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Tempers flare between protesters and area residents in Caledonia, Ont.

Canadian Press
June 5, 2006 - 1:16 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.]

CALEDONIA, Ont. (CP) - Tensions flared Sunday night in Caledonia, Ont., the community that was the subject of a hostile standoff between area residents and aboriginal protesters last month.

Groups of aboriginal protesters and area residents tangled briefly on the main street of the town in southern Ontario late Sunday. While news reports originally said that a blockade had gone up across the main street, witnesses said it was more of standoff between area residents and Six Nations protesters.

"At this point, I know that the OPP have temporarily blocked Argyle Street just to solve a little bit of a dispute," said Provincial police Sgt. Dave Rektor late Sunday, refusing to release further details.

The skirmish was apparently sparked after a provincial police car drove into an area considered restricted by the protesters from Six Nations.

One witness reported that a car was torched, but police refused to confirm the report, with Rektor saying only, "there were a few incidents we're looking at."

Rektor said that by around 1 a.m., the situation had calmed considerably and the crowd was dispersing.

A contentious aboriginal blockade on the main street in Caledonia was taken down in late May after negotiations by a provincially appointed mediator, former Ontario premier David Peterson.

The blockade developed after the aboriginal demonstrators began an occupation of a housing development in the community in February.

While they had taken down their main blockade the protesters kept up barriers on a highway bypass and a railway line in the area.

The Six Nations protesters say the subdivision was being built on land stolen from them more than 200 years ago.

The aboriginals concede they agreed to lease the property for a road in 1835, but dispute arguments that it was later sold to the Crown.

The escalation in tensions Sunday night came just hours ahead of a debate in the Ontario legislature.

Opposition Leader John Tory has called for an inquiry into the Liberal government's handling of the aboriginal occupation in Caledonia.

Tory has said a commission should be asked to find ways to prevent "ugly confrontations" when dealing with future land claim disputes in the province.

The occupation has also sparked legal action on a number of fronts.

Ontario Superior Court Justice David Marshall issued an injunction in March ordering the aboriginals off the land, and last week called the Ontario Provincial Police and the Ministry of the Attorney General to court to find out why the order wasn't being enforced.

He has also called on representatives of the federal attorney general and Indian affairs minister to appear before him.

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