Category Archives: Development

Stop the Sludge/Support Six Nations Land Defenders–> Hamilton Event

STOP THE SLUDGE! SUPPORT SIX NATIONS LAND DEFENDERS! Speaking Tour
Friday June 29th
7-9 @ Corktown HARRP (187 James St. South)

Join us to learn about struggles to stop the sludge plant at the Headwaters of the Grand River and how to support Six Nations activists who are being criminalized for defending their land.  Speakers from Six Nations and Dundalk share their experiences, followed by an opportunity for discussion.

STOP THE SLUDGE!
How would you like to eat food that was fertilized with hazardous human waste? What if that same waste leaks into our local rivers?

In the lead-up to a July 7th walk in Dundalk, Ontario, to show the growing and united opposition being mobilised against these dangerous developments at the headwaters of the Grand and Saugeen rivers, we will be joined by James Cooke of citizen groups Stop the Waste Park (http://www.stopthewastepark.com/) and the Southgate Public Interest Research Group (http://opirg.org/southgate/home.html).  During this public info night we will learn about the unfolding events and struggles against a dangerous project to build a new waste processing (‘sludge’) plant at the headwaters of the Grand River, as well as resistance to this project from those at the frontline of this environmental struggle.

The story on the sludge plant:

In February 2012, residents of Southgate township and the town of Dundalk, Ontario drove their vehicles onto the access road leading to a construction site. The so-called “eco-park”, located near a school at the edge of town, was to be developed into a sludge-to-fertilizer processing plant.

This land protection action, 145km northwest of Hamilton, Ontario at the head waters of the Grand River (O:se Kenhionhata:tie), has stopped construction of the plant which would have processed the human sewage, industrial and medical waste that would be shipped in from Toronto. The out-sludge would then be sprayed on fields as fertilizer for our food.

With the support of Haudenosaunee land defenders, and a mobilized and highly knowledgeable local community, the blockade’s energy and strength continues to grow and there is grounds for optimism about the impending court date in July which would see the zoning rules disallow further development.

Check out the AW@L Radio interview with Ruby Montour (Haundenosaunee elder, land defender and Grandmother) and Dundalk resident James Cook (Southgate Public Interest Research Group), who have been blockading further development of the site, in a bold and brave land protection effort: http://rabble.ca/podcasts/shows/awl/2012/05/stop-waste-park

For more information on the proposed sludge plant, and to hear plans of ongoing and upcoming actions on this water issue, visit:

– http://stopthewastepark.com/

– https://www.facebook.com/pages/STOP-the-Bio-Solids-Plant-from-Being-In-a-Town-or-near-Housing/282799498412223

SUPPORT SIX NATIONS LAND DEFENDERS!


On June 25, the April 28 Coalition kicked off a speaking tour in Toronto with the  launch of a new Six Nations Land Defenders Legal Defence Fund to support front line Haudenosaunee land defenders who have been criminalized and targeted by the state.

Francine “Flower” Doxtator is a Haudenosaunee Land Defender, grandmother and a member of the April 28 Coalition from Six Nations. She will be in court on June 26 in Cayuga to continue dealing with charges stemming from a February 18 incident at Kanonhstaton, the Six Nations reclamation site near Caledonia, where she and others confronted racist agitator Gary McHale’s planned incursion onto the site known as “the Protected Place.” She was later recharged for allegedly breaching unjust bail conditions when she attended the April 28 walk for “Peace, Respect and Friendship,” where people from Six Nations marched with allies under the banner, “We Are All Treaty People.” For more information on Flower’s case see: april28coalition.wordpress.com.

At Six Nations, the last six years have seen harsh criminalization of Haudenosaunee Land Defenders. Dozens of people have faced criminal charges and several have served substantial time in jail. In Brantford an injunction was passed making it illegal for anyone from Six Nations to be involved in land claims protest within the city; in Flower’s case we see further criminalization of land defenders with bail conditions that attempt to keep her away from already reclaimed land.

We are reminded of our collective strength and the potential for support within activist communities when over the last two years unprecedented levels of support has been generated for the G20 defendants and some of those convicted and that currently there are massive outpourings of solidarity and support to the legal defense funds of Quebec student associations. It is important to remember that the same level of financial and physical support has not arisen for Indigenous Land Defenders and other front line struggles. This needs to change.

