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Violence escalates in Caledonia in aftermath of police raid on housing occupation

Hamilton Spectator
Thursday, April 20, 2006 | Updated at 9:51 PM EDT

[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.]

Photos -- A bridge over a railway in Caledonia burns as unrest continued into the evening; Native protesters and supporters block Argyle Street, in Caledonia. Several flags, from the Steelworkers Local 1005 were part of the protest.

CALEDONIA -- A wooden bridge over a railway was detroyed by fire, and Native protesters earlier pushed a van off an overpass on Highway 6 in Caledonia in the escalating aftermath of a police raid on a housing development occupation earlier today.

Police arrived at 5 a.m. this morning with cruisers, rented vans, tear gas cannons, and Tasers at ready, according to a Mrs. Hill who contacted The Hamilton Spectator as the sweep was taking place. Twelve people were arrested.

Other eyewitnesses said protesters were pepper-sprayed as police approached the barricade in darkness.

In the events that unfolded over the morning (see the timeline here on southbound traffic through Caledonia is halted. A dump truck was moved on to Argyle Street by protesters and it is blocking the main street through the community. Highway 6, which bypasses Caledonia, is also closed because debris is burning on this busy stretch of road.

Notre Dame school in Caledonia has been closed at the request of police.

When police swept through the housing development this morning between 4:30 a.m., and 5 a.m. they made 12 arrests police and left the scene mid morning. At that point, more protesters moved in. They had slipped behind police lines on Six Nations land.

Norma General, a Six Nations safekeeper in the longhouse, arrived at police barricades at Argyle Street in a flood of tears.

"They came here and raided our village. They always come when no one is aware."

Her son was there and she thinks he has been arrested.

"I'm angry. The chiefs were working with the federal government and they still did this. There was peace in our hearts but they just dragged them away," said General.

Tensions rose on Tuesday after talks to end the dispute apparently broke down.

A judge granted an injunction in March to remove the occupiers, but police did not enforce it until day 52 of the occupation.

-- with files from Marissa Nelson and Paul Legall

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