Category Archives: Mainstream Media

April 28th Coalition BBQ A Success: Walk for “Peace, Respect and Friendship” draws condemnation from local Caledonia politicians

from: Toronto Media Coop,
April 16

On Saturday April 7, 2012, the April 28th Coalition held a community BBQ and passed out information on the upcoming walk and celebration for “Peace, Respect and Friendship” on April 28, 2012.

The walk is a commemoration of both the 6th year anniversary of the reclamation of Kanonhstaton (former Douglas Creek Estates) of February 28, 2006, and the Ontario Provincial Police armed raid with automatic weapons, pepper spray, and tasers against people from Six Nations who were peacefully reclaiming disputed land near the town of Caledonia, Ontario, on  April 20, 2006. The land claim remains unresolved.

The community BBQ at Kinsmen Park was a fitting place along the Grand River to hold the BBQ and it was busy with families and others taking walks, people fishing, and those just enjoying the beautiful spring day. “We spoke to hundreds of people enjoying a beautiful long weekend along a beautiful river. Everyone was polite and attentive,” said Eugene Jonathan from Six Nations. “We had to buy more hot dogs and photocopy more flyers to give out. The day was a success.”

Two days before the BBQ, officials from Haldimand County emailed the April 28th Coalition urging the group to cancel the BBQ for “important public health and liability considerations”. The day of the BBQ, a Caledonia city councilor voiced his displeasure with the BBQ taking place in his Ward and the O.P.P. even showed up to see what was happening. The officer left after he was given some information about the event.

The walk has been the focus of many rumours and organizers of the April 28th Coalition handed out flyers promoting the public info night on Thursday April 19 at the Caledonia Public Library. “The Coalition is working hard to inform Caledonians about what we are planning for the walk,” said Laura Lepper, organizer with the Coalition. “One of the most important parts of our outreach work includes one-on-one conversations with Caledonians’ about the issues and the 28th event. This successful work has shown that we can’t underestimate the power of this method of grassroots organizing.”

The walk itself has caused stirrings in town as Mayor Ken Hewitt has urged Coalition members to cancel the walk, referring to the current situation as a “quagmire”. Mayor Hewitt told the Dunnville Chronicle on April 3, 2012 that he could “appreciate the intent” of the April 28th organizers, but that “I believe taking this into the heart of the community is not the right way to do it.” As the date for the walk gets closer, Hewitt’s condemnation grows sharper. On April 13, 2012, Hewitt told the Chronicle:

“They have no idea what they are doing or could possibly do to the relationships that are just starting to come together … They don’t care. They’re so entrenched and selfishly absorbed in their own agenda that nothing else matters. At what point does the desire to stand up for their rights infringe on our right? I believe they’ve crossed it and as I’ve said to them before, stay out of my community. You’re not welcome.”

Luke Stewart, an organizer with the April 28th Coalition and lifelong settler on the Grand River, has stated into response to Hewitt’s claims that outsiders are not welcome:

“What happens in one region along the Grand River watershed impacts and influences the whole watershed. I can think of no other group of people to organize for Six Nations land rights and to build relationships with than those whose traditional territory we inhabit and those who have settled on the Grand River. Incidentally, none of this will matter if our grandchildren, native and non-native, cannot drink the water, breath the air, or grow their own food because of politicians with short-term solutions and unrestrained land developments. We need to organize our communities around our watersheds and the health of those watersheds – not for the profits of land developers.”

The Coalition has said that it is not asking for anything more than the treaties and agreements with Six Nations be respected and that the solution to the “Caledonia crisis” can be found within those treaties.

For more information, visit: www.april28.net

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Blatchford’s Helpless: Gross inaccuracies presented as fact

The Brantford Expositor–Editorial

http://www.brantfordexpositor.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2875560

I am getting very sick of reading Toronto columnists and mainstream media types perpetuating the grossly inaccurate perceptions of the Caledonia/Six Nations situation at told by Christie Blatchford in her book Helpless.

Since its release, others are going viral with these half-truths and fabrications.

Unlike Blatchford, who admits to not really knowing much about the situation before the Dave Brown/Dana Chatwell trial, I was there, on the ground, during the time frame Blatchford describes and afterwards.

Now, in his list of native atrocities in Caledonia, another arms-length author refers to arson attacks. Yes, there were — but they were all directed against the natives by non-native extremists and not the other way around as implied. In fact, there were four such attacks, two of which could easily have resulted in fatalities.

