Updated 20 March 2014 - Below is found a posting of earlier this month. However I must amend it. This situation is shifting at a gatling gun pace. A second blockade of the same area as the first (noted below) has been erected and the Ontario Provincial Police, the Canadian National Police, and the Tyendinaga First Nations Police are once again faced with the same spectacle. So, here we go again. I would have expected swift action this time based on the events of a week ago with arrests and individuals being charged - but no, the police are urging the "patience" of the public who is being massively inconvenienced by some new (or recycled?) thugs masquerading as Mohawks. In the video seen here, all I see is a White youth in a stylish hat walking around, and a rotund bearded White guy beating on a drum and howling some sort of chant. Meanwhile passengers are being rerouted with buses, and the freight trains come to a stop, and millions to billions of dollars are lost to the economy for lack of quick action by the authorities. All of the hapless victims who may for all I know are hurrying to the side of their mother before she dies to pay their last respects - if so they might not make it. The unmitigated gall of these anti-social misfits who grab a cause and use it to bludgeon the public in order to make their views known. Contemptuous behaviour which should not be tolerated in a civilized society. Apparently the majority are to be sacrificed to political correctness.
Reports from today say that the dozen or so protesters have dismantled their blockade. Apparently many were from the Native Studies Programme at Ryerson in Toronto. The Tyendinaga Band Council stated very clearly that they are opposed to any such tactics by protesters. So a dozen Native supporters can bring Canada's busiest rail corridor to a grinding halt, and the authorities sit on their hands trying to figure out what to do. Here is a suggestion, since this sort of action is not going away - have a pre-arranged plan that can be put in effect immediately if public safety and other such factors are compromised. See here for one of the reports on the present dismantling of the blockade. I am just waiting right now to see if / when this craziness is going to be mimicked here in the east end of Six Nations where there is also a convenient rail line to block. With the mood here in Haldimand, a road blockade bring the simmering anger to a boil - but some ignorant individuals may go for it none the less.
Below is my "pre-amended" posting, relating primarily to the arrest of terrorist Shawn Brant.
"Well, finally, the first hint that maybe the Ontario Provincial Police has decided to return to their assigned roles as police officers, not "peacekeepers". This according to Turtle Island News, 12 March 2014 (p.16) in an article entitled, Mohawk protest ends with three charged after rail line stopped. The particulars of this situation, which took place in and near Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory (east of Belleville, Ontario), may have a direct bearing on the situation we in Haldimand and Brant Counties have been facing since 2006.
The organizer of the demonstration, allegedly in support of an enquiry into the missing and dead aboriginal women, a notorious controversial trouble making activist (some might say terrorist, see here), with an extensive criminal record, Shawn Brant, has been arrested! For those who would like to explore the background of this individual who involves himself in any Native - related cause, irrespective of its validity, please see here. He is the darling of the International Communist League, as seen here. His speciality seems to be issuing death threats against those who say negative things about him - even when 100% accurate. For an example see here. Jeff Parkinson's blog has a particularly good summary of the press coverage of Shawn Brant's form of militancy, where time after time he has shown contempt for authority and the law, perhaps even revelling in the power felt in issuing "ultimatums" to the government. This source can be found here.
First a brief exploration of the stated reason why this action by Brant and his followers was initiated. Missing, murdered and exploited Native women is a reality that cannot be denied. It is a legitimate concern that calls for a pinpointing of the cause, and the enactment of a solution. However with emotions running high, it is a topic readily amenable to being used as a pretext by anyone in order to serve their own agenda. If we allow individuals to take the law into their own hands when they perceive that some wrong has been committed, we enter the realm of anarchy. In this case there have been numerous Parliamentary committee investigations and numerous academic studies on the alleged rationale for the blockade, and all have come to the same conclusion. All the work done to date points toward social decay and abject poverty on a substantial number of reserves with alcohol fuelled domestic violence, an unprecedented number of children born with foetal alcohol syndrome, suicide, incest and rape that is endemic on many isolated reserves in the north, and which results in many young women escaping to the south with no skills, no "street smarts", and no support from their community. Hence these unfortunate women often do not tap into available services, and end up homeless and / or in the highly risky sex trade. This is in no way the fault of the Federal Government, which has funnelled billions of unaudited dollars in the futile attempt to solve the matter - often to see the money filtering into the personal accounts of a corrupt chief and their family; and new housing and other amenities trashed within a year. But the source of the problem, according to all studies tabled to date, lies at the doorstep of the local community which spawned the problem in the first place, and no amount of money or more studies is going to change that. If for example parents are not going to insist on their children attending school, this is a set up for those completely dependent on them to begin on a path leading in a self destructive direction. It is time to take the facts and form a clear picture of reality. Short of disbanding or consolidating the reserves, the problem seems impervious to solutions where the first step would be accepting some personal responsibility for the problem. These women are true victims, and the problems which would lead to their demise often started at a very very early age.
