Six Nations Solidarity
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John Burman and Daniel Nolan
CALEDONIA (Jun 14, 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.]
Angry residents living next to the Douglas Creek Estates say they'll protect their homes and families if the OPP won't.
They say native protesters are being aggressive and intimidating along their back yards to bait the OPP into action and police response has been ineffectual.
A "resident response plan" has been circulated on Braemar Avenue and Thistlemoor Drive urging fearful homeowners to sound car alarms or horns "in the event a home or resident comes under attack."
Residents would then gather and confront native protesters, to force them back onto the territory they have claimed.
One resident last night said he saw a confrontation between natives and two members of the U.S. border patrol and two OPP officers, last Friday afternoon in which a border patrol vehicle was driven away by a protester onto Douglas Creek Estates. The construction worker said two other OPP officers were standing nearby, but ignored yells to help the four in the vehicle.
"I was shouting at the two cops standing there, 'They're stealing the vehicle. What are you doing?'" the man, who did not want to be identified, recalled last night. "The cops just turned their backs."
He said he was standing at the end of his driveway when the blue SUV with four occupants drove up to the end of Braemar Avenue, overlooking the protest site. The resident said one man got out and took a photo. As the vehicle was turning to leave, two vehicles blocked it in and two native men and a native woman jumped out. The protesters were wearing military fatigues and one was carrying a knife in a pocket across his chest.
"It was like something out of a movie," the man said. "A hijacking in a movie."
The trio of protesters demanded the camera, but the four men -- whom he later learned were police and border patrol -- refused. He said the four men began getting out of the vehicle. One of the protesters jumped into the driver's seat and sped away.
The resident said one of the men was not entirely out of the vehicle and tumbled on the road, striking his head. A neighbour brought him an ice pack.
A short time later, the street filled with police cruisers. A well-known native spokesman came to see what the commotion was. The resident explained to him what happened.
He said the native spokesman retrieved the vehicle within 10 minutes, but said protesters had "left a few presents for them (OPP) inside the vehicle." He said it smelled like excrement.
Homeowners in the neighbourhood told an information meeting of the Caledonia Citizens Alliance yesterday they are "terrified" by gunshots in the ravine behind their homes, masked men roaring through the ravine on ATVs and attempts to burn wooden fences between their homes and the disputed land. All said they are frustrated by the lack of help from the OPP.
"We're hurting over there," said Braemar resident Kevin Clark. "We need help. It is terror there, not just anger."
Derek Johnson, 40, said some of the protesters have taunted a 90-year-old neighbour, a veteran of the Second World War, over his back yard fence.
"To see him go through this after what he's done for our country, it's unbelievable," said Johnson, a car hauler.
Mike Manning, 18, said citizens have to band together because police are breaking their own code of to serve and protect.
The response plan calls for residents to "repel the aggression by creating a large presence and advancing together as one unit peacefully, if possible, until the offending persons remove themselves from the property and back into their own area."
David Hartless, identified at the meeting as a Hamilton police officer and author of the plan, said in the letter the plan is not intended to create vigilantes.
"This is only a defensive act," he wrote. "Offensive acts will result in a reciprocal event from the natives and neither can be condoned or supported in any way.
"The OPP response has been largely ineffectual and it is now apparent that in order to protect ourselves, our families and our homes, we must do so collectively and present a united front."
Alliance spokesman Ken Hewitt said the group has asked for an investigation of senior OPP leadership and its handling of the Caledonia situation.
"We want (Commissioner) Gwen Boniface to go public, to take responsibility for the way the OPP are handling this," Hewitt said. "She is responsible and it is necessary to give dignity back to the frontline OPP."
If the commissioner won't do that, the only option for her is to resign, he told the residents yesterday. A public meeting to show support for those residents has been planned for 6:30 tomorrow night.