Any of us who were there know that the barricades came down a long time ago, the tire fires went out hours after they were lit on April 20, 2006, following the armed attack on a handful of sleeping natives and non-native supporters. There were no firearms allowed on the site even at the tensest of times, no crazed warriors running through people’s homes carrying AK-47’s with Russian insignia, and there never was. There were no arms stashes or tunnels under the soil of Douglas Creek, and there never was; Burtch is not being set up as an airfield for clandestine Warrior ops to fly in and out of, and there is no reason to continue with this BS any longer. That is, of course, unless some out-of-town opportunists see money in it.

Jim Windle Brantford

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Filed under Brantford, Brantford Expositor, Caledonia, Christie Blatchford, Mainstream Media, Racism

Even Clinton no Match for U.K.’s Refusal to allow entry of Lacrosse Players–Hamilton Spectator


Even Clinton no match for U.K.’s refusal to allow entry of lacrosse players

July 19, 2010
Jeremy Grimaldi
The Hamilton Spectator
(Jul 19, 2010)
http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/article/810104

Six Nations members of the Iroquois Nationals field lacrosse team are back at home after a “roller-coaster ride” of highs and lows, the team coach said last night.

Speaking from the reserve, Cam Bomberry said the team had been pushed from pillar to post by the United Kingdom’s border agency as they tried to make their way to the World Lacrosse Champ- ionships in Manchester, England.

He said the agency went back on its word after originally giving assurances the team would be allowed in the country, only to repeal the promise at the last minute.

“It was as though the team’s management were the Easter bunny to these boys. We gave them hope and were optimistic on the promises of others,” said the former Nationals player. “But then at the last minute we were forced to rip that dream away from them and admit the whole thing was lost.”

During the tumultuous week, the team was initially told by the U.S. State Department they would not be able to leave the United States because they were travelling on Haudenosaunee, or Iroquois, passports that weren’t considered legitimate by officials.

The team’s hopes were then raised after one of the world’s most powerful politicians, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, decided to hand them a one-time -only waiver to travel.

And even though Bomberry says the British initially said the team would be allowed in, should assurances be given that the players would be allowed back into the U.S., he said that promise was cruelly repealed in the end.

“The tension in the room never left us,” said the coach. “First it was day by day, then hour by hour, we were up and down all week thinking several times that we would be on a plane within moments — it was torture.

“For Clinton to get involved, it showed the magnitude of the situation. We were going for a medal and were sure we would have brought one home. For her to go to bat for us showed the level of support. For England to pull a 180 and go back on their word, was a real stab in the back.”

The U.K. border agency refused to comment on Bomberry’s objections, but a spokesperson did say the team would be welcomed should they gain “valid immigration documents.”

Bomberry said many positives did come out of the trip, including the close bond the players developed on the bus and in the hotel.

“This was the best team we have ever had, and we were going to the medal rounds — what colour medal we brought home was up to the players. In a certain way this was a victory of sorts to have the U.S. government change their minds, with the support we got from the public and with the bonding the team went through, we will be a force to be reckoned with when we do finally play together.”

The local players included Alexander Hill, Cody Jamieson, Craig Pont, Delby Powless, Isaiah Kicknosway, Roger Vyse, Ryan Burnham, Sid Smith and Tom Montour.

The Iroquois helped invent lacrosse, perhaps as early as 1,000 years ago.

Members of the team had been offered passports by the U.S., but team members say they will only use papers issued by the confederacy, a centuries-old league of semi-autonomous Indian nations whose residents mostly live now in New York, Ontario and Quebec.

Paul Horn, a Canadian attending the tournament, wrote in an e-mail to The Spectator: “Public sentiment here is strongly in favour of the Iroquois. When the flag was marched in last night, it received a standing ovation. Not even the home team received one. People over here sympathize with the Iroquois.”

The Haudenosaunee is working on new passports they say will conform with international security requirements. Bomberry said that before the team’s next event in the Czech Republic in 2011, he expects “a lot of money” to be spent updating the passports.

jgrimaldi@thespec.com

905-526-3323

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Filed under Brantford, Caledonia, Haldimand Tract, Hamilton, Hamilton Spectator, Issues, Mainstream Media, Sovereignty and Haudenosaunee Passports

Homebuilder says activist unwelcome at construction site

September 15, 2007 Saturday

Homebuilder says activist unwelcome at construction site

BYLINE: Michael-Allan Marion, the expositor

SECTION: LOCAL NEWS; Pg. A3

LENGTH: 441 words

A city homebuilder is livid that activist Gary McHale brought his protests against native actions at housing developments to his stalled construction site on Grand River Avenue.

McHale, of Richmond Hill, is known for his high-profile protests against an ongoing Confederacy occupation of the former Douglas Creek Estates subdivision in Caledonia.

