Six Nations Barricades Removed, then Restored after Settler Violence

Six Nations people and supporters remove the blockade on Argyle Street (the main road through Caledonia) at 6 AM. The blockades are put back up in the early afternoon after the non-indigenous blockaders surround a car with a reporter and Six Nations women, smash the car windows, and then attack Six Nations people coming to the aid of those in the car. People at the reclamation site dig up pavement, creating a trench across Argyle Road to stop the mob from swarming the camp. Mohawk Nation News reports that one of the Chiefs who went out to offer cedar was hit in the head, that the OPP has been pepper-spraying Six Nations people.

The Caledonia transformer station (the main source of power for the surrounding Norfolk and Haldimand counties) is out of service, leaving thousands of area residents without electricity. Mohawk Nation News reports that people from Tyendinaga have blocked rail lines in solidarity. First Nations people near North Battleford have blocked the Yellowhead Highway near two bridges crossing the North Saskatchewan River "in solidarity with Caledonia, and all lands that have been taken over by people that are non-Indian".

SISIS:
Six Nations people and supporters remove the blockade on Argyle Street (the main road through Caledonia) at 6 AM. Tekarihoken (Kanyen'kehaka Royaner Allan McNaughton) issues a statement to the press that the barricades have come down as a goodwill gesture now that progress is being made in negotiations, and that "As the world has seen, our protest has been firm but peaceful. Our people are responding without weapons, using only their bodies to assert that we are a sovereign people with a long history and that we cannot be intimidated." The non-indigenous Caledonia residents who set up a counter-blockade on Friday continue blocking the road, not letting Six Nations people through. "What they don't realize is if they continuously threaten our safety, that barricade can go right back up again, so it's entirely their decision," says Janie Jamieson.

The blockades are put back up in the early afternoon after the non-indigenous blockaders surround a car with a reporter and Six Nations women, smash the car windows, and then attack Six Nations people coming to the aid of those in the car. People at the reclamation site dig up pavement, creating a trench across Argyle Road to stop the mob from swarming the camp. Mohawk Nation News reports that one of the Chiefs who went out to offer cedar was hit in the head, that the OPP has been pepper-spraying Six Nations people. As of 2:25 PST CBC reports that Ontario Provincial Police officers have established two lines between the mob and Six Nations people on Highway 6, and that local officials are holding an emergency meeting to discuss the situation. The Caledonia transformer station (the main source of power for the surrounding Norfolk and Haldimand counties) is out of service, leaving thousands of area residents without electricity. It is not known whether the outage is related to the standoff.

Mohawk Nation News reports that people from Tyendinaga have blocked rail lines in solidarity. First Nations people near North Battleford have blocked the Yellowhead Highway near two bridges crossing the North Saskatchewan River "in solidarity with Caledonia, and all lands that have been taken over by people that are non-Indian".

MNN: HELP SIX NATIONS. OPP CONDONE MOB RULE. "ALL HELL AND SHIT HAS BROKEN
LOOSE". YOUR HELP IS URGENTLY NEEDED RIGHT NOW!

1:00 Monday. May 22, 2006. Day 83 of the land reclamation. In a gesture of goodwill, Six nations people took down the barricade on Argyle Street in front of the Caledonia at 6:00 am this morning. Yesterday the Caledonians blocked the road for 6 buses of supporters from Toronto. They also blocked ambulances from going to the hospital. One man died alone because they did not let him family go to his bedside. A car with a reporter and some women from Six nations paper was surrounded by Caledonian men and women. They smashed the windows. The Ontario Provincial Police stood around shoulder to shoulder without moving, just watching, allowing the hooliganism to go on. "We are looking after it," they told the Six Nations people. When Six Nations people went to help the people who were being attacked, they were surrounded by more Caledonians, who shoved and hit them and accused the Indigenous people of instigating the violence. When the woman was hit, the Six Nations men jumped in and about three or four big fights broke out. The OPP continued to allow these Caledonian hoodlums to keep up their attack..

