After 62 days in jail, Shawn Brant has finally been released from custody! Shawn was being held on trumped up charges alleging he had assaulted a white local businessman during recent road blockades aimed at stopping a development planned on stolen Mohawk land. The blockades succeeded in convincing the developer to back off.
Charges arose when eager OPP officers learned that Shawn had challenged two racist locals (the LaLondes) when they attacked a small group of mainly Mohawk women and children. LaLonde flew into a rage when he was turned back at the roadblock, wielding a bat at protesters, and hitting a woman with his car. Although Mohawks called 911 the police never laid any charges against Lalonde.
Instead they focused in on Shawn, who had come upon the scene and demanded that the attackers leave. Shawn was arrested and held in pre-trial custody. His trial began yesterday when he was released as part of a plea bargain.
The trial was proceeding extremely well and a plea was brokered. Shawn pled guilty to possession of a dangerous weapon (his fishing spear) and breaching the conditions of his previous release. He was cleared of the assault charge. If the trial had proceeded he may well have been found innocent of all charges–however, given that the courts can’t be trusted to do justice and Shawn has already served over two months away from his children including his infant son he decided to take the plea.
Shawn was released on time served. The Crown will not seek to revoke his previous bail. He will also serve 12 months probation on terms similar to his already existing conditions.
Resistance continues in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, despite the repression. The quarry reclamation is holding strong and people continue to meet and organize around the Longhouse, the traditional site of Mohawk governance.