McHale showed up with seven cohorts bearing Canadian flags and placards on Friday afternoon at the site of a townhouse development being undertaken by Mayberry Homes, owned by Mike Quattrociocchi.

They protested for a while, then left.

Quattrociocchi has already made clear his discomfort over his project having been made the latest target of Confederacy members protesting or temporarily occupying building projects in Haldimand County, Brant County and Brantford to bring attention to unresolved land claims.

But when he learned of McHale’s action, he immediately got on the phone to local politicians and the media to angrily insist he told the activist beforehand not to come to Brantford.

“I told him in no uncertain terms to stay away from my site,” the builder and former city councillor recounted in an interview.

“I said, ‘I don’t need your help.'”

Quattrociocchi said he had also e-mailed city police to inform them he didn’t want McHale on the property and made sure the unwanted activist knew that.

“So what does he do? He shows up anyway,” Quattrociocchi said.

“I want nothing to do with McHale. All he’s trying to do is continue his natives-against-non-natives thing. Nobody needs this. I don’t want to fight anyone. Fighting’s too easy.”

McHale did not return phone calls for comment on Quattrociocchi’s statements.

During the action by the McHale entourage, Shari Manto of nearby Hilda Street walked over to the site. She told McHale she was not impressed that he was disrupting the neighbourhood and walked away.

Quattrociocchi said that while he’s angry at the inaction of the federal and provincial governments in the growing land claims dispute, he’s trying as hard as he can to keep the action at his site from exploding into violence.

“For the first time in a long time in my life I’m scared. I don’t want people to get hurt and I’m afraid they will.”

Mayor Mike Hancock was also unhappy about McHale’s protest.

“I don’t think it’s in the best interests of the city, the developer or anyone else for that matter to inflame an already difficult situation,” he said.

“This kind of thing doesn’t help when you’re trying to find solutions.”

“For the first time in a long time in my life I’m scared. I don’t want people to get hurt and I’m afraid they will.”

Mike Quattrociocchi, Brantford homebuilder

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Rally shows who the true antiracists are, and it’s not Gary McHale and friends

April 01, 2010

Alyson Mccready
The Hamilton Spectator
(Apr 1, 2010)

Gary McHale used March 21, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, to stage an “antiracist” rally on behalf of white people in Caledonia, showed up again the next weekend, and says he intends to keep at it.

This kind of “reverse-discrimination” logic fundamentally misunderstands contemporary power relations in Canadian society. “Reverse-discrimination” is a fallacy that assumes all groups exist on an equal playing field, outside of history. In this case, not only is the field slanted, the field itself has been stolen.

The Day to End Racism has its roots in the long and bloody struggle against South African apartheid. Most people now agree this is an obvious example of an undemocratic system of racist inequality that preserved the privilege and power of the white, colonial-settlers at the expense of indigenous Africans.

But systems of racial discrimination and inequality have a way of seeming more complex when you’re in the midst of them. International scholars and human rights activists are now referring to Canada as an “apartheid” country because of its discriminatory treatment of indigenous peoples, the racialized economic segregation of many Canadian cities, and the legacy of apartheid like laws and residential schools.

Since diverse, multicultural communities having been getting together on March 21 to mourn and to celebrate our common humanity, the Day to End Racism has come under attack by some who feel left out of the party. Some of these are social conservatives who don’t see why we have to go making a fuss about racial diversity.

It’s like Mother’s Day: your kids might say to you “why isn’t there a special day for us kids?” The answer, of course, is that children receive special recognition every day, and so it is with white people in our society. One influential scholar, Peggy McIntosh, kept track of all the invisible little “perks” that she benefited from, just for being white. Many white people around the world participate in the Day to End Racism by reflecting on these unearned privileges and participating in rallies and social events that solidify our commitment to building stronger, more inclusive shared communities.

Then there are far-right and fascist groups that are ideologically committed to maintaining and guarding white privilege, who mobilize against this day (and others) to try to intimidate people of colour and antiracist activists, such as the demonstration in Calgary last week. They often claim to be against racism themselves, only against racism-against-white-people.

McHale used this opportunity to once again bask in the light of public notoriety, staging an “anti-racist” rally on behalf of Caledonia’s white people and claiming that they experience racism and victimization by police and government. McHale has yet to explain why it is that his rhetoric is so appealing to known white supremacists who attend his rallies.

McHale and company erect a “straw man” of “native lawlessness” to steer public attention away from the source of the conflict: The failure of the Canadian government to live up to its obligations to Native people under international law.

