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Simcoe couple launch protest

They're calling for government action to end blockade

Chris Thomas and Daniel Pearce
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.]

The first signs of protest over the native blockade and uprising in Caledonia have appeared in Simcoe.

Fed up with inaction by the provincial and federal governments -- and unable to go to work because of the blackout -- a Simcoe couple held up placards to passing cars along Norfolk Street North yesterday.
Ken and Lori Campbell stood at the curb across the road from McCall Crescent as motorists beeped and gave them the thumbs up.

“We’re not blaming anyone,” said Ken. “We’re not mad at the natives or the people of Caledonia. At least they’re sticking up for themselves.

“But the government should have done something a long time ago. McGuinty doesn’t even seem to recognize there’s a problem.”

Their signs read: “Let’s do something about our government. Let’s stand together, native or white, for all of Canada.” And: “Where is our government (McGuinty) when we need them?”

The Campbells are looking for other people to join them in their crusade to get government to put an end to the blockade, which is being blamed for the blackout across Simcoe that began Monday at 3 p.m.

“We’re hoping to get reinforcements,” Ken said, adding they expect to be back at the side of the road on Wednesday.

The couple are not the only ones looking for action to end the land claim dispute over a housing subdivision in the south end of Caledonia.

The problem, said downtown jeweller Mark Haskett, rests with the province because it “doesn’t have the intestinal fortitude to meet this head on.”

Instead, it has “given the side that opposes the OPP time to dig in, formulate plans, and get their battlefield stocked,” said Haskett, who slept in his storefront Monday night to dissuade looters.

Lawyer Anne Marie Stewart, who stopped at the Campbells’ protest, said the inaction of authorities over the Caledonia standoff sets a bad example to the public.

“It constitutes a lack of law and order,” she said. “Why obey the law or pay a speeding ticket? You just can’t pick or choose the laws we obey.

“It’s an outrage.”

The blackout has disrupted area court proceedings and forced the transfer of bail hearings from Simcoe to Cayuga, creating security issues for those in custody, she added.

“Those who had a little bit of support for the native cause, that’s lost for them,” said letter carrier Phil Poitras, citing the conversations he had with residents while delivering mail Tuesday morning.

Ken Campbell said he was warned of problems at Caledonia when he was confronted by a native bridge blockade in the Montreal area during the second week of April.

“They told us something would be happening here when I told them I was from this area,” he said.

The Campbells are weathering the blackout largely by cooking and heating with a wood stove. But he’s upset over the loss of wages and the prospect of their food spoiling.

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