Thursday, June 08, 2006

"Australian foreign minister unveils plans for the colonial occupation of East Timor"

From World Socialist Web Site:

Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer visited East Timor last weekend and laid out the broad outlines of Canberra’s plans to establish a long-term colonial-style occupation of the country. Downer arrived in Dili on Saturday amid continuing looting and violence by rival street gangs, despite the presence of an Australian-led force of more than 2,000 troops and police.

It is now clear that Canberra’s military intervention was aimed, not at ending the disorder in Dili, much less at assisting the estimated 100,000 displaced persons living in squalid camps. Rather its purpose has been to enable the Howard government to dictate terms to East Timor’s leaders and preempt Australia’s Asian and European rivals, most notably the former colonial power, Portugal.

The continuing chaos in Dili is serving as a useful political lever to achieve these ends. While Downer was in Dili, Australian Justice Minister Chris Ellison was at the UN in New York pressing for agreement with an ongoing Australian-led operation, along the lines of Canberra’s takeover of the Solomon Islands in 2003. Under the guise of assisting a “failed state”, Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomons Islands (RAMSI) controls all the main levers of executive power—finance, the police, courts and prisons—in the country.

Monday’s Sydney Morning Herald provided details of Downer’s three key proposals for a new UN mandate in East Timor. He argued firstly for “a large police force, comprising officers from a broad group of countries, preferably under an Australian commander.”

“Second, it [Canberra] wants a more capable UN role in helping the East Timorese with governance and administration. East Timor has a budget surplus yet scant investment in vital infrastructure, shoddy systems of administration and justice, and no serious economic activity beyond the oil sector,” the article explained. Finally, Downer proposed that “a role for the UN in reconciliation of a shattered society”.

In effect, the Howard government is demanding control of East Timor’s administration via a large, permanent police presence, the installation of Australian officials in key positions of finance, justice and security, and the means for political manipulation via “reconciliation”. Completely absent is any desperately-needed aid to provide basic services including welfare, education and health for the poverty-stricken country—one of the poorest in the world.

What “reconciliation” means is indicated by the ongoing efforts to oust Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, regarded as too closely aligned with Portugal. In less than a fortnight, Alkatiri has been compelled to cede substantial control over the country’s security forces to President Xanana Gusmao and has lost two close allies—the defence and interior ministers—who have been forced to resign.

While Downer declared on Saturday that he would not take sides in East Timor’s political conflict, Australia is obviously backing moves against Alkatiri. Yesterday, around 2,000 anti-Alkatiri demonstrators were shepherded into Dili by Australian troops to protest outside the current session of parliament and demand the sacking of the prime minister. At the same time, Major Alfredo Reinado, an anti-government “rebel leader”, who, in other circumstances would be treated as a renegade and terrorist, is being feted by Australian military commanders, officials and media as a political leader-in-waiting.

The hypocrisy and cynicism of the military intervention is highlighted by the abrupt reversal of the Australian government’s position on extending the UN mandate for East Timor. In early May, Washington and Canberra vigorously opposed calls from the East Timorese government and the UN special representative Sukehiro Hasegawa for a one-year extension of the UN Office for Timor-Leste (UNOTIL). UNOTIL had organised police, military and civilian advisers in all the areas outlined by Downer.

Both the Bush administration and the Howard government regarded UNOTIL as being too closely aligned with Alkatiri—and with Australia’s rivals in Portugal and elsewhere. With UNOTIL’s mandate due to expire on May 20, Washington and Canberra initially opposed any renewal, then, on May 12, reluctantly accepted a one-month extension.

On the same day, without informing Dili, Prime Minister Howard announced that Australian warships would be deployed to waters near East Timor, then boarded a plane for Washington. Less than a fortnight later, using the pretext of violence stirred up by figures such as Reinado, Australian troops began landing in Dili.

Now Downer is demanding a mandate for a long term UN presence—dominated by Australian officials and police. Not surprisingly, he has also called for the current UN representative Hasegawa to be replaced and has objected to Portuguese paramilitary police operating independently of Australian military command.

At a regional security conference last weekend, Australian Defence Minister Brendan Nelson called for Asian countries, including Singapore and South Korea, to contribute to the international force on East Timor—a transparent attempt to further dilute any Portuguese or European involvement.

