Saturday, 5 July 2014 will go down as a day of infamy. A peaceful picnic and march by citizens of Caledonia and their supporters was met by an "ambush" by Natives lying in wait, itching for a fight. It all happened outside the barricade, the one that illegally blocks Surrey Street, and such anger, such outright hostility and righteous indignation - "how dare you challenge our authority, we are the true owners of this land" - those words were heard by reliable witnesses. Like all stories, we need to go back to the beginning.
The reason given for the rally organized by Gary McHale was due to the backtracking by Haldimand Council, who had stated that they unanimously agreed that the barricade had to come down, then seemed to lose their will after Mayor Hewitt met with the radical Men's Fire and others at Six Nations and made it seem that the agreement to have a contractor remove the barricade was off. Concerns were heightened when Gary learned of the most recent secret meeting of Haldimand Council which recommended that a by - law be enacted to keep "negative influences" away from the road. Of course everyone suspected that this meant Gary, not Six Nations, and thus we are back to square one with a two-tiered system along racial - ethnic divides. So the way this would(n't) work is that the Indians can stay at DCE and walk around at will, even HH and AM notorious activists; but the "bad townies" meaning all residents, and especially Gary McHale, had to be kept out. Please note that this is all supposition, until we find out what, specifically, the Ontario, County, and Band Council has hammered out. It is not fair to "taint" Haldimand County Council before we have all the facts.
This blatantly racist by-law (if it emerges as many suspect)would be precisely the sort of action that we had spent 8 years fighting against. Any wonder that concerns were heightened. We have learned over the years that no matter what, no matter who, no matter when, the activists running DCE have expressed an adamant refusal to be told what to do, or even to negotiate a sane and sensible solution to the problem of the blocked road. All of us knew that we were being set up once more to be relegated to second class citizen status, while the very people who stole and occupied land that was duly and legally surrendered 170 years ago would be given free rein. I have searched all of the relevant documents, and there are NO irregularities upon which to pin any claim to recover land the ancestors wished sold so that the monies could be deposited in the Six Nations Trust Fund. The "it's ok for you to be there, but not you" assertion is simply not acceptable, or an option. I apologize in advance for jumping to conclusions - but past behavior is the best predictor to future behavior.
|This sign was not well received at the barricade|
The group met at a location in central Caledonia and travelled from there to the property purchased by RF, situated at the south end of the DCE property. At that point a Bar-B-Que was set up, and all there socialized for more than an hour.
|The picnic at the part of DCE owned by a Caledonian|
When the participants had finished their meal, most took Canadian flags, and one person had a sign which gave the date the land on which DCE sits was surrendered to the Crown, while another had around his neck a sign offering a copy of the surrender for anyone who wished to have one. Lets just say there were no takers for the latter. Another sign carried to the barricade related to the need for an apology.
|View of cars of Caledonians toward barricade|
As to the sign welcoming requests for copies of the surrender, one of the first things someone at the barricade did (a tiny but feisty woman with ill manners), was to "pop up out of nowhere", and rip the sign off the holder by grabbing on to the cord and simply yanking. If the attachment had been metal, it could have sliced open the carotid artery of the person whose only "crime" was to offer factual material to all interested parties, irrespective of racial - ethnic group. This was but one of many bad mannered and disrespectful acts that were to occur in the midst of a general melee.
|Enroute to barricade with an "escort"|
|Six Nations members on access via 6th Line cat calling during interview|
From the sidelines there was a constant verbal harassment by Six Nations and supporter (mostly the former) when Gary stopped to give an interview to CHCH TV reporter Al Sweeney (kudos to them for showing up and taking the time to as a series of excellent questions), and also reporters for "Turtle Island News" and "Two Row Times". These were apparently the only media present. There were however bloggers and others present and also taking videos and pictures. It will be interesting to see what will show on the tapes of the event once they are published.
There were about 20 Ontario Provincial Police officers present, including a Native Liaison Officer. Vehicles continued to arrive via the road off the 6th Line until more than 50 (an estimate) Six Nations and supporters were there compared to the 20 of so "townies and supporters". Clearly outnumbered, the latter (and the police) were subject to all sorts of verbal and physical abuse.
