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Brass putting image ahead of safety at Caledonia, OPP union says

CBC News:
Last updated Jun 8 2006 12:10 PM EDT

[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.]

Officer safety is being ignored in the Caledonia land dispute, the head of the Ontario Provincial Police union says.

Police brass have put public image ahead of the safety by ordering officers not to wear riot gear or tactical uniforms while dealing with protesters, Karl Walsh has told the Hamilton Spectator.

And that, he said, has led to some of the 13 injuries suffered by police since the standoff began.

He's called a union meeting for Thursday night in Caledonia to discuss the issue.

A spokeswoman for the OPP told the Spectator the force wants to avoid the impression "there is an increased level of aggressiveness" at the protest site.

Thursday marked 101 days since a small group of Six Nations protesters from the Grand River Territory reserve moved on to a construction site in the small town southwest of Hamilton, erecting tents, a teepee and a wooden building.

The protesters claim the land belongs to them as part of an 18th-century treaty.

Incidents over the last four months have included an abortive OPP raid to clear the site; the subsequent blockade of a major artery into the town; a standoff between native and non-native protesters and finally a period of relative calm as protesters brought down their blockade while remaining on the construction site.

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