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http://www.canada.com/topics/news/national...ee-82dade37caa9

Published: Thursday, June 28, 2007

DESERONTO, Ont. — Mohawk protesters warned they had guns at the ready as they blocked two major Ontario highways and turned back three passenger trains Thursday night.

Just before midnight, protesters dressed in army gear blocked Highway 401, Canada’s busiest highway that connects Montreal and Toronto, hours after nearby Highway 2 was also blocked.

Protesters also blocked a key Ontario railway near Deseronto late Thursday night, forcing three Via Rail passenger trains — two from Ottawa, one from Montreal — to stay in Kingston, Ont. All trains were en route to Toronto.

A Via Rail official said the Crown corporation was arranging buses to transport the more than 400 stranded passengers.

Via had already announced it was cancelling its Toronto-Montreal and Toronto-Ottawa routes today, affecting 5,000 passengers booked on 24 different trains.

Earlier Thursday, Protest leader Shawn Brant headed the procession as members turned away traffic on Highway 2 — an alternate route to Highway 401.

Several men and women dressed in army gear, some with bandannas covering their faces, accompanied a white rusted-out school bus down the highway.

One angry motorist was confronted by several protesters as he turned around at the blockade. “Move your f—ing car,” a protester yelled at the motorist through a loudspeaker.

“You won’t see any photos of us waving guns around, but it’s certainly something we have access to,” said Brant.

The 24-hour action, part of a scheduled “national day of action” had been set to begin at midnight Friday. The Assembly of First Nations’ plea for public support will see more than 100 events planned from coast to coast.

The Tyendinaga Mohawk administration has not officially sanctioned the blockade. About 2,100 of the band’s 7,600 members live on the reserve. Many protesters are expected from other First Nations communities and non-native organizations.

“It certainly won’t be the overwhelming majority of our people,” said R. Donald Maracle, chief of the Bay of Quinte Mohawks.

“There’s the risk of backlash. The danger is there could be a lack of support for First Nations issues if the public is inconvenienced.”

Maracle said he doesn’t expect violence, expressing surprise at reports the blockade members plan to arm themselves for possible confrontations with police.

He added the council planned to distribute information pamphlets to re-routed highway traffic, detailing their disputes over claims and program funding.

Brant, meanwhile, said he expects to incur the wrath of angry motorists as the Mohawks block the two key highways on the first day of a long weekend. But he pointed out the group’s rotating series of protests targeting the economy do far more to raise awareness about poverty and the slow pace of land claims than rallies and marches.

“I’m not being cold and callous, but I think that this whole situation should be seen as a disgrace on the Canadian public, certainly over the past number of years. We actually have more (community) support than last time. We’re excited about it.”

The Canadian Pacific Railway has agreed to bring 300 trains to a stop for one minute at 2 p.m. ET today in a symbolic act of solidarity with First Nations.

Meanwhile, OPP commissioner Julian Fantino said native people have the constitutional right to protest and he doesn’t want police actions to escalate demonstrations into confrontations.

“We’re certainly in a position where we want to demonstrate goodwill,” he said. “We certainly do not want to become the cause of conflict.”

Fantino’s conciliatory tone suggested, however, that the OPP is not about to storm any barricades to immediately attempt to dislodge demonstrators.

“There’s always a time when enough is enough. We will certainly negotiate diligently, we’ll talk to the extent that we can. But we will also deal with lawbreaking for what it is. It may not be immediate,” said Fantino.

“We’re very mindful of what can happen and so our response will be measured. It will be thought out. And it will be one that under the circumstances will be justifiable.”

As Mohawks took a hard-line approach, Phil Fontaine, the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, pleaded for peaceful protests.

"The only way we can get the government to act in a responsible and appropriate way is to reach out to Canadians and we are trying to do it in the most respectful and peaceful way possible,” Fontaine said earlier.

“That is what June 29 is about.”

