Besides that, we also had a press conference on the land yesterday, where five of the land defenders spoke with various forms of media and other supporters and participants. The backdrop was the two row wampum flag, the mohawk unity flag, and a black and green flag, all signifying various elements of what has inspired us and some of the underlying principles our lives are based on. We attempted to explain that this land occupation is about way more than the Jefferson Salamander, and way more than just opposing one development. When we get full video or audio of this, well link to it.

They ended by saying to stay tuned for more news and events coming up. It'll be interesting to see what happens now that the process is moving back to the power players like the City and the Ministry of Natural Resources. Whatever happens though, I think the protesters have a lot to be proud of, it's proof positive that small groups can still make a difference through dedication and savvy.

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