Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Protests and counterprotests at Caledonia

Yesterday was Labour Day.

While many of us were celebrating past victories of the labour movement, there was a struggle was unfolding at Kanenhstaton (Caledonia, Ontario).

CTV.ca reported that a blockade was set up by folks from Six Nations and their supporters and that a counter blockade was set up by local settlers.

Their story also has a good picture of a head-shaved youth, arrested for tearing down a flag of Six Nations.

While the CTV story was unable to confirm whether or not the blockade was set up in support of people arrested at a reclamation site at Brantford, calls for support were circulated earlier that day. These calls said that the OPP had arrested three people in Brantford who were at a reclamation site there.

These reclamations are going to continue, and Canadians need to start taking responsibility.

Many of the sites in and around Six Nations that are being developed will mean massive profits for housing developers. However, the 'vacant land' is under claim by Six Nations.

After watching their land be developed, sold off and pillaged for centuries, it's no surprise that people at Six Nations are fighting back. They have every right (and responsibility) to protect their land.

Rather than pushing to continue such conflict through their support for further erosion of First Nations land claims like some have, the settler population at Caledonia and Brantford need to respect the original people of those areas. We all need to call on the municipal and provincial governments to honour the treaties we have developed with First Nations and not develop land which is still under claim.

The time of developers' unadulterated profiteering is coming to an end. Those settlers in the area will either have to start respecting the legally binding treaties that outline First Nations' rights to the land, or get out of the way.

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