Caledonia resident thrown to ground taking down flag
Originally posted August 10th, 2006.
Stacey Hauser says she was slammed to the ground by an OPP officer because she was doing what was best for her community and country.
The resident of Caledonia was upset Tuesday evening after hearing that native protesters were ignoring a judge’s order that negotiations must stop until natives obey an earlier order to leave the occupied Douglas Creek Estates subdivision.
But what pushed her over the edge was seeing the image of a protester desecrating a Canadian flag by cutting the maple leaf out the middle.
“That is the utmost disrespect,” she said, standing in her back yard below a clothes line where a red T-shirt from Caledonia’s Canada Day celebrations hung like a flag. In her front yard, there are real Canadian flags. One hangs from her garage, two over her front steps and one from her car.
About 30 Unity and original Five Nations flags flap at the entrance to the subdivision. Hauser said she was sick of seeing those. She was angry with the government and OPP for their lack of action, so she and her husband decided to join hundreds of other disgruntled residents at the blockade that evening.
OPP officers stood between them and three flags erected by protesters. During the evening, she and other residents tried to loosen the knots of a native Unity flag.
Natives hooked up a fire hose to a hydrant close to the entrance to the subdivision and started spraying the crowd. The police moved their positions and Hauser said she leaped for the chance for payback. She got the flag down and threw it to the ground. It was retribution, symbolism, she said.
“In the course of doing that, I saw somebody out of the corner of my eye and that next thing I knew I was on the ground,” she said. “My purse was one way, I was another way.”
She tried to get up and find her glasses that flew off her face and was tackled again, she said, adding that her husband, Mark, tried to come to her aid and was punched in the face.
She was handcuffed and taken to an OPP satellite station in Caledonia. She said she was searched, handcuffed, put in a police van and later driven to Cayuga in an OPP SUV.
“It was a flag and they treated me like I stood there pointing a gun at people,” she said. “An older man, a Second World War veteran, was attacked Sunday night, the police didn’t do anything but they attacked me for taking down a flag.”