We must continue to build support for Six Nations land defenders and other everyday struggles against colonization. We must also remember that all of us living on the land are treaty people, and we as treaty people must work to overcome these outrageous and heart breaking violations of treaty and human rights by building support for our friends and allies at Six Nations.

This event has been organized by Hamilton members of the April 28th coalition.

If you have questions about other work the April 28 Coalition is doing, please contact: april28info@gmail.com

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Filed under April 28 Coalition, Court Support, Development, Environoment, Hamilton, Injunctions, Political Prisoners, Six Nations Land defenders Legal Defence Fund

New Interactive Map! – Haldimand Tract

Haldimand TractLINK

This map seeks to outline the territory of the Six Nations as set out in the Haldimand Proclamation of 1784 and the recent struggles to fight off developers planning to profit on stolen land.

The map divides the Haldimand Tracts into smaller tracts based upon the history of land theft orchestrated by the colonial state. The accompanying text outlines the specific claims to that specific tract – contrary to the claims of the state. This history and the geographical boundaries are based upon the research of Phil Monture.

The geographical lines on this map are not 100% accurate and are made as general representations.

The markers indicate various specific land defense hotspots (most of which necessitated the use of direct action). Red markers indicate sites of struggles currently unfolding. Blue markers indicate sites of struggle that are slightly less active – although very much still sites of struggle.

The map has been compiled by a settler ally.

larger map includes detailed legend

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Filed under Brantford, Caledonia, decolonization, Development, Haldimand Tract, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Ohsweken, Uncategorized

Solidarity w Six Nations: Upcoming Events

Three upcoming events on Six Nations’ Grand River Territory

April 28: Walk and Gathering for Peace, Respect, and Friendship
Caledonia and Kanonhstaton, Six Nations Territory

April 29: Indigenous Sovereignty and Solidarity 101:
an introductory workshop
– Waterloo, WPIRG

May 4+5: Aboriginal Land Rights and the Rule of Law: book launch
Brantford, Caledonia, Ohsweken

April 28: Walk and Gathering for Peace, Respect, and Friendship

At 2 PM on Saturday, April 28, 2012 the Six Nations [Haudenosaunee] people of the Grand River territory and their allies will be holding a walk and rally for “Peace, Respect and Friendship.” The main focus of the event is to remind the Canadian people and the Canadian government that Six Nations land rights and treaties need to be respected.

(read more)

Get on the Bushttp://april28coalition.wordpress.com/our-transportation-registration-form/

April 29: Indigenous Sovereignty & Solidarity – 101: An Introductory Workshop

Waterloo, 2-5:30pm, Math & Community Building (MC), room 2034- University of Waterloo, WPIRG

(link)

The need to recognize indigenous sovereignty, land and treaty rights, and to root all of our intersectional struggles within a framework that incorporates anti-colonial perspectives, is increasingly understood to be a central feature of contemporary social and environmental justice work.

This series of workshops will introduce participants to the basics, as well as some of the complexities of engaging in indigenous solidarity work. Trainings will be interactive and will heavily utilize various popular education techniques, as well as some formal presentation.

All workshops are free, and open to both students and community members. Snacks and bus tickets will be provided, and childcare is available upon request.

Workshops will be held in the Math & Community Building (MC), room 2034- University of Waterloo. Registration is required.

Email tammy@wpirg.org to register.

May 4 and 5: Aboriginal Rights and the Rule of Law

Brantford, May 4, 7-9pm, WLU Odeon Theatre, 50 Market Street
Caledonia, May 5, 1-3pm, Haldimand Public Library, 100 Haddington St.
Ohsweken, May 5, 7-9pm, Old Council House, Fourth Line at Chiefswood.

You are invited to a book signing and author talk with University of British Columbia law student and author, Laura DeVries.

CONFLICT IN CALEDONIA:  Aboriginal Land Rights and the Rule of Law

About the book: Most people know that in 2006 an ongoing struggle in the communities of Caledonia, Brantford and Six Nations began. This book examines the way the conflict in Caledonia was publicly portrayed by those involved in its first two years. It asks why the conflict began, explores how it is linked to broader debates about Canadian law, citizenship and history, and offers ideas as to how the crisis could perhaps have been averted and why the government and Six Nations have been unable to reach resolution.

