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Defiant protester stands firm

'I believe what I'm doing is right,' says native at development blockade

Paul Legall
The Hamilton Spectator
Caledonia (Mar 9, 2006)

[SISIS note: The following mainstream news article is provided for reference only, as an example of how mainstream media treats indigenous resistance to genocide. Mainstream media often presents biased and distorted information, lacking pertinent facts and/or context. Inclusion of this article on our site should not be considered an endorsement by SISIS.]

Floyd Montour is willing to be arrested today rather than surrender the land he and fellow native protesters have been occupying for more than a week.

A court injunction ordering them off the site, which police are expected to enforce this morning, did little to dampen his resolve as he stood by barricades at the entrance of Douglas Creek Estates yesterday.

"Why not?" he replied when asked whether he was willing to be arrested. "I believe what I'm doing is right. I wouldn't be here if I didn't. It's the first time I've taken a big interest (in land claims issues)."

Montour is among a group of Six Nations residents who took over the partially constructed subdivision on Feb. 28 and strung a large banner between lamp posts at the Argyle Street entrance proclaiming, "Six Nations Land." They also erected barricades stopping non-natives from entering the subdivision.

Describing the action as a "land reclamation," the protesters say the subdivision is on land that was stolen from the Six Nations reserve.

As a result of the action, all work stopped on the site, which had 10 houses in various stages of construction. Six were sold.

Last week, Don Henning, a principle in Henco Industries, obtained an injunction ordering the natives off the land. It was served to protesters on Sunday and gave them until 10 a.m. today to clear the site.

In an affidavit to obtain the injunction, Henning told the court he has pumped $6 million into the development and his company has $2 million on the property. He said the blockade has prevented about 75 workers from completing their work.

"Henco will suffer irreparable damages if the injunction is not granted, including...loss of confidence in the market place," he stated. "I have spoken to the OPP in an attempt to persuade them to remove the individuals, vehicles and barricades."

He added the police advised him to go to court to obtain an injunction and told him "they will carry out whatever action necessary to enforce the terms of the order."

Native protesters say the injunction has no power over the disputed land which they feel falls within federal law.

Last week, native spokesperson Dawn Smith asked Toby Barrett, Haldimand-Norfolk-Brant MPP, to relay their concerns to the federal government.

Barrett dropped by the occupation site yesterday with a copy of a letter he was forwarding to Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Jim Prentice. Barrett told reporters the blockade was being discussed by Prentice and other federal officials but he had no details.

There was no sense of urgency or panic among about a dozen protesters milling about the site yesterday afternoon.

At the barricade, protesters had posted a chilling reminder of Ipperwash occupation that resulted in the death of native protester Dudley George in 1995.

There was a news clipping about former OPP officer Ken Deane, 45, who was killed in a car accident two weeks ago. He fatally shot George at Ipperwash and was the third OPP officer involved in the Ipperwash occupation to die in car accidents since 2000.

"The medicine is getting stronger. I'm referring to the three OPP who got killed," Montour said as he leaned against the barricade.

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