A “weighter role” for Australia

While Downer was careful to use diplomatic language in Dili, Murdoch’s Australian has felt no such constraint. In his comment last Saturday entitled “A weightier role in Dili”, editor-at-large Paul Kelly drew attention to Downer’s plan, endorsed by cabinet’s National Security Committee, for “an Australian military-civilian strategy for East Timor’s future”. “This envisages that Australia will control military security in the short term through the Australia-led coalition that now exists and influence East Timor’s military structure in the long run. The aim is to minimise the influence of the UN or other nations, notably Portugal, on East Timor’s military structure,” he explained. The UN could be confined to “a stronger civilian role in East Timor’s governance, its civil service and its police.”

Kelly, who had clearly been briefed by the government, made no bones about the object of the exercise. “The lesson Australia has drawn from the intervention is that its security views cannot be marginalised any longer as they were ignored at the time of independence. The feature of East Timor’s brief history is that Portugal has exercised more influence than Australia, notably on its language, constitution and institutions. This is one of the reasons for its failure. It is obvious that as ultimate security guarantor, Australia must exert a greater authority,” he wrote.

Kelly’s call for Australia to become a regional hegemon was, however, quite restrained compared to what foreign editor Greg Sheridan penned on the same day. In his column entitled “Throw Troops at Pacific Failures”, he argued for a far broader and more aggressive Australian role, writing: “Australian policy in the South Pacific has been undergoing an agonising and profound revolution, from hands-off respect for South Pacific sovereignty to deepening involvement. But it may be that we still have not conceived of our involvement in the most useful strategic terms.”

Sheridan openly called for Canberra to use its power and influence to get rid of Alkatiri. “Certainly if Alkatiri remains Prime Minister of East Timor, this is a shocking indictment of Australian impotence. If you cannot translate the leverage of 1,300 troops, 50 police, hundreds of support personnel, buckets of aid and a critical international rescue mission into enough influence to get rid of a disastrous Marxist Prime Minister, then you are just not very skilled in the arts of influence, tutelage, sponsorship and, ultimately, promoting the national interest,” he declared.

Sheridan went on to outline his vision for the region, insisting: “It is perhaps time that Australian conceived of itself as the ‘US of the South Pacific’.” He attempted to blunt the sharp edge of his message by referring to America’s post war role in East Asia, but then continued: “Like the US in Asia, we should do this in part through a system of military deployments, though naturally we would not call them Australian bases... What I am arguing is that, as part of a wider program of assistance involving lots of Australian personnel operating in South Pacific government agencies, deployments of Australian soldiers should be semi-permanently stationed in East Timor, Solomon Islands and, if necessary, other regional basket cases.”

Sheridan is simply stating what the Howard government is actually doing. Having secured the backing of the Bush administration by extending unconditional support for the US military subjugation of Afghanistan and Iraq, Australian imperialism is aggressively carving out its own sphere of influence in the South Pacific. Its strategy involves, not just transforming “failed states” into dependent vassals, but setting the course for broader inter-imperialist conflicts throughout the region.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Theatrical adaptations.

"Abu Musab Zarqawi blamed for more than 700 killings in Iraq" (NBC News, 03/03/04).

"Zarqawi has warned of attacks on the majority Shia population with the aim of provoking a Sunni-Shia civil war to wreck the US plans to pull out of Iraq on 30 June" (Independent of London 03/03/04).

"Gen. John P. Abizaid said raids by American Special Operations forces and efforts by the Iraqi police against militants associated with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had thwarted a major attack in Basra" (New York Times 03/03/04).

"There is growing evidence that a terrorist [Zarqawi] with ties to al Qaeda was behind this week's bombing in Iraq" (Christian Broadcasting Network 03/04/04).

"Every soldier in Iraq is looking for Zarqawi," says Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt (Houston Chronicle 02/22/04).

...some critics of the war say the Bush Administration has deliberately skewed the level of Zarqawi's involvement in an attempt to portray the insurgency as a war waged by foreign Islamic terrorists.

The playbook:

“French imperialism is never short of arguments in favor of its privileges and its behavior. Among the thousand and one means that it uses in this domain, we should note two ways that it impresses itself upon world public opinion. The first argument consists in presenting the nationalist movements of Algeria as racist and xenophobic with a basis of religious fanaticism and chauvinism. The second set of arguments consists in presenting these movements as being foreign-inspired.”
Messali Hadj, “Mémoire aux Nations Unies” (c. 1950).

