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OPP disputes claim it was ordered to keep Caledonia officers out of riot gear

CBC News:
Last updated Jun 9 2006 11:53 AM 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.]

An Ontario Provincial Police superintendent has dismissed suggestions that Dalton McGuinty's government interfered with policing in Caledonia.

His comments came in the wake of charges by the OPP's union that the ruling Liberals had told the provincial police not to have its officers wear riot gear or protective clothing because it was worried that would create a poor impression.

And that, said union chief Karl Walsh, has led to some of the 13 injuries suffered since the occupation began in late February.

Walsh planned to take those concerns to Friday's meeting of the Canadian Professional Police Association.

Police officials disagreed with Walsh's claim.

"The OPP would never knowingly place our members at risk," said Superintendent Bill Crate, who added the force has learned from past experiences, including the controversial Ipperwash Park incident, how best to present itself in this kind of situation.

He said they are committed to seeing the Caledonia occupation end without any further injuries.

In September 1995, a native land claim dispute in the provincial park at Ipperwash resulted in the death of protester Dudley George, shot by an OPP officer in a controversial incident currently being reviewed by a provincial panel.

At Caledonia, a small group of Six Nations protesters from the Grand River Territory reserve moved on to a construction site in the town, southwest of Hamilton, on Feb. 28, claiming the land belonged to them based on an 18th-century treaty.

Since then, there has been an abortive OPP raid to clear the site; a subsequent blockade of a major artery into town; strained relations between native and non-native protesters that led to a standoff down the road and finally a period of calm after the protesters took down their blockade and moved back on to the construction site.

Native protesters still occupy that land.

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