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'No consensus' to bring down native barricades; Some protesters disagreed with decision by Confederacy

Susan Gamble
Brantford Expositor
Local News - Thursday, June 15, 2006 @ 01:00

[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.]

Negotiators will be back at the table today for the first time since the Caledonia barricades came down Tuesday.

The hope is that without road access to debate, the talks can focus on moving forward on native land claims.

"We hope this is a step forward," said protest spokesperson Janie Jamieson Wednesday.

"Despite all the talks to this point, they've all been focused on the barricades. We're hoping this will force the government to focus on land issues."

The last of the barricades were removed early Tuesday morning after a weekend of violent incidents inflamed problems between protesters, Caledonia residents and OPP officers.

An elderly Simcoe couple were frightened when their vehicle was surrounded by native protesters, two CH TV cameramen were roughed up and an SUV that was apparently a U. S. Border Patrol vehicle was stolen, searched and later returned by the natives.

The resulting cry from media outlets and area residents for a crackdown led to a long discussion around the fire at the protest site, Jamieson said. Discussions ranged from peaceful moves to reinstating the Argyle Street barricade for the safety of protesters.

"There wasn't a consensus of the people," wrote protest spokesperson Hazel Hill in an Internet update about the decision to take all barricades down.

"The Confederacy Council has asked the people to support them on this decision."

'Calling Canada's bluff'

Hill said the removal of the barricades is a way of "calling Canada's bluff" to see how honourable the governments are about promising to negotiate.

"For the people on the site, this is a hard pill to swallow," she wrote. "It seems that it is our people who always have to take the high road and...give in to the threats and demands of the colonialistic government."

The decision angered some of the more militant protesters.

John Maracle, who was on the site, said many warriors packed up and moved off.

"I'm very disappointed in the clan-mothers and the chiefs," Maracle said. "It's going to make it easier for (the police) to come in now. The warriors don't feel like our voices were heard."

Last Friday's violence threatens to erode support for the protest, said observer Lisa Van Every.

"The people I've talked to who said they originally supported this protest are starting to change their minds," Van Every said. "It's upsetting because this is not what we are - we're not a people of violence - but we're all going to pay for what happened."

The OPP have issued six arrest warrants for those involved in the violent incidents, but Jamieson said those being sought have been removed from the area.

The Confederacy chiefs released a statement over the weekend saying that those being sought by police will be dealt with in a traditional way rather than handed over to officers.

"Those individuals will be dealt with in a manner harmonious with the Great Law of Peace," said the Confederacy's news release. "We are committed to working with the Ontario Provincial Police to de-escalate this situation."

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