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Power and the Peace is in the People.

From Kahentinetha Horn:

MNN. May 27th 2006. During the past 88 days of Six Nations activism to reclaim our land near Caledonia, we have received thousands of emails and calls from people all over the world. There were days when we just could not answer them. The support and ideas that we’ve received have been tremendously gratifying and helpful. We thank you all. Without this solidarity from natives and non-natives, the Ontario Provincial Police would have had their way. Blood would have been spilt. Never mind the return of our land, though we are still waiting on that one.

This solidarity that we are experiencing between natives and non-native people is a revival. The British promised to protect the Six Nations on the Haldimand Tract that our people are defending began with this solidarity. The Six Nations were allies of the British. It was this alliance that lead to the formation of modern Canada. Because of this alliance we were pushed out of the Mohawk Valley in what is now New York State where our people had lived since the beginning of time. The Mohawks were valiant allies of the British during the American Revolution. Mohawks have always been on the front line every time Britain needed defending - in the Battle of Queenston Heights 1813, in World I and World War II and other actions. The Haldimand Tract is on traditional Rotino’shon:ni/Iroquois territory. The tract was guaranteed to the Mohawks in 1784. The Six Nations have always been willing to put ourselves on the line for our Canadian allies. It is gratifying to see that the majority of people support this alliance and are willing to stand up for us.

Our tradition has been to work together. Unfortunately, the Canadian government, particularly Indian Affairs, was taken over by people who did not want us to work together. They wanted to be boss, kings of the castle. So they betrayed us and the Canadian people. Instead of treating us honorably like allies, they abused us. They stole our land, stole our resources and schemed to kill us off. They pretended that we were children who could not look after ourselves. They depleted our trust funds with illegal investments in flaky financial schemes run by their friends.

Instead of treating us like allies, they pretended that we were British subjects. You may wonder why we did not protest over our lack of rights in Canada. That’s because we aren’t Canadians. We were minding our own business. We organized everything on our territory and paid for it ourselves.

We thought the problem was just the people in Indian Affairs and that our relationship with the Queen remained on an honorable footing. We were wrong.

The original Haldimand promise was that there was to be no encroachment ever. In the end the Canadian government, not the Canadian people, was the source of our beef.

Ontario, and the rest of Canada for that matter, is intent on diminishing Indigenous land holdings not only on the Haldimand Tract but everywhere. It is being diminished through outright theft. The aim of not giving one inch of land back is not for the benefit of the people of Ontario. It’s to support the business interests that are intent on exploiting our resources with no regard to the environment or the present and future generations of the people who must live on it. It is the billionaires who really run the governments. Welcome to the pretend democracy of Canada.
We now assume stewardship over our illegally occupied lands. Until now we have invested a lot of resources into historical and legal research and actions for the last 200 years. Anytime the facts were put on the table Canadian officials were shown to have mismanaged Canada and mistreated Indigenous people. We’ve borne the brunt of it. It is over now! This rot also affects the Canadian people. They do not have a government that looks out for them and the future generations. That’s the heart of the problem.

What is government and what are their functions? Is it a vehicle that allows a few greedy individuals to live parasitic lives off the work and possessions of others? Or should government bring people together so that we can put our minds together, solve problems and make a better life for everyone? The basic rift is between our Indigenous philosophy coming from our constitution, the Kaianereh’ko:wa/Great Law, and the philosophy of the people running the government. We’ve learned in dealing with the Canadian government that the Canadian government does not represent the Canadian people.

We never lost jurisdiction over our ancestral lands. We’ve had a deep sense of betrayal and anger over our horrific historic experience with the colonizers. Would giving us back our illegally occupied land be ''too disruptive'' to the parasites lodged in the Canadian government? Never mind that the government allowed and encouraged its own citizens to encroach on our land and gained private and institutional land titles in violation of the laws. They let Americans come up and take our land too! It’s all part of their 100 year plan to get rid of the “Indian problem” as described by that complete maniac, Duncan Campbell Scott of Indian Affairs. A lot of the early settlers on our land were Americans who had taken part in pushing us off our land in the Mohawk Valley. They came up here and liked what they saw here too and began squatting!It’s also interesting that a large percentage of Canadians consider that we got robbed and that we deserve our territories free of colonial jurisdiction. In the Six Nations issue the public in Canada, the United States and worldwide have given us strong support. We hope, for the sake of Mother Earth, it is because many in Canada realize how important our philosophy of caring for the land is?

