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Natives photographed OPP moving in to help cameramen

Paul Morse
Hamilton Spectator
(Jun 12, 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.]

In a strange twist to the Caledonia standoff, natives protesters have come to the defence of the Ontario Provincial Police.

Two CH TV cameramen were assaulted Friday by natives, and the OPP are accused of standing by and allowing it to happen.

Yesterday, native spokesperson Lynda Powless, publisher of the Turtle Island News, said OPP officers did intervene in the incident.

She showed The Spectator a series of photographs in which cameramen Nick Garbutt and Ken MacKay are surrounded and grabbed by protesters. The photos show police officers several metres away turning and wading in to break up the melee.

The altercation occurred when the two cameramen filmed irate natives confronting an older couple who had driven by their Argyle Street barricade.

One of the cameramen was treated at hospital for a head wound.

It is not clear from the photos how long natives scuffled with the cameramen before the OPP officers reacted.

Natives yesterday said the scuffle was an unfortunate and isolated incident.

"We're really regretful that those injuries occurred," said native spokesperson Hazel Hill.

"The OPP not responding is not true. They were there...trying to stop what was happening to that cameraman."

But CH News executive producer John McKenna insisted police did nothing at the time his two cameramen were being hit.

"They did not step in to help Nick and Ken while they were being attacked, their tape stolen and their camera taken.

"One of those guys could have put a knife on one of my cameramen."

McKenna said a Caledonia resident stepped in to rescue Garbutt. "That guy from Caledonia embarrassed the police into acting at that point."

According to Hill, natives pursued the older couple into a nearby parking lot after they stopped in front of the barricades. When natives approached them, she said, the couple drove off, striking one of the protesters.

"That's what started the whole thing."

Natives also say an OPP officer was injured when he jumped out of a moving SUV and hit his head on the ground. The OPP says one of the suspects tried to run over the officer.

Albert Douglas, 30, of Ohsweken, has been charged with attempted murder in the incident. Powless said Douglas is the son of Arnold (Tabby) Douglas, 61.

Six years ago, both father and son were charged with assaulting a police officer and assault with a weapon after the Six Nations band council ordered a home eviction, upheld by a provincial court order.

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