Six Nations Solidarity
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Karen Best -
Haldimand Review staff
Local News - Friday, June 16, 2006 @ 09:00
[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.]
CALEDONIA -- Within 12 hours of Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty’s ultimatum on June 12, barriers on the Highway 6 bypass were removed.
OPP officers said removal began at about 9:30 p.m. on Monday on the south end and were completed just after midnight. On the north end, the barricade was gone at 10 p.m. Both were largely constructed from hydro towers.
On June 12, McGuinty told the Ontario legislature that, “We are no longer prepared to continue negotiations, until two important conditions are met. First of all, the barricades must come down and they must stay down. And secondly, we are asking the (Six Nations) leadership to cooperate in any way with the Ontario Provincial Police, so that they might apprehend the individuals involved.”
County chief administrative officer Bill Pearce notified council about this statement on Monday afternoon. Coun. Lorne Boyko immediately said that this is not good enough. He said Six Nations persons in the Douglas Creek Estates (DCE) subdivision should be compressed and moved away from abutting Caledonia homes.
He felt asking them to leave altogether might lead to a loss of the whole thing. “Residents wouldn’t care if they (Six Nations persons) behave themselves,” said Boyko.
Coun. Buck Sloat said the moratorium on development on the land should extend to occupation. Residents have told him the music and drum beating is driving them crazy. “This is the first positive direct action we’ve seen,” he said of McGuinty’s ultimatum.
On June 13, McGuinty described removal of the bypass barricades as major steps forward.
"Given this progress, I see no reason right now why talks will not continue this Thursday as scheduled,” he said in the legislature.
On June 14, the rail line barricades were down.
Before hearing McGuinty’s original ultimatum on Monday, Haldimand County council had already passed a few motions of their own related to violence that erupted in Caledonia on June 9. Before 9 a.m., an elderly woman suffered an ankle injury when a native woman pushed a shopping cart at her in the Caledonia Canadian Tire parking lot. At noon, natives surrounded and walked on a car driven by two visitors from Simcoe. Local reporter Bill Jackson, who took pictures of the incident, was robbed of his camera by a native woman. When police negotiated its return, it came back without the memory card. On Monday, he asked OPP to lay charges for robbery and assault.
Then a few Six Nations individuals punched the head of a CH TV cameraman who was trying prevent theft of his camera. The natives took it away and returned it without the film. Within an hour, Six Nations persons threw American border patrol officers out of an SUV a few blocks away. An OPP officer in the vehicle kicked a door open to avoid being kidnapped but injured his head on his way to safety. The native driver allegedly tried to run him over but the border patrol officers pulled him out of harm’s way.
Three days later, county council took action. In an unanimous decision, they decided to request a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty. Council has reiterated its request to meet with OPP Commissioner Gwen Boniface. A meeting could occur on June 26.
Council has also asked its lawyer to review the municipality’s contract with OPP to determine if it has been breached in recent events in Caledonia. They are also asking Boniface to investigate the incidents that occurred on June 9. Sloat put forward the first two motions and Coun. Tom Patterson put forward the investigation motion.
Sloat also questioned Boniface’s actions. Two innocent tourists are surrounded and intimidated giving the impression that people are not safe in Haldimand County, he continued, obviously irate about the state of policing in the municipality. He said Caledonians have no other way to show their displeasure than to gather in crowds on the streets.
He also denounced the Confederacy’s decision to remove individuals from DCE until their investigation is complete. “Who’s calling the shots here?,” he asked.
Coun. Craig Ashbaugh said the lawlessness of the whole situation is distinct from the negotiating table and must be dealt with separately.
“Each weekend that goes by, we are getting closer and closer to bloodshed and serious, serious consequences,” he warned.
Tabled by Boyko and seconded by Ashbaugh, a further recommendation, prepared before McGuinty’s ultimatum was known, laid out other demands. Council unanimously endorsed the motion at Monday’s committee meeting.
“Haldimand County council is strongly opposed to the escalating lawlessness that has been allowed to fester to the point of holding Caledonia in a grip of fear, despair and frustration through no fault of the community,” stated the motion. Council is also petitioning the federal and provincial government to immediately cease further negotiations with Six Nations until all barricades, including that on the rail line, are removed and until all Native occupiers are moved away from the perimeter of properties on Thistlemoor Drive, Sixth Line and Notre Dame Elementary School. The county will determine what the safe distance is.
This resolution will be forwarded to Harper, McGuinty, the federal and provincial native affairs ministers, the Ontario minister of public safety, Six Nations Band Council, Six Nations Confederacy council, Boniface and others.
On June 9, the Six Nations Confederacy issued a statement describing the day’s events as “very disheartening”. The incidents are reflective of misjudgment from a few and they “will be dealt with in a manner harmonious to the Great Law of Peace”, according to the press release. The Confederacy is working with the OPP to de-escalate the situation.
Six Nations people “are a people of peace and do not condone violence of any form”, stated their press release. They offered prayers and concerns for the injured adding that peaceful co-existence with neighbours and the safety of all remain paramount concerns.
The Confederacy is working with the federal and provincial government to find a peaceful solution to a tense situation. Land rights are at the heart of this situation. The Haudenosaunee are committed to ensuring the Great Law of Peace is followed, stated the release.