Six Nations Solidarity

News | Background | What you can do | Links 

Caledonia standoff enters 57th day after angry rally ends in arrest

CBC News:
Last Updated Tue, 25 Apr 2006 05:44:34 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.]

Barricades stayed up and tensions remained high Tuesday morning in Caledonia, Ont., as a native blockade entered its 57th day.

On Monday night, about 500 residents of Caledonia, Ont., let their frustrations boil over when they confronted police and native protesters at a blockade in the town.

The residents held a rally earlier in the evening, calling on authorities to end the seven-week-old native demonstration at a housing development in Caledonia, which is about an hour west of Toronto.

There are plans to build 250 homes on the 40-hectare site, which the natives say is on their land.

At the meeting, about 3,000 non-native residents voiced their mounting frustration over the blockade.

"As Caledonians we feel that we have had our lives disrupted," one angry man said.

"I have six-year-olds who are terrified to come home and sleep at night," a woman yelled.

Some said they understood that police were on hand to keep the peace, but they felt let down by government efforts to end the dispute.

"Our politicians are hiding," another man said, "and it makes me sick."

Then some in the crowd started heading toward the barricade, but a line of about 100 police officers kept them at bay.

Still, the demonstrators released their anger by smashing a police vehicle. One resident was arrested.

Site occupied 2 months

The native demonstrators, mostly members of the nearby Six Nations reserve, first occupied the site on Feb. 28 to stop construction of the housing project by Henco Industries on land they say was stolen from the Six Nations more than 200 years ago.

The province says aboriginals gave up the land in 1841 to make way for a new highway, an agreement a Six Nations spokesperson said was only meant to be a lease.

Six Nations filed a land-claim suit over the area in 1999.

Last Thursday, police moved in to try to end the protest, but failed when hundreds of people from the reserve arrived to bolster the blockade.

Sixteen people were arrested and later released on bail. The blockade was not removed.

However, the police action spurred talks between native leaders and provincial and federal officials. The sides met for about five hours Saturday night following a 19-hour marathon Friday in a bid to end the standoff.

BackBack to updates

Back Top