Legal defense fund set up for Aamjiwnaang Idle No More activist
A legal defense fund has been set up on-line for the Aamjiwnaang activist who faces charges related to the Idle No More blockade of a CN Rail line.
Members of the First Nation set up a two-week blockade of a spur line leading into the Chemical Valley over Christmas. CN Rail moved quickly to get an injunction, but local police didn’t act on it immediately saying they preferred a peaceful resolution.
Ron Plain, the Chief of Aamjiwnaang, Chris Plain, and Sarnia Police Chief Phil Nelson were all named in a request for contempt charges by CN. After the blockade came down, all but Plain’s name was removed from the charges. “I’m the only one left…it’s absolutely be thrown under the train,” he says.
Plain says he faces legal bills of between $50,000 and $60,000 because of the action. There is also a possibility Plain would be forced to pay CN’s legal bills too, boosting the cost to the hundreds of thousands.
Supporters have launched an internet campaign at http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/330858 to make sure he can foot the bill.
So far, Plain says the response has been positive. “So far, the biggest question is ‘why isn’t your chief and council helping with this?’”
Plain has asked for his council’s financial support – the chief was one of the original protestors at the blockade – but has yet to get a response.
A call to Chief Plain to ask if council was considering providing legal funding had not been returned.
Ron Plain returns to court May 24.
– Heather Wright