At the actual barricade site itself, there were lines (some arm in arm) of Six Nations and supporters and groups or very agitated and angry looking young men and women. In my entire life I have never heard more profanity, and more hurling of threats as occurred at the barricade on that day. They were nothing more than schoolyard bullies. The OPP and the Caledonia contingent were the target - the venom was coming from Six Nations. I did not hear a single word of profanity or anything more than raising of voices by the Caledonia group; and yet the Six Nations group behaved badly making the usual "trailer trash" seen on COPS to appear positively gentrified by comparison to the embarrassing behavior of the Six Nations members who were present.
The tapes show the usual suspects who appear at all such rallies, including one or more with restraining orders which were broken, and which were caught on tape (presumably to be used for prosecution later). There were relatively minor assaults breaking out in clusters along the margin of the barricade. None of the Caledonians went beyond the barricade, but Six Nations had a full presence there and more and more were arriving from the access off 6th Line. It is true that some Caledonians did goad on some of the most unsavoury elements, even by simple non - verbal behaviours such as blowing a kiss, which seemed to infuriate some rather thin skinned "Natives". One of the latter claimed that he sleeps in the chipboard shack just behind the barricade, probably to try to avert any night time attempt on the part of Haldimand Council contractors to remove the barricade. He is also one of the two individuals seen throwing tires on the fire made in the middle of Argyle Street in 2006 - still wearing the same shirt. As to how many of these worthies have actual jobs is anyone's guess - Chief Clarence Louis of the immensely successfully Osoyoos Band in British Columbia says the first criteria for any warrior is, "has a job".
To be frank, although there were calm elements among the Six Nations, they were few and far between and did not make their presence known. The brash, noisy, boorish, disrespectful, no class - low class, angry types were front and center. Some of the older individuals simply went around bumping into Caledonians in a sort of passive aggressive manner. It is positively scary to think that what was seen here (soon to be uploaded via video tape for all to assess) is in 2014 a microcosm of Six Nations, and thus might represent a cross section of all of Six Nations. I desperately hope that his is not true, and will seek clarification on this point in due course. Unfortunately I did recognize a number present who I thought were moderate and rational ........................... I expect that many who would be horrified by what they would see simply stayed away.
|A bit of the melee at the barricade|
|A perspective at the barricade - Caledonia crew with sign that was not well received|
|Perspective at the barricade - Six Nations view - three OPP officers on right|
Toward the end of the melee various citizen's arrests were enacted. As I understand it, Gary McHale made a citizen's arrest on an OPP officer, apparently because the latter supposedly released a "Native" wanted in a criminal matter, and insisted that he be driven, with the "officer under arrest" and a witness to the Cayuga Detachment. Then JW, a reporter for "Two Row Times", made a citizen's arrest on Gary McHale, supposedly for "inciting a riot". The latter action may be problematic to the person making the arrest due to the circumstances, it was a melee not a riot, and the instigators of whatever it was were "Native", and Gary's intimate knowledge of the law in these sort of situations will be deployed. All parties were headed to the Cayuga Detachment and further information is pending. Despite being present, I am still unclear as to what the issues were. Perhaps the videos noted below will clarify matters.
|Gary McHale enroute to Cayuga Detachment|
1) CHCH TV Hamilton: See here. CHCH was the only non - Reserve media outlet to cover this story directly. My thanks to them for venturing into this place, a world away from Toronto or Hamilton, where in the past their (CHCH) reporters have been assaulted and their equipment stolen by Six Nations militants.
2) The Hamilton Spectator: The most recent article on DCE came out today, although it did not mention the "gathering" on the 5th. This article can be seen here.
3) The Brantford Expositor: Nothing to date.
4) The Sachem: See here for the article in the Sachem of 7 July 2014 which summarizes key events of the last few weeks, and provides some coverage of the "melee". It was excellent that they included the entire wording of the sign at the top of this posting.
1) CANACE video, 5 July 2014, of Gary McHale arresting OPP officer, click here.
2) CANACE video, 4 May 2014, of Gary McHale and other citizens (including Natives who believe in his cause) trying to walk along a public (Haldimand County owned) road (Surrey Street). The content reveals volumes about the people who consider themselves "defenders of the land" (when in fact they have no title or rights other than those possessed by other Canadian citizens). Click here for a shocking expose - yes, you heard it right, the woman said "shoot him".