“I used chapters from this book in my third-year Indigenous history course. The book provides a wonderful analysis of the Caledonia situation.”
-Prof. Gary Warrick – Indigenous Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University, Brantford Campus.

FREE ADMISSION
More Information call T.R.U.E. c/o Jim Windle at 519-732-5700

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Filed under 6NSN, April 28, Brantford, Caledonia, Development, Environoment, Haldimand Tract, Injunctions, Kitchener-Waterloo, Negotiations, Ohsweken, TRUE, WPIRG

“We are not the criminals”

Dick Hill and Gene Johns on being found “guilty” of mischief

April 2, 2012

Dick Hill and Gene Johns, Rotiskenekete of Six Nations of the Grand River, were charged with mischief in relation to housing developments protected by an injunction granted to the City of Brantford. They were both arrested and released by the Brantford Police on conditions preventing them from going within 1.5 kilometers of any “land claim protest.” Through a year long Charter challenge, they fought that condition and Justice K.G. Lenz reduced the zone to 100m. In a criminal justice system that would silence Onkwehonwe (native) voices, these are their words.

Today, we are telling the court that – yes, we attended at development sites and caused a delay in construction.  We appreciate that a judge will find us “guilty” of mischief under Canadian law.  At the end of this long court process, we are affirmed that there is no justice.

When a Canadian judge recognizes that there is development happening on treaty land and there has been no negotiation or consultation prior to shovels in the ground, we are the criminals for attending at the site and demanding pause to allow for some discussion to occur with Six Nations?  This is not justice.  This is more of the same.  This is the reason why Onkwehonwe people cannot trust the police, the courts or the Canadian governments.

Our experience shows us that we cannot trust the words offered to Onkwehone people.  Stephen Harper’s Apology on behalf of Canadians for the Indian Residential Schools system, Canada’s commitment to United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – these are recent examples of words that fly in the face of how the government is actually treating our people.

We hear these words spoken in court – that the “honour of the Crown” is always at stake when dealing with Onkwehonwe people.  Treaties were made because the Haudenosaunee (Six Nations) chose to be Allies with the Crown.  The City of Brantford, the Province and Canada behave like these treaties never happened.  In our case, the judge recognized that no negotiations or consultations have occurred on any of the sites listed in the City of Brantford’s injunction.  Every one of these sites has been recognized by the federal government as part of a legitimate “land claim” and the jurisdiction, ownership and interests in the land is unsettled.  No reconciliation, no benefit or consideration whatsoever to Six Nations – only arrest, jail and the appalling experience of being prosecuted in a criminal court.  Where is the honour in this?

We know directly from City officials, including former councillor James Calnan and sitting Mayor Chris Friel, that the City of Brantford has a strategy to use criminal law to stop any Onkwehonwe protests.  That strategy, developed with the direct participation of the Brantford Police Service, came to a head with bail conditions preventing anyone who was arrested from coming within 1.5 kilometres of any “land development site…in which a land claim protest is taking place”.  You forced us to go into a Canadian court to have this condition challenged knowing that your side is chewing up the land with no regard for treaties, no good faith efforts at negotiations and consultation, and no options for us but to sit back and watch the land destroyed.

When Canada and Ontario play games instead of negotiate in good faith, when our land and our future is bargained away without the slightest courtesy to our inherent rights – what options are we left with?

In our lifetimes, we have seen the size of Brantford double and Caledonia grow from a bunch of houses on the river.  Despite the fact of our treaties, this development goes ahead without any involvement from Six Nations.  Canadian law says that there must be negotiation to settle the long-standing issues and consultation before anything.  Who holds Canada accountable for failing to live up to their legal promises? No one.

There is no justice for us in any Canadian court, only towers of lawyers and bottomless pockets ready to use the club of Canadian law to continue your assumed jurisdiction over our land and our people.

We have no voice in the Canadian criminal justice system; we could sit in court talking until we are blue in the face but no one is listening because the Onkwehonwe voice does not fit into Canadian law.  Growing up native is about looking over your shoulder because a justice system says “we are going to getcha”.

