Skip to comments.Law no longer rules in Caledonia (Native Indians,Southern Ontario, Canada)
Posted on 06/08/2006 5:49:23 PM PDT by fanfan
Good liberal that I am, I have always tried to be on the side of the aboriginal inhabitants of North America. Lately, though, I've been hit with a bout of cognitive dissonance over the standoff in Caledonia.
News reports about members of the Six Nations taking over part of the town, destroying property and making life miserable for the citizenry challenged my impression of the Iroquois as a group of underappreciated victims of the perfidy of the white man.
Last weekend, I decided to check out the situation in Caledonia for myself. Initially, I saw little sign of conflict. The barricades looked more like a picket line in a labour dispute than parts of a war zone.
I had no intention of involving myself in the dispute, but I thought it would be cool to snap a picture of the barricades from a safe distance for posterity. I stopped my car on the other side of the street, away from the disputed property. I clicked the button and prepared to be on my way.
How foolish of me to believe the laws of Canada were in effect in Caledonia.
Immediately, a one-eyed protester came darting across the street, motioning to me to roll down my window. I complied, which was my second mistake.
"Gimme your film," he said.
"I'm sorry?" I asked.
"Give me your film. We have authority from the OPP to take your film."
I found it ironic that someone challenging the authority of the government of Ontario would use the OPP as his justification to harass a passer-by. My journalist's instincts set in. I told the one-eyed protester that one, the camera was digital and two, that I was on a public road and had the right to take a picture.
"What public road," my inquisitor asked.
"This one. Highway 6."
"This was Highway 6," he said with a humph. "It's our lane now."
Two more protesters, a man and a woman, joined this unscheduled customs inspection. The man opened one of the back doors of the car and began searching my things for my camera; the woman yelled and gesticulated while rifling through the stuff on my passenger seat.
To his credit, the one-eyed man began to explain how protesters had received threats and feared retaliation if photos were disseminated. I replied that I was from out of town and had no vested interests in his dispute.
I tried to explain that I would be happy to erase any images of him and his friends from my camera if they would just step back from my car.
But by the time I explained that, his colleagues had realized the camera was in the little cubbyhole under my elbow. The second man grabbed me by the throat and pulled me back so the woman could reach in and grab my camera.
"You just lost your camera!" she said, skipping back to the barricade.
My protestations that I was going to delete the pictures met with a gleeful smile.
"You snooze, you lose," she said.
The one-eyed man, though, offered me a deal. If I would show him my driver's licence and let him take down my personal information, they would return my camera, minus the pictures. Seeing little choice in the matter, I handed over my licence, hoping the occupiers weren't going to abscond with that, too.
In the end, the protesters returned my camera after deleting every picture, including the ones that had nothing to do with Caledonia. The woman let me off with a warning:
"If we see these pictures anywhere, we know where you live."
How I was going to do anything with the pictures they had deleted, I haven't the faintest.
In their five-minute encounter with me, the protesters had broken several laws -- interfering with traffic, assault, robbery and extortion among them. Throughout the incident, an OPP officer, perhaps 40 metres away, watched and did nothing. I suppose the one-eyed man was right when he said the protesters were operating with the sanction of the police.
Of course, my minor trauma is nothing compared to what the residents of Caledonia have been dealing with since the occupation of a housing-construction site began in February.
Vandals behind the barricades have destroyed a bridge and knocked out power for thousands of homes. Serious accidents have resulted from the diversion of vehicles onto side roads not suited for the traffic. Local businesses have lost thousands of dollars as customers elect not to run a gauntlet to go shopping.
Until the protesters removed a barrier on Argyle Street last week, people who lived on the road could only enter or leave their homes with the permission of the occupiers. They could not have visitors and were subject to an 11 p.m. curfew -- imposed by the protesters, not by any lawful authority. The local newspaper reported one Argyle Street youth has had to move away from home, since no school-bus driver dares to pick him up.
What is going on in Caledonia is not a noble struggle of members of an oppressed minority asserting their civil rights. This is not a 1960 sit-in at a Georgia Woolworth's lunch counter. This is a gang of militant thugs victimizing the law-abiding citizens of Haldimand County, emboldened by the timidity of a province and country paralyzed by political correctness and the fear that one of the occupiers might get hurt.
The Ontario government has responded to the crisis as if it was a teachers' strike, sending in David Peterson to negotiate. But the occupation is not a political dispute; it is a long-running criminal act.
We do not negotiate with bank robbers or drunk drivers. We arrest them and throw them in jail. If they resist? Well, that's why cops have handcuffs, nightsticks and tear-gas grenades.
