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Barricade blocks traffic on rail line again

Karen Best - Haldimand Review staff
Haldimand Review
Local News - Thursday, July 6, 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 - The Ontario and Canadian government issued a stern warning when a blockade reappeared last week on a rail line running through Caledonia.

“Canada and Ontario informed the Haudenosaunee Six Nations they would not negotiate while there was a rail line blockade,” said Lars Eedy, a media spokesperson for the Ontario Secretariat for Aboriginal Affairs. The message was relayed shortly after 10 a.m. on June 29. The regularly scheduled Thursday main table meeting, which includes representatives from Six Nations and the Ontario and Canadian governments, was not held on that day.

At 4 a.m. on June 29, OPP detected movement on the Southern Ontario Railway at Sixth Line, which is on the south side of Douglas Creek Estates. Since Feb. 28, some Six Nations residents have occupied the land, that they say was to never be sold. Ontario and Canada believe it was.

When SOR personnel inspected the line, they found tires and ties stacked up on the tracks to symbolize a barricade, company lawyer Kenneth Peel stated at an Ontario Superior Court of Justice hearing on July 5. The individuals who built the blockade were strongly encouraged to leave by the Six Nations Haudenosaunee chiefs, clan mothers and Six Nations band.

OPP lawyer Christopher Diana told the court that the barricade was set up to coincide with similar First Nations rail line barricades in Manitoba. Those blockades were called off and when protesters were given papers verifying this, they still did not move off the rail line, said Peel.

Eventually Six Nations police assisted in the removal. Safety equipment was damaged during the blockading incident and was repaired in time for the next scheduled train at 3:30 p.m.

The first railway barricade was erected after OPP arrested 16 people on DCE on April 20. On June 13, it was removed and train traffic began the next day. An injunction requiring removal of the barricade was obtained by the company in early May and remains in effect.

Peel told the court that the company wanted assurance that ordinary policing of the rail line would be in plaice to deter further interference and that tickets would be issued under the Railway Safety Act. He also asked for assurance that effective communication will occur between Six Nations police and OPP.

Denise Dwyer, who represented OPP at the hearing, said OPP are conducting an investigation into the event and into mischief on the line. OPP retain policing authority on the Six Line and the rail line but have sought assistance from Six Nations police to maintain public and officer safety and peaceful policing on this road. This temporary arrangement will not disrupt police services, she stated.

On the morning of June 29, representatives of the main land claim negotiating table walked the site and talked to adjacent property owners about the impact of the occupation, said Eedy. The main table was scheduled to meet again on July 6.

“The temporary blockade of the CN rail line further demonstrates a lack of leadership within the protest site,” said Caledonia Citizen Alliance member Ken Hewitt. “The difficulties in trying to come to a solution that benefits both communities with respect to (Douglas Creek Estates) continue to exist.”

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