We are not against development, we are against the all out attack on our children and the future of our people as we get more and more land-locked on the “reserve”.  As Haudenosaunee men, we live by our responsibilities under the Kaianereh’ko:wa (Great Law of Peace) and we understand what needs to be done.  We will protect this land until such time that the sun does not shine, the rivers do not flow and the grass grows no longer.  There is no judge, no court that will ever stop us from doing our duty to our people and the Creator.

Six Nations of The Grand River

For more information or to arrange for an interview, contact:

Sarah Dover
Counsel to Dick Hill & Gene Johns
(519) 751-4789
sarahdover@sympatico.ca

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Filed under Brantford, Development, Men's Fire, Sovereignty and Haudenosaunee Passports

Six Nations Solidarity Network, Brantford, Eagle Place


Floyd Montour (left) of Six Nations shares some of the ordeals he’s gone through while taking part in protests at developments where the property is under a land claim. He was speaking at a gathering Sunday afternoon at Kanata Village where people met to deliver information pamphlets about development in the Eagles Nest tract, and a public meeting on March 28th at Bellview School.

From the Brantford Expositor, March 15

Anything Eagle Place residents want to know about an unresolved native land claim that bears the name of their neighbourhood and developers’ plans for massive subdivisions, they can learn at a public information meeting at Bellview School gym on March 28, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

About 30 social activists from native, non-native and union groups gathered at Kanata Iroquois Village for a strategy session on Sunday, then hit the pavement of most streets in Eagle Place, distributing flyers advertising the event.

The Brantford-based peace group TRUE -True Row Understanding through Education -is mounting the event to educate the public about the 200-year-old Eagle’s Nest Tract claim that is at the heart of a dispute that is pitting Six Nations Haudenosaunee activists, the city and builders against one another in occupations, work stoppages, arrests and stymied development.

The organizers also want to ensure the neighbourhood is aware of peaceful native intentions, and the extent of plans by a group of developers to bring nearly 1,200 homes to the area, despite the claim.

The southern part of Eagle Place is also a key area of concern in a waterfront master plan that a council and consulting team has been working on for the past nine months, which could curtail development in the area.

“We stand by the principle that there is a legitimate claim, it should be respected and it should be negotiated,” said Steve Watson, national representative for the Canadian Auto Workers, who was at the head of 15 activist union members.

“The rights of the claimants should not be ignored. Unions have to fight to get respect for their rights. We have a convergence of interests.”

Seven times the city has tried to run a water and sewer line across Erie Avenue to service a 99-home subdivision by Birkett Lane that is still stalled. Each time, activists have been there to stop them.

The developers believe they have clear title to the land, and show deeds from the land registry system tracing ownership back to the original person they claimed acquired it legally.

Tom Keefer, with the Canadian Union of Public Employees and co-ordinator with the First Nations Solidarity Working Group, which brought eight activists, said that organization has been supporting Six Nations since the occupation of a housing project in Caledonia four years ago.

He hopes the educational exercise over the Eagle’s Nest Tract claim will head off the angst that has engulfed Caledonia.
“This is an expression of union solidarity with indigenous struggles,” he said. “We see a lot of similarities in this case as elsewhere. The government breaks treaties like employers break collective agreements.”

Bill Squire, with the Mohawk Nation, complained that organization is not allowed at the table in negotiations since Caledonia that have yielded no result.

“We are on the outside, not able to participate in the negotiations,” he said, while expressing his gratitude over the arrival of non-native, union and other groups.
“Development in Brantford has been running amok,” Jim Windle, head of TRUE, told the gathering.

“The problem has been that is on land under claim that has never been surrendered. Negotiations have been going on, and while that is happening, development has been taking place anyway.
“As a human being, I can’t sit and watch this continue to happen. There is an injustice here and we’re trying to bring the truth out.”
– – –

BY THE NUMBERS
The Erie Avenue-Birkett Lane area is a green stretch of contested, mostly floodplain, territory on the south end of Brantford. It also is where developers have filed plans of subdivision to build a total of nearly 1,200 housing unit:

West of Erie Avenue and north of Birkett Lance -428 unit subdivision plan submitted by Harry and Helga Noderer in 1992, conditions not yet fulfilled.