The Six Nations have put up the barricade again.

There is a large police presence. But just standing there. They are not stopping the Caledonia people from coming in. Everytime we try to soften things up and deal with people on the expectation they will behave in a civilized way, look at what happens.

This is public misbehaviour which is a direct result of the way the issues are handled by the Canadian government and the Canadian press. They do not present the legitimate basis of the Six Nations people's complaints. They make it look like we are the law breakers. They are wrong in letting the public not know of our legitimate claims. The blame for this lies
squarely on the shoulders of the public officials in the way they are presenting this whole issuer.

EVERYBODY DO SOMETHING.

Try the Prime Minister, the police, the UN, anyone you can think of who may take responsibility for law and order in Ontario.

Maybe I'm stating the obvious here but you really have to read those CBC reports with a huge grain of salt. They're pretty good for a mainstream source but still really skewed.

I was at the barricades yesterday. WHITE protestors had created their own roadblock and wouldn't let our bus through, telling us that we weren't welcome, yelling slurs, giving us the finger and throwing some rocks. Meanwhile they're agressively waving Canadian flags. The really telling detail in all this is that the permanent police presence there
basically hangs out at the racist roadblock, unofficially reinforcing it. We took the long route around through the Six Nations reserve.

From watching the news I got the impression that these couterprotestors are aggrieved area residents but after talking to the six nations warriors I saw that this is innacurate. Alot of these counterprotestors come from out of the area (no one recognizes them), and many of the natives are suspicious that the government (or someone) is giving them an incentive to be there creating tension. I witnessed REAL area residents, completely sympathetic, actually getting through the native roadblocks no problem.

...

Holy shit. I'm watching the local news. It's getting progressively worse. A power station has caught fire and the whole area is without electricity. A mob of whites are out there throwing stones and taunting natives. The solitary native spokesperson was attacked and beaten. All the progress of this week has completely been negated.

Caledonia in chaos after barricade comes down then quickly goes back up
Hamilton Spectator

The situation in Caledonia is deteriorating by the minute this afternoon.

Native protesters have dug up the pavement on Argyle Street and there are reports that power is out in parts of Haldimand County.

About 50 police officers have taken up a position between residents and native protesters on the main street in Caledonia. The police intervention was prompted by a fight that broke out between native protesters and residents.

The events of this afternoon are a stark contrast to the morning, when native protesters removed the barricade as a sign of goodwill.

"If you had asked me three hours back, I'd say we are finally coming together and building some harmony'", said David Peterson, who had been working for the Ontario government as an interim negotiatior, trying to cool down local emotions.

What happened this morning after the native barricade was removed is not entirely clear. As native protesters were giving a news conference, some residents from Caledonia formed a human chain across the road. A fight between some of the residents and protesters followed and police intervened.

As a result of the exchange, the barricade went back up and remains there.

David Peterson says the hotter things get at Caledonia, the more he fears something will happen to force an Oka or Ipperwash style incident.

"These issues tend to collect extreme elements on both sides," said the former Ontario premier, who has been at Caledonia three weeks trying to calm emotions and bring the sides together.

"What you fear is something like the permanent stain of an Oka. You think of Ipperwash and you think of a certain set of facts."

Peterson was referring to the shooting death of Dudley George, a native protestor at Ipperwash, and the violent confrontation at Oka, Quebec in 1990.

"Something went wrong," Peterson said after barricades were put back up and road reopenings scuttled.

"The native community offered a gesture, taking it (barricade) down," Peterson said. "Somehow or other, this gesture was not accepted as what it is," he said, referring to the local reaction.

"The native community doesn't bear the Caledonia community any malice. In a sense, they (Caledonia residents) were collateral damage."

Haldimand County Mayor Marie Trainer said she didn't know what to think when the situaion deteriorated.

"It was going to be good for business that Argyle Street was open, and safer."

She said she didn't know exacty what happened, and was disappointed.

The situation on the ground topday was "making things very hot," Trainer said. "But I understand the frustration."

