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Townsfolk lose their cool

OPP break up shouting match between residents, native woman

Dan Nolan
Hamilton Spectator
CALEDONIA (May 6, 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.]

Tempers flared at a town rally held last night to protest the closure of two main roads by native protesters.

It was the second large rally in a week staged by townsfolk to show their displeasure of the blockades on Argyle Street South and the Highway 6 bypass.

More than 400 people gathered just north of the Argyle Street blockade, separated from the protesters by dozens of OPP officers. The crowd was largely peaceful and a few waved signs.

A disturbance broke out just before 9 p.m. when Diana Doxtdator, an Ohsweken librarian, engaged in a debate with some townspeople over the blockade, including a member of the newly formed group Caledonia Resistance.

She took issue with townspeople calling themselves victims. "Can't you see we're fighting for the same issue," Doxtdator said, referring to the blockade and getting governments to move on land claims.

"Can't you see it brought the issue to a head. The only way to get this solved and for it to stay in the media is to have the blockade."

Her comments were immediately met with anger by some rally participants, who shouted her down in the glare of television camera lights.

One resident, Jim Smith, stood toe to toe with Doxtdator and berated her. "What gives you the right to block our road?" he hollered. "Our businesses are failing. What are you going to do about it?"

OPP officers finally moved in, but they were berated and more shouting matches erupted. "Why are you letting her come over here?" one woman yelled. "Send her back over."

Doxtdator finally agreed to an OPP request to leave and was escorted away from the crowd.

Marion Rice, a member of Caledonia Resistance, said the rally was organized not to target native protesters but to continue to show governments that townspeople are upset at the way governments have dealt with the blockade.

Earlier in the evening, two members of the Toronto local of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers were turned away by police. They had been headed over to the native side of the blockade.

They left holding their yellow CUPW flags and a few townspeople sent them on their way with blistering comments.

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