OPP attacks Mohawk Protest at Tyendinaga
Pig yelling at observers as he and pals wrestle protester on the ground
Lots of news about the unfolding confrontation between Ontario Provincial Police and the Mohawks of Tyendinaga – this is a series of different pieces, several from the colonial media:
URGENT CALL: FRIDAY APRIL 25TH 2008- MOHAWKS OF TYENDINAGA UNDER ONTARIO PROVINCIAL POLICE SIEGE – SHAWN BRANT ARRESTED ON FAKE WEAPONS CHARGES ON CULBERTSON TRACT – OPP CRUISERS AND VANS SURROUND – 20 DOWN BY TRAIN TRACTS ON DESERONTO ROAD AND BRIDGE ST.
MNN. At 2:45 pm. today, Friday, April 25th, 2008, Shawn Brant was arrested for an incident that happened on Monday on Slash Road. He was attacked by Deseronto citizens who were trying to run our blockades. He had no weapons whatsoever. The OPP are trying to make Shawn out to be the leader there. He is not.
DEMAND THE IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF SHAWN BRANT, POLITICAL PRISONER.
The Ritiskenekete have slashed OPP cruisers windows and chased them off Deseronto Road.
APTN and support from Six Nations, Kahnawake are on their way. Anyone who can go there and help should call 613-391-5132 for information.
There will probably be a raid of the illegal Thurlow Quarry that the Mohawk took over a year ago.
Shawn Brant was taken to Napanee.
Needed urgently: deer meat, fish, non-perishable food, water, Camping equipment, communications equipment, fuel, gas, propane, mobile phones, phone cards, rain coats, gas masks, towels, soap, wet wipes, tooth bushes and tooth paste, bear spray, gloves, work shoes, boots, runners, socks, radios, two-way radios, hand held radio, flashlights, tents, lanterns, wood for the fire, cooking utensils, plates and silverware, first aid.
To go there on the TransCanada Highway 401, to #49 to Slash Road, to Deseronto boundary.
Or Marysville Road south to Bayshore Road, turn left all the way to the quarry.
Runners should be dispatched to go there to carry information from the site to supporters. Supporters should contact OPP, Ontario government, band council chief to stop this aggression and attempted blood bath.
All nations council meeting tonight. OPP heat is going on at the quarry. Need help now.
MNN Mohawk Nation News
Dan 613-919-1354; Rotiskenekete 613-849-1314 – 613-827-4991 email firstname.lastname@example.org
From the Kingston Whig-Standard:
OPP clash with Mohawk protesters; Police make several arrests near disputed quarry north of Deseronto
Posted By W. Brice McVicar; Luke Hendry
Several Mohawk protesters were arrested here yesterday following a wild skirmish that ended in a tense, armed standoff.
Dozens of heavily armed Ontario Provincial Police officers clashed with Mohawk protesters just north of the Thurlow Aggregates quarry, which Mohawks have been occupying for more than one year. The standoff began peacefully with officers and Mohawks talking quietly after the arrest earlier in the afternoon of Mohawk protest leader Shawn Brant on charges unrelated to yesterday’s melee.
But the scene erupted in violence about one hour after the encounter began, with police wrestling with protesters who began swinging punches at the officers. Several arrests were made before police radios crackled a message that an armed individual inside the quarry was spotted taking aim at police and police jumped for cover behind cruisers, drawing automatic weapons and sidearms. No shots were fired, however, and protesters who had been arrested and handcuffed were taken away to waiting vehicles.
The wild turn of events began shortly after a protest spokesman agreed to answer questions for reporters.
Mohawk spokesperson Jerome Barnhart said the standoff unfolded after Brant was pulled over by OPP on Deseronto Road earlier in the afternoon. The routine traffic stop, Barnhart said, resulted in “a couple of charges. One was with a weapon – a spear – which is just blasphemous as this is our [fish] harvesting season here.
“We feed our families for the year at this time and to confiscate that as a weapon is outrageous,” he said. “If Mr. [Julian] Fantino, [OPP commissioner], wants to go about it this way. … Well, we have a lot of reinforcements coming. Bring it on.”