Peterson began today planning to hand the situation over to the official land negotiation team for the federal and provincial goverments -- headed by former federal Tory minister Barbara McDougall for Ottawa and former Liberal cabinet minister Jane Stewart, appointed by Ontario. He believed his job of "cooling things out" so formal negotiations could begin was over.

source

Today’s events at Six Nations land reclamation
May 22

This morning was supposed to be the end of the barricade. By 10 am the road was opened, but no sooner was traffic allowed through on Highway #6, Argyle St., then the “citizens” supposedly from Caledonia made a human blockade to stop the Native cars from driving through.

Talk about childish boorish behavior.

Things just disintegrated after that, name calling was just the start of it; people turned into mob rule and fists started flying. The CBC newsworld camera made it clear where some of the fighting started, when they showed a young white man holding a base-ball bat arguing with the OPP and calling them names. People around him tried very hard to hide the bat from camera view, but it was still evident that this person came with a metal bat ready to met out his solution.

The OPP were hard pressed to form a human chain in between both sides to keep more fights from breaking out. From what I could hear over the phone when I contacted ckrzs’ Al Sault on location, women were screaming, someone was yelling that the white people had guns, and another woman was clearly in pain from tear gas.

Did the citizens of Caledonia get tear gassed? It didn’t seem apparent to me from what I heard and from what I was watching on CBC newsworld.

I was perplexed to hear Nil Kocksal, the CBC reporter on location continuing to give the history of events that lead up to this afternoon’s punch up. She repeatedly failed to mention that the roadblock appeared only “after” the OPP had performed a before dawn raid and take down on Thursday April 20th.

Just to remind people of the correct sequence of events, on the evening of Wednesday April 19th, police were telling native leaders that they would not come in to arrest without warning, that they would not raid and arrest in darkness, and that as long as talks were continuing the police had no intention of arresting any of the protesters.

That was Wednesday night. Pre-dawn of Thursday morning proved once again to the Natives, that the White man’s word meant nothing.

The OPP rushed in, overpowering in numbers of five to one. Tasers were used, and vans were parked all through the Douglas sub-division, with what one independent reporter managed to film; heavily armed police.

In light of this behavior and with reasonable fear for their safety, the Natives were obliged to block off the roads.
If the OPP had kept to their word and did not forcefully move in and try to drag the protesters off the campsite, there would not have been a roadblock.

This was the main point in the sequence of events that the CBC reporter on location failed to mention. After repeated calls placed to various CBC staff in an attempt to get a correction, it became clear that even the CBC reports were tinged with mis-information.

Again, it was the First Nations people that pulled back to regain reason, not the “Citizens” of Caledonia, (if indeed most of them were). In fact more non-natives were gathering to watch the action as a spectacle of entertainment.

David Peterson drove himself to Caledonia and was working his way to the barricade area at five p.m. as I listened to CH11 give their usual fair handed interviews. There was the ringleader Ken Hewitt, always quick to use adjectives that painted the First Nations People as the ones committing illegal acts. Then there was the MPP of the Caledonia area who managed to spark up the non-native crowd with hints that the army might be needed.

The journalism I was taught made it very clear that giving reports that incited violence was a no, no, but as far as I can see, CH11 sees only one side to many news issues. Shameful, and embarrassing to the rest of the citizens in the area this media serves.

Now a new metal barricade has replaced the one removed this morning, the hydro is out in most of the Caledonia area, and there are still plans to shoot fireworks off at the fairgrounds. At this time it remains to be seen if a curfew will be put in place instead.

For more up to date news watch indy media or tune into ckrz radio 103.3 fm.

Maggie Hughes
Source

Caledonia barrier back up as tension rises
Last Updated Mon, 22 May 2006 10:22:57 EDT
CBC News

Six Nations members set up a new barrier across a road in Caledonia, Ont., on Monday afternoon, shortly after aboriginal protesters and non-native residents of the area traded punches and insults.

