Archive for the Repression Category

30 Tyendinaga Mohawks face arrest for blocking new police station

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

STATEMENT FROM TYENDINAGA MOHAWK TERRITORY:
WARRANTS ISSUED: 30 MOHAWKS FACING ARREST
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

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

New First Nations police station draws protest

By Brian St. Denis

http://www.thepioneer.com/?q=node/2983

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.

Charges dropped against four Six Nations people

Posted in Repression, Six Nations Confederacy on October 21, 2008 by wiinimkiikaa

Charges dropped against four native protesters

October 16, 2008
Paul Legall
The Hamilton Spectator
CAYUGA

The Crown has dropped criminal charges against four native protesters arrested by a heavily armed OPP tactical squad at the controversial Stirling Woods survey in Caledonia last year.

The operation involved about 50 officers in riot gear, including shields and batons, who marched into the partially constructed residential subdivision in September 2007 to remove a small pocket of native activists occupying the site.

The massive sweep came about a week after 52-year-old Sam Gualtieri was attacked and beaten by intruders inside a house he was building as a wedding gift for his daughter. He suffered severe head and facial injuries and has since launched a suit against the Ontario Provincial Police, alleging they didn’t protect him against the protesters.

In a surprise move yesterday, assistant Crown attorney Mitchell Hoffman announced he wouldn’t be proceeding against Skyler Williams, 25, who was charged with mischief and resisting arrest, or against Stephen Powless, 43, June Jamieson-Maracle, 42, and Francine Doxtator, 48, who were all charged with mischief.

Hoffman also told Ontario Justice Joe Nadel he wouldn’t be prosecuting an 18-year-old woman, who was also charged with mischief and will appear in Cayuga court Oct. 23.

He said he will be proceeding with charges against the four remaining Stirling Woods defendants, however, when the trial starts late this year or early next.

They include: Ronald Cook, 31,of Akwasasne, N.Y., for mischief and possession of a prohibited weapon; Gregory Powless, 19, of Ohsweken for mischief; and Sheranne MacNaughton, 25, of Hagersville and Teresa Jamieson, 42, of Ohsweken, who both face charges of mischief and assaulting police to resist arrest.

The defendants are all out on bail awaiting their trial.

Defence lawyer Sarah Dover, who at one time represented all nine Stirling Woods defendants, said her clients are anxious to have the matter heard in court as quickly as possible.

She told Nadel she intends to bring a pre-trial application to have the charges dropped against her two remaining clients, Powless and MacNaughton, on the basis that the OPP used “excessive force” in arresting them and the mischief charges couldn’t be proven. She also indicated she may argue charges should be thrown out because of the undue delay in bringing the case to trial.

Nadel adjourned the case until Nov. 5 when the lawyers and judge will try to come up with a suitable date for the trial, which is expected to last about four weeks.

Last month, Hoffman also withdrew charges against 19-year-old Byron Powless. He was one of three people charged in connection with the attack on Sam Gualtieri, his nephew Dominic and another man during the confrontation at Gualtieri’s partially built house Sept. 13, 2007.

After hearing the evidence of a key Crown witness at the preliminary hearing, Hoffman told the judge he was dropping the charges against Powless because there was no reasonable prospect of convicting him.

Algonquins Block Highway, Hospitalized After Police Attack

Posted in Algonquin Nation, Repression, Resistance on October 21, 2008 by wiinimkiikaa

Algonquins Hospitalized After Police Attack

Barriere Lake Solidarity Collective, October 7, 2008

UPDATE: An Algonquin man is hospitalized the morning after Quebec police shot him in the chest with a tear-gas cannister. A disabled teenage girl was also treated with oxygen in the local Health Clinic. Twenty two children under eight and two babies were caught in the tear gas shot by the police.

To view photos:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/31135244@N07/sets/72157607795831835

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, October, 7, 2008

Canada and Quebec use riot police, tear gas, and “pain compliance” on peaceful Algonquin families to avoid negotiations: ‘pain compliance’ perfect description of Conservative’s aboriginal policy, say community spokespeople

Kitiganik/Rapid Lake, Algonquin Territory / – Yesterday afternoon, the Conservative government and Quebec used riot police, tear gas, and “pain compliance” techniques to end a peaceful blockade erected by Algonquin families from Barriere Lake, rather than negotiate, as requested by the community. The blockade on Highway 117 in Northern Quebec began at 6:00am Monday, with nearly a hundred community members of all ages and their supporters promising to remain until Canada’s Conservative government and Quebec honoured signed agreements and Barriere Lake’s leadership customs. Around 4pm, nearly sixty Quebec officers and riot police encircled families after a meal and without warning launched tear gas canisters, one of which hit a child in the chest.

