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OPP files stolen in Caledonia

Classified documents taken during clash between natives and police

McGuinty wants barricades dismantled before land claims discussed

Rob Ferguson, Richard Brennan and Robert Benzie - Staff Reporters
Toronto Star
Jun. 13, 2006. 05:29 AM

[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.]

Ontario Provincial Police are trying to recover classified documents containing the identities of undercover officers and operational details concerning the native occupation at Caledonia.

The documents were stolen last Friday during an altercation between natives and police in which an OPP officer was seriously injured.

Meanwhile, the province is warning there will be no more land claim talks with natives at Caledonia until their barricades come down.

The ultimatum was given to Mohawk traditional chief Allen MacNaughton in a meeting with Aboriginal Affairs Minister David Ramsay, who raised concerns about an "unacceptable ... level of lawlessness and intimidation" at Caledonia on Friday.

"I told him that we need to have the barricades down and he's going to work with his community toward that end," Ramsay said.

No talks are slated until Thursday.

It's a tougher new line from the government since last week, when Premier Dalton McGuinty was urging perseverance over the dispute that has disrupted life in the town south of Hamilton since February, when protestors occupied a housing development.

Ramsay said Friday was a "watershed" day for the government's handling of the crisis, which Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory has called a "see no evil, hear no evil approach."

Police have issued warrants for the arrest of seven people — including one wanted for the attempted murder of an officer — following troubles that began when an elderly couple's car was swarmed, leaving them shaken up.

Two cameramen for a Hamilton TV station were assaulted while videotaping the incident. In another incident, a man took an unmarked U.S. Border Patrol vehicle and drove it at a provincial police officer.

The stolen documents, contained in the Border Patrol SUV, list the names of OPP officers and U.S. agents involved in the standoff, home phone numbers, details of surveillance operations and information from confidential informants dating back to the beginning of the standoff. They also include notes of investigations into human smuggling across the Canada-U.S. border along the Niagara frontier.

"I'm very pleased that warrants have been issued for these individuals," said McGuinty, who appointed former premier David Peterson and former federal cabinet minister Jane Stewart to help resolve the dispute.

"We have just about exhausted our goodwill and our patience."

Asked what happens if natives don't remove the barricades, McGuinty would say only: "We'll see."

The three remaining barricades could come down "in the very near future" because they're causing tension between the Six Nations protestors and area residents, said MacNaughton.

"We are well aware the longer they stay up the more there are going to be incidents."

While MacNaughton said negotiations have been progressing well, Six Nations officials were not about to give up the seven natives wanted in the warrants issued by the OPP.

"We do feel that they will remain under our laws and our jurisdiction," he said.

Ken Hewitt, a spokesman for the Caledonia Citizens Alliance, said town residents reached the end of their tether a long time ago.

"The provincial governments seems to be about a week behind with respect to their sense of urgency," he said.

Hewitt said as angry as local residents might be toward the native protestors, they are even more angry with the OPP for not enforcing the law.

"There are no laws being upheld and certainly no policing," he said, while calling for OPP Commissioner Gwen Boniface to resign for failing to maintain law and order.

With files from the hamilton spectator

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