Monthly Archives: June 2009

June 23rd Anti-Militia Protest in Cayuga

This page is an archive of the protest that the CUPE 3903 FNSWG organized against the formation of the so-called “Caledonia Militia”.

this will be our main page that will link to all other coverage on the protest.



Tom Keefer’s opening and closing speeches to the anti-militia rally. (Complete Version)


Here’s CHCH TV’s terribly biased report on the militia group. CHCH has been known throughout the last 3 years for it’s extremly biased coverage against Six Nations.


Mainstream Media Coverage

Brantford Expositor

Background Material

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Brantford Expositor coverage

[Fleming points out that white supremacists need not apply and that he “despises” their beliefs, but-as mentioned elsewhere-he needs to face the elephant in the room: why do these actions attract such company?  McHale and Fleming can talk until they’re blue in the face about how much they despise such ideologies of hate, but the simple truth is that their rallies, marches, and now possibly militias, draw out a certain crowd like bees to honey]

Call us ‘Peacekeepers’


June 24, 2009

This town became Caledonia for an evening as two bitterly opposed groups faced off Tuesday night with insults and warring news releases at the Lions Club Hall.

Inside the hall, about 30 people in a group that was holding a first organizational meeting of the Caledonia Peacekeepers. A couple of weeks ago the group started by calling itself the Caledonia Militia.

Caledonia protest personality Gary McHale and Doug Fleming, the Peacekeepers founding leader, launched a critique of the OPP’s “race-based policing” that they say goes easy on crimes committed by First Nations people.

They also explained how the new group would monitor and report on crime in Caledonia, be prepared to make citizen’s arrests and carry out an information program to educate people about “what is really going on” in the name of the native land claims dispute.

Above all, Fleming and McHale emphasized that the Peacekeepers would not tolerate anyone in its membership who expresses racist views.

“I’m going to be very blunt, here,” said Fleming.

“My grandfather’s generation fought a war against Nazi Germany to combat that type of thinking. If any of you here have bought into this racist doctrine, I just want you to know this: I despise your beliefs. I couldn’t disagree with you more, and this is not the group for you.”

Outside the hall and across the street, about 100 demonstrators had bused in from various southern Ontario communities to condemn the new group in speeches, signs and literature as racist neo-Nazis, or people who “definitely” had leanings and connections to more prominent organizations of the same ilk.

The protesters, from Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph, Hamilton and Toronto, were bused in by the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 3903, First Nations Solidarity Working Group.

They took full advantage of the new Caledonia group’s early choice of “militia” in its name, as they carried signs reading “Canadians Don’t Want Anti-Native Vigilantes,” “Klan Meeting in Progress,” “Militia Go Home,” and ”,” the website of a reputed white supremacist organization.

“I’m not saying that Gary McHale and Doug Fleming are neo-Nazi,” but their motives are questionable, one spokesman, Davin Charney, insisted to the media, while police were moving the protesters across the street as they descended from the bus.

Questioned further, Charney said that McHale and Fleming were at least “guilty by association.”

“We oppose the threat of violence and escalation of the problem,” said Niki Thorne, a York University graduate student and member of the First Nations Solidarity Working Group.

“This is a bigger issue. This is not just about Caledonia. We need to settle all land claims in a crisp, peaceful and fair manner.”

Fleming and McHale both said they first decided to call their group a “militia” to get the media’s attention.

McHale said that there has been a native militia in Caledonia for three years.

“Whether they call themselves the Mohawk Warriors, or the Men’s Fire, or the Protectors, or whatever name they want to use, they have been acting an armed militia, using baseball bats and other weapons to intimidate people,” he said.

With the OPP unwilling to enforce the law, the Peacekeepers are dedicated to the “restoration of law and order,” he said.

The new group’s meeting was held in Cayuga, partly because McHale is forbidden by a court order from carrying on his activities in Caledonia.

Tuesday’s confrontation is the latest incident in a re-escalation of tension in Caledonia, more than three years after the occupation of a former housing development by Six Nations Haudenosaunee activists, which they call a “reclamation.”

Last Thursday, the fledgling group staged a silent march past the site, with an equal number of Haudenosaunee activists standing quietly at the entrance.