“Our demands are reasonable,” said Norman Matchewan, a spokesperson who was racially slurred by Minister Lawrence Cannon’s assistant earlier in the election. “We’re only asking for the government to uphold the agreements they’ve signed and to stop illegally interfering in our customary governance. The message we’ve received today is that Stephen Harper and Jean Charest are unwilling to even play by their rules.”

“We will not tolerate these brutal violations of our rights,” added Matchewan. “Forestry operations will not be allowed on our Trilateral agreement territory, and we will be doing more non-violent direct action.”

Nine people, including an elderly women, a pregnant woman, and two minors, were roughly arrested. While a line of police obscured the view of human rights observers from Christian Peacemaker Teams, officers used severe “pain compliance” techniques on protestors who had secured themselves to concrete-filled barrels, twisting arms, dislocating jaws, leaving them with bruised faces and trouble swallowing.

“In this election alone, the Conservatives have labelled us alcoholics and vilified our community’s majority as “dissidents,” said Michel Thusky, another community spokesperson, referring to an op-ed published by Minister Lawrence Cannon in regional newspapers. “Now they and Quebec have chosen violence over meeting their most basic obligations to our community. ‘Pain compliance’ is the perfect description of the Conservative government’s aboriginal policies.”

Barriere Lake community members had promised to maintain the blockade until the Government of Canada honoured the 1991 Trilateral agreement, a landmark sustainable development and resource co-management agreement praised by the United Nations and the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. To end federal interference in their leadership customs, they wanted the Government of Canada to appoint observers to witness a leadership reselection according to their codified customary selection code, respect its outcome, and then cease interfering in their internal governance.

– 30 –

Media Contacts:

Michel Thusky, Barriere Lake spokesperson: 819 – 435 – 2171

Norman Matchewan, Barriere Lake spokesperson : 514 – 831 – 6902

Marylynn Poucachiche, Barriere Lake spokesperson : 819 – 435 – 2171

Collectif de Solidarité Lac Barrière
*******************************************
www.solidaritelacbarriere.blogspot.com

Tyendinaga Mohawks stop installation of police facility

Posted in Repression, Resistance, Six Nations Confederacy on September 24, 2008 by wiinimkiikaa

Native protesters stop building
Installation of police facility delayed ‘until further notice’

Posted By STEPHEN PETRICK, THE BELLEVILLE INTELLIGENCER
Posted Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A group of Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory women set up this blockade at the site where a new police building was to arrive this week. Intelligencer photo by Stephen Petrick

The installation of a new police building here has been delayed “until further notice,” after a group of band members set up a blockade Tuesday to protest its arrival.

Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte officials were preparing to have a 4,635-square-foot building shipped from a Hamilton-area manufacturer this week and put together on a gravel pit on York Road, just west of Quinte Mohawk School.

But a group of about 50 people were at the site Tuesday afternoon, vowing to block officials from placing a prefab building they feel the community was not consulted about.

“Our people never sanctified it, ratified it or condoned it,” Bryan Isaacs told The Intelligencer from just outside the protest site. “There’s no one in favour in our group because we were never consulted.”

Inside the site, several women were sitting in lawn chairs. They said they were upset the band council made plans for a roughly $1.9-million facility when the money could have been spent to address the lack of safe water in the territory and poor housing conditions.

“You have kids in the school out there without water,” said Evelyn Turcotte, pointing to Quinte Mohawk School. “There are housing issues and mold issues.”

Another woman, who did not give her name, said, “I’ve been buying water for 30 years.”

The group, which identified themselves as the Kanyen’kehaka women of Tyendinaga, also issued a press release calling on Prince Edward-Hastings incumbent Daryl Kramp as well as Minister of Indian Affairs Chuck Strahl and Prime Minister Stephen Harper to listen to their needs.

