Parker lands protesters seek legal defence fund
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 16/10/2017 (1982 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The protesters who occupied the Parker lands for two months in an attempt to block development and save the forest are setting up a legal defence fund, saying 49 of them are being sued for more than $500,000 by the developer.
“Although the developer has possession of the land and has already destroyed most of the forest and wetlands on it, it continues to pursue these individuals for significant damage,” a press release from the group said.
They are asking supporters to donate to their legal fund and apply pressure on the developer to withdraw the lawsuit. They had been on the 45-acre Fort Garry property since mid-July to oppose the deforestation of the Parker lands.
Local developer Andrew Marquess and his company, Gem Equities Inc., had asked for the court order to remove the protesters. The Court of Queen’s Bench ruled they were breaking the law by camping on private land and set a Sept. 15 deadline for them to leave, which they obeyed.
Marquess, the legal owner of the wetlands, has said the actions of the protesters have resulted in a loss of revenue and hurt his business relationships with contractors.
The defendants — who include students, retirees, Indigenous land defenders, low-income workers and environmentalists — say this case has “very important implications for ecological justice and Indigenous rights advocates across the country.” The Parker wetlands had long been used as place to walk, meditate and relax, and was once designated by the city as a ecologically sensitive natural heritage area, the group said in its news release.
The occupation of the property this summer was called the Rooster Town Blockade named after the nearby Métis community called Rooster Town that was expropriated and demolished in 1960 to build Grant Park Mall.
Gem Equities gained ownership of the Parker Wetlands in a 2009 land swap with the City of Winnipeg.
Updated on Monday, October 16, 2017 9:05 PM CDT: Updated