Unless, of course, we are in the way of corporate “progress”, that is, exploitation of our lands and resources by a few foreign based interests who operate through corporations. They operate with no obligations to anyone but themselves and no concern for the people, native and non-native. We are all just pawns in their schemes. The way to overcome all this is to assert our title to Turtle Island and to turn it back to its proper role as a “cornucopia” for the people.

Even though there is wide support for us, there is tremendous opposition by the corporate interests which function through the governmental quagmire. They put pressure on any of their institutions that could give us justice. These interests manage to brainwash and manipulate their “flag-waving” super nationalists to make a lot of noise in the media and to attack us. This is what happened at the “Bread and Cheese Fight” in Caledonia on May 22nd 2006 when government instigated rioters came and tried to attack us. But the general public isn’t buying it.

The main anti-Indian argument to stop Indigenous jurisdiction from being asserted is because they don’t want us to grow, expand and become independent. Why do they think that expanded Indigenous jurisdictions would be disruptive? Would it be a problem if Indian affairs would no longer be getting a cut? They’d have to take their feet off their desks and do a day’s work. Are they afraid that it would be environmentally and economically stimulating and rewarding not just for us but for everyone else? We all need to take a unified approach, native and non-native. We are all being abused. We need to work together. But we need to be wary of those who try to shut us up in the name of unity. We need to respect our laws and adhere to the original arrangements that were made between us. Let us assert our jurisdiction. Don’t keep us mired in legalistic strategies which take up our time and money. We need to be free from the shackles of useless diversions.

Maybe what’s needed is a massive “Condolence Ceremony” in which we wipe our eyes with a soft leather so that we can see clearly and have a good look at the issues; then we need to take an eagle feather to clean out our ears so that we can hear each other; and then we need to drink a glass of water so that we can speak truthfully and as clearly as the purest water. Sometimes the solutions to difficult problems are simple. Sometimes all that’s needed is to show respect.

In the end, there’s no need to give us back the Henco Industries land. It’s ours already. It always was. All Ontario needs to do is to respect that. We need to assert the legal government-to-government relationship. We do have broad support from the public to do this. We must bring out the truth. We must stop Canada from continuing to live in sin? Grow up Canada! Colonialism is over! We’re never going back

Kahentinetha Horn
MNN Mohawk Nation News


From Kahentinetha Horn:

MNN. May 27, 2006. People watching the televised attacks on our people at Six Nations are shocked to see how much self-restraint we have as a people. Don’t mistake the Indigenous self-restraint for submission to Canadian authority. It’s a lot harder to restrain oneself in the face of provocation, adversity, mistreatment, unfairness and attacks on human rights and dignity. This is what we’ve had to do throughout the confrontations that have been organized against us by the Canadian state over our reclamation of our land now known as “Kanenhstaton”, the precious land.

When we face our adversaries in just about every walk of life, it is sickening how we have to hold everything in and walk around as if we’re wearing a mask to hide our true feelings of anger and frustration. Right from the day we are born we are assaulted by the agencies of the colonial governments. Many people are trained to look at us with pity or condescension or fear. It’s as if we were some kind of reptile or untrained animal. The natural world is not respected in colonial society the way it is in ours where we learn favorable lesson from every type of creature. 25% of the species on the planet are extinct now. We had something to learn from each of them that we will never now learn.

So far we were threatened with an armed Ontario Provincial Police attack on March 22 which was aborted. Then we were physically attacked by the heavily armed OPP on April 20th. Finally their hired guns managed to organize a rabid crowd to come to the reclamation site to “kill those Indians”. They carried pepper spray, baseball bats, cherry bombs and other weapons. These are all old strategies that have become familiar to us. Where did they get the pepper spray from? The only people who normally have it are the cops.

