OPP arrest nine at Caledonia re-occupation

Five articles on the police raid against Six Nations of the Grand River Territory

1. CKRZ Six Nations reserve radio news report

2. Police end occupation (Hamilton Spectator)

3. Police arrest nine at native protest site in Caledonia (Brantford Expositor)

4. What has been happening here on Six Nations? (Jacqueline House of Six Nations)

5. Two Six Nations Youth Defend Themselves from Five Thugs (Mohawk Nation News)

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[OPP arrest nine at Caledonia re-occupation]

CKRZ NEWS [Six Nations of the Grand River Territory]
20 SEPT 07

Ontario Provincial Police have released the names of eight of the nine people arrested on disputed Six Nations territory in Caledonia yesterday. The one person that was not named was a 17-year-old female from Six Nations. Everyone else was 18 or older and all were from this area except a 31-year-old man who is from Akwesasne. All are charged with mischief. One man also faces a weapons charge, and a woman is also charged with assaulting police. All nine were to have appeared in a Cayuga courthouse today. Police moved in on Six Nations residents that had been occupying the site where a bridge once stood linking the communities of Six Nations and Caledonia. Prior to the arrival of OPP, residents at the site said that they were being removed because construction workers at the nearby housing development felt they were being intimidated by their presence.

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riot-squad-caledonia.jpg

Police end occupation
Nine native protesters face criminal charges after arrests at Stirling site

September 20, 2007
Paul Legall
The Hamilton Spectator
CALEDONIA (Sep 20, 2007)

The last pocket of native protesters was cleared yesterday from a residential construction site where a house builder was severely beaten last week.

With neighbours watching and cheering from their back yards, about 50 OPP officers in riot gear marched in and arrested nine men and women who had defied their native elders by refusing to leave the Stirling Street development.

The operation went off without any major hitches and natives watching from the sidelines made no attempt to assist the protesters. It was in marked contrast to the abortive OPP raid at Douglas Creek Estates on April 20, 2006, when protesters with clubs and crude weapons chased off a heavily- armed police tactical team, injuring several officers.

OPP Sergeant Dave Rektor said police were still processing the protesters last night and weren’t prepared to release their names or ages to the media. He didn’t know the specific charges they face, except that they would be criminal offences and possibly some non-criminal provincial offences such as trespassing. He said two officers suffered minor injuries during the arrests, which could form the basis for some of the criminal charges.

Rektor stressed, however, none of the people arrested was being charged in connection with the beating of Sam Gualtieri in a house on the site that he was building for his daughter and her fiance. Gualtieri, 52, suffered face and head injuries and spent almost a week in hospital before he was released yesterday.

The Six Nations Confederacy and the Six Nations elected band council have both condemned the violence and offered their prayers and sympathies to the Gualtieri family. Mohawk Chief Allen MacNaughton had described the assault as an “atrocity” and said the protesters had been occupying the site without the approval of the Confederacy.

Sam’s brother Joe Gualtieri, 46, said he noticed police amassing on the site yesterday morning when he went there with some bricklayers to work on his brother’s house.

For the first time since last Thursday, when all construction had stopped, other tradespeople had started trickling back in as well.

Even with the large police presence, Gualtieri said his bricklayers were apprehensive and were working much faster than usual.

They had noticed a handful of native protesters poking around a large mound of dirt on the east side of the development where there was a large banner accusing Canada of genocide against aboriginal people.

In the early afternoon, police started setting up checkpoints and roadblocks around the subdivision and told workers to leave for their own safety.

By about 2 p.m., a large number of vans and other specialized police vehicles, plus two canine units, rolled onto the site.

By about 2:30 p.m., there were about 100 officers on the site, including members of Hamilton police, and a large contingent of tactical officers in riot gear.

Gualtieri said he was impressed by the military precision of the operation as he watched the tactical officers suiting up and preparing to confront the protesters.

He added it was empowering to watch the baton-wielding officers tapping their shields in unison as they closed in on the protesters, who had refused to budge when a uniformed officer had asked them to leave a few minutes earlier.

Apart from residents in adjacent neighbourhoods, several dozen Six Nations residents watched the daytime spectacle from an embankment on the railway tracks that forms the western boundary of the survey.

Rektor said they never attempted to interfere with police as they carried off the protesters one by one over a period of about an hour and placed them in a secure transport van.

Confederacy spokesperson Hazel Hill said she was saddened and disheartened when she heard about the arrests.

