Police shut down solidarity camp in Regina
- EFN Staff | June 15, 2018
Before 5am this morning, campers at the “Justice for Our Children” camp had a rude awakening from the Regina Police Service (RPS) and Capital Commission officials. The peaceful campers watched as their campsite was dismantled and their personal belongings were bagged by officials.
Richelle Dubois, who was one of the camp organizers along with Colonialism No More, said they complied to the request of the officials so they remained peaceful.
“The RPS rolled up in the front and the back [of the camp] and woke up the campers and proceeded to take down the tents,” she said. “We are peaceful so we took down some of the tents…they did give us 48 hours for the sacred fire and the tipi.”
Some of the campers wandered on the empty lawn staring at the tent rings where they made their temporary homes in front of the Saskatchewan Legislative Building in Regina. The camp was first set up on February 28th in response to the acquittals of Gerald Stanley and Raymond Cormier, who were accused in the deaths of Colten Boushie and Tina Fontaine respectively.
On May 24th, the camp woke up to an eviction notice on one of the trees near their campsite.
The Justice for Our Children campers requested a meeting with the provincial government leadership but nothing has been done yet, said Dubois.
“That did not happen. They just refused to meet with us,” she said. “Only time will tell. We’re taking everything hour by hour right now.”
Gaylene Henry, Dubois’ cousin, has been with the camp from the beginning and said the rude awakening was something they all didn’t expect.
“I was woken up by [another camper] and she told me what was going on,” said Henry. “By the time I got out of the tent, they already had us surrounded with trucks and had started taking down the structures and tents down.”
Henry said she and the other campers understood the officials had to do their job so they allowed the dismantlement happen without interrupting them. They continued to stick by their protest mandate to remain peaceful.
“We let them do their job. It was cordial,” said Henry. “It reminded me of a military exercise because it happened so fast and it was coordinated.”
RPS and Capital Commission officials gave the campers until 12pm on Sunday to put out the sacred fire and take down the tipi which will house the remaining campers, including Debbie Baptiste – late Boushie’s mother.