The whole aim of these confrontations is to get us so riled up that we will do something rash. Then they can have the excuse they want to use full force against us, making it seem like thuggery is legal. This demonstration is something they want to show other Indigenous people that they’d better stay in their place, “or else”. So far, not one of our people has taken the bait. Everyone was there on their own initiative. Everyone was free to decide for themselves what to do. Everyone decided to stay and to hold our ground. In the face of the armed threat of the rioters and the police the restraint that was shown reflects the depth of the power and understanding in all of our people. No one was aggressive, no one backed down and when attacked, we defended ourselves very well.

That’s the way we are. This shocked Canadians. As one guy from Vancouver said, “I don’t know how you people can do that!” We can do it because we know who we are. We know the way of the Kaianereh’ko:wa and the natural world.

So what’s next? If Canada wants a repeat of the Mohawk Oka crisis of 1990, or the Ipperwash standoff, or Burnt Church or Gustafsen Lake, it can go ahead with its plans. Is it doing this on purpose? Or is it just bad habit? Either way, it’s time for Canada to pull up its socks, behave like an adult, stop threatening us, obey its laws, honor its promises and deal with us as equals. Canada has a choice.

In 1990 when the politicians found they could not get us to fire the first shot so the army could complete the job, they decided that it would be a good idea to bring in some snipers. They wanted to kill off a few of those they considered to be key Mohawks. They knew that this would drive us crazy and would unleash anger like they had never seen before. Of course, we’d be as helpless as fish in a rain barrel. We’d be surrounded by the army. This is what they had to do to have the excuse to do us in.

It might have worked! I don’t know why, but I was targeted. We found out about this plan and were very careful not to come out of the Treatment Center where we had been holding out for over a month. We were surrounded by at least 2000 Canadian soldiers with more weaponry than they have in Afghanistan today. Then on September 26th 1990 the army decided to back off and let the Quebec Police come in. We were told they were going to be very aggressive. You know what that means, eh? So without a moment’s notice, the 55 of us, men, women and children, walked out and ran into the woods. The soldiers and the police were so angry with us for pulling such a surprise on them, they chased us down, beat us up and even bayoneted my then 14-year old daughter in the chest.

Even though we had weapons, we had never fired a shot at them.

Recently someone was describing to us the disgusting shame and abuse that Palestinian families are put through when they try to leave their walled compounds to go to work or school or wherever. Heavily armed young Israeli soldiers routinely mistreat and insult them. All they can do is put their heads down while the other people watch. They have no choice but to show restraint.

What does this do to self-esteem? It makes a white hot anger blow in people’s hearts. We know we don’t have any choice but to show self-restraint. But that doesn’t mean we accept subjugation. The unwieldy state apparatus that Canada has set up around us has created “prisons of grass”, both real and metaphorical. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper just made an announcement that he wants to build more prisons and hire more police. Is he building an “absolute” police state? If we are supposed to be living in a culture of peace, this shouldn’t be happening.

Kahentinetha Horn
MNN Mohawk Nation News

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

UN war crimes continue in Haiti.

Haiti Action Committee (via Chabert):

Displaying large banners from a high rooftop within the penitentiary compound, prisoners also shouted to journalists below that U.N. forces had killed ten protestors as they opened fire earlier in the morning. Haiti Information Project (HIP) correspondents were at the scene and Director Kevin Pina videotaped the UN action. The footage clearly shows MINUSTAH soldiers shooting at the demonstrators above on a secured catwalk inside the prison. Prisoners raised the corpses of two victims they claimed were shot by UN sharpshooters. While attempting to cover the story from the street below Pina was forcefully restrained by a contingent of Jordanian soldiers who claimed that it was too "dangerous" for anyone to enter the area.

How the prisoners got out of their cells remained unclear while some in the local Haitian press were claiming that a few guards were responsible. The breakout and protest came on the heels of the arrest of well-known Lavalas activist and community organizer Rene Civil. Civil had attempted to enter Haiti from the Dominican Republic the night before and was detained by U.N. forces and then turned over to the Haitian police. Rene Civil, along with Annette Auguste and Paul Raymond, are seen as the most popular community level leaders of Aristide's Lavalas movement among Haiti's poor. Auguste was arrested by U.S. Marines in May 2004 and Raymond was arrested last year in the Dominican Republic by police and a U.S. embassy security detachment. Auguste and Raymond have been held in prolonged detention without trial amid shifting allegations and charges. Their fates remain unclear to this day.

