Six Nations Solidarity
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MNN Mohawk Nation News
MNN. May 23, 2006. At 6:00 am May 22nd, "Bread and Cheese Day", the Six Nations people removed the barricade on Argyle Street in Caledonia as a gesture of goodwill. What ensued is being called, the "Bread and Cheese Fight". It was the 83rd day of the reclamation of Six Nations land and the stopping of construction of a housing project of Henco Developers. Talks aimed at resolving the situation were scheduled to continue. Let's not be fooled. What followed was part of somebody's plan. It's clear that professional instigators played a role in the rioting. David Peterson's tactics created fuel for the flames.
The rioters were to arrive with about a dozen instigators and outsiders. Several savvy observers counted and this is what they saw. Our sources have consulted with genuine "Caledonians" and confirmed that the most active rioters were people they had not seen before. The rioters were supposed to find the native barricade still up. We think they are pro' instigators because we've seen the same kind of faces before. In particular the main rabble rouser looked like a 50 year old cop. He was surrounded by guys made to look like "skin heads" [as if skin heads are still around. As if they lived in a nice rural community like Caledonia]. A short guy with sun glasses who was punching a cop was recognized by a native viewer. She said he is the spitting image of a guy high up in the KKK. We've also seen the m.o. before. The police routinely function to get the "rabble" to do their dirty work.
Then they were to make a ruckus and start attacks on the Six Nations people. The uniformed OPP were to just stand there and watch, pretending to be neutral. Then it would turn into a melee. Then the crowd was supposed to turn on the cops for not letting them get at the Indians. A few cops would get hurt. Then there would be an excuse to bring in the riot police conveniently stationed nearby. Many would be arrested, native and non-native. The non-native would be released and we would never know who they were. The natives would be charged. All this we've witnessed before.
The planners got it wrong this time. The Six Nations did open the road. When the non-native rioters arrived, they found the street open. This threw their plans out the window. There was no obstacle to overcome. So they set up their own barricade so they could find a target. When a car carrying native people came along, they attacked it. When people from the site came to help, they attacked them. What ensued was not a confrontation between the native and non-native people. It was a planned attack on the native people. When the native people started defending themselves, the corporate media got the photos they wanted. Images that make the natives look like the aggressors are plastered all over the media today. They also have Caledonians saying things like, "Bring in the army", "This is terrorism" and "Dissolve both sides and everybody should go home". Even the power outage was part of the scheme to create what was to look like chaos between native and non-native. Are there any real journalists left in corporate media in Canada who will report the truth?
During the riots David Peterson, the so-called "negotiator", arrived on the scene. The native people were polite. He went over to the non-native rioters and got pushed around. It was all a show. Then Peterson said, "The government wants the Caledonian and the Six Nations people to be in solidarity". He said he was against all the people who used force to make everything generate into chaos. Who used force? It was clearly the non-native side. His most telling remark was, "The talks may not go on" [he hopes]. This is what the whole display was all about - to stop the talks and to distract attention from the validity of the Six Nations claim.
If you were to dig deep to find the underlying interests that are served by stopping the talks, you would hit the hard rock of corporate greed. What is happening in Six Nations right now is not just about a piece of land on the Grand River. It's about all native rights to land and resources in Canada. It will set the tone for the treatment of Indigenous rights in every other part of the country. Big business absolutely does not want Canada to start respecting Indigenous rights. They had a real problem a few years ago when Justice Thomas Berger's Report on the McKenzie Valley Pipeline raised public awareness of the relationship between environmental issues and Indigenous rights. The Berger Report is almost forgotten. The McKenzie Valley pipeline is on the negotiating table again. Corporate interests do not want to suffer another Berger type setback caused by a bunch of do-gooder Canadians who think they want to live in a clean and healthy world.
Affirmation of the Six Nations right to the Grand River land could mean the end of their reign of environmental destruction and dissolution of their illegal colonial system. What happened at Six Nations yesterday is a small distraction. We don't know who Peterson's clients are when he's not at Six Nations. We do know that he is aware of the corporate interests served by the denial of Indigenous rights. We also know that he's been double dealing telling Caledonians that Ontario has no intention of returning land to the Six Nations while assuring Six Nations people that Ontario would formally recognize our title.
Once we realized this, we knew that Peterson did not really want the talks to go on even though he sounds conciliatory in public, especially when he talks to the media. He put on a different face during the meetings with the Six Nations. He sat there with a surly expression the whole time. This is a man who is not happy when things do not go his way.
Said a Mohawk about what's going on, "You can't steal land. You can't put it into your pocket and walk away with it. You can only illegally occupy it".
Another commented, "They lost the argument about the land. When a baby doesn't get its way, they start busting everything. That's what they did yesterday. The media has not been telling the public or the people of Caledonia the truth". There is no real difference between the people of Caledonia and the people of Six Nations. All agree they want to live peacefully. Let's hope people don't get distracted from this goal by outside instigators who don't care spit about the people of Caledonia or Indigenous people. The real Caledonians and the Six Nations people do not want to hurt anybody. The Caledonians threw bricks of cheese at the Six Nations who threw it back at them. Maybe this can be reenacted every year after this.
Could the 'Bread and Cheese Fight' have been avoided? Not when there's so much corporate "greed" at stake.