“Canadians overwhelmingly support clean water efforts, funding for education and safe housing for Native people, and yet, while all of those concerns remain ignored, this multi-million dollar investment proves only to ‘fix’ an otherwise unwarranted problem.”

The comments came as the Mohawk band council gathered for a special meeting to discuss what to do with the facility.

The building has already been put together by NRB, a modular building company in Grimsby, Ont.

The band was expecting it to arrive Monday, but found out Tuesday the trip had been delayed as the company still needed to obtain some Ministry of Transportation permits to make the drive.

Armed with that knowledge, the band requested the company to hold onto the building until the conflict is resolved.

“The council made a decision that it would remain there in storage until further notice,” Maracle said, moments after the meeting.

He also scoffed at comments that band leaders are not making clean water a priority or holding enough consultation on the building.

Had the building arrived Monday, he said, a “community ratification process” would have taken place to determine whether the building meets the approval of band members. It would have sat on the site “unhooked” until at least Oct. 31, Maracle said.

That ratification process, he added, would have followed a series of public meetings on the issue earlier this year.

He also said he agrees with protesters that water quality on the territory needs to improve.

“That’s why I started a water study many years ago — to document the condition of the water so we could make a case to the government for some funding for water,” he said.

He added that Indian Affairs has committed money for a new water treatment plant and project workers are now deciding what technology needs to be used before construction can begin.

The new police building is intended to allow Tyendinaga Mohawk Police Services to expand from eight to 11 officers.

The band is contributing close to $980,000 toward its costs, with the final $900,000 coming from the provincial and federal government.

Despite the commitment, the department will be operated solely by Mohawk people, Maracle said.

Charges dropped against Six Nations teen

Posted in Repression, Six Nations Confederacy on September 24, 2008 by wiinimkiikaa

Charges dropped against teen accused in Caledonia beating

September 24, 2008
Paul Legall
The Hamilton Spectator

The Crown has dropped the case against a Six Nations teenager who was charged last year after a violent confrontation that landed Caledonia house builder Sam Gualtieri in hospital with severe injuries.

Assistant Crown attorney Mitchell Hoffman withdrew charges of assault and break and entry against Byron Powless, 19, at the conclusion of Powless’s preliminary hearing in Hamilton yesterday.

After hearing the evidence of a key prosecution witness, Hoffman said the case wasn’t strong enough to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the teenager was involved in the incident.

“There no longer is a reasonable prospect of a conviction,” he told Ontario Justice Norman Bennett, who endorsed dropping the charges.

Powless was charged with attacking Dominic Gualtieri during an altercation at his uncle Sam’s partially-built house. He was one of three teens charged in connection with the September 2007 incident while police were trying remove Six Nations protesters from the Stirling Woods subdivision in Caledonia.

The turn of events has frustrated and angered the family of Sam Gualtieri, 53, who was allegedly attacked with a large club by another teenager. He suffered facial injuries, a fractured shoulder blade and two skull fractures. He is suing the OPP for failing to protect him against protesters occupying the site.

“It hurts us that justice wasn’t served,” Sam’s younger brother, Joe Gualtieri, said yesterday.

Gualtieri family members were in court Monday and yesterday when construction worker Duane Davies testified for the Crown. He was in the house during the altercation and was considered a key witness in identifying Powless as the man who attacked Domenic Gualtieri.

“He’s fighting individuals … he couldn’t say 100 per cent,” Joe Gualtieri said, adding that identification is complicated by the fact that Powless has a twin brother.

He suggested there were three other witnesses inside the house who could have strengthened the Crown’s case.

Outside the courtroom, Powless said he was elated by the decision. He still faces other charges, laid Monday, of mischief and disguise with intent in relation to a highway blockade in Caledonia in April. He is out of custody and was ordered to return to court in Cayuga.

Richard Smoke, 19, still faces charges of break and entry and aggravated assault in connection with the attack on Sam Gualtieri. Smoke is to return to Cayuga court Oct. 15.

A 16-year-old also faces charges in connection with the incident.

————————————————————————————–

Big day today in Court for Byron Powless. He was accused of breaking and entering into a home on stirling street last September 13, 2007 as well as assaulting a 6ft 300 lb man.