Canadian PM: Attack on Afghans 'unfortunate'

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says an air attack by coalition forces that killed a number of civilians in Afghanistan this week was "unfortunate."

from AngryArab:

Have no mercy: a Taliban child. "A 3-year-old Afghan boy, with burns that his uncle said had come from an American bombing, was comforted Monday in a Kandahar hospital."

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Good Morning from Grand River

(via Sketchythoughts)

Good Morning from Grand River

Well, by now everyone has heard how our show of good faith was met.

Yesterday morning by 6:00 a.m. the main barricade on Plank Road (Argyle Street) was removed and the road was completely open ready for use. It wasn't met with good faith however, on the part of Caledonia residents, or at least those claiming to represent Caledonia. Their human barricade refused to budge and at one point, surrounded an elderly couple who were attempting to come through. The opp stood by and watched as the angry crowd refused to let our people through and when spokesman Clyde Powless and spokeswoman Janie Jamieson tried to go up and talk to the opp to get them to help our people through the line, they were surrounded by the angry caledonia representatives and shoving and pushing began. We were told that the vehicle that our elders were in had windows smashed, however, the opp said that no damage was done to the car. It was unclear at that point as to why the caledonia citizens did not meet our efforts of good faith, but later in an interview, Ken Hewitt, representing the Caledonia Citizens Alliance stated that they were not satisfied with the fact that only one of our barricades were taken down and that they wanted all of the barricades down and they wanted the Onkwehonweh people off the land that we've re-claimed.

Obviously David Peterson and the Town of Haldimand didn't inform the caledonia residents of the nature of the negotiations and the process that was being followed. Our press release of early yesterday morning with Chief Allen McNaughton and other representatives of the Confederacy Council stated the status of the negotiations and that as agreed, the main road into Caledonia was being opened up as a show of good faith. Later on that morning there was statements made by some of those on the caledonia side of things that they wanted to march down argyle street to the site of the land reclamation. This was exactly the concern of the Onkwehonweh people in their hesitation at wanting to open up the road in the first place. The intention of our people to keep the peace and open the road was being met with anger and threats to our safety.

Needless to say, because the opp were unable to convince those representing caledonia to disassemble their human blockade and go home and allow us to proceed as planned with the peaceful negotiations, the barricades were put back up. At one point, one of the elders of our people had offered a symbolic gesture to let them know that we still are upholding the peace and that they must choose which direction they wanted to proceed, but he was met with hollering and insults from the non-native protesters. I must add as well that in speaking with the opp, they had mentioned that many many caledonia residents were deeply disappointed in the people who were instigating the people on their side, and that many believe that those present who were causing the disruption, were not residents of Caledonia and that they were outsiders who's main intent was to instigate trouble. And that they did.

They were given a time frame to dismantle their people and allow the Onkwehonweh to continue with our offering of opening the road, and when they refused to move, at the end of that time frame, the consensus of the people was to dig the road up and a backhoe was brought in to begin that process. Again, the opp asked for more time to persuade their people to go home, and the digging stopped but their people refused to move. At one point in the afternoon some of the non-native protesters began trying to come around the side of the opp and rush toward our people. The men and women stood in defense of our position and at least 30 of our people were pepper sprayed, a couple of our people were taken to the hospital, and several of the caledonia people were hurt in the scuffle.

Again, we were able to bring our people back to refrain from any further escalations of violence, however, the mood at this point was indeed tense. By evening there were anywhere from 250 to 300 caledonia citizens in their human blockade and most of the people of Six Nations had gathered in solidarity behind our barricade. The opp had called in extra support from all over the surrounding areas, and at one point the riot squad had gathered in hopes of getting the caledonia people to go home. No action was taken by the opp or riot squad, and by around 2:30 this morning, most of the residents from the caledonia blockade had retreated. as of this morning at around 7:00 am., the barricade on the plank road is still there, and the people are considering now if another show of good faith will result in the same situation or worse, or whether we should once again, attempt to remove the barricades to allow the traffic to move freely through and allow our delegates to continue with the peaceful negotiations that were scheduled to continue this week.