She knew many of the protesters, who she said ranged in age from teenagers to persons in their 30s. Although the Confederacy has distanced itself from them, she said she understood the anger, frustration and passion of the protesters who were trying to protect their native lands.

She blamed both levels of government for allowing developments on lands that are still subject to land claims negotiations.

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Police arrest nine at native protest site in Caledonia

Posted By Michael-Allan Marion
Brantford Expositor
Thursday, September 20, 2007

A large OPP force took over a contested housing site in Caledonia on Wednesday and arrested nine native protesters who defied their elders by refusing to leave the Stirling Street development.

Residents watched and cheered from their homes as about 50 officers in riot gear, a tactical team and canine units marched into the Stirling Woods subdivision where home builder Sam Gualtieri was beaten unconscious last week.

Officers surrounded a group of protesters and gave them time to walk away from the site or face arrest, Const. Paula Wright told reporters near the site. Within minutes, nine men and women were taken away.

Police did not release the names of those arrested or the charges they face.

Sgt. Dave Rektor said police were still processing the protesters late Wednesday night and weren’t prepared to release their names or ages to the media

Rektor didn’t know the specific charges they would face, except that they would be criminal offences and possibly some non-criminal provincial offences, such as trespassing.

Two officers suffered minor injuries during the arrests, which could form the basis for some of the criminal charges, Rektor said.

None of the people arrested Wednesday was being charged in the connection with the beating of Gualtieri in a house on the site that he was building for his daughter, said Rektor

Elated

The beating victim’s brother, Joe Gualtieri, was elated by the police action.

“Like all people here are saying, ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you.’ We can’t say that enough. Why couldn’t this have happened months ago at the Douglas Creek Estates (which was first occupied by natives more than a year ago)?”

Gualtieri said he believes the police action was prompted by bad publicity surrounding last week’s violent attack against his brother, who suffered numerous injuries, including fractures to his nose and collar bone, and spent almost a week in hospital before he was released on Wednesday.

The Six Nations Confederacy and elected band council have both condemned the violence and offered prayers and sympathies to the Gualtieri family.

Joe Gualtieri said it was clear Wednesday that the police were about to take action against protesters still on the site, even after an agreement was reached on Monday with the Six Nations Confederacy to allow building to resume.

Through the morning, more and more police were becoming visible. Just before lunch, police told construction workers to leave the property. Shortly afterwards more undercover and uniformed offers showed up in a succession of vehicles.

“When we saw one (police) truck after another, we started cheering, and the neighbours started cheering,” said Gualtieri. “Finally, they (the police) were going to take action.”

He said he watched officers line up in riot gear bearing batons and shields. Neighbours were told to stay out of their backyards.

Gualtieri said he feels “empowered” by the police action.

“After a week of (native) flags, it was good to see some authority again.”

Neighbours along Stirling Street said they were happy with the police action, but still feared possible reprisals from natives.

“Great,” said one woman, who didn’t want to give her name, “but what is going to happen tonight if a whole bunch of natives come out?”

A few doors down, Jason Misner was worried about a native backlash.

“I hope it doesn’t come but you don’t know after what happened at the Douglas Creek Estates,” he said.

Misner was referring to a failed police raid at Douglas Creek site in April of last year when protesters with clubs and crude weapons chased off a heavily-armed police tactical team, injuring several officers.

“It’s a good thing that the OPP have finally stepped up and done something.”

The Caledonia arrests were welcome news to builder Mike Quattrociocchi, whose company Mayberry Homes has suffered native action against his attempt to build a housing project on Grand River Avenue in Brantford.

Although a confrontation was defused Tuesday at his property with the help of Confederacy leaders, Quattrociocchi said he still lives under the threat of reprisals or a reoccupation at any time.

“I had the first good sleep in weeks” Tuesday night, he said, but is still waiting for more trouble ahead.

He called the events in Caledonia an “encouraging” signal for all parties involved to reduce the potential for violent conflict and ensure proper law and order.

“This had to stop,” he said. “People on both sides were getting hurt. Let’s hope people get the right message.”

Confederacy spokeswoman Hazel Hill said she was saddened and disheartened when she heard about the arrests.

She knows many of the protesters, who she said range in age from teenagers to people in their 30s.

Although the Confederacy has distanced itself from them, Hill said she understands the anger, frustration and passion of protesters who were trying to protect their native lands.

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What has been happening here on Six Nations?

