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Peace returns to the street following Monday's mayhem

Karen Best - Haldimand Review staff
Haldimand Review
Local News - Thursday, May 25, 2006 @ 09:00

[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 - Wearing a feather headdress, Mohawk Mike Laughing escorted Jim Meyer who was carrying a lilac branch. When it was placed before a crowd of Haldimand residents, a Caledonia leader picked it up. On May 23, the town was on its road to peace, something that seemed impossible 17 hours earlier.

“They came forward and pledged a sign of peace and asked us to do the same,” said Ken Hewitt, who was one of the residents involved in community to community negotiations. “If we open ours(the blockade), they’ll open theirs.”

After the offer was accepted, Steven McBride urged residents to move off the street as a goodwill gesture. One man seemed intent to stay his ground but he too soon joined county residents and media on the gravel shoulders of the street.

This shows the community is working together, said Hewitt. He, Ralph Luimes, Jason Clark and Don Bowman were key community leaders involved in developing the accord with Six Nations citizens.

Hewitt recognized the tremendous effort shown in their demonstration of peace. He looked forward to the healing of the rift between the communities.

On May 22, discord erupted because there was no leadership on either side, said Hewitt. After a confrontation with county residents, natives used a hydro tower as a new barricade. “Calm heads have prevailed. They have as much at stake as we do,” he said about events on May 23.

At 2 p.m., a backhoe began towing the hydro tower down the road and then positioned it at the mouth of Surrey Street where the subdivision occupation began on Feb. 28. Then Bowman and Clark escorted two natives in a silver Cadillac through the Caledonia line.

Watching, Kevin said this makes Caledonia stand head and shoulders above Oka and Ipperwash. A nearby woman said Caledonia can do this. She always supported the natives but became very angry over the destruction on April 20.

“There are different attitudes today,” observed Marilyn McCurdy. “Everybody’s prepared and wants to see it.”

Meanwhile Six Nations residents hauled away chunks of asphalt from the damaged street and poured in a load of gravel into the hole.

Later Six Nations spokespersons Janie Jamieson and Hazel Hill addressed media. Safety is the biggest concern especially with the terrorism and racism shown by some individuals, said Hill. Despite this, the barricade was removed. “We trust ourselves, our laws and the delegates working on it (the land claim and road block issues),” she continued.

She reported a lot of support in Caledonia and said her people will not leave the subdivision.

Last week, the natives consolidated their camp near houses standing on the property. They constructed a road off Sixth Line, which leads into the reserve.

When asked if the barricade would go back up again, Jamieson said they’ll see what happens in town and where the government takes the land claim issue. When natives concede, they are walked on and when they assert their land rights people will be upset, she added.

“What happened yesterday is a good portrayal of what’s under the surface in Ontario,”she noted. The government is not listening to concerns from both Six Nations and the county, she continued. “They (county property owners) have been given bogus land titles,” she said.

The Highway 6 bypass and rail line blockades are under discussion. “We upheld our end of the deal as we always have through history,”said Jamieson.

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