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Rain dampens protest

Six Nations activists enjoy quiet day after tense confrontation

John Burman
The Hamilton Spectator
CALEDONIA (Apr 1, 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.]

Native protesters occupying a partially completed subdivision had a day of rest and rain.

About two dozen protesters camped at the entrances to the Douglas Creek Estates development sheltered under tents and tarps as rain poured down yesterday afternoon.

Every 45 minutes or so, 200 metres up a hill to the west of the site on Argyle Street, the Ontario Provincial Police rotated a lone cruiser assigned to watch the site.

The day was quiet compared to the tense confrontation Thursday when Sheriff John Dawson came to the site to read the latest version of a contempt order to evict the natives from the site.

Last night, a counter eviction order that Six Nations activist Jeff Hawk tried to serve on the sheriff still lay on the ground where Dawson left it the day before. In it, Hawk accused the authorities of a myriad of crimes against aboriginal people, including genocide.

Hawk had ordered the sheriff to read it first before the contempt order, saying it superseded any order of the provincial courts.

Throughout the day yesterday, the majority of passing traffic, from tractor-trailers to garbage trucks and school buses honked and waved in support.

That didn't surprise Michael Laughing, 40, from the Akwesasne Reserve at Cornwall.

"Many of the community neighbouring our land support us," Laughing said.

"When I go into Caledonia to do my laundry, the people there say to me, 'It is about time you stood up for your rights.'

"I have to agree."

Laughing said about 3 per cent of the vehicles passing the site make a rude gesture or shout obscenities.

"But most people are supportive, maybe sympathetic. I think they know the people are right. They know the people are firm in their hearts."

After the rain stopped, the sun burst through with a spectacular sunset almost as red as the Warriors flags flying over the site. People began arriving at the site with families. Laughing said they'd come for the campfire, the singing.

He said they'd come to bring their children in touch with their heritage, to teach them it is right to stand up for what you believe in.

Yesterday morning, a crew of protesters went out along the shoulders of Argyle Street picking up any litter they could find on both sides of the road in the area.

That, said Laughing, is because they respect the land and don't litter.

Nevertheless, the protesters kept a wary eye on the police and, for their part, the police cruised by occasionally to have a look.

The protesters can be removed from the site at any time under a contempt of court order issued March 17 and subsequently revised this week to clarify ambiguities.

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