"Hey. I haven't heard any more news but over the weekend, 28 Navajo
were arrested in Ontario and put in a 48-hour detention for being
"suspected terrorists..." Aside from being absurd, it's interesting to
note that a couple weeks ago Canada heroically stepped forward saying
indigenous people should be allowed to freely cross the US/CAN
border... but I have to wonder now, is it so they can arrest them all?"
A group of nomadic Navajo Indians en route to support the aboriginal
quarry protest near Deseronto have been arrested, says a member
currently at the quarry.
Twenty-eight members of the tribe, an offshoot of the Navajo, were on
their way to Deseronto in nine vehicles with 10 horses in tow to show
support and respect for a group of Tyendinaga Mohawks, said Spata
Desareau, 64, a member of the tribe. They travelled across western
Canada without incident, but once in Ontario, were stopped by law
enforcement three times - Wawa, Sault St. Marie and finally Kaladar,
where they were taken into police custody Sunday, he said. "They're
saying they're a political organization, which is a way of saying
they're a terrorist organization," said Desareau of the
group ranging in age from two to 72. "I could understand if it was all
warriors coming for a demonstration, but it wasn't."
The nomadic group travels the desert from Arizona to the southernmost
part of British Columbia, their starting point in a week-long journey
to Deseronto, he said. They were coming "to honour (protest leader
Shawn Brant) and the people that live here. In western Canada, we have
reserves that are very poverty stricken. There are third-world
Desareau, who had cellphone contact with the group, said he believes
they were taken into custody by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to
the Kingston detachment, where he heard they will be held for 48
hours. They were stopped on Highway 41, he said.
It didn't ring any bells for OPP Sgt. Scott McRae, who said if the
group was on Highway 41, the OPP would be policing it.
"I've been here all weekend and it's been very peaceful in that area,"
he said. "We don't know anything about it."
No one from the RCMP could be reached for comment Sunday.
The group was unarmed, said Desareau, who didn't believe they would be
held a full 48 hours. But it upsets him that they were stopped.
"I don't believe they have a right to do that," he said. "They broke
no laws other than that they're native."
Under Canada's Anti-Terrorism Act, revised after the Sept. 11 attacks
of 2001, 48 hours is the length of time a suspected terrorist can be
arrested and detained without a warrant.