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Hydro vandalism

"We don't know who did it": Protester

Kate Schwass
Simcoe Reformer
Wednesday, May 24, 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 – Native protesters say they did not plan to knock out power to communities in Haldimand and Norfolk counties.

“That was not the kind of attention we wanted to draw,” protester Skyler Williams said yesterday afternoon. “It’s frustrating for all of us. My family on the reserve is out of power too.”

Williams, 22, said he had no idea who is responsible for the power outage.

“We still don’t know who did it,” Williams said. “We’re investigating internally and we’re trying to figure it out, who did it.”

The native protesters allowed a Simcoe Reformer reporter into the Douglas Creek Estates subdivision where natives have been protesting since February over a land claims dispute. More than 60 people stood around a bonfire and discussed their frustration. Nearby hamburgers and hotdogs were cooking on a barbecue. There were four generators on site and a first aid trailer. In front of several finished homes in the subdivision, cars and trucks were parked on front yards. Protesters were seen walking in and around the homes.

Trevor Miller, 30, said they are getting mixed reactions from drivers.

“Some, they drive by and give us the finger. Others honk their horns in support,” he said.

When asked when the barricade at the Highway 6 bypass would be taken down, both Miller and Williams said, “no comment.”

Monday afternoon, town residents and native protesters clashed at another barricade – on Argyle Street. Riot police later separated the two sides.

Last night, Haldimand OPP Const. Paula Wright said police were still on alert.

“This is a very complex situation,” she said. “We are always fully aware of the situation we’re in and we will continue to provide public safety and order for both communities.”

Watching from the Canadian Tire parking lot, Caledonia residents Kathryn Yager and Brent Power were happy to see the Argyle Street blockade dismantled.

Power doesn’t believe native protesters knocked out hydro on purpose, but he still wasn’t happy about it.

“The only time I got mad was when I realized the fridge I keep my insulin in had defrosted,” he said. “You’ve got to think they didn’t mean to do it because the reserve lost power too.”

Williams said he hopes residents in communities that lost power won’t just lay blame and will understand it was never meant to happen.

“This wasn’t meant to be anything against anyone. This wasn’t personal or against any town,” he said. “The only thing we wanted to get out of this is to be heard by the government.”

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