Archive for June 14, 2007

Every time an Ontario Provincial Police officer does not uphold the laws of Canada, police watch teams will record the incident and lay complaints.

Gary McHale told a crowd at a Caledonia community meeting that over 50 complaints will be filed by teams by the end of the summer. (EDIT: He said 50 complaints against Fantino alone. That’s in addition to any other officers we find failing to do their jobs) 

The government has been told they will be inundated with videos and complaints, he said.Each police watch team will include a videographer, investigator and computer person. Together they will create a record, collect officer badge numbers and prepare two complaints, he said.

McHale gave his first presentation on police watch teams the day before some Six Nations community members moved into a Hagersville construction site. A team attended and recorded breaches of enforcement.

Both OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino and the officer at the scene were named. By so doing, the complainant must receive some kind of response within 30 days. The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services has no deadline to investigate allegations about Fantino, said McHale. (EDIT: I was part of that team and complaints have been filed against 3 officers who were at the scene not 1)

At the meeting, he played YouTube video footage of Shawn Brant speaking of First Nations interfering with rail lines, highways, and gas and hydro lines on June 29. In his speech at a Toronto Ontario Coalition Against Poverty meeting, he said he didn’t care if First Nations created non-native victims.When Caledonia happened, First Nations communities knew it was time, Brant said on the video. McHale pointed out that if a Muslim made such a speech, he would be arrested before he finished talking. Brant made a direct terrorist threat.

McHale has his own plans to put pressure on the government and to get out the true picture of Caledonia’s experience. This year he will publish a National Geographic calibre magazine, Canada at the Crossroads, to get the stories out that mainstream media will not write. People across Canada will have the opportunity to read this professionally bound 100 page magazine which will include exclusive material, he said.

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The federal government has made an offer of $125 million to Ontario’s Six Nations to resolve four outstanding land claims. This offer sends a message to natives everywhere in Canada that the rule of law will not be enforced and that occupations will end with a cash offer. With June 29th looming, when native communities have planned a national day of protest, governments should make it clear that they will not negotiate with occupiers. A starting point would be to present the Six Nations a bill for the costs incurred during the Caledonia standoff.

Six Nations protesters have been occupying the disputed Douglas Creek Estates land development project since February 2006. Police tried and failed once to remove the protesters. Since then, no further effort has been made to remove occupiers and taxpayers have been left on the hook for tens of millions in related costs. Governments need to send a strong and clear message that they are serious about settling outstanding land claims. But they must also make clear that they will not negotiate with occupiers, that the rule of law will be enforced and that costs will be taken out of settlements. If they don’t, the national day of protest may become a national day of fear.

Civil disobedience is one thing, but it comes with consequences. And those consequence should be enforced. The Six Nations should be no exception. In the future, occupations should be treated the same everywhere and the rule of law enforced equally.

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The president of the Ontario Provincial Police Association (OPPA) spoke out against First Nations peoples who breach the peace at protest sites last week.

Karl Walsh, president of the 8,100-member OPPA called on all native leaders and the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Phil Fontaine, to take responsibility for the actions of aboriginal people at protest sites and instruct them on what constitutes a peaceful demonstration.

The OPPA president said the matter needs to be raised because it was conspicuously absent in Commissioner Sidney Linden’s report on the Ipperwash Inquiry released May 31. In it, the commissioner outlined suggestions for police and governments in handling protests.

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Winnipeg Free Press
Letter of the DayRe: Land claims pledge can’t derail protest, June 13.

I was shocked by Chief Terry Nelson’s comments. In response to his remark, “Are you going to listen to another white man making a promise?” I would say yes, you should, if you’re going to be a citizen in a society that looks beyond ethnicity and judges people by the content of their character.

I listen to promises from white men all the time, and for the most part, it hasn’t adversely affected me. It is illogical for Chief Nelson to reject the land-claims proposal simply because of the skin colour of the person who promised it, and it is disingenuous of him to continue rail blockades based on such questionable grounds.

GABRIEL HURLEY

Courtesy of www.CaledoniaWakeupCall.com

By the Mohawk Nation News: A Native Publication.

Ottawa is asking Phil Fontaine, the Walkie-Talkie Wizard of the AFN [Assembly of First Nations] to order us to stop expressing ourselves on June 29th and to go back into our hole.  The Red-X asked, “Is [Prime Minister] Steve Harper responsible for wiping every Canadian’s butt?  Is George Bush at fault for every American’s stupidity?”  Phil’s not our leader.  He’s theirs.  We don’t pay him. They do. This double talk is so annoying. The Red-X arrived on his silver eagle from the west where the sun never sleeps, to look over our vast great expanse of Indigenous territory, now scarred and polluted by centuries of cruel occupation.

Red-X said, “What’s this ota [crap] about appointing “neutral” mediators on land claims?  If they’re appointed by the feds, they ain’t neutral”.  The feds don’t want to negotiate fairly, that’s the bottom line.  When it comes right down to it, the Red-X said, “If it looks like ota, and it stinks like ota, then it sure as hell is ota!”

It’s the colonists who lie, steal and promote violence.  Violence is threatening and setting conditions to resolve their claims to our land. Look at Mohawk Shawn Brant of Tyendinaga!  After a 30-hour rail blockade, the whole world knows about our plight.  It affected the white mans dollars.  The public supported us even though they were inconvenienced.

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Someone planted a Canadian flag fastened to a long branch into the topsoil heaped on the Dunnville Shopping Centre property last week.The national emblem was driven home less than 48 hours after representatives of Calloway REIT concluded their first meeting with Six Nations. Calloway REIT is the owner of the property where a 90,000 square foot Wal-Mart is planned. Smart Centres is the company steering development of the project at the corner of Taylor Road and North Shore Drive.

When news that the property owner was asked to speak to Six Nations spread around town, people began to worry about losing Wal-Mart. Some were angry, others disappointed.

It’s upsetting, said Mayor Marie Trainer. In a recent telephone conversation with Indian and Northern Affairs Canada minister Jim Prentice, she told him it was time to start dealing with the criminals and radicals. The Mississaugas of the New Credit near Hagersville have a lot of land claims and they are peaceful, she said. Why not deal with those who are peaceful first, she continued.

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Haldimand council’s pending review of the county’s policing options certainly appears ominous. The last time something like this happened, the acrimony was palpable. Following a lengthy, emotional debate in the late-1990s, Haldimand-Norfolk Region made the difficult decision to disband the local force and turn over responsibility for policing to the OPP.

Starting Monday, Haldimand council will explore a “framework for review” of the county’s policing. Council is doing so because voters insisted on it during last fall’s municipal election. Politicians serious about their candidacy had to agree to review the county’s policing, so congratulations to this council for following through on its commitment. Had they been Liberals and had they been elected to Queen’s Park, members of this council probably would’ve reneged and then thumbed their nose at the electorate.

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