HAMILTON – At least six people ended up in handcuffs following a disturbance in a Hamilton courthouse as 13 people charged after a blockade in June were to appear on trespassing charges.
Spectators were warned by the judge for clapping and making noise in the courtroom Wednesday afternoon and the disturbance erupted after the judge asked a woman was asked to leave.
There were several physical altercations involving police at the exit to the courtroom that resulted in several people being handcuffed and one of them dragged away by officers.
In June, Hamilton police arrested 18 protesters when they refused to leave a Hamilton-area Enbridge pumping station after the oil company obtained a court injunction.
A small group of protesters marched in downtown Hamilton on Wednesday to express their opposition to the reversal of oil flow in an Enbridge pipeline northwest of the city.
The group of about 50 people finished their march at the court where the 13 men and women — aged between 19 and 25 years old — were to appear on trespassing charges related to the June blockade.
A 23-year-old protester says the charge is “absolutely” worth “the health of our land and water” as well as social responsibility to surrounding communities.
Four protesters were charged with mischief and one other with breaking and entering with intent to commit mischief.
The blockade took place at the Line 9 pumping station in North Westover, about 30 kilometres northwest of Hamilton.
The protesters are opposing Enbridge’s plan to reverse the flow of oil in a stretch of pipeline from Sarnia, Ont., to Montreal fearing the move could lead to a possible breach.
Enbridge spokesman Graham White said the concern over a breach is unwarranted, as the oil in Line 9 is a processed grade of crude.