Today in a Hamilton Court House, ALL CHARGES WERE WITHDRAWN. There was insufficient evidence to proceed with a trial.  (He wasn’t even in the house when our two young men were attacked.) Needless to say his accuser couldn’t even identify him!

Also, last Friday the OPP stormed Kanonhstaton to arrest one of our men. In the midst of this attack officers pointed their loaded guns at the heads of two of our women.

On Sunday during a ceremony at Kanonhstaton, a non-Native male climbed a fence onto Kanonhstaton and brandished a knife and physically and verbally threatened the life of 10 yr old boy who was partaking in the ceremony.

On Monday at Kanonhstaton a non-Native Male who resides in a house in front of Kanonhstaton was drunk, erratically driving an ATV onto the site. He then began threatening our women. He was calling them derogatory names and told one of the women, ” I know your husband is in jail, but I’ll finish the job for him…” Basically sexually threatening an Indigenous woman. As far as I know, as of yet, there have been no charges laid.

This man also was witnessed grabbing a gas can and trying to set his own house on fire.

All in all, a very eventful weekend to say the least…

janie jamieson

September 23, 2008

Six Nations people say man’s arrest breaks deal

Posted in Repression, Six Nations Confederacy on September 20, 2008 by wiinimkiikaa

Natives say man’s arrest breaks deal

September 20, 2008
John Burman and Rachel De Lazzer
The Hamilton Spectator
CALEDONIA

OPP officers have arrested a native man on Douglas Creek Estates, the first arrest on the site since an ill-fated raid more than two years ago fuelled a protracted land claims dispute.

Reading from a prepared statement yesterday at the site, native spokesperson Dawn Smith said the OPP broke an agreement made on April 20, 2006 not to enter the property.

That was the day dozens of OPP officers entered in a pre-dawn raid, arresting 16 protesters at the Argyle Street South subdivision they had by then occupied for eight weeks. It sparked native blockades and violent clashes.

Smith compared yesterday’s arrest of Kenneth Greene with the police tactics in Ipperwash that led to the death of native activist Dudley George in 1995.

“Today rings of Ipperwash all over again,” said Smith, surrounded by native supporters. “In our eyes, it was a direct act of aggression and hostility against all Haudenosaunee. The OPP were ready to shoot.”

Haldimand OPP Constable Paula Wright could not confirm that police pointed guns at anyone.

Greene, 43, of no fixed address, is charged with disguise with intent, four counts of assault with a weapon, three charges of uttering death or bodily harm threats, two counts of intimidation and four counts of mischief.

The charges are in connection with events on Labour Day, when the arrest of a prominent Six Nations spokesperson and two others in Brantford triggered a chain reaction that led to parts of Caledonia being barricaded.

The arrest follows a separate incident on Thursday when Dana Chatwell, who lives in a home at the edge of the property, alleged Greene threatened her husband Dave Brown with a gun.

Callout for Support – 6 Nations in Brantford

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

URGENT CALLOUT FOR SUPPORT – 6 NATIONS in BRANTFORD

This morning, the Brantford Police arrested two young activists from 6 Nations, aged 17 and 19. The two were arrested in transit while trying to leave the campsite on Fen Ridge Court. Twenty cops in 8 unmarked cars pulled over the vehicle they were travelling in, and arrested the two teenagers who are currently in jail. Activists at the site in Brantford have asked for supporters to come to the site tonight and/or tomorrow.

The Hampton Inn site on Fen Ridge has been shut down completely for two weeks. It had also been shut down several times over the last few months by various representations from 6 Nations including Ruby and Floyd Montour, the Confederacy Council, the Men’s Fire, and now grassroots activists including Boots Powless and a newly dubbed NYM-6 Nations. The current callout comes directly from the activists on site.

The group has maintained the site beside the Hampton Inn development site in a tepee for over 60 days, upholding the declaration put forward by the Men’s Fire that these sites should be shut down pending settlement of outstanding land disputes. Further, all three sites that have been targeted from the base camp have been sited as posing ecological threats; the Fen Ridge industrial development area and the Oak Park Road development site are located in an environmentally sensitive area less than a kilometre from the Grand River.

A Callout for supporters to be physically on-the-ground as early as tonight has been issued from the camp. They are also asking for food and phone cards (“solo” brand).

