ARWEN Less Lethal

Demonstration continues following arrest of protesters in Caledonia

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CTV News

KITCHENER — Provincial police are advising drivers to continue to avoid two sections of Highway 6 in Caledonia as protests continue for a second day.

Protesters returned to the site the day after some were arrested by OPP on Wednesday.

Haldimand County OPP tweeted on Thursday that Highway 6 between Fourth Line and Greens Road is closed. Argyle Street North is also closed between Highway 6 and Braemar Avenue.

This comes after officers arrested protesters who were occupying a residential development site in Caledonia on Wednesday after they allegedly started throwing rocks at officers.

“For their personal safety, OPP members were required to use appropriate, non-lethal force in response,” Const. Rod LeClair said in an email.

“A single ARWEN device (rubber bullet) was deployed, and no injuries were sustained by demonstrators.”

The OPP said they were called in to enforce a court injunction. Police said the injunction was read and delivered to the protesters on Friday, July 31.

On Wednesday, officers came to the site and “assisted with enforcement of the court injunction.”

The demonstration is at the Mckenzie Meadows residential development site in Caledonia.

Police said nine people were arrested at the site because they “failed to comply with the court injunction.” They have since been released.

“The OPP took a measured, professional and safe approach while assisting with enforcement of the court injunction. Minimal use of force was required to affect arrests,” an emailed statement from the OPP said in part.

Protesters had moved to Argyle Street North on Wednesday afternoon, where there were some tires on fire.

Police said they followed the court-endorsed Framework for Police Preparedness for Indigenous Critical Incidents, which aims at using dialogue for a peaceful resolution.

Haldimand County Council said it first heard about the protest at Mckenzie Meadows on July 19. Construction work stopped as a result, council said in an update on its website.

“Haldimand County Council stands with the developer, Foxgate Developments Inc., and Six Nations of the Grand River, who have a pre-established agreement regarding the development lands. Given that all proper approval processes have been followed and the rule of law has been disrupted by illegal activity,  council urges the Ontario Provincial Police – Haldimand County Detachment to enforce the law and take all necessary actions to end the occupation,” the statement on the website said in part.

In an emailed statement to CTV News Kitchener, Losani Homes, the company developing the property, said Wednesday’s events will allow them to “re-commence construction activities and deliver our products to the 180 families patiently waiting for their homes.”

Officials said they will provide more information as it becomes available.

This is a developing news story. More information will be added as it becomes available.

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