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News crew attacked in Caledonia

CH TV: Global National
Friday, June 09, 2006

[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.]

TORONTO -- Two camera operators who work for Hamilton-based CH television were assaulted Friday at the site of an aboriginal occupation.

One of the camera operators apparently had his equipment stolen during the alleged attack.

Officials at the station say the men were filming as part of the ongoing coverage of the standoff in Caledonia, Ont. where aboriginal protesters took over a housing construction site in February.

The two were positioned across the street from a Canadian Tire parking lot where a number of protestors had gathered, and were shooting generic stock video footage known as 'b-roll' when they were apparently 'rushed' and assaulted.

CH's Managing Producer Debbie Walker says one of the men has been taken to a nearby hospital with a head injury.

The condition of the second man was unclear, although Walker notes the camera operator was well enough to follow the ambulance in his own vehicle.

It is unclear what led to the assault or who was responsible.

Ontario Provincial Police are now investigating the assault, and Const. Keith Robb confirms police are also investigating allegations that officers standing nearby saw the attack and did not intervene.

On February 28, members of the Six Nations of the Grand River erected tents and barricades after laying land claims to an area that was to be developed for housing. The land at the centre of the dispute covers an area of 40 hectares that was being developed by Henco Industries Ltd. for a new subdivision.

Henco argued that the land was surrendered in 1841, and obtained an injunction ordering protestors off the site.

On April 20, OPP officers raided the site and arrested 16 people -- but within hours, hundreds of additional aboriginal protestors show up at the site.

The days and weeks that followed the initial police raid were filled with tension as hundreds of non-native Caledonia residents clashed with police and protestors demanding an end to the occupation.

The most recent incident took place on June 4, when two OPP officers who were new to the Caledonia standoff drove into an area that police had agreed not to enter. Their police vehicle was surrounded by protestors and residents, but the crowd later dispersed.

"I'm appalled," said Walker of Friday's assault. "They were doing nothing that warranted an unprovoked attack."

CH is an affiliate of Global Television, both of which are owned by CanWest MediaWorks.

-- With files from Canadian Press

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