To get to the site:take the 403 to Brantford, exit at Oak Park Road, turn right at the T junction off the exit, then take the first left onto Power Line Road; the site is down the road a few hundred meters, and should be evident across from the King & Benton site. Look for the tepee, Boots has asked people to meet there first.

Wednesday September 10, 2008
BRANTFORD, Ont.

Today at approximately 11:00am my one year old son and I were leaving the King and Benton site in Brantford, Ontario. My sister left the site a few seconds behind me. Two youth were travelling with her. I stopped at the stop sign and then proceeded through. I checked my rear view mirror to see how far behind my sister was.

When I looked I saw a non-Native man with a closely shaved head pulling on her truck door with one hand while punching the driver’s side truck window with his other hand. He had a closed fist and was hitting the window with full swings. With all the threats made against our people and the violence and abuse we survive, I thought she was under attack by a group of skinheads, as there were several unmarked cars blocking her in.

I drove up to a spot where I could safely turn around. When I got back to the corner all vehicles were gone. I turned right because traffic was slow in that direction. Sure enough, the same cars had her truck surrounded but now the skinhead that was viciously, forcefully trying to attack them earlier had on an OPP vest and a belt loaded with weapons.

By then there were approximately 8 cruisers both marked (OPP and Brantford City Police) surrounding my sister and the two youth. They had one youth handcuffed. Moments later they handcuffed the second youth.

I told the police our youth are under our authority and jurisdiction as Ogwehowe women and the police had no right or authority to kidnap our children on our own territory. The police were informed our youth had EVERY authority to uphold our traditional laws.

The police were then told to cease and desist their armed invasions of our people. They were also told the kidnapping of our children needed to stop as well. They were told they keep trying to escalate things with our people and the tactics they are using is nothing short of declarations of war.

We were told how everything they were doing was “standard”. (Yes, even for an allegation of “mischief”.) As hard as it was to believe it was standard police practice, I do believe it. It was almost a year ago 9 of our people were attacked at Stirling Street for upholding their land rights by 200 fully armed RCMP, OPP, OPP Riot Squad and the Hamilton City Police . The acceptable standard to deal with our people for minor offences was most recently set in 1995 in Stoney Point when Dudley George was murdered by a paid sniper.

While we were talking about 5 officers (without permission) began searching my sister’s truck for “weapons”.

I put tobacco in the hands of the youth and told them to hold onto it and not let it go. The police told me I couldn’t do that and to get rid of it. The youth held onto it and were then placed in separate cruisers and taken to the Brantford Jail.

One youth may get out today. The other young man is up for bail tomorrow at 9:00am at the Brantford City Court on 44 Queen Street.

Also, Bawa Construction (Hampton Inn & Suites) has resumed construction despite being given several warnings they are building illegally on traditional territory in Grand River Country. I’ve been told construction will be shut down soon.

We are asking for support in the form of supplies and people both at the construction site (ASAP) and at the courthouse tomorrow. To get to the construction site take the 403 west towards London, Ont. Exit off Oak Park Road. Turn left and drive over 403. Construction site is immediately on the right hand side.

Boots Powless’ son was one of the young men targeted and arrested today.

Our people have upheld their words regarding maintaining peace. At no point have any of our people stepped out of the Kaiienarekowa. The developers and the police continuously escalate events by targeting our children, women (mothers and grandmothers) and men. There is a consistent effort to attack our women and children to protect the finances of local and international corporations.

Just like the targeting of our people and constant attacks by fully armed civil servants continue, we, as ogwohwe will continue to uphold our great-great grandchildren’s right to exist.

We are justified.

Janie Jamieson
Grand River Country

Arrests spark Six Nations blockade in Caledonia

Posted in Repression, Resistance, Six Nations Confederacy on September 2, 2008 by wiinimkiikaa

Arrests spark tension in Caledonia

Natives, residents take turns erecting blockades

September 02, 2008
Dana Brown
The Hamilton Spectator
With files from Elisabeth Johns
CALEDONIA

The arrest of a prominent Six Nations spokesperson and two others in Brantford triggered a chain reaction of events yesterday that led to parts of Caledonia being shut down for hours.

The event is the latest in a series flareups since the occupation of the former Douglas estates 2 1/12 Years ago.

