The Problem: In a previous blog posting seen here, I reported on the threats by Six Nations and their Communist - Anarchist allies as to what could happen if the Federal Government passes Bill C-10 to criminalize the transport and distribution of contraband (unstamped, untaxed) cigarettes. As predicted, as the date of the Bill's arrival at the doors of the Senate approaches, panic ensues.
Potential Six Nations Responses: As noted elsewhere, Six Nations representatives have been in Ottawa lobbying Members of Parliament and Senators, explaining how Bill C-10 would impact the Community.
In "Turtle Island News" of April 30, 2014, p.2 there is an article entitled, Bill C-10 could spark violence if it passes. Specifically, it could, spark a 'powder keg' of violence across affected First Nations territories, says Bill Monture, Six Nation's Men's Fire member. Men's Fire are an arm of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council (HCCC). However the Chief of the Six Nations Elected Council (SNEC), Chief Ava Hill, believes violence will come at the hands of the police, not Six Nations people. Chief Hill emphasizes what could happen if for example the RCMP try to raid or charge anyone. Chief Hill furthermore sates that, One community has already suggested that there be road closures/blockades and others have suggested that we have protests/rallies on Parliament Hill. The reporter noted that it was a non-Native "activist group" that was calling for Six Nations to block roads and erect barricades. Earlier it was reported that at a meeting, it was the Communist - Anarchist element linked to the other Six Nations newspaper, "Two Row News", who were proposing this move. Monture made further inflammatory comments. Specifically, It's like a powder keg waiting to explode. We don't know the end results ....... 'Somebody's going to die over this, he predicted. Monture added, that, the problem with our people is that we are too damn passive. Oh sure, shall we return to 20 April 2006 and explore how "passive" Six Nations residents were during what turned into a full out riot at the Douglas Creek Estates.
Elected Councillor Helen Miller commented that, If they (the police) do shut everything down, that's the end of our economy pretty much. Alas, Councillor Miller is correct, so much of the economy of Six Nations since the 1970s has hinged on the cigarette trade, that there would be an economic collapse locally. Considering the product which is among the most additive of substances, more so than crack cocaine; and the factor that is the causal agent of more health issues including death than anything else, it was a very unfortunate choice to pin an economy on - but it was easy money, little work and large profits. Could no one other than myself see that since the 1970s, it was all borrowed time, eventually the criminal elements involved in the trade, and the fact that the government was not getting taxes to which it was legally entitled, would bring things crashing down - sooner or later.
Potential Targeting of Local Residents: So who would be targeted if/when Bill C-10 passes? Ottawa is a long distance, and in the past bussing Six Nations protesters there suffered from low turn outs and ineffectual actions. So who in the past have Six Nations turned on to vent their anger and frustration? Those who reside closest, in other words the residents of Haldimand and Brant Counties. Since past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, then the question has already been answered. Thus it is probable that the usual "whipping boys" will once again be sent to the pillory. A question is, however, whether the local residents have been slapped around one too many times, and as is the case universally, you can push only so far and then there could be an abreaction unexpected by Six Nations and their Communist - Anarchist supporters.
It is clear that many at Six Nations are fed up with these White "allies" who are there to meet their own goals and agendas, and are aware that blockades are guaranteed to do more damage to relationships with local residents and cannot be justified. An excellent Editorial about just such matters appears in the "Turtle Island News" of April 30, 2014, p.6. The Editor also has serious concerns about the behavior of these "allies" associated with the other newspaper who produced a video, largely with money obtained on Reserve, to fight Bill C-10, but oddly also to promote smoking by sending out flyers that it is not illegal to smoke. Hence their understanding of the complexities of the issues is restricted to their own self - serving agendas. It was very heartening to hear from the Editor of TIN that, threats of shutdowns and barricades need to stop. The Editor also notes that the massive multi-national corporation at Six Nations, Grand River Enterprises, is able to skirt around the restrictions, but the smaller outfits are not and it is the latter who (with their families) will be most impacted. The Editor also indicates that she realizes that tobacco is not the industry of the future, but at this point in time is what puts food on the table for a lot of Six Nations families. Hence this is why I have elsewhere suggested that for compassionate reasons, the Federal Government "grandfather in" those individuals and families who for 30 or more years have been relying on this source of income without interference by the government.
Potential Responses of Local Residents: In relation to past reaction to illegal actions of Six Nations, I would term the responses of local residents as disjointed and wimpy. However in 2014, a pressure cooker has been in the making for 8 years - not only here, but across Ontario. If there are road blockades and assaults and worse, and the Ontario Provincial Police once again let down local people leaving them to their own devices, will they, in desperation, "call in reinforcements"...................
What follows does not in any way reflect my wishes - quite to the contrary. However I am a realist, and perhaps with a sense of what could/would happen if things deteriorate beyond a certain point.
People can only be pushed around so much before they react - and perhaps, abreact. Sage advice to Six Nations would be to be careful not to even bring to the fore the specter of another Caledonia 2006 - it will set in motion events that could build upon themselves, and life around here will never ever be the same again. We have yet to see roaming gangs of vigilantes, but ............. It is worrisome that in a part of Ontario where the OPP displays two tiered policing, and the perception and reality is that the actions favour of the Native element, there is a justified deduction that law enforcement is going to be leaving citizens to fend for themselves (as happened in 2006). So a question needs to be answered, "After all legal and reasonable options have been exhausted, what does one do - lie down and play possum, or perhaps ask politely that they not shove the stick in too deeply?" I have not taken the pulse of the residents of Haldimand County in terms of this matter, but do wonder about just where the "tipping point" is to be found. There is not much good will left - just having to daily look at the Confederacy and Mohawk Warrior flags embedded in the 8 year old mess that characterizes the southern entrance to Caledonia - this can have a cumulative effect toward building tension.
We can only pray that Six Nations handles whatever eventuates from Bill C-10 in a responsible way - otherwise trouble is on the horizon. If they allow the Communist, Anarchist, radical unionists to take the reins, this will be seen as an act of hostility direct from Six Nations. It will be important not to play into the hands of the Anarchists whose stated goal is to create chaos. Those who know this area well know that the Reserve is surrounded by potentially hostile communities full of individuals with long standing grudges, and many here know the Achilles heels to target should push come to shove. So what is it going to be? The first thing to do is to dial down the rhetoric, as the Editor of TIN has recommended. Such actions will likely defuse the situation to keep most of the local residents from becoming agitated and "suspicious" - at least we can hope.
I guess we have to hope for the best, and prepare for the worst.