The Hamilton Spectator
(Oct 22, 2007)
A Caledonia resident is selling contraband cigarettes from the back of his truck to protest the recent opening of two native smoke shops on Highway 6 that he describes as illegal.
On Saturday morning Doug Fleming set up his own makeshift smoke shop on a lot next to the former Douglas Creek development occupied by Six Nations protesters last year. He then drove his pickup down Argyle Street to the Caledonia OPP office and set up shop in their parking lot. Fleming said that after a couple of hours he was asked to leave by an OPP officer who told him the plaza owner had complained he was trespassing.
He was not charged.
“I’m challenging the OPP to deal with me but they won’t because if they deal with me, they’ll have to deal with the Indians,” said the 45-year-old swimming pool installer. “I’m openly breaking the law.”
Fleming said that when the two shops recently sprung up on Highway 6 around 5th Line he went to officials at Haldimand County to complain.
He said they are on land that belongs to the Six Nations Band Council. But he added that since it is not reserve land it is under Haldimand County’s jurisdiction and should be subject to the county’s rules. He was told by officials the land was “in limbo.”
He wants the shops shut down so others are not encouraged to set up on the high-traffic route. He also wants to see local laws enforced.
Fleming first set up his rolling protest the weekend before and is considering making it a weekly event.
“I think I’m going to set up shop every Saturday until they enforce the law and close down the shops,” he said. “We’ve been living with laws being broken and police not enforcing them for long enough.”
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