Archive for November, 2008

Six Nations warrior pleads guilty to assault on news cameraman

Posted in Repression, Six Nations Confederacy on November 10, 2008 by wiinimkiikaa

Protester admits to assault on CH worker

November 08, 2008
Barbara Brown
The Hamilton Spectator

A Six Nations protester has admitted roughing up a CHCH news cameraman during a scuffle in a Canadian Tire parking lot over the contentious Douglas Creek Estates in Caledonia.

Ronald Erwin Gibson, 38, pleaded guilty yesterday to assault causing bodily harm to Nick Garbutt and possessing a stolen videotape belonging to another cameraman, Ken MacKay.

The charges stem from an incident on the morning of June 9, 2006 when Gibson and a group of men approached MacKay as he was shooting video of native protesters who had surrounded a van in the parking lot, located on Argyle Street not far from the 40-hectare parcel of land at the centre of the dispute.

On Feb. 28 that year, native protesters reclaimed the land being developed by Henco Industries Ltd. for a residential development known as Douglas Creek Estates.

The protesters erected blockades and claimed the land belonged to the aboriginal people of Six Nations. The reclamation resulted in an OPP raid on April 20, 2006, in which 20 people were arrested.

Within hours, the site was occupied in even greater numbers and the blockades expanded. The site is now called Kanonhstaton and remains occupied by Six Nations.

Crown prosecutor Mitchell Hoffman told Ontario Court Justice Kathryn Hawke the group with Gibson was intent on preventing the cameramen from filming the incident involving the van.

“At that time, Ron Gibson was observed by police officers and civilians punching Nick Garbutt in the head. Gibson and others kicked and punched Garbutt several times in the face and head as Garbutt lay on the ground,” said Hoffman.

He said a camera and tripod were forcibly taken from MacKay by one of the men with Gibson. The TV station eventually got the equipment back but not the videotape.

“Gibson advised police that he ended up burning the CH tape,” said Hoffman.

Garbutt was taken to hospital and required two staples to close a gash to his head.

Defence lawyer Stephen Ford requested a special background report that is tailored to rehabilitation programs for aboriginal people be prepared before sentencing on March 31, 2009.

30 Tyendinaga Mohawks face arrest for blocking new police station

Posted in Repression, Resistance, Six Nations Confederacy on November 10, 2008 by wiinimkiikaa

Tyendinaga Police ‘Respond’ to Community Concerns

It appears that Tyendinaga Police Chief Ron Maracle is making good on his promise of charging people involved in demonstrations at the intended site for a second police station, as well as a contested second quarry operation on the Territory (different location than the original and on-going reclamation of the Thurlow Aggregate quarry site).

It is believed that Tyendinaga Mohawk Police have issued warrants for 30 community members.

The people targeted for arrest are Longhouse people who maintain scrutiny over Band Council operations and spending. This amounts to an unprecedented attempt to criminalize and jail any effective opposition that exists in the community. This is an attack on our families, our children, our culture and the way we think. This has moved beyond a simple community dispute. The federal government is making a final push to eradicate those people who believe in the strength and power of the Mohawk Nation and who will stand in its defence.

Despite community concern over widespread exposure to water that has been declared unfit for human consumption throughout reserve homes and schools, the Government continues to prioritize the second station over these needs.

Concern over the second quarry operation stems from alarm at the tremendous speed with which this particular quarry has been established and grown in size. Community members are aware of the extremely rigorous environmental study and assessment practices that are required before quarries and aggregates can be established elsewhere in the province. Such laws do not apply on reserves and concern as to whether environmental and safety assessments have been properly conducted and meet recognized professional standards.

These fears have increased in recent weeks as households in the direct vicinity of quarry operations have experienced water problems and collapsed wells for the first time ever.

The quarry is operated by Build-All Contractors, a company owned by Police Chief Maracle’s brother. The site preparation and overseeing of the building construction at the site of the new police station was also awarded to Build-All, the Police Chief’s brother, in an untendered contract.

All of this is taking place because we oppose a decision made by the Band Council.

With army helicopters and fighter jets circulating the Territory today, the Federal Government of Canada is making it clear that it intends to exercise what it views as its interest in community affairs.

– Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory
Wednesday, November 5th, 2008


New First Nations police station draws protest

By Brian St. Denis

Friday, October 31st, 2008

A protest against the installation of a new Tyendinaga police building ended early Wednesday night when activists delayed its delivery for a second time.

Native protesters braved the frigid weather for several days to protest the installation of the York Road station on the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, west of Deseronto.

The building, which was assembled off-site, was trucked in Oct. 29 but was not successfully installed on the site.

“The trucking company had to leave because their permits were only good for the daylight hours, so it when it started getting dark they had to get out of there,” said Brant Bardy, a spokesperson for the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory band office.

The original delivery date was Sept. 23, making this the second delay in just over a month. Bardy said the protest has not deterred plans to bring the building in.

“The building is bought and paid for, and every delay is pushing up costs,” said Bardy. “That’s an injustice to the community coffers.”

The issue of the heart of the protest was clean drinking water. According to the protesters, approximately 80 per cent of the community’s wells are contaminated. The Quinte Mohawk School, just seconds down the road, has to provide bottled water for students because the tap water is unsafe.

“They need to address the issues,” said Dan Doreen, spokesperson for the protesters. “They have bags over the fountains at the school.”

He said that they don’t object to the new building, but to the community having to match the government funding of $980,000. They believe this money should go to solving the drinking water problem first.

“Kids are number one,” said another protester.

York Road was blocked off by the Mohawk Fire Department and several police officers for the duration of the protest. The protesters had a pick-up truck parked on the cement pad where the new building was to be placed.

The protesters also used a small tractor to dig on the property, claiming it was for a new youth centre, but Bardy said it was just a red herring.

Police announced early Wednesday morning that the protest had become a matter of public safety and blocked the public, including media, out of the area. Bardy said that a police investigation is underway, but Tyendinaga Police Chief Ron Maracle could not be reached for comment.