Other coverage will be included as it becomes available. Other than "Turtle Island News" and "Two Row Times" (although a question can be raised as to whether their seemingly biased reporting counts as real journalism or merely propaganda) were present. However if either provides a video it will be included here for completeness sake. Whatever "press coverage" is given to the event will be posted next Wednesday (date of publication). Here is a prediction. One or both will excoriate McHale and the Caledonians, and paint a picture of the Six Nations people as heroes, victims of colonialism, and defenders of the land (despite the irrefutable fact that they stole the land from the legal owners). We will see what sort of slant is given by Rez reporters, or whether they attempt to present both sides of the argument in a fair and objective manner - and which of the two newspapers best demonstrates the basic principles of their profession.
Six Nations Picnic Planned for Sunday 6 June 2014: It will be plainly seen in the available videos that Six Nations who were in attendance had no intention of permitting Caledonians to have their peaceful assembly at the barricade. The people of Caledonia and their supporters had every right to have a picnic on property owned near DCE by one of them, and then peacefully march to the barricade carrying Canadian flags. It was seen as some sort of "attack" by those Six Nations and supporters in attendance on the 5th. Somehow they found out about the event and came in droves to make Caledonians as unwelcome as imaginable. On the 6th Six Nations activists are planning a picnic and will be at the barricade. Lets see how many Caledonians make an appearance to disturb their event. My guess is that precisely zero will appear, since most of us realize that it is their right to hold such an event, and we should not disrespect it. On the 5th Caledonians were shown the utmost disdain and intolerance. Despite my ties and experiences of my early years, it is now clear to me that the Six Nations who have been radicalized and emboldened are racist and intolerant, and that to them while it is fine and right for them to have a picnic at the barricade, the same does not hold true for Caledonians, who in their eyes have no rights. So much for the "mutual understanding" that Mayor Hewitt and others speak of. That is a pie in the sky concept which does not apply at ground level. Six Nations present behaved as bullies on the 5th - lets see what can be said about the events of the 6th.
Update 6th June 2014 - Six Nations Picnic: I have driven past the DCE site from time to time on the 6th and all appears to be quiet on this front. There are no Caledonians with signs, I saw not a single OPP car anywhere in the vicinity (compared to the numerous and specialized vehicles seen yesterday).
Assessment: Alas due to these events as they unfolded in front of the video cameras, it is all too clear that there is absolutely zero hope for Haldimand County Council, Ontario Aboriginal Affairs or their Federal counterpart to make any headway except by totally and utterly capitulating to the combatants. I am hoping that this will never happen as it will cause a ripple effect through Caledonia and beyond, and make a mockery of true justice. We would come to realize that to stop violent take overs in our own country, we will have to do our own policing since no one has the guts to challenge the criminals who are running amok at DCE, and emboldened - awaiting their next "venture". Will your community be next?
It was a relief not to see any "extraneous" flags flying on the 5th. Often in the past there were CUPE union supported groups present, sporting the flags that reflect their "cause". In the past there have been Palestinian flags at DCE. What is particularly troubling about the latter group is that a hauntingly similar situation involving "skewed policing" that we have come to expect in Caledonia, occurred in Missisauga yesterday outside "Palestine House", whose radical Islamic affiliations are well know to all levels of Government. As can be seen in the Sun News tape here, the Palestinians violently attacked bystanders with their flag poles injuring a man who wore "Never Again" on his sleeve. A very slight Japanese woman barely escaped injury as she was escorted across the street by the Toronto Police. Basically the police did nothing to avert the violence, thus emboldening the Palestinian attackers. Assaults were clearly evident on the video tape, and unless the police will be making arrests in the matter after reviewing this evidence - shame on them. It was the victims who were singled out by police for "enforcement procedures" including arrests. It appears that two-tiered policing has moved from Caledonia and Ipperwash to the streets of Toronto - Missisauga. It would appear that we are seeing the future in these incidents of selective enforcements, where the most violent elements (considered "oppressed minority groups" by some - although relatively few) are allowed to ran rampant while the police act as "peacekeepers" - which is a total joke as we have learned here in Caledonia.