Barnhart said the OPP were only trying to “put the screws” to the Mohawks to prevent those reinforcements from arriving.
Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte band council convened an emergency meeting yesterday evening to discuss the turn of events, but Barnhart dismissed the authority of the band.
“This is Mohawk business. It has nothing to do with Mohawk band council. It’s the Mohawk people and the nation,” he said. “This is Mohawk nation business and we mean business.”
As Barnhart was meeting with reporters, OPP Staff Sgt. Steve Flynn informed the Mohawks that if they remained on Deseronto Road, they would be arrested. He advised them to return to the quarry or be charged and taken into custody.
“If you stay here, you’ll be arrested. If you go back to the quarry, you’ll have sanctuary,” Flynn said.
Flynn’s comments saw many Mohawks making their way slowly toward the quarry, though some remained behind and hollered at the approximately 20 officers gathered at the intersection of Deseronto Road and Bridge Street.
“I can’t guarantee your officers safety if they come on Mohawk land,” bellowed Dan Doreen, who led the blockade earlier this week on the outskirts of Deseronto.
As one woman walked past the officers, north to where her vehicle had been left parked, she looked toward police and said, “Get your guns ready.”
Moments later, officers wrestled a number of protesters to the ground amid shouts of “stop resisting.” In a cacophony of shouts, jeers and orders, protesters told their family members to leave the scene, OPP officers shouted directions and protesters argued as they were handcuffed.
Just as quickly as the violence erupted, Mohawks who had remained at the quarry responded. An all-terrain vehicle carrying two individuals raced toward the scene and, seconds later, word spread among the officers that someone had a gun.
After the radio message warning of a gun, officers with sub-machine guns took aim at protesters both to the south and to the north where a motorhome was parked at the intersection of Deseronto Road and Lower Slash Road. Officers said they believed there was an individual with a gun inside the battered RV.
By nightfall, a tense calm had descended on the scene as police widened a secure perimeter back some 500 metres from the quarry.
From the right-wing Toronto Sun:
Mohawk standoff ‘Could make Caledonia look like nothing’, says protester
By JOE WARMINGTON, SUN MEDIA
Tensions were mounting last night as native protesters and members of the OPP tactical squad were in a standoff at a protest site in Deseronto.
This came just hours after about 10 people were arrested and two police officers were taken to hospital.
As of late last night the conflict had not been resolved at a scene which included lit fires in fields and vitriolic threats.
Among those arrested was Shawn Brant, who organized the blockade of the Montreal-Toronto CN rail corridor last April and June. Brant, who was arrested during a traffic stop yesterday afternoon, faces assault, weapons and drug charges, police said.
The OPP asked protesters to leave the site or face arrest.
“We’re not moving anywhere,” protester Jason Maracle said. “They’re going to have to kill every God damn one of us to get us off our land. We’re not moving. I guess if they want another 1990 scene, then OK, I guess we’ll have one.”
OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino last night said the dispute is not a land-claims issue. “This violent criminal activity occurred outside of any legitimate protest and will not be tolerated,” he said. “Police officers being assaulted and injured for doing their utmost to keep the peace and protect the law-abiding community is unacceptable.
“We’re trying to keep this from escalating.”
While Brant was being arrested, supporters arrived at the scene and clashed with police, resulting in two officers being taken to hospital with minor injuries, police said.
Hours later, police clashed again with protesters and 10 people were arrested “for various offences including assault police.” Six remain in custody and four young people were released.
Protesters inside a quarry protest site told the Sun last night they were “worried” a confrontation was imminent. “We are surrounded here,” said protester Mike Brant. “They are sending the media away so we are worried they are going to take us all out.”
He said they were concerned police were going to “come in the dark with guns” which would be unfair because “we are not doing anything. All we are doing is sitting here holding out land. There is nothing wrong with that.”
The OPP said they were concerned when officers spotted a “long gun” pointed at them from within the quarry. Native protesters deny this.
Protesters have controlled the quarry since March 2007
“If we don’t get this settled down soon, this is going to make Caledonia look like nothing,” said one native protester who asked that his name not be used. “Six Nations protesters are on their way and so are the people who have been at Caledonia. This has nasty potential.”
