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Natives take down barricade

Marissa Nelson
Hamilton Spectator
Caledonia (Jul 12, 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.]

The front barricade at Douglas Creek Estates is down and the province has confirmed it has an agreement with the builders who had a stake in the subdivision.

The barricade at the front gate, a flashpoint for months just outside a commercial strip of the small town, was gone by yesterday morning. While there are still concrete blocks, a metal hydro structure was removed and vehicles could pass through the main driveway into the site from Argyle Street.

"We have nothing to hide," native spokesperson Janie Jamieson said, when asked why it came down. She said driving through fields to get around the barricade has been hard on their vehicles, so having it open makes it more convenient.

Jamieson said anyone who "comes in peace" can enter the site.

People at the site decided to remove the front barricade as a sign to town residents that there's no reason to feel intimidated, she added. "There's a bigger need to educate people than to have walls up."

Ken Hewitt, spokesperson for the Caledonia Citizens Alliance, said it seemed to be more for the protesters' own convenience rather than as any kind of sign. "We don't know really what the purpose was, except to make it easier to drive in and out of there," he said.

"I guess the visual barricade has opened up, but I wouldn't make a right turn down there and expect that we'd be welcome. I'm not about to test those waters."

He said it does nothing for the tension in town, since only people who were watching closely would notice a change. The flags, signs and camp are all still intact, as is the back barricade blocking access to a subdivision that's already built.

Alliance members are meeting with government officials tomorrow in Toronto.

A spokesperson for the province's ministry of public infrastructure renewal said they have reached an agreement in principle to acquire the lots which six builders had an interest in on the Douglas Creek Estates. Lori Theoret said it's the ministry's understanding that 10 families who had signed agreements with the builders have already had refunds from the builders.

Theoret said the agreement, which sets out how the two sides will come up with a dollar figure, was signed at the end of June.

The names of the builders must remain confidential until the completion of the final agreements, she added.

The amount each builder will get is the subject of ongoing talks.

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