Six Nations Solidarity

News | Background | What you can do | Links 

Costs run high for protesters

Paul Legall
Hamilton Spectator
CALEDONIA (May 12, 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.]

Douglas Creek Estates has a population of about 100 native protesters.

It has become a community. And like a small village, it must now deal with the problems associated with running a small village from food and sanitation to medical services and security.

But it's proving more costly than Six Nations activists imagined when they first moved onto the 40-hectare site 74 days ago.

The numbers have grown steadily from the small core of protesters who began the occupation. There are now volunteers tending the barricades and patrolling the grounds 24 hours a day.

Although many return to their homes at night, there are also dozens of full-time campers living in commercial tents scattered over the area. There's also a steady stream of visitors and supporters from other reserves who have to be accommodated.

The first activists were able to keep the protest going by digging into their own pockets and with small donations from passersby. But the expenses mounted steadily with the influx of new supporters after the OPP raid three weeks ago. They're at the point they can no longer foot the bill themselves.

Like a small military encampment, the site has a nursing station and kitchen and staff. There's a full-time security detail with all-terrain vehicles and SUVs and full-time guards minding the barricades.

The Six Nations elected band council responded to the protesters' financial plight earlier this week by donating $10,000. They promised more financial support today.

Asked how much it will take to meet day-to-day expenses, spokeswoman Janie Jamieson replied: "We'll take all we can get."

She said the main expenses involve feeding about 100 people three meals a day. There are also the costs of two generators, gasoline for vehicles, renting portable toilets and keeping first-aid supplies well stocked.

Apart from the elected band council, protesters have also received $1,500 from two other reserves and a steady stream of donations including food and cash from non-natives who support their cause.

It's not unusual for total strangers to pull up to the barricade on Argyle Street South with a box of groceries or a tray of coffees. One day, while a Spectator reporter was standing at the barricade, an SUV with New Jersey plates pulled up with a load of groceries and supplies. The driver and his female passenger, originally from Ottawa, and both non-natives, said they'd visited the site once before and decided they wanted to help. On another occasion, a man with a box of groceries walked up and announced: "I've come bearing gifts from Ottawa."

Jamieson, who has been on the site since Day 1, said some of the protesters have also suffered financially and are having trouble paying their mortgages.

Asked whether lack of funds could scuttle the protest, Jamieson replied: "We have tremendous faith. It'll find a way to work itself out."

BackBack to updates

Back Top