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'All hell broke loose' again in Caledonia

Jeff Gray, with a report from Canadian Press
Globe & Mail
Posted on 05/06/06

[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.]

Tensions rose at the native blockade in Caledonia, Ont., last night after an OPP cruiser apparently mistakenly entered an area that native protesters had deemed off-limits, a local politician says.

Haldimand County Mayor Marie Trainer said that around 10 p.m., native protesters forced the police cruiser to back away from their barricade, down the main street, Sixth Line, where they then set up a new barricade.

That move soon attracted hundreds of angry non-native townspeople. More native protesters then arrived, she said, and the two groups confronted each other.

"Then all hell broke lose," Ms. Trainer said, adding that she was unaware of any violent incidents as the provincial police, caught between the two groups, worked to calm tensions.

Ms. Trainer said she understood that if the non-native protesters left, then the natives would retreat to their former barricade.

But there were other reports last night that native protesters had cut off a second street, Argyle, and re-establishing a barricade that had been taken down in late May after talks with former Ontario premier David Peterson.

OPP Sergeant Dave Rektor would not confirm that the blockade was back in place, but said there was a disturbance in the area. "At this point, I know that the OPP have temporarily blocked Argyle Street just to solve a little bit of a dispute," he said late last night. "I'm heading down there to find out what's going on, but I have no new information at the present time."

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

The Six Nations protesters say the subdivision is 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.

Last Thursday, a judge in Cayuga, Ont., adjourned a hearing to give Ottawa two weeks to decide whether it will appear in court on June 16.

Despite assertions by Ottawa that the dispute is a provincial matter, Mr. Justice T. David Marshall told the court last week that he believed the federal government should be included in discussions about the land dispute.

Indian Affairs Minister Jim Prentice said after the ruling that the federal government "will co-operate fully with the courts."

David Ramsay, the Ontario Aboriginal Affairs Minister, said last week that he is pleased Judge Marshall has asked the federal government to send a representative to court when the hearing resumes on June 16.

At the outset of the hearing, Judge Marshall said "my great concern is that, in this community, the rule of law has been suspended in our country." He was clearly upset that at the end of February blockades continued despite three injunctions from him.

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