International treaty laws, upon which our nation was founded, are the only thing that gives Canada legal legitimacy as a sovereign nation. When we break them, we are actually breaching the terms of our own sovereignty. Canada has allowed settlers, over several generations, to move in on land it swore to reserve and protect, at a time when Natives were prevented from even hiring lawyers. It set up a land-claims system that sees the Canadian government play the accused, judge, jury and executioner.

Numerous international legal scholars agree that Canada’s treatment of Native people constitutes genocide under Article Two of the Geneva Convention and the UN Convention on Genocide (which, shamefully, Canada still refuses to sign).

In a way, it’s no wonder that some Caledonians have supported — or wearily tolerated — McHale billing himself as their spokesman: there is an appalling lack of public education about our shared Indigenous-settler history.

In addition, Caledonians have been largely abandoned by a government that is trying very hard to find a way to avoid honouring its legally binding promises, because of the size of the price tag. Caledonians have been sacrificed to a history of racism and apartheid against Native people that our government refuses to take responsibility for redressing.

To put it bluntly, whether non-natives like it or not, Native people aren’t going anywhere. Neither is the history that led us to this point, nor the legal and moral obligations Canada has to rectify the situation. Rather than just a “Native issue,” this is a settler issue, likely the Canadian issue of the 21st century. It’s about how we want our own communities and governments to behave. Anti-racism means taking this history and responsibility seriously.

McHale and his dubious associates do nothing except fan the flames of racism, ignorance and violence. His demonstration on Sunday was overshadowed by the presence of genuine antiracist activists who condemned his bombastic showmanship and demanded just and lasting solutions from our government, solutions that would prevent future situations like this.

They, and not McHale, acted in the true spirit of the Day for the Elimination of Racism.

Alyson McCready is a PhD candidate in the Department of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University. She studies Canadian national identity, colonialism and critical race studies.

http://www.thespec.com/Opinions/article/746238

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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

Sachem News coverage

[again, another report from someone who left the event before more than half of the protesters arrived, but at least it reports one OPP officer claiming that we were the “most organized, prepared rally” they had ever seen.  It should also be noted that near the end of the protest an off-duty officer came up to us and said that they were very proud of what we were doing, to keep up the good work, and that if their parents were alive today they would have been on our side of the road]

Out-of-towners rally against ‘militia’

By Stefanie Wallace, The Sachem

June 26, 2009

Over 70 people from Hamilton, Kitchener- Waterloo, Guelph, Toronto, Six Nations and the Haldimand-Norfolk area travelled to Cayuga on June 23 for a rally that started and ended just the way everyone hoped it would: as peacefully as possible.

“This is the most organized, prepared rally I’ve ever seen,” one OPP officer joked as the group of protesters handed out bottled water and snacks to one another.

The rally, which was initiated by the Canadian Union for Public Employees (CUPE) Local 3903 First Nations Solidarity Working Group, and organized by Tom Keefer, was to protest the formation and the first meeting of what Gary McHale and Doug Fleming originally called the Caledonia Militia.

“The only way to get media attention in this country is to use a word like militia,” McHale said, explaining that the group he and Fleming formed will now be known as the Caledonia Peacekeepers.

The Caledonia Peacekeepers will protect citizens by using unarmed force to remove trespassers from private property.

Fleming said the group was only meant to help the situation, not make it worse.

Across the street from the Cayuga Lions Club Hall, protesters flooded the street chanting, “Go away, KKK,” and waving signs and banners that read, “With 6 Nations Against Racism” and “Canadians say NO to Anti-Native Vigilantes.”

“The Caledonia Militia, or Peacekeepers, and Gary McHale are strongly supported by openly Neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups,” said Niki Thorne, a protester from Hamilton.

“This militia isn’t good for either Caledonia or Six Nations, so we’re calling for the Canadian government to resolve land claims fairly, swiftly and peacefully.”

McHale said that he has openly denounced support from Neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups.

“The fact is that there has been an armed militia in Haldimand County for the past three years … a group of people who go around wearing masks, carrying baseball bats … who believe they are above the law,” McHale said, referring to the Haudenosaunee Men’s Fire, a group that was involved in the land occupation and road blockades.

The formation of the Caledonia Peacekeepers group is not supported by the OPP.

“The OPP has been acting to preserve the peace, maintain public safety and investigate criminal wrongdoing. That’s what we have been doing and will continue to do so,” commented OPP Constable Paula Wright. “The formation of a militia will benefit no one.”

Source: http://www.sachem.ca/news/article/179628

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Filed under Anti-Native Activism, Cayuga Anti-Militia Protest, Sachem