Ontario Provincial Police officers separated the two sides and then lined up in a pair of columns to keep them apart on Highway 6, the main road running through the southern Ontario town.

Tempers reached the boiling point just a few hours after what had seemed to be a breakthrough in a five-week standoff over the construction of a subdivision on land the aboriginal protesters claim is theirs.

A large backhoe has been digging up the road in front of the native blockade.

A native spokesperson had approached the non-native demonstrators and told them: "If you leave, we won't dig up the land."

Barricades that the Six Nations protesters had erected on April 20 on Highway 6 came down as planned early Monday.

However, traffic was still being impeded because several dozen non-aboriginal protesters had set up a human barricade of their own.

They were standing in the middle of the road a short distance away from the site where the Six Nations barricade had stood, blocking any aboriginal person who tried to pass through.

Sides trade punches, accusations

"That's colonialism at its finest," Janie Jamieson, a spokeswoman for the Six Nations protesters, told CBC News in a midday interview as more aboriginal people returned to the site and Ontario Provincial Police officers tried to keep the peace.

"The OPP is witnessing it but nobody's doing anything about it," Jamieson said.

At one point, shouting, pushing and shoving broke out as a vehicle tried to get through the new barricade. Some people from the opposing sides traded punches, and each side accused the other of using racial slurs.

"Most people in Caledonia have a great degree of sympathy for land claims and want it settled," said resident Pat Woolley, interviewed at the site of the non-aboriginal protest.

However, he said, "people behind the barricade feel they weren't consulted" before the blockade went up.

For weeks, vehicles have been let through only irregularly.

Shortly before the new Six Nations barrier went up on Monday, Woolley pointed out that people are still off work because the aboriginal protesters were continuing to block a nearby rail line. As well, he said, the Six Nations group does not intend to leave the subdivision at the heart of the dispute.

Land claimed by aboriginal people in area

The Six Nations community claims the land on which the subdivision was being built was never signed away by their ancestors, but was illegally taken from them 200 years ago.

"Our own populations are growing, and if we allow the loss of land, we will be remiss in our duties in our children and our ancestors," Six Nations Confederacy Chief Allen McNaughton said Monday.

The new protest that sprang up on the weekend briefly delayed a plan to take down the aboriginal barricade on Monday as a sign of goodwill as negotiations continued over the ownership of the land.

On Monday morning, they faced off with native protesters arriving at the site, moving their bodies to prevent them from walking through the small crowd as OPP officers tried to keep the tension in check.

"If anything happens at that table, the barricades are going right back up as quickly as they came down," Jamieson warned in the CBC interview shortly before a new metal barrier was pushed across the road.

'We're going to work it out,' minister says

"We thought everything was going to happen today, but we've got a delay and we're going to work it out," David Ramsay, Ontario's minister responsible for aboriginal affairs, said early Monday during an interview with CBC News.

"You get incidents out there that upset people and minds get changed," he said.

"That's unfortunate."

The second blockade began Friday night, as part of a weekly demonstration by members of the community frustrated about the barricade that has been in place for almost five weeks.

Negotiator predicts quick end to latest tension

Former Ontario premier David Peterson was appointed at the end of April to help resolve the standoff.

"I think the fact that there's a lot of tension in the air is not a big news story," he told CBC News in an interview Monday morning after the non-aboriginal blockade went up. "In an hour or two, they'll get in their cars and go home."

Peterson said it was crucial that the Caledonia dispute be ended responsibly because it is being watched by native groups across North America.

"Don't underestimate the significance," he warned. "All of us were praying and working hard to ensure that something ugly didn't develop out of this, like an Oka or a Wounded Knee or something like that.

"Hopefully we can get through this in a peaceful way."

Saskatchewan blockade being planned

In a development that seems to underline his concerns, members of First Nations in the North Battleford area of Saskatchewan said they are planning to set up a blockade on two bridges crossing the North Saskatchewan River.

"We're doing that in solidarity with Caledonia, and all lands that have been taken over by people that are non-Indian," said Marcia Neault of the Poundmaker reserve.

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