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Peterson blasts both sides

Clashes 'snatch defeat from jaws of victory,' ex-premier says

Richard Brennan - GTA Bureau Chief
Toronto Star
May 23, 2006. 10:26 AM

[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.]

BRANTFORD - A fragile peace between Caledonia residents and Six Nation protestors was shattered by thoughtless thugs on both sides, former Ontario premier David Peterson said today.

In an exclusive interview with the Toronto Star, Peterson, who was appointed by the province to mediate the land dispute, said he was disheartened by the melee that erupted Monday between the two sides.

"I am deeply saddened that someone for whatever reason would snatch defeat from the jaws of victory," he said. Peterson spoke over breakfast at a Brantford hotel where he was planning his strategy to salvage a deal and persuade natives to once again remove a blockade from the Highway 6 bypass skirting Caledonia.

There was little activity at the barricades early today, but there was an additional irritant for residents of the area as a power outage hit the region Monday and left thousands in darkness.

Hydro One spokeswoman Laura Cooke blamed vandalism to the local power transformer for the outage and said it will likely be days before full service is restored.

The power outage has forced school boards serving Caledonia, Simcoe and Waterdown to close 17 schools.

Today, Peterson lamented the deal that almost was.

"The great tragedy was that all of this was solved at 10 a.m. yesterday. The road was all clear...but then some local residents decided for whatever reason put up their own blockade and then someone else (reported to be a native) tried to drive through it and then there was an altercation. That was the spark," Peterson said.

The former Liberal premier said as a result there was a "mob scene with mob rules and people screaming about politicians, the media and at each other."

"This is the worst I have ever seen by quite a large measure," he said.

“This fragile entente was shattered by thoughtless thuggist behaviour by a few...I can't imagine why someone would be so stupid."

Peterson said he was not giving up finding a resolution, although he conceded it has not been easy "because no one speaks for anyone.

"No one speaks for Caledonia and no one person speaks for the Six Nations...It can be frustrating."

With files from Canadian Press

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