Several witnesses confirmed the OPP had up to 150 officers and 50 vehicles already on site in this town, 50 kms west of Kingston, near the Mohawk Territory.
Sun Media’s Pete Fisher said he was told by police that “they couldn’t guarantee my safety” and he reported that he had never seen a bigger native protest scene. A whole field was set ablaze.
From the Hamilton Spectator:
Six Nations group forces closure of Highway 6
TheSpec.com – Local – Six Nations group forces closure of Highway 6
John Burman and Daniel Nolan
The Hamilton Spectator
CALEDONIA (Apr 26, 2008)
More than 100 Six Nations residents forced the closure of the Highway 6 bypass at Caledonia late yesterday to protest OPP action against Mohawks occupying a quarry near Deseronto, Ont., earlier in the day.
The OPP closed the bypass “in the interests of public safety” after a large gathering of natives on two overpasses above it.
Native spokesperson Brian Skye told reporters the Caledonia action was taken because of the situation between the natives and the OPP near a quarry in Deseronto, in eastern Ontario.
There was a tense standoff there, where natives oppose plans for development on lands they claim. It escalated when police spotted what appeared to be a gun among the demonstrators.
There were at least 10 arrests there.
Skye said he has seen e-mailed photos from Deseronto with armed police “pointing guns at women and children.”
“There’s been an escalation of OPP personnel advancing on the people of Tyendinaga,” Skye said. “They are being pressured by an armed force and the people of Six Nations are showing their support for their struggle to reclaim their territory.”
Skye said the Six Nations want the OPP to stand down in Deseronto.
Around 8:30, natives in Caledonia began discussing the possibility of extending the blockade to Argyle Street, one of two main roads in Caledonia, depending on what happened in Deseronto.
Last night’s closure of the bypass is the first time in almost two years that a road has been blocked in the Caledonia land claims dispute. Argyle Street was blocked for more than a month following an April 2006 attempt to remove protesters from the disputed Douglas Creek Estates subdivision.
Skye wouldn’t say if the blockades had been sanctioned by the traditional Confederacy or the elected band council.
Haldimand Mayor Marie Trainer said last night the move brings back bad memories.
Trainer was on her way to a community prayer meeting in support of peace in the town, attended by about 70 people including MP Diane Finley and MPP Toby Barrett, when the blockade happened.
Caledonia resident, Marg Walker, 49, was watching the blockade from a vantage point on Highway 54.
“This is not right … The people of Caledonia have already been through too much. What right do they have to block traffic? If I did that, they’d arrest me.”
Constable Paula Wright, spokesperson for the Haldimand OPP, said cruisers were used to block either end of the bypass as “there is potential for public safety to be compromised.”
The bypass was closed at the Argyle Street intersection on the west side of town and Green’s Road on the east.
Wright said the OPP is urging everyone “not to jeopardize peace” and to “be patient.”
Negotiations to settle the dispute have been grinding on since the summer of 2006, but tensions in Caledonia have eased considerably in that time as well.
The OPP in Deseronto said they saw a “long gun” being pointed at them from a location inside an occupied quarry, which protesters have controlled since March 2007. Those occupying the quarry said they had no weapons there.
An order was issued to all police on the scene to take cover and guns were drawn by officers crouching behind their vehicles. No shots were fired. At least 10 people were arrested, including Shawn Brant, who has been under a court order to stay away from any protests after being involved in last June’s aboriginal national day of action which saw the closure of Highway 401 in the area.
And again, from Mohawk Nation News:
MOHAWK URGENT CALL FOR ASSISTANCE from Kahentinetha Horn
MNN Mohawk Nation News
2008-04-26 | Stop attack on Mohawks !
Tyendinaga Mohawk Aserakowa [War Chief] speaks from the front line – “We’re not leaving”. OPP: “We’re coming in at dark to take you out!”
MNN: MNN Mohawk Nation News Aserakowa 613-243-4993 still at the quarry.
(Ed. Note. Just received. UPDATES to follow.)
Shawn Brant was doing a media interview with APTN News in Tyendinaga on Deseronto Boundary Road. Ontario Provincial Police came along with an outstanding assault charge. They arrested Shawn. They hauled him off to jail. Then the OPP closed both ends of Deseronto Road. The Aserakowa came down to see what was going on.