I must note in all fairness that on this occasion, at the barricades in Caledonia, I did not see any evidence of two-tiered policing during the picnic and march of the 5th. The female sergeant was, in my opinion, very even handed and was doing a fine job in the midst of the chaos all about her. She has been at other events (e.g., 4 May 2014) where matters were kept under control. There was no thin blue line facing only the Caledonians. There was no sense of being "singled out" because we were on one side of the fray - as has been the case from 2006 to 2013. The OPP officers were milling about calmly attempting to keep tempers under control and turn down the volume. There is nothing in the way of any complaint that at this occasion, can be said about the actions of the OPP officers. This makes two occasions (the other being the arrest of JG) where I had the sense that officers were doing their jobs without any "preference" or special treatment accorded one side or the other. This bodes well, but we have been burnt so often in the past that it will take some time to regain the trust we had before 2006 - good start though. This is why I was surprised by the actions of Mr. McHale (citizen's arrest of the sergeant). Perhaps there was more than what I saw to explain the events which unfolded.
In a modern democracy it should not be the responsibility of everyday citizens to do whatever it takes to bring law and order to their own community. We give up any vigilantism with the understanding that we will be protected. However, what are we supposed to do when the preferred methods of Dr. Martin Luther King have failed us time and time again. We have given the OPP 8 years to "do something". At this point many of us are thinking that we would like our present Government to do what Prime Minister Pierre E. Trudeau did during the Front de Libertion du Quebec (FLQ) crisis - send in the army - and speaking as someone who saw armed soldiers patrolling our streets, we were relieved and thankful for his actions. Would that we had a P.E.T. today - we desperately need someone at the helm of Government with his moxy to take charge and rid us of this volatile anarchy perpetrated by Six Nations militants. It is setting a dangerous precedent - something the average Canadian does not seem to see, but who will pay dearly later for their apathy when it all appears on their doorstep.
My conclusion here in relation to the two picnics, Caledonia on the 5th and Six Nations on the 6th, is that Six Nations operate with a double standard. It is fine and expected for them to have a peaceful picnic, but wrong and divisive and provoking for Caledonians to have a picnic under the same terms. This in many quarters would be termed two faced hypocrisy. The Six Nations (an unknown percentage of the whole) have exposed a violent and contemptible streak that no one wants to talk about, but the summary of picture and descriptions from 2006 to 2010 in Christie Blatchford's book, and the recent videos (right to yesterday), are consistent and speak much more loudly than the spin used in the Rez newspapers and other sources to paint a picture they want you to believe but that is simply not true. Come to Caledonia and see for yourself if you want to see the "real face" of Six Nations in 2014. I am dreadfully ashamed. I know that my Six Nations ancestors would be horrified to see what has become of their people. As a rule, the uncles and aunties who over the generations stayed Rez side did not fare too well (violence and early death being standard fare), the ones who left were generally able to make something of their lives (with some notable exceptions of course). The point has been driven home that the key to success is education not indoctrination; critical thinking skills not robotic recitation of entrenched beliefs. The key to success clearly is the avoidance of locations ripe with toxic influences.
More and more the veil is lifted on this radical element, and the stark reality becomes apparent. Unfortunately the vast majority of the residents of Six Nations who would have a more open minded approach were nowhere to be seen. There were actually "Natives" present with the Caledonia group who see themselves as Canadian and are horrified at the trampling of human rights seen at such events. None were current residents of Six Nations - it would simply be far too dangerous to show support of truth and justice because of the on Rez dynamics.
I urge the various Government agencies to use caution, assuming that those in Haldimand County are not going to rise up, that is something only Six Nations would do - this is a dangerous assumption. I live here. I have connections in all camps. I am hoping for the best, but will prepare to take the actions needed to see justice done in this neck of the woods. Hopefully cool heads will prevail and justice will be served by not pandering to the "demands" of Six Nations militants. The problem is that many have dug in their heels. They have invested so much time and emotional commitment into this "reclamation" to the point that they are absolutely unwilling / unable to see reason, common sense, the facts, the evidence, the truth or anything resembling these concepts. Many have the attitude that it is my way or no way - I have heard this time and again with my own ears.
I will never abandon the methods of science and the deployment of hard evidence to determine who has right on their side. We know who at present has might (not right) on their side, and who has shown a willingness to use it. If we permit this, "it is so because I believe it to be so" attitude to prevail, we are cooked. Our country is poised to descend into anarchy as our Government and our police forces abandon us to our fate. Few people who are Six Nations are willing to speak out and speak the truth - there are strong social pressures to conform and keep up the appearance of a united front to the world (while in the background the factionalism is tearing the community apart). We (Caledonians and right minded Six Nations) should be standing together in this - it is a human rights issue, and should be of concern to all. But, this is Caledonia.