The blockades started yesterday around 9 a.m. when Six Nations protesters set up barricades on Argyle Street South and blocked the Highway 6 bypass.

After the barricades were removed, angry Caledonia residents refused to let traffic resume on Argyle Street South. The bypass was open sometime during the afternoon, but Argyle was not fully open to traffic until nearly 6 p.m., after a brief standoff between residents and about 50 OPP officers.

“I cannot stress enough our priority is to preserve the peace and maintain order, not to resolve land claims issues,” OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino said in a statement.

Yesterday morning, Stephen Powless, 43, and two teens were arrested in Brantford for allegedly being on the construction site at the Hampton Inn on Fen Ridge Court, next to the Kingspan Insulated Panels development site from which they are barred.

Kingspan, the Ireland-based company, is building its North American head office and a factory on the property.

Powless has been the spokesperson for the Brantford actions.

Police said the trio are under a court order to stay away from the land and were all charged with breach of a court order and mischief.

Clyde Powless, a spokesperson for Six Nations, said the arrests were a “catalyst” for the blockades, but that the community is also frustrated by the slow pace of land claim negations with the provincial and federal governments.

“Our fight is not with this town, (nor) is it with Brantford or any other town within our (Haldimand) Tract,” he said of the 10 kilometres on either side of the Grand River to which the natives lay claim.

“Our fight is with the government and that is where it will remain, with the government at the negotiating table.”

Powless said Six Nations leaders were working hard to keep the community calm.

In response to the Six Nations blockades, frustrated Caledonia residents gathered on Argyle about a half kilometre from the former DCE site.

“Something happen(ed) in another town and we get held hostage again,” shouted William Romberg, a resident for 12 years.

Residents were separated from the rest of the street by a single line of OPP officers spaced across the road.

In addition to the blockades, traffic was also slowed because of ongoing work on the town’s main bridge.

Progressive Conservative MPP Toby Barrett said Caledonia seems to have become “a whipping boy” for issues that have nothing to do with the town.

At one point, OPP met privately with Romberg and Caledonia resident Dana Chatwell, whose home abuts the DCE land.

Shortly after, police asked residents to leave the road. That was followed later with another request, an ultimatum and a stronger show of force by officers.

Residents complained police were being heavy-handed with their blockade, while not showing the same force to native actions.

Eventually, police and residents agreed to leave the road, with officers exiting first and residents following.

A young man from the residents’ side was arrested and has been charged with mischief and resisting arrest.

It’s alleged he ripped a native flag from the antenna of a car trying to cross the residents’ blockade.

Six Nations spokesperson Hazel Hill said a tentative date of Sept. 11 had been set to resume negotiations with the provincial and federal governments, but she had not received word if the meeting would go ahead.

Kanehsatake Mohawks barricaded Quebec highway following police intervention

Posted in Repression, Resistance, Six Nations Confederacy on July 31, 2008 by wiinimkiikaa

Kanesatake Mohawks barricaded Quebec highway following police intervention

The Canadian Press
July 26, 2008

Kanesatake, Que. — Kanesatake Mohawks barricaded a Quebec highway early Saturday following an intervention by the Quebec provincial police.

Police say 12 to 15 individuals blocked Highway 344 near the town of Oka by dragging trees into the road and setting them on fire.

Police contacted the Mohawk band council, who convinced the individuals to end the blockade.

The road was cleared by Quebec Transport Ministry employees by 10 a.m..

Two police vehicles were damaged during the incident.

Charges are expected to be laid against a number of individuals involved in the barricade.

Six Nations people block job site over land dispute

Posted in Repression, Resistance, Six Nations Confederacy on July 31, 2008 by wiinimkiikaa

Natives block Ont. job site over land dispute


Glenn Lowson for National Post
Native protests over continuing construction in a Brantford industrial park escalated Monday morning with an arrest of a protester who allegedly blocked a truck from entering the construction site.

Craig Offman, National Post
Published: Monday, July 14, 2008

BRANTFORD, Ont. — Tensions over native land claims in Southern Ontario flared again Monday morning as a protester blocked a cement truck’s access to a building site and then allegedly assaulted a police officer.

