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Anxiety grows in 'no-go zone'

John Burman
Hamilton Spectator
CALEDONIA (Jun 24, 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.]

Non-native Sixth Line Road residents say they are upset and perplexed to learn the OPP isn't answering emergency calls on their road.

Calls are being handled by the Six Nations for the duration of the Douglas Creek Estates land claim standoff.

The issue surfaced at a meeting between OPP and Haldimand County officials a little over a week ago. The OPP say the arrangement has been in place since the abortive attempt to clear native protesters from the subdivision April 20.

"The protocol was made to assist the OPP in reducing tensions and, thereby, to ensure the safety of the residents," an OPP spokesperson said in a statement yesterday. "Members of the OPP notified the residents personally of this protocol and it has been in place for some time."

But residents who spoke to The Spectator last night said no one approached them. They asked that their names not be used because there are only seven or eight houses between Argyle Street and the Six Nations Reserve affected by the decision. They fear reprisals from protesters occupying the subdivision near their homes.

"Maybe I was away when they came," one man said last night. "Somebody could have left a letter or something."

The man said he is concerned whether Six Nations police will respond if he has problems with protesters but said he hasn't had problems so far. "I guess it comes down to I am paying Haldimand taxes and they are paying the OPP. Why can't I get what I am paying for?"

Another resident said she and her husband fear Six Nations police will not help them if the protest spreads to their yard. "It is just not acceptable" she said, adding she has not seen a cruiser pass her home since April 20.

Both the OPP and Six Nations police say they have long-standing agreements to help each other and the arrangement was made to ensure emergency calls are answered.

The Sixth Line has been considered a "no-go zone" for the OPP ever since April 20. On June 4, an OPP cruiser with two officers in it was swarmed by protesters and stopped for venturing onto the road. The officers said they were new to the area and were lost, but they had to wait for Six Nations police to escort them from the area.

Jody Hill, native police spokesman, said of the arrangement, "This is not a case of the OPP turning over their responsibility. It is an agreement that recognizes these residences are entitled to the assurance that, should they require police assistance, police will respond."

Deputy Haldimand Mayor Tom Patterson said he learned of the agreement after a recent information meeting the OPP attended. "I do not believe the OPP are abandoning these residents at all," he said. "They are trying to keep the peace with the help of Six Nations police through co-operation. They will still respond to calls on the Sixth Line but its just a decision that the Six Nations police will respond first."

Ken Hewitt, spokesman for the Caledonia Citizens Alliance, said the Sixth Line situation is one more reason why native protesters should leave the land now that the province has stepped in to buy it and place it in trust pending the outcome of negotiations.

Native protesters say they have no intention of leaving the Douglas Creek Estates as Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty asked Thursday until the land is in the hands of the Haudenosaunee/Six Nations.

"We are not leaving and going home," said spokesperson Janie Jamieson. "We are already home. It is our land."

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