The march, against the OPP, was a response to the arrest of Fleming’s brother, Randy, about a week earlier for trying to walk down the same road with a Canadian flag.


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Dunville Chronicle coverage

[I like the typo near the end of the piece citing Fleming’s assertion that “Hotheads need apply”–and if it isn’t a typo it’s even sweeter]

Protestors descend upon Cayuga


June 24, 2009

The formation of a militia in Caledonia is being met with opposition from points across Southern Ontario.

Last week Caledonia resident Doug Fleming announced he would be forming a citizens’ militia to address problems he perceives as being ignored by the Ontario Provincial Police. In a published release Fleming said, “Due to the ongoing reality that the OPP refuses to enforce the Criminal Code with regards to people’s property rights I am forming the Caledonia Militia to ensure that the criminal code is upheld in Haldimand County.”

The action stems from his contention there is a two-tiered justice system in Caledonia which favours Six Nations residents and penalizes property owners in Caledonia by arresting non-native trespassers while ignoring occupations by Six Nations members.

At press time a meeting was taking place in the Cayuga Lions Hall for anyone interested in joining Fleming’s private group of law enforcers.

Scheduled to coincide with the meeting a protest rally was taking place outside the building by non-natives who oppose the idea of a militia.

Busloads of protesters arrived from Toronto, Kitchener, Guelph and other areas around 6 p. m. Monday evening. The protest was organized by the Canadian Union of Public Employees 3903, First Nations Solidarity Working Group.

Spokesperson Tom Keefer told The Chronicle he believes the idea of a militia is really being coordinated by activist Gary McHale who has often been at the centre of controversy between Caledonia and Six Nations residents.

“I believe McHale is the driving force behind the militia. He will be speaking at the meeting and is their self-appointed legal expert,” said Keefer.

He also doubts McHale’s motives saying, “I believe McHale is financially benefiting from this situation and is fanning the flames. If he lets things quiet down then he and his group will be out of business,” he said.

Keefer said his protest group is composed entirely of non-natives. He claims their efforts are completely peaceful.

“We are not strangers to the issue. We have been there practically on a weekly basis over the past three years. We have been working in the area with pot luck dinners, and community meetings but we’ve never seen fit to add fuel to the fire. We feel McHale is dangerous and disruptive but we’ve never interrupted his activities before. Flag raising is one thing but the formation of a militia is entirely different,” he said. “A call to militia is a dangerous escalation. This time they’ve gone too far,” he contends.

“How will a milita help anything?” asked Keefer. “Do they expect the Six Nations to just roll over?”

Fleming’s call for members stated, “Hotheads need apply. We’re opposing terrorism, not engaging in it. We will follow established procedures on the use of reasonable force to remove illegal trespassers. Trespassers will be arrested and turned over to the OPP for the prosecution of their offences.”

OPP Inspector David McLean told the Chronicle, “We certainly do respect that everyone has the right to a peaceful protest. We hope if both groups do show up, they respect each other, do their thing and pack up without incident. If that happens it will be a success.”

McLean added, “We will be there monitoring the situation. Both have indicated they want it to be peaceful so we hope that it is and they don’t disrupt the neighbourhood more than they already have.”


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More Cayuga coverage – Hamilton Spectator

[again, more of the same, although they let Niki slip in an excellent little soundbite]
Not militia, just Peacekeepers

June 23, 2009

Paul Morse

The Hamilton Spectator

CAYUGA – A call to form a “Caledonia militia” was a publicity stunt to draw attention to the OPP’s “refusal to enforce the rule of law” in native disputes in this town along the Grand River, organizers say.

But local activists Doug Fleming and Gary McHale said they want to organize a citizens’ group called Caledonia Peacekeepers which would be willing to use reasonable force to protect private property from trespassers.

“But the fact is that there have been armed militia in Haldimand County for the past three years … who mask themselves and carry weapons,” said McHale, a well-known anti-native occupation protestor who has drawn the OPP’s ire over his activities. He was referring to native groups involved in occupying or blocking development on land they claim as their own.

At a meeting tonight at the Cayuga Lion’s Club attended by 25 to 30 local residents, McHale said the group’s real purpose was to tell the OPP that “we are not going to allow someone to occupy our land. Either you arrest them or I will. You have five minutes.”