Fontaine met with RCMP officials prior to the demonstrations to sign a protocol intended to make sure things stayed calm during the protest. He said the pact would help keep a good relation between police and protesters.

"If they so wish to engage in civil disobedience, they can — as long as they are prepared to accept the consequences. I think we have to be very careful that those rights are not denied to one segment of the Canadian population.”

In April, tensions over unresolved land claim issues prompted Mohawk protesters to blockade one of Canada’s busiest rail lines between Montreal and Toronto. Protesters parked an old school bus on a stretch of CN-owned rail, located near Deseronto, in the two-day standoff just west of Kingston.

The standoff paralyzed rail traffic between the country’s two most populous cities, and resulted in a lawsuit worth millions filed by CN against the organizers.

The protest also disrupted thousands of weekend travellers driving on Highway 401, Ontario’s busiest highway. The highway is also one of Canada’s main trucking routes.

While the demonstrations were non-violent, event organizers hoped the economic consequences would force the provincial government to resolve ongoing land claims in the region. Mohawk tribes claim substantial parcels of land around Lake Ontario are their ancestral home lands. An ongoing dispute in nearby Caledonia, Ont., over a planned housing development erupted into violence between protesters and police late last year.

With files from the National Post, Winnipeg Free Press and Ottawa Citizen

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http://www.canada.com/topics/news/national...ee-82dade37caa9

Published: Thursday, June 28, 2007

DESERONTO, Ont. — Mohawk protesters warned they had guns at the ready as they blocked two major Ontario highways and turned back three passenger trains Thursday night.

Just before midnight, protesters dressed in army gear blocked Highway 401, Canada’s busiest highway that connects Montreal and Toronto, hours after nearby Highway 2 was also blocked.

Protesters also blocked a key Ontario railway near Deseronto late Thursday night, forcing three Via Rail passenger trains — two from Ottawa, one from Montreal — to stay in Kingston, Ont. All trains were en route to Toronto.

A Via Rail official said the Crown corporation was arranging buses to transport the more than 400 stranded passengers.

Via had already announced it was cancelling its Toronto-Montreal and Toronto-Ottawa routes today, affecting 5,000 passengers booked on 24 different trains.

Earlier Thursday, Protest leader Shawn Brant headed the procession as members turned away traffic on Highway 2 — an alternate route to Highway 401.

Several men and women dressed in army gear, some with bandannas covering their faces, accompanied a white rusted-out school bus down the highway.

One angry motorist was confronted by several protesters as he turned around at the blockade. “Move your f—ing car,” a protester yelled at the motorist through a loudspeaker.

“You won’t see any photos of us waving guns around, but it’s certainly something we have access to,” said Brant.

Maracle said he doesn’t expect violence, expressing surprise at reports the blockade members plan to arm themselves for possible confrontations with police.

Meanwhile, OPP commissioner Julian Fantino said native people have the constitutional right to protest and he doesn’t want police actions to escalate demonstrations into confrontations.

“We’re certainly in a position where we want to demonstrate goodwill,” he said. “We certainly do not want to become the cause of conflict.”

Fantino’s conciliatory tone suggested, however, that the OPP is not about to storm any barricades to immediately attempt to dislodge demonstrators.

“There’s always a time when enough is enough. We will certainly negotiate diligently, we’ll talk to the extent that we can. But we will also deal with lawbreaking for what it is. It may not be immediate,” said Fantino.

“We’re very mindful of what can happen and so our response will be measured. It will be thought out. And it will be one that under the circumstances will be justifiable.”

As Mohawks took a hard-line approach, Phil Fontaine, the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, pleaded for peaceful protests.

"If they so wish to engage in civil disobedience, they can — as long as they are prepared to accept the consequences. I think we have to be very careful that those rights are not denied to one segment of the Canadian population.”

The protest also disrupted thousands of weekend travellers driving on Highway 401, Ontario’s busiest highway. The highway is also one of Canada’s main trucking routes.