I'm sure some readers still think the occupiers are the victims, automatically deserving of sympathy as people of colour fighting The Man. Those sympathizers should take note: The Six Nations radicals claim all land within six miles of the Grand River. That includes all of Waterloo, Kitchener and Cambridge. If the occupiers are able to get their way in Caledonia through violence and intimidation, you might wake up next year to find your street under occupation.
Matt Walcoff is a business reporter for The Record.
Native protesters dug up Argyll Street at the blockade in Caledonia. Occupation of the housing construction site in Caledonia began in February and residents have had to cope with roadblocks, a power outage and confrontations.
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Socialists and communists use intimidation and force to settle differences. If you don't have power, you can die.
I think a Free Republic is better.
Somebody call Stephen Harper, and where the heck is Caledonia?
Oops, sorry, it's in southern Ontario. This is outrageous.
In the US, coming soon to a location near you -- different group, same bogus claims -- if you live in the mythical land of Aztlan.
February? And the government is where?
Hmmm...my hometown paper.
Have any idea what the OPP is for us poor ignorant Americans.
What is going on in Caledonia is not a noble struggle of members of an oppressed minority asserting their civil rights. This is not a 1960 sit-in at a Georgia Woolworth's lunch counter. This is a gang of militant thugs victimizing the law-abiding citizens of Haldimand County, emboldened by the timidity of a province and country paralyzed by political correctness and the fear that one of the occupiers might get hurt."
So a leftist FINALLY gets it?!?! So these "victims" are thugs... Gee what a surprise. Just like the left in the US coddles street gangs or the left in Europe coddles militant Islamic radicals, the left in Canada coddled these people and got exactly what was preticted: REAL loss of civil rights and the implementation of a gang-run "police state" (as opposed to the leftist fantasy that Bush is doing the same), real destruction/confiscation of private property, real occupation, and a total loss of civil rule of law.
The abuses by the "Natives" (sorry, I AM a "Native American", even without my Cherokee ancestry mix as I was BORN in North America, as were my parents, and theirs, etc) would be more difficult to believe if not for the fact that the "protesters" know the people they are taking civil rights away from are mostly unarmed and cannot protect themselves under Canadian law even if they were armed. And while the authorities are soo concerned that one of the protesters "might get hurt" what about the tax=paying people who live there!!!!!!!
Yet another example of leftist failures leading to true confiscation of civil rights... Gang rule, paralyzed governments, leftist not caring what happens to hard working people these "natives" are abusing until it happens to them. Well, as has been said, many conservatives are leftists who have been mugged, assaulted, or had their rights and property taken by those they view as "victims".
How long will it be until this happens in Paris, the Netherlands, California, or Detroit? Oh, wait... maybe it already has.
I haven't seen this on CNN or any other news agency, but was able to find the following on google:
Remarks from leftist New Democrat leader Howard Hampton Notice how the left falls all over themselves in had wringing about force having to be used to allow the voters and tax payers to end the gang imposed curfew?
Ontario Provincial Police
"You're down with OPP?"
"Yeah, you know me!"
I'm thinking they might be like your State Troopers.
Liberal eventually get the world they desire, and reality smacks them in the face. They learn that they can't live in a theoretical world.
Forty yards away, observing, like they are U.N. Observers?
From the article: Throughout the incident, an OPP officer, perhaps 40 metres away, watched and did nothing.
Well lets see, this happened in France with the burning of thousands of cars, and its happening in Canada...
What are the similarities?
1) Both societies have an unarmed populace.
2) Both are (or were until recently) Liberal.
3) Both appear to have weak governments that will not respond to violent thugs.
4) There are a LOT of French men in both countries.
About ten years ago, the natives occupied an army base at Ipperwash, Ontario. The OPP were called in. The natives jeered and vandalised property. They had an old sedan doing power turns. It had the sneering term "OPP WHO"? in large letters on the side.
A shot rang out and one Dudley George, a native died. Police Sergeant Kenneth Dean, was sentenced to two years. He was lucky to serve a community based sentence. His career and his well being were destroyed.
The new Provincial government, Liberal under Dalton Mcguinty started a million dollar enquiry. It has dragged on and on. Talk was of further embarassing Conservative Premier Mike Harris, who was in office at the time of the Dudley George death.
By the hateful, biased,press and do- gooders, mixed with opportunistic politicians, this has brought on clever tactic used by some natives.
Guilt, guilt, and more guilt. The OPP and authorities are gun shy. A tough nut for Harper at this stage. Hope this sheds some light on the Canadian dilema.