While vague on details, Fleming, a local entrepreneur, said the Peacekeepers would respond to owners’ requests to patrol their property and ask any trespassers to move.

“You ask the person to leave … and if they refuse, all you have to say ‘You are under arrest,’” Fleming said. If they refuse, citizens have the legal right to escalate “reasonable force” to the point of restraining the person, and to even use plastic handcuff-style ties, he said.

At the same time as the meeting, about 70 vocal protesters arrived on buses from Toronto and Kitchener to rally against Fleming’s Caledonia Peacekeepers with shouts of “Go away, KKK.”

“These people have been attracting the support of neo-Nazis and white supremacists,” said Hamilton’s Niki Thorne, an organizer from CUPE  Local 3903’s First Nations Support Working Group.

McHale and Fleming said the citizens’ group will create neighbourhood watches and report criminal activity to police.

They will also patrol certain “high crime areas” just like the Guardian Angels, to discourage crime and, in extreme cases, to carry out a citizen’s arrest “which is done hundreds of times each day in Canada,” McHale said.

“This group has to focus the law on the OPP to get them to understand residents will not give up.”


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CBC coverage of June 23 Anti-Militia protest

Actually, it was more like 30 that showed up for the militia meeting, not 50, and it was probably closer to 170, not 70, protesters that showed up … but who’s counting?  And while we may have outnumbered them 6 to 1, Fleming receives a few paragraphs and we’re reduced to a single collective and massively simplified “Go away KKK” slogan.  C’mon CBC…

Citizen militia will protect Caledonia landowners: organizers

Ontario premier dismisses militia plans as ‘unhelpful’

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 | 8:38 AM ET

As many as 50 people gathered in a small southwestern Ontario community late Tuesday to discuss setting up a citizens’ militia to deal with illegal occupations in the Caledonia claims dispute.

Organizers of the group, which calls itself the Caledonia Peacekeepers, are upset with how the Ontario Provincial Police have handled the three-year-old occupation of a Caledonia housing development by First Nations protesters, who say the land belongs to them.

Doug Fleming, who came up with the idea of forming the unarmed militia, says they’ll use force and citizen arrests to deal with illegal occupations in Caledonia, southwest of Hamilton.

“This group is not for hotheads. This group is not for someone who will lose their temper and want to hurt someone,” said Fleming, who held the meeting in the nearby village of Cayuga.

About 70 people arrived on buses from Toronto and Kitchener to protest the meeting, shouting, “Go away, KKK,” said a report in the Hamilton Spectator.

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty said Wednesday it is “not helpful at all” to have a citizen militia, saying the OPP is responsible for upholding the law in Caledonia.

Six Nations members occupied the contested 40-hectare tract of land in February 2006. Talks between Ottawa and First Nations officials to resolve the land claim dispute are ongoing.

Fleming said the militia is being formed to make sure the law is enforced and to protect local property owners from trespassers.

He says he came up with the idea earlier this month when a Mohawk man occupied a corner of a farm field on the edge of town and set up a shack to sell duty-free cigarettes to protest the state of land claim talks.

Fleming, who became upset when the OPP said they wouldn’t move in to evict the protestor, says he hopes the threat of citizens making citizens’ arrests will embarrass the police force into action.

“We will intervene in situations like that, if the OPP knows that we’re serious, I believe they will do it rather than risk the consequences of having civilians do it. But we have to be prepared to do it,” he said.

However, the farmer who owns the land where the smoke shack has been set up, says the federal government, not local vigilantes, should solve the Caledonia land claim.

“Outsiders, they stick their nose into it … because this is my problem,” said Ernie Palmer. “Mr. Fleming, you are a publicity seeker and you should have stayed out of it as I told you.”

OPP Deputy Commissioner Chris Lewis says Palmer hasn’t asked for police assistance.

“He has not asked us to do anything there, in fact, is not concerned about it is my understanding,” said Lewis. “For anyone to start a group which is ultimately going to try and take matters into their own hands is ridiculous and a real dangerous precedent to set.”

Earlier this month, Ontario Aboriginal Affairs Minister Brad Duguid called the plan a “dumb idea.”

The aboriginals were given the land in 1784 by the British Crown, but Ottawa says the vast majority was surrendered or sold by 1850. The Six Nations claim the land was never surrendered.


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