Sag­amok fa­ther holds fundraiser for sonÿs de­fense fund

The Mid-North Monitor - - News - LESLIE KNIBBS

On Jan. 27, Sag­amok res­i­dent Robert Stoney­point, fa­ther of 29-year-old Freddy Stoney­point, held a fundraiser at the Mil­len­nium Cen­tre in Sag­amok Anish­nawabek First Na­tion to sup­port his sonÿs le­gal de­fense fund to fight eight crim­i­nal charges he faces as a re­sult of his al­leged ac­tions in north­ern Que­bec in Au­gust of 2017. All charges are in­dictable of­fences un­der the Crim­i­nal Code.

The eight charges in­clude: con­spir­acy, break and en­ter into a non-dwelling prop­erty, mis­chief over $5,000, theft of equip­ment over $5,000 and, four charges of set­ting traps or de­vices to cause bod­ily harm or death.

Ac­cord­ing to Stoney­point, two of the lat­ter charges re­fer to a ´pile of rocks and some fire­works° at the site of the in­ci­dent.

At the time of the in­ci­dent, Stoney­point was liv­ing on the land and keep­ing a Sa­cred Fire in pro­tec­tion of land and wa­ter from Junex Cor­po­ra­tionÿs hy­draulic frack­ing op­er­a­tions in the Gaspé re­gion. Stoney­point was part of a group call­ing them­selves ´wa­ter pro­tec­tors.° The group had set up a block­ade on a road­way lead­ing to Galt 4 well in what is known to be tra­di­tional Miÿk­maq ter­ri­tory.

On Aug. 15, 2017, 11 days af­ter the group had es­tab­lished the block­ade, Stoney­point, act­ing as the fire­keeper of a sa­cred fire on the site was ar­rested by the S?reté du Québec (SQ) and charged with the crim­i­nal of­fences.

At the time of his ar­rest, oth­ers in­volved in the block­ade had left the area. Stoney­point was not present at the block­ade for the full du­ra­tion hav­ing ar­rived af­ter it was es­tab­lished on Aug. 6. The 29-year-old from Sag­amok was the only in­di­vid­ual ar­rested as a re­sult of the in­ci­dent near Galt 4 well.

On Aug. 15, 2017, 11 days af­ter the group had es­tab­lished the block­ade, Stoney­point, act­ing as the fire­keeper of a sa­cred fire on the site was ar­rested by the S?reté du Québec (SQ) and charged with the crim­i­nal of­fences.

At the time of his ar­rest, oth­ers in­volved in the block­ade had left the area. Stoney­point was not present at the block­ade for the full du­ra­tion hav­ing ar­rived af­ter it was es­tab­lished on Aug. 6. The 29-year-old from Sag­amok was the only in­di­vid­ual ar­rested as a re­sult of the in­ci­dent near Galt 4 well.

Ac­cord­ing to Stoney­point, his ar­rest ´was ex­tremely vi­o­lent and over-the-top con­sid­er­ing I was just one wa­ter pro­tec­tor tend­ing to a fire. There was a he­li­copter, around 50 mil­i­ta­rized SQ of­fi­cers storm­ing in from the sides of the moun­tain, and I heard that they even brought a tank to the base of the moun­tain. They pointed as­sault ri­fles in my face. One pressed their weapon on my face with so much force that it snapped my glasses in half. They were all white cops. I took a pretty hefty beat­ing, but Iÿm happy that I sur­vived to keep on fight­ing.°

A pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing in the Stoney­point case will take place on Feb. 28. It is not meant to de­ter­mine guilt or in­no­cence; at the hear­ing the court will de­cide if ev­i­dence sub­mit­ted by the Crown is suf­fi­cient to war­rant a trial of the ac­cused.

´Other than my bail hear­ings while in­car­cer­ated in New Carlisle Prison in so-called Que­bec, the only hear­ing I have had so far was back in Novem­ber. It was to re­quest a pre­lim­i­nary in­quiry to de­ter­mine whether a trial will be needed. The Crown granted this re­quest.°

Fol­low­ing his ar­rest, Stoney­point was in­car­cer­ated then taken to the Percé court­house in hand­cuffs where he made a brief first ap­pear­ance at which time the Crown op­posed his im­me­di­ate re­lease. Af­ter his first ap­pear­ance, Stoney­point was re­turned to a cell in New Carlisle Prison. Prior to his bail hear­ing, mem­bers of the wa­ter pro­tec­tors were able to ac­quire and sub­mit a let­ter of sup­port from Miÿk­maq hered­i­tary Chief Gary Me­talic for the ac­cused. The let­ter was handed over to the judge at the bail hear­ing. The fol­low­ing day Stoney­point was re­leased with con­di­tions.

PHOTO BY LESLIE KNIBBS/FOR THE MID-NORTH MON­I­TOR

Sup­port­ers were buy­ing bingo tick­ets from Robert Stoney­point at a fundraiser.

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