Northwest corner of Erie and Birkett -99-house subdivision by Cambridge Heritage Management Corp. approved, but repeatedly stalled by native protests.

147 Birkett -219-unit subdivision planned by Stirling Bridge Ltd., application in progress.

339 Erie -60-unit townhouse complex by Multani Homes, application in progress.

Dover Avenue -38-unit townhouse complex by Multani Homes, application in progress.

104 River Rd.-Eight-house subdivision by Jack, Ruth and Ross Shrum, plan of subdivision conditions not yet fulfilled.

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Filed under Brantford, Brantford Expositor, Development, Environoment, TRUE, Unions

Rally in Solidarity with Six Nations Land Rights! November 7, 2009

protesting brantford injunction

Rally at 1 PM, Victoria Park, (Corner of George St. and Darling St., Brantford). Potluck dinner and social to follow at 5PM at the reclaimed Kanata Village site.

Down with the Brantford Injunction!
No Developments on Six Nations Land!
Drop all charges against Six Nations land defenders!
Meaningful negotiations now!

Speakers include:

Aaron Detlor (Lawyer for the Haudenosaunee Development Institute)

Alex Hundert (AW@L Kitchener-Waterloo)

Bev Crawford (Haudenosaunee Hoskanigetah)

Bill Squires (Mohawk Workers)

Chris Harris (Black Action Defense Committee, Toronto)

Dawn Martin-Hill (Dept. of Indigenous Studies, McMaster)

Jan Watson (Co-founder of Community Friends in Caledonia, CAW 555)

Janie Jamieson (Former spokesperson for the DCE Reclamation)

Sharon Sanchez (Women’s Coordinating Committee Chile-Canada)

Jim Windle (Brantford TRUE)

Missy Elliott (Young Onkwehonwe United)

Niki Thorne (Hamilton Practical Solidarity)

Phil Monture (Six Nations Land Claim Expert)

Ruby and Floyd Monture (Six Nations Land Defenders)

Steve Watson (CAW Educational Department)

Tim Reynolds (Brantford TRUE)

Tom Keefer (CUPE 3903 First Nations Solidarity Working Group)

Vince Gilchrist (Haudenosaunee Hoskanigetah)

(Note: Group affiliation in the brackets is for informational purposes only and does not necessarily indicate that the speaker is speaking on behalf of their group).

Brantford, Ontario has become “ground zero” in the struggle over Indigenous rights in Ontario. Most of the city is under landclaim, but instead of halting development until the status of the disputed land can be negotiated, Brantford city council is carrying out an aggressive policy of encouraging the criminalization of Six Nations land defenders. Since 2006, when protests in nearby Caledonia erupted, over 60 people from Six Nations have faced more than 160 criminal charges as they have tried to peacefully stop illegal developments from taking place on their lands.

It is time for allies and supporters of Six Nations to stand up and bring pressure to bear on our governments and institutions in order to demand that they respect and honor the treaties and agreements we have made with Indigenous nations. The Six Nations Solidarity Network — a group made up of non-native activists from communities in and beside the Haldimand tract, is calling all supporters of Six Nations land rights to join us in a peaceful protest on Saturday, Nov 7th 2009, at 1pm in Brantford’s Victoria Park (corner of Market St. and Darling St.).

The demonstration will march through Brantford and stop at a variety
of sites including:

* City Hall (where local politicians have criminalized Six Nations land rights through injunctions and arrests)

*MPP Dave Levac’s Office

* Harmony Square (where Six Nations land is being expropriated to make room for the new YMCA)

* Indian Affairs Office

* Brant’s Crossing (on the unceded Nathan Gage tract)

* Erie Ave at Birkett Lane (on the Eagles Nest tract and where Six Nations land defenders have most recently been charged).

At each of these stops, the demonstration will be addressed by a speakers about the pressing issues relating to each stop.

The demonstration will conclude with a potluck and social which will  begin at 5:00pm at the reclaimed Kanata Village Museum. The space is being made available by the Mohawk Workers. Bring food to share!