September 19, 2007

Scano

Tonight, my heart is heavy. However, I thought I would write a little of the past few days. First of all, there have been a few of us gathering on a daily basis discussing Unity for our people, to find a way to come together. We came up with an education march. We feel education is what is lacking and if we could learn to reach out to one another and share knowledge with one another, we can start building some gaps. There are two governing bodies; one is our customs through our traditions. We are born into this; therefore, are our inherent rights. The other has been illegally placed upon us to divide and conquer our existence. We are not saying or trying to convince anybody to believe where we are coming from, but to learn the truth of what has happened to us. We came up with doing three themes, the first one we did on Thursday September 13th, “Where We Were” which consists of who we are. The second we are doing October 19th will focus on, “Where We Are”. The third one we not have set a date but will target, “Where We Are Going”.

A few of us marched from Polytec into the front yard of the Band Administration Office where we placed our signs all over the front yard. We had a lot of support and quite a few people coming up to us and asking what we were doing and they felt it was a great idea. Other’s were giving us information such as the construction in Caledonia and another informed us that Elected Dave General was holding a private meeting of governance and it was his second gathering with other elected officials as far as Rochester New York, and some thought there was a parade of some sort. After spending a little time on the front lawn, we decided to take our sign and mobile ourselves taking us into Mr. General’s meeting where we held up our signs so the delegation can see them clearly. We were so nonchalant as we just stood there holding our signs. We did share the mike with Dave; after all, he was the entertainment. He and his elected buddies got to hear the Declaration of Independence for the first time. They got to here our concerns of how they are misusing our money, how they don’t care for our elders, how they are arms to the government and how they are a part of committing genocide on their own people.

We then drove over to the development and enforced our stance; which is, no development on the Haldimand Proclamation as we are in a process of a resolution. Everything was fine until one of our young men started putting up our Hiawatha flag and the developer got hostile, so angry that he climbed up the scaffold cussing and then began throwing things such as the board with the cement mix on it and tried ripping down our flag. The developer then gave a press release and after about 10 minutes everyone left. Two and half hours later five men sit and watch waiting for the perfect opportunity to express their anger and hatred for what, a flag? The baseball bat that they carried was an assault weapon as they had every intention on using it to inflict pain. Instead, one of their own was hurt and by no means, do not put words into my mouth, as I am so relieved he is alright because this isn’t about hurting one another it is about respect. We have customs and we have laws and we need ours respected just the same as one wants there’s. We have shown this all of our lives for hundreds of years and now is the time to show the host the courtesy of having visitors. I also want to stress, there are two sides to a coin, and one does not override the other just because of the color of one’s skin.

With this note: I am calling on Marie Trainer of Haldimand County and hold her accountable as she is well aware of a “Notification Agreement” regarding; development, land, water, animals, and most importantly there is an emergency phase where she could have called all parties that are involved to the table, to try defuse the situation. In fact, I have tried to meet with her and talk so that Peace begins to roll off her tongue as it is significant to uphold the Treaty of Peace. The community of friends have requested to meet with her, only to be ignored. Again I hold Mayor Marie Trainer and the OPP accountable for the terror that has been inflicted upon our people as they continue to tarnish Her Honor by not helping to keep the peace by not helping to protect Her Majesty’s interest.

This day will be burned in our heads forever as we were forced to stand there and watch our people again being pepper sprayed, hand cuffed and thrown into jail when we have done nothing wrong. We just got thrown back to a time where we are being robbed and molested of our lands. What’s next – Residential schools? Oh yeah they have there puppet government working on that as our language was just cutback. Is it me or does it seem we are taking a step back into a dark history where our people were physically attacked and our children kidnapped?

P/S Thanks for modern technology for without camera’s and video’s, people might not believe what we are saying.

Also I send my best wishes to the family that is involved.

Nya weh
Always Jacqueline

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Two Six Nations Youth Defend Themselves from Five Thugs

Mohawk Nation News, September 15, 2007

On September 13th at around 4:00 pm. witnesses saw non-native men running out, picking up weapons and going back into the unfinished house. Inside they had ambushed two Indigenous youth. The kids’ backs were against the wall. They have a right to self-defense. The two youth had gone into the house. One went one way and the other went in another direction. That’s when the older Indigenous boy caught the non-native man beating his younger brother.

The OPP had stopped construction that morning at 9:00 am. Meetings were going on between the Six Nations and the “Crown” that afternoon about the land. Stirling construction was illegally building houses on Six Nations land.

Read the rest of the article at Mohawk Nation News

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