We have the data, so what are we (primarily those most impacted) going to do about addressing the facts? It is all very sad and very frustrating and I challenge anyone to come up with a viable solution - but blocking roads is no solution, simply an illegal act guaranteed to pi## off a large number of innocent people. Those interested in delving into this matter in a serious way, by acquiring facts, would be well advised to read books such as, Frances Widdowson and Albert Howard, Disrobing the Aboriginal Industry: The Deception Behind Indigenous Cultural Preservation, Montreal-Kingston, McGill-Queens University Press, 2008; and as well, Tom Flanagan, First Nations? Second Thoughts, 2nd Edition, Montreal-Kingston, McGill-Queens University Press, 2008. I would question whether Brant and his cronies have read anything fact - based on this subject. Inconvenient facts, and an inconvenient truth are, for many, best ignored.
Shawn Brant had established a strategic blockade of Shannonville Road (near the Belleville end of the Tyendinaga Mohawk Reserve), with easy access to the Canadian National rail line - which in my view, based on his past words and actions, has been his target all along. Indeed, he moved his entourage on to the CN tracks and on Saturday and the train traffic in the Toronto to Montreal and Toronto to Ottawa corridors was brought to a halt for 3 hours while 8 freight trains and three passenger trains were stranded. I can almost feel the sense of power surging through Brant as he defied the law, and brought his own form of justice to the situation. Clearly any inconvenience and life disruption of the hundreds involved were of no consequence to Brant and his entourage.
On the front page of the TIN website, it was reported that passengers had to debark and take shuttle buses to get around the blockade. However, to counter this act of terrorism, the OPP took the initiative of creating a two row human barrier along the south side of the tracks, and blocked all road access from the north side while the Tyendinaga Mohawk Police blocked the access from the south side. This kept 17 "remaining Mohawks" sealed off from the area where Brant "set up shop", and stopped others who would have arrived to be part of the action away from the scene. An excellent preemptive step! This is what should have been done in Caledonia 2006. If the 5th Line, the 6th Line, and the Stirling Road Bridge (later burned by Native protesters) had been closed to traffic when the OPP moved in to make arrests it would have prevented "reinforcements" moving in from the Rez to overwhelm the OPP by sheer numbers. Also, it was reported that, At least one OPP officer was seen with an assault rifle. This, however, does not appear to be a confirmed report. The fact is though that this would afford officers protection from the life threatening actions they and other units faced during a time of chaos, as was seen in Caledonia 2006. They have the legal right to carry weapons to protect themselves and the public. This is not true of protesters who have only their personal self righteous views to warrant having any weapons present.
Apparently, in response to the arrival of the OPP, Brant took another of his amazingly creative steps used at times like this, and broke the window of a police cruiser. So apparently not only he, but others (presumably the usual motley crew) committing illegal acts were promptly arrested - just as would happen to any non-Native person engaging in the same behaviour. The rule of law once again returning to our beloved Province. Four people were arrested, and three will be charged.
Brant, a person who seems to have a great deal of time on his hands, and seems to crave media attention, is a member of the Tyendinaga Mohawk Community - although very controversial there. He has been a virulent and dangerous person engaging in "terrorist like" activities who shows no hesitation in using force, basically any and all means to get his way (using any pretext to "go to war" with the establishment). He is finally been dealt with in the only manner people of this ilk understand. It seems that the Belleville / Napaneee OPP have been proactive in arresting Brant as required - whereas here in Haldimand, the situation has been that more likely than not the militant will get away with the crime. In this case, application of the law fairly and evenly to all people - no exceptions - seems to have been followed. Others arrested were John Fox, whose daughter, a sex trade worker, committed suicide jumping from a condo owned by one of her "johns". Apparently the protesters agreed to dismantle the blockade if Fox was released. Also arrested and charged with Brant are individuals known as "Cracker" and "Ribs", "during a hand-to-hand melee". It is known that at least two militants from Akwesasne were present among the Tyendinaga protesters. The Akwesasne militants are known to use "handles" rather than their real names. What is not know is whether there were non-Native (White) radicals among the protesters
Words fail me in the pride I feel, and the thanks I feel, for the actions of the officers who did not let political correctness and the nonsense emerging as a result of the "Ipperwash Inquiry" to cloud their judgement. They did their duty. To serve and protect once again means something in relation to the embattled OPP. I have not seen this for 8 years in Haldimand or Brant Counties. I am, however, not pleased that the OPP chose to use "Native liaison officers". Will "immigrant liaison officers" be pressed into service if the person was born elsewhere? Anyway, that is a side issue that needs to be addressed.
What intrigues me is the question as to whether now, here, the OPP will, as I am sure many rank and file officers wish, be given the go ahead to apply the law without consideration of ethnicity. In other words, has "race based policing" been shown for the divisive and unfair practise it is, and will one law for all be the policy here in my backyard too. Of course only time will tell. However for the first time since 2006, I have hope."