About the Blog:

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

Monday, November 23, 2009

Hanlon Creek Week Begins Today

Local activists aren't letting the moss grow under them as they continue to work to stop the construction of the Hanlon Creek Business Park with a week of events. I was sent the full schedule with details, which you can find outlined below. For updated information, go to the HCBP Occupation blog here.

A Week of Events to Celebrate the Hanlon Creek Wetland Complex

Monday November 23, 1:00 – 1:30pm
Guelph Police Station, near corner of Wyndham & Fountain St.

At 2pm on Monday, November 23rd, Kelly Pflug-Back will be serving the Guelph police department with a plaintiff's claim on behalf of herself and Julian Ichim regarding the Guelph police's alleged defamation and negligence in their investigation of Ms. Pflug-Back and Mr. Ichim.

Let the police know that we won’t support them acting as political tools for developers and the city.

Tuesday November 24
Xterra Construction office, 934 Guelph St., Kitchener

Xterra Construction has been contracted to tunnel pipes below the Hanlon Expressway at Clair Road to connect the HCBP to the city’s water, electrical, and telecommunications infrastructure.

Folks from Guelph and Kitchener will be dropping off letters notifying them of the contentious history of the HCBP, and the associated environmental and social problems that have made it the highest profile environmental issue in the region.

Wednesday November 25, 2:30 – 4:30pm

Hanlon Expressway and Clair Road, the site of pending construction.

Come join concerned residents of Guelph as we hold an educational rally at the site of the next round of proposed construction. We will have a friendly presence, a press conference, and will offer informative flyers to drivers as they stop at red lights. Warm drinks, baked goods, banners, and good folks will be present. The more people the better!

We’ll meet at the Via station downtown on Carden St. at 2:30, and will have free rides.

These are not invitation only events. In the interests of cordial relations the mayor, councilors and city staff are being personally invited.

Thursday November 26, 11am – 2pm
Xterra Construction office, 934 Guelph St., Kitchener

This is the first large gathering of the week. We’ll be holding a demonstration at Xterra’s office, to follow up on the delivery of our letters. This is a non-confrontational rally that is an opportunity to demonstrate our strength in numbers. Come hear from allies upstream of us in Kitchener/Waterloo and other guest speakers, about connections between the HCBP and environmental issues throughout the Grand River watershed.

We’ll be meeting at the Via station on Carden St. at 11am, with free rides there and back. Tentative schedule is for the demo to start at approx 12 noon, and be back between 2-3.

Friday November 27, 12 noon – 1pm
City Hall, 1 Carden St.

Come down to city hall for free lunch and a noon hour concert and jamboree. Call it a hullabaloo, a hootenanny, or a kerfuffle, but be there.

Let’s have a great time and remind those at city hall that there are many people in this community who are concerned about this issue and it’s myriad connections to other issues, including protection of our drinking water and downstream communities, forest preservation, biodiversity, mismanagement of municipal finances, remediation of brownfields, colonialism , disproportionate impacts on Indigenous people, and more….

This will be another opportunity to learn about what’s going on locally and how to get involved in this ever-expanding community effort. Sidewalk chalk, street theatre, and ye olde town crier may all make an appearance.

And for the grand finale, Friday night there’s a dance party for the Hanlon Creek!

Friday November 27, 9pm – late
Guelph Googenheim, 29 Woolwich Street, below Gordon Taylor Music

Hanlon Creek Drum Ensemble: Drum and Dance fundraiser for the Hanlon Creek legal fees $5, with fees going to support the legal defence during and after the occupation of the HCBP.
9:00 pm – Drumming welcome, ft. Prince Bamidele Bajowa of the Nigerian Yoruba people. Guests encouraged to bring drums!
10:30 pm – Liason into the hype DJ set ft. Josh Cold Killbert, Sebastian Butt, Tigre$$, and Wolk.

More info about the lawsuit against the police:

On September 2, people visited the home of the owner of Drexler Construction, the construction company working on the summer’s culvert. A Drexler family member was read a letter encouraging them to drop the contract.

The next day, the City of Guelph announced they were canceling the culvert work for 2009. The day after, September 4, the police announced a “criminal investigation” into charges of intimidation, based on the letter to Drexler.

On September 9, Kelly and Julian Ichim held a press conference at the police station where they read the letter, admitted being there, and tried to turn themselves in to the police for their “investigation.” Their lawyer, Davin Charney, said that evening, “This, to me, seems like another example where the Guelph Police are taking on a political role rather than simply a law enforcement role.”

Even though the police were hyping up their investigation, and two people came to turn themselves in, the police didn’t want anything to do with them. Shortly after that, the two land defenders chose to begin the process of filing a lawsuit against the Guelph Police Services Board. Mayor Karen Farbridge and councilor Gloria Kovach are both members of this board.

The lawsuit is for $30,000 for each, including $10,000 for defamation, $10,000 for breach of their Charter rights and $10,000 in aggravated and punitive damages.

“The police are being used as a political tool to repress dissidents,” Julian said that day. Their lawyer said police “have shown contempt for freedom of expression and democracy.”

On October 1, the police dropped the “investigation,” saying there was no evidence to prove Kelly and Julian were involved.

Text of letter to Drexler
Guelph Mercury articles on the subject

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