So I take it that they will also be extending this goodwil, by suspending any immediate actions to arrest, detain, prevent or prosecute people who just ram through these "demonstrators" and their military blockade?? I really didn't think so..

EDIT:

LOL Canada
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I think there's a difference between being an asshole and protesting but I can understand the sentiment.

Also, there's no protesting in America because everyone is too stupid and lazy and tired after slaving under their capitalistic jobs to make money to buy stuff that they don't need that they'd never bother protesting anything and would rather sit at home and waste their useless lives watching American Idol. :awesome:

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*sigh*

It's because their land claims only come up once theirs a possibility of money involved. When you look at land claims filed with the federal and provincial governments, it becomes apparent right away that legitimate land claims are approved very quickly in most cases. The issue is even now, sects of the native community continue to file land claims... which is odd, because if you look at all the filed land claims over 130% of the countries land mass has been claimed.

What really is bothersome about this is that the majority of the native community are contributing members of society who think and approach things rationally, and they keep getting set back in their progress with the various levels of government, and they keep picking up a more and more untrue image in the public eye because a few people (From what I've heard nearly a quarter of the people involved in this weren't even native...) keep making stupid radical decisions.

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I've heard Canada has major, major issues with land claims, I'm glad to hear this is happening

What I don't get is why it isn't like that in the US too, when our land distribution has been equally ridiculous and unemployment on the largest reservation in South Dakota is 88%, and things like asthma and suicide rates are much much higher than that of the rest of the population.

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I've heard Canada has major, major issues with land claims, I'm glad to hear this is happening

Generally there's only issues the the claims are unjustified. No Native group will make any claims on a segment of land, and then oil is found, or a housing development is planned and all of a sudden there twenty claims on that land. This isn't a simple issue, and it certainly isn't just an issue of oppression either. Parts of the Native community are looking to be vastly over compensated by people who have generally done them no wrong.

What I don't get is why it isn't like that in the US too, when our land distribution has been equally ridiculous and unemployment on the largest reservation in South Dakota is 88%, and things like asthma and suicide rates are much much higher than that of the rest of the population.

A much, much higher percentage of the Canadian population is Native. That and unlike Native communities in the US, the ones in Canada have been promised the ability to self govern about a dozen times in the last twenty years and still haven't gotten it. Mostly because people keep pulling this shit.

As far as your thing about unemployment and the sick; reservations who agree to the aid get it here. There's other conditions that go along with it, like allowing and RCMP vehicle to make three rounds a day (Crime rates on some reservations are ridiculous, yet they refuse to allow the RCMP - which as of 2006 has a 9% Native staff - to do rounds...), and a few other such things. Some of the reservations just won't accept it - the conditions are unusual or anything. Allow a police patrol, honour the physicians orders when they arrive...

Like I said, there's a number of people in the Native community in Canada who are great people. Hell, the First Nations Assembly is a fully recognized and even respected gov't body, but they can't make any progress while idiots like these people keep taking more radical courses of action.

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What I don't get is why it isn't like that in the US too, when our land distribution has been equally ridiculous and unemployment on the largest reservation in South Dakota is 88%, and things like asthma and suicide rates are much much higher than that of the rest of the population.

I don't really know anything about Canada's reservations, but in the U.S. it is said that alcoholism/drug abuse is extremely high, so it's possible here they're just too wasted to care? I mean, typically in my experience that's not the most productive way of dealing with the problems....

(That being said I spent a lot of time on a Seminole reservation when I was little and my parents wouldn't have me there if it was as bad as the psych books like to say.)

There also aren't that many natives left. I mean, you hear outcry from other minority populations all the time about things like unemployment and high rates of jail time, but there's a lot more people of those minority populations. Not to mention we in the U.S. aren't exactly known for listening to things we don't want to hear. (Bomb in London, but first, the iPhone!)

