Mohawk Standoff could make Caledonia look like nothing says protester

Posted: April 26, 2008 in Deseronto, Headlines, Home Grown Terrorism in Canada, Land claims, Natives, OPP, Shawn Brant, Terrorism
April 26, 2008
Toronto Sun

Tensions were mounting last night as native protesters and members of the OPP tactical squad were in a standoff at a protest site in Deseronto.

This came just hours after about 10 people were arrested and two police officers were taken to hospital.

As of late last night the conflict had not been resolved at a scene which included lit fires in fields and vitriolic threats.

Among those arrested was Shawn Brant, who organized the blockade of the Montreal-Toronto CN rail corridor last April and June. Brant, who was arrested during a traffic stop yesterday afternoon, faces assault, weapons and drug charges, police said.

The OPP asked protesters to leave the site or face arrest.

“We’re not moving anywhere,” protester Jason Maracle said. “They’re going to have to kill every God damn one of us to get us off our land. We’re not moving. I guess if they want another 1990 scene, then OK, I guess we’ll have one.”

OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino last night said the dispute is not a land-claims issue. “This violent criminal activity occurred outside of any legitimate protest and will not be tolerated,” he said. “Police officers being assaulted and injured for doing their utmost to keep the peace and protect the law-abiding community is unacceptable.

“We’re trying to keep this from escalating.”

While Brant was being arrested, supporters arrived at the scene and clashed with police, resulting in two officers being taken to hospital with minor injuries, police said.

Hours later, police clashed again with protesters and 10 people were arrested “for various offences including assault police.” Six remain in custody and four young people were released.

Protesters inside a quarry protest site told the Sun last night they were “worried” a confrontation was imminent. “We are surrounded here,” said protester Mike Brant. “They are sending the media away so we are worried they are going to take us all out.”

He said they were concerned police were going to “come in the dark with guns” which would be unfair because “we are not doing anything. All we are doing is sitting here holding out land. There is nothing wrong with that.”

The OPP said they were concerned when officers spotted a “long gun” pointed at them from within the quarry. Native protesters deny this.

Protesters have controlled the quarry since March 2007

“If we don’t get this settled down soon, this is going to make Caledonia look like nothing,” said one native protester who asked that his name not be used. “Six Nations protesters are on their way and so are the people who have been at Caledonia. This has nasty potential.”

Several witnesses confirmed the OPP had up to 150 officers and 50 vehicles already on site in this town, 50 kms west of Kingston, near the Mohawk Territory.

Sun Media’s Pete Fisher said he was told by police that “they couldn’t guarantee my safety” and he reported that he had never seen a bigger native protest scene. A whole field was set ablaze.

  1. Annie says:

    Here’s a suggestion for Fantino, tow that bus, then search it. That should do away with the weapons. And if Six Nations are on their way are they too going to terrorize their mohawk people living off the territory. Luckily, the OPP presence seems to have been on the look out for these troublemakers, and it seems that the protestors have not been strengthened in numbers. If six nations are coming they will have to fight their own here, and that truly shows the colours of such terrorists.

  2. James says:

    Don’t these terrorists get anything? Didn’t they notice all the news coverage this weekend was all TRANSIT STRIKE!
    The people in Toronto could could not give a damn about anybody anywhere outside of Toronto. Certainly not when they can’t catch a bus to the mall on a Saturday!!!!!
    I hardly realized there were problems in Deseronto and Caledonia for all the the Toronto centric transit strike news coverage.
    They should go to Toronto and block roads and trains and buses. Something would get done then! Either an actual resolution or they’d all get tossed in jail!

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