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Protesters appear to start dismantling barricade in Caledonia, Ont.

Gregory Bonnell
Canadian Press
Tuesday, May 23, 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.]

CALEDONIA, Ont. (CP) - There were more promising signs Tuesday that aboriginal protesters were preparing to remove a new barricade erected over the weekend in a protest that has sharply divided the community for several weeks.

A backhoe removed debris as protesters could be seen removing plywood sheeting from a chunk of a fallen hydro tower being used as a roadblock. Speculation in the community suggested the barricade would be completely removed some time later in the day.

Violence erupted at the protest site Monday as frustrated non-aboriginal area residents lashed out at aboriginal protesters, who have occupied the disputed lands since late February. The new barricade was raised just hours after the original roadblock was removed.

Diane McCormack, a spokesperson for area residents, said she spoke to some aboriginal women early Tuesday and they assured her the barricade would be taken down.

A power outage hit the region Monday and left thousands of homes and businesses in darkness.

Hydro One spokeswoman Laura Cooke said about 4,000 customers were waiting for restored power after vandals caused "extensive damage" Monday to a power transformer station.

She said it was difficult to say how many customers were affected because some receive electricity from private firms.

Cooke said it may be days before full service is restored.

The power outage forced several school boards serving the area southwest of Hamilton to close 17 schools.

Speaking in Ottawa, Premier Dalton McGuinty said the province and Ottawa have a shared responsibility to help the community.

"It's one of those things that if I had a magic wand, I'd wave it, and we'd be out of this overnight," McGuinty said. "We continue to believe that the best approach for us to bring is one which will result in a resolution as a result of negotiation."

In Saskatchewan, more than 30 aboriginal protesters blocked traffic on the Yellowhead Highway near North Battleford for several hours Monday as a show of solidarity for the Caledonia occupation.

Conservative Leader John Tory, speaking from Caledonia, said the frustrations are the result of people in the community on both sides of the barricades feeling ignored by their political leaders.

"These people feel no one has communicated with them, they don't really feel that there has been the kind of attempt to listen to them on all fronts that there should have been," he said.

"I think they're right."

Aboriginal demonstrators began blockading a major road last month when police attempted to forcibly end the occupation of the 40-hectare piece of land.

The Six Nations protesters say a new development in the area is being built on land stolen from them more than 200 years ago. Six Nations concede they agreed to lease the property for a road in 1835, but dispute arguments that it was later sold to the Crown.

Ken Hewitt of the Caledonia Citizens Alliance said Tuesday government action was wanted.

"What they're (residents) looking for is definitive action from the government," Hewitt said. "They want to these lawless people off the road."

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