The brief escalation of what had been a peaceful protest led officials in Brantford and Ottawa to draw analogies to Caledonia, a nearby city whose protracted land dispute has led to occasional, violent outbreaks and an economic downturn.

The disagreement in Brantford stems from plans to build an insulation factory and headquarters on land that is subject to a long-outstanding native land claim.

“I wouldn’t have thought [the comparison to Caledonia] was possible until today,” said Mayor Mike Hancock, adding that property settlement is a federal and provincial issue and that officials from both government ministries have been slow to respond. “We’re collateral damage in all of this, and we feel it.”

Ontario Minister of Aboriginal Affairs Michael Bryant Monday spoke with Mr. Hancock, and the provincial minister’s office said action is needed from his federal counterpart.

“We’re continuing to monitor the situation. The underlying issue here is a 200-year-old land claim against the federal government, so the federal government needs to accelerate the negotiations leading to a resolution of this issue,” said Greg Crone, Mr. Bryant’s press secretary.

The Six Nations claim ownership of the area as part of a historical treaty that they allege was not properly honoured. The local government received a temporary injunction in May that prohibits interference with development on the site — owned by Ireland-based Kingspan — and several other nearby properties.

Ron Doering, the chief federal negotiator on land claims issues, said he is discouraged that protesters have begun occupying the Brantford site and believes the standoff echoes what occurred at Douglas Creek Estates, in Caledonia, before the housing development was sold to the province.

“The Six Nations are the people we are dealing with with the various direct actions at Caledonia and we’re starting to see direct actions in Brantford right now, actually. So, it doesn’t have the potential [to become like Caledonia]; it’s actually happening,” Mr. Doering said Monday.

“We continue to believe that the best way to resolve these long-standing claims is to do it at the table. Clearly, the direct actions are not helpful in that regard, in my experience.”

The Brantford government also awaits a decision from Ontario Superior Court on whether the city can call on Canadian Forces in the event of mass unrest. It has also asked for $110-million in damages from native groups, citing economic impact. The Kingspan project was intended to bring 200 jobs to the area.

All legal recourse seemed distant, however, Monday morning.

According to police, officers were escorting two trucks to the site to remove some cement at around 8:30 a.m., when a man stood in front of the vehicles and disobeyed an officer’s request to stand down. During the process of his arrest, the man allegedly punched the officer in the face.

Police headquarters was notified about the events at 8:49 a.m. and dispatched additional staff to negotiate. Shortly after 9 a.m., the trucks again tried to enter the site when a crowd of 20 or so natives converged on a group of policemen.

“While attempting to stop the advancement of the protesters, one officer was struck in the face by a male at a time when his attention was focused on another protester advancing in the opposite direction,” said a police statement issued Monday afternoon.

“The assailant disappeared amongst the remaining protesters and fled the area through the adjacent bush.”

Six Nations observers say that the arrested man, whose identity has not been revealed, did not provoke the officer, but was confronted when he tried to talk to one of the drivers. As he was being pulled away, native witnesses said, his hand slipped, hitting the officer.

Donal Curtin, Kingspan’s general manager, said police told him to lock the gates outside the site and remain inside.

He said in a response to e-mailed questions Monday that workers trying to enter the area received death threats.

“On multiple occasions today, contractors working on the site or delivering material to the site, had their lives threatened,” he wrote. “These events have been reported to the Brantford Police. The people who made the threats were not arrested as far as I know.”

Police spokesmanKent Pottruff said he did not have specific details of those allegations, but that potential criminal activity would be investigated.

By Monday afternoon, several pick-up trucks were parked around the mouth of the site. Six Nations flags flapped in the wind, while about six police cars lingered on the margins.

“This is war,” said Steve Powless, a spokesman for the Six Nations protesters, standing outside the fence of the Kingspan site, outside of which there were two canvas tents and a teepee where about a dozen natives had been sleeping over the weekend. “I’m a solider. I’m here to fight.”

“These people should go home and leave our land alone,” added Mr. Powless, a sculptor who lives on the nearby reserve, by some estimates the most populous in the country.

He said that the group would remain at the site indefinitely.

Another native, who refused to give his name, insisted that his people were protecting their own land, not protesting the use of it. “This is not going to stop until the federal government steps and solves these land issues,” he said. “They’re patenting deeds here they haven’t paid for.”