Buses and carpooling to Brantford are being organized from Paris, Guelph, Caledonia, Oshwegen, Kitchener-Waterloo, Hamilton, Toronto and other nearby cities and towns. To endorse the demonstration or get in touch with the organizers, please  email 6nsolnet@gmail.com or visit 6nsolidarity.wordpress.com for more information.

This event is endorsed by Brantford TRUE, CUPE 3903 FNSWG, AW@L, CAIA York, Upping the Anti, Women’s Coordinating Committee Chile-Canada, and is being organized by the Six Nations Solidarity Network which includes local environmental activists and activists from a variety of union locals including the CAW, CUPE and Steelworkers.

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Filed under Brantford, Development, Uncategorized

Basic Background of Cayuga Protest

[The following is taken from independent documentary photographer Allan Lissner who does an excellent job providing some background to the issue, but make sure to visit the source of this piece (http://allan.lissner.net/?p=1628) to check out some great photos]

aclsixnations752

Tensions on the rise again surrounding Six Nations’ land claim in Caledonia

By Allan Lissner,

Tensions are on the rise again surrounding the three-year standoff over a first nations land dispute in Caledonia, Ontario.  Non native residents of Caledonia recently announced the formation of the “Caledonia Militia” in response to the lack of progress in the land dispute with the intent to “follow established procedures on the use of reasonable force to remove illegal trespassers”. The formation of the Caledonia Militia has caused a great deal of concern over the potential for violent escalation in the already tense situation.

The Douglas Creek Estates is the strip of land at the centre of this dispute. The land in question looks much like any other suburban construction site being developed across Canada, except that members of the Six Nations (Haudenosaunee) Confederacy point out that the land rightfully belongs to them.

This is one of hundreds of indigenous land claims being disputed across Canada.  The Six Nations’ claim to this land dates back to 1784 when the British were fighting the Americans during the War of Independence; The British, who had always dealt with the Six Nations Confederacy on a nation-to-nation basis, asked the Six Nations’ to fight alongside them and offered a large area of land in return.  The 380,000 hectare tract of land promised to them covered an area of six miles on either side of the Grand River. Today, less than five percent of the land promised to them is in their possession, making up what is now the Six Nations Reserve.  The Government of Canada’s official position on the matter is that “the Six Nations validly surrendered all the lands that are not now part of the reserve.”

The women of the Six Nations Confederacy, however, argue that the land in question was never legally surrendered. The Six Nations Confederacy has been called the oldest surviving participatory democracy on earth, and according to their constitution the women are the ‘Title Holders.’ One of the women active at the blockade describes how decisions are made: “There are fifty chiefs who represent the Confederacy Council and they have a clanmother with each chief. It is the people whose voice the chiefs and clanmothers carry. Any decision regarding land comes first from the women, and then to their clans; and through the process of our council, when all are in agreement, or when consensus has been reached, only then does the decision stand,” she says. “In our history of the Haldimand Tract, this has never been done.”

“The idea that British Colonists or their descendents–like Canadians–were the only people who had ‘law’ is a legal fiction,” says Kahentinetha Horn, a Mohawk elder from Kahnawake. Canada “has totally disrespected our laws and agreements to conduct a nation-to-nation relationship.”

Construction stopped on February 28, 2006, when members of the Six Nations moved in to block construction on the site and reclaim the land.  They have remained there for over three years now with little progress being made in negotiations with federal and provincial governments.  Both federal and provincial governments have been dodging the issue by claiming that the issue lies in the others’ jurisdiction.  With the government completely avoiding the issue, the racial tensions continue to mount between the native and non-natives in the surrounding area.  Both sides are growing increasingly worried about the potential for violent escalation.

The formation of the Caledonia Militia has been met with strong criticism from the Canadian Union of Public Employees’ (CUPE) First Nations Solidarity Working Group, who argue that the formation of the Caledonia Militia “represents a major escalation in regard to the conflict at Six Nations … [increasing] the possibility of violent conflict between natives and non-natives.”  To show their opposition, CUPE’s First Nations Solidarity Group brought busloads of protestors from Toronto, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Guelph to gather outside the Lion’s Club in Cayuga, Ontario, where the first meeting of the militia was being held.

Source: http://allan.lissner.net/?p=1628

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Filed under Caledonia, Cayuga Anti-Militia Protest, Development