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no matter what you do you will piss people off. letting these events happen as often as they do. pisses me off. and i know i'm not the only one

Do what we do down here, have all protesters declared terrorist and hold them in off shore prisons

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Speaking of holding signs, I saw somebody who had a black banner with the pink word "IMPEACH" today at the baseball game. They held up the banner during the National Anthem and I think one of them was flipping off the flag. =/

I think they were detained by police, too :awesome:

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Speaking of holding signs, I saw somebody who had a black banner with the pink word "IMPEACH" today at the baseball game. They held up the banner during the National Anthem and I think one of them was flipping off the flag. =/

I think they were detained by police, too :awesome:

That's good. I don't think those people should be allowed to practice their first amendment rights either.

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The second amendment is sacred though, and needs to be protected beyond all reason. It's okay to drop the first one tho.

less free speech more guns!

even if canadian indians only want the land after its found to be money making (doubtful) they should be able to have it. it's not their fault they're poor, and it's their land anyway.

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even if canadian indians only want the land after its found to be money making (doubtful) they should be able to have it. it's not their fault they're poor, and it's their land anyway.

and eventually where will everyone else live? Living on native owned land is usually tonnes more expensive and you have the possibility of being told to get out and you have to be out right then. weather you bought the house or not. and you can't say they will only take some. this part of the native population wants a fuck load of the land here.

they even have their own province. with water treatment plants and everything. they've been offered many times to be trained to use these plants but apparently they'd all rather sit and get sick and die because of the water.

i don't see why they feel the need to own all this shit anyways. they can easily live and work on regular land like everyone else. nothing is stopping them. Alot of natives already do. those are the ones i respect.

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i don't see why they feel the need to own all this shit anyways. they can easily live and work on regular land like everyone else. nothing is stopping them. Alot of natives already do. those are the ones i respect.

So everyone else is allowed to own land but they aren't? :mellow: Either I'm confused by what you are saying, or you're racist.

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So everyone else is allowed to own land but they aren't? :mellow: Either I'm confused by what you are saying, or you're racist.

He's saying that we shouldn't say "This land is for Native Americans, this land is for everyone else." I think. What I got from that was that he's saying that Native Americans should be able to own property just like anyone else but they shouldn't get any special favors just for being Native Americans. (Is it Native Canadians in this case?)

Anyway, I can see where that's coming from but I think the main problem is that the system is screwed up because what happened was screwed up (i.e. white people coming into the natives' base and killin' their doodz) and I don't think it's easy to solve.

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CF got it right. i think everyone should be equal. I'd give my detailed views on that subject but it'd open a huge can of worms

I also think everyone should be equal.

But when you think of all that was taken from them, in order for it to be equal some should be given back. The only issue is that everyone is subject to greed and wanting more.

The "playing field" is usually skewed. Even though lots of people complain about breaks in paying for college (at least in the U.S.) and things like that a lot don't receive that help, or the education needed to get in. (Like how to apply, it would have been nice if someone... anyone would have helped me out personally.)

No matter what happens everyone is going to complain. >_<

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I also think everyone should be equal.

But when you think of all that was taken from them, in order for it to be equal some should be given back. The only issue is that everyone is subject to greed and wanting more.

The "playing field" is usually skewed. Even though lots of people complain about breaks in paying for college (at least in the U.S.) and things like that a lot don't receive that help, or the education needed to get in. (Like how to apply, it would have been nice if someone... anyone would have helped me out personally.)

No matter what happens everyone is going to complain. >_<

the thing is. they already have more rights. Can anyone else just put a net at the mouth of a river to catch all the fish and not even use half of them? nope. only them.

my grandfather went hunting once and the natives were killing all the fucking caribou there and leaving most of them there to rot. My grandfather kept a baby one away from the area to prevent it getting slaughtered like the rest. And this happens alot with all kind of animals. The right for hunting for them anytime stems from them living off the land like they used to. that right there is not a good use of that right

they seriously need to re-evaluate the so called "equal rights" system they have right now.

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