Steve Flynn of Aboriginal Response Team ART of the OPP showed up. We talked. Flynn told the Aserakowa about Shawn. By then we had men at both ends of the road. He talked about opening the road. Flynn said, “You walk away and we’ll walk away. Okay?” Both Flynn and the Aserkowa agreed.
“We will get in our cars and you’ll get in yours”, said Flynn. It turned out to be a set up. The Rotiskeneketeh started moving off the road. Suddenly about 10 OPP jumped about 5 of our guys, threw them in the ditch, beat them up and arrested them. They hauled them off to jail. No reasons were given for the arrests or assaults. The OPP is certain not operating on an honorable nation to nation model. It is not even offering the kind of fiduciary protection for indigenous rights as it is supposed to, according to the supreme Court of Canada.
Since when have the colonial institutions ever acted to protect Indigenous people?
After behaving like thugs and beating up our guys, the OPP pulled out their weapons and pointed them at us. For our safety, we retreated back to the quarry. We didn’t want to get shot.
Once we got there cops swarmed us from every direction. They were everywhere as far as we could see, armed to the teeth with their guns pointed directly at us all the time.
Then they came over with loud speakers, told us to come away from the quarry, down the hill, with our hands up in the air “where we can see them”.
We told them, “F**k you. This is Mohawk land. We’re not leaving”. They raised their weapons and aimed at us again.
“You’re going to have to shoot us”, we told them.
Then there was more build up. They told us they are coming in at dark to take us out. They are moving Mohawk people off Mohawk lands at the end of a gun barrel.
The Mohawks are unarmed.
The OPP have SWAT Teams, ambulances, dogs and we can’t see if they ships in the water.
Arrested are Clint Brant, Steve Hill, Dan Doreen, Shawn Brant and Mac Kunkel. We don’t know where they’ve been taken.
Six Nations people have closed down three roads. Akwesasne guys are on the International Bridge. In Kahnawake there will be closures.
They will be coming after us at about 8:30 pm EDT, as soon as it gets dark.
We’re not moving. We know that.
We don’t know what’s going to happen. This is Ipperwash, 1990, Gustafsen Lake, Six Nations, the list goes on. If they harm any of those guys at Tyendinaga, there’s no saying what will happen.
The message from the men is that we will defend the land. That’s our duty according to the Kaianerekowa, Great Law of Peace, the law of Turtle Island.
SEND URGENT OBJECTIONS TO PREMIER MCGUINTY OF ONTARIO; PRIME MINISTER STEVEN HARPER; JULIAN FANTINO COMMISSIONER OF THE OPP: tell them to call off their thugs and stop breaking the peace. They have a obligations under international law to resolve any disagreements peacefully. They have an obligation to keep the peace, not to break it.
LIVES ARE AT STAKE.
MNN Mohawk Nation News
Subject: RED ALERT IN CALEDONIA!!!!!!!!! FORWARD OUT ASAP!
Just got a phone call from Jacqueline House at Six Nations. In protest to what the Canadian govt. and OPP armed officers are doing at Tyenindega, the Six Nations have now BLOCKED the By-Pass road at Caledonia!!!!! 3 Men have been arrested and have been jailed at Tyenindega.
Jacqueline House stated that all relatives with connections to people at these Reserves, PLEASE CALL and try to mobilize help to the area ASAP.
Thanks everyone, please, PLEASE keep our relatives in your prayers, Bluejay
I’ve contacted the OPP to let them know that badge or no badge, they are not absolved in the eyes of our Creator for that which they do.
This activity will be monitored by the world.
Dieter of Germany
FOR INFORMATION CALL:
Warchief: (1) 613-243-4993
Jan Hill (1) 613-961-8515 613-827-1547
Dan (1) 613-919-1354
Rotiskenekete (1) 613-849-1314; (1) 613-827-4991
OPP Easter Headquarters (1) 613-284-4500 L.G. Beechey Chief Supt. Commander Eastern Region
R. Don Maracle (1) 613-396-3089 Cell (1) 613-391-9249
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