We need our supporters to understand that we are continuing with our peaceful position, that we are unarmed, and intend to maintain that position of Peace, on our Land, and trust in our People, in our Kaierenekowah -- the Great Law, and in our Creator and the process that was given to us to resolve this situation to the best of our ability. We appreciate all of the phone calls and e-mails, and I apologize if I am unable to respond to each of your e-mails individually, but at this moment, we are working diligently to ensure the safety of our people at the site, and will keep everyone posted and updated as quickly as possible. The solidarity of the Onkwehonweh people is the most important factor in this situation and we appreciate all of those who are standing by to support in any way that is necessary if the Crown's representatives fail to keep the negotiations proceeding toward a peaceful resolution.



From MohawkNationNews: May 23, 2006. At 6:00 am May 22nd, “Bread and Cheese Day”, the Six Nations people removed the barricade on Argyle Street in Caledonia as a gesture of goodwill. What ensued is being called, the “Bread and Cheese Fight”. It was the 83rd day of the reclamation of Six Nations land and the stopping of construction of a housing project of Henco Developers. Talks aimed at resolving the situation were scheduled to continue. Let’s not be fooled. What followed was part of somebody’s plan. It’s clear that professional instigators played a role in the rioting. David Peterson’s tactics created fuel for the flames.

The rioters were to arrive with about a dozen instigators and outsiders. Several savvy observers counted and this is what they saw. Our sources have consulted with genuine “Caledonians” and confirmed that the most active rioters were people they had not seen before. The rioters were supposed to find the native barricade still up. We think they are pro' instigators because we’ve seen the same kind of faces before. In particular the main rabble rouser looked like a 50 year old cop. He was surrounded by guys made to look like “skin heads” [as if skin heads are still around. As if they lived in a nice rural community like Caledonia]. A short guy with sun glasses who was punching a cop was recognized by a native viewer. She said he is the spitting image of a guy high up in the KKK. We’ve also seen the m.o. before. The police routinely function to get the “rabble” to do their dirty work.

Then they were to make a ruckus and start attacks on the Six Nations people. The uniformed OPP were to just stand there and watch, pretending to be neutral. Then it would turn into a melee. Then the crowd was supposed to turn on the cops for not letting them get at the Indians. A few cops would get hurt. Then there would be an excuse to bring in the riot police conveniently stationed nearby. Many would be arrested, native and non-native. The non-native would be released and we would never know who they were. The natives would be charged. All this we’ve witnessed before.

The planners got it wrong this time. The Six Nations did open the road. When the non-native rioters arrived, they found the street open. This threw their plans out the window. There was no obstacle to overcome. So they set up their own barricade so they could find a target. When a car carrying native people came along, they attacked it. When people from the site came to help, they attacked them. What ensued was not a confrontation between the native and non-native people. It was a planned attack on the native people. When the native people started defending themselves, the corporate media got the photos they wanted. Images that make the natives look like the aggressors are plastered all over the media today. They also have Caledonians saying things like, “Bring in the army”, “This is terrorism” and “Dissolve both sides and everybody should go home”. Even the power outage was part of the scheme to create what was to look like chaos between native and non-native. Are there any real journalists left in corporate media in Canada who will report the truth?

During the riots David Peterson, the so-called “negotiator”, arrived on the scene. The native people were polite. He went over to the non-native rioters and got pushed around. It was all a show. Then Peterson said, “The government wants the Caledonian and the Six Nations people to be in solidarity”. He said he was against all the people who used force to make everything generate into chaos. Who used force? It was clearly the non-native side. His most telling remark was, “The talks may not go on” [he hopes]. This is what the whole display was all about - to stop the talks and to distract attention from the validity of the Six Nations claim.

If you were to dig deep to find the underlying interests that are served by stopping the talks, you would hit the hard rock of corporate greed. What is happening in Six Nations right now is not just about a piece of land on the Grand River. It’s about all native rights to land and resources in Canada. It will set the tone for the treatment of Indigenous rights in every other part of the country. Big business absolutely does not want Canada to start respecting Indigenous rights. They had a real problem a few years ago when Justice Thomas Berger’s Report on the McKenzie Valley Pipeline raised public awareness of the relationship between environmental issues and Indigenous rights. The Berger Report is almost forgotten. The McKenzie Valley pipeline is on the negotiating table again. Corporate interests do not want to suffer another Berger type setback caused by a bunch of do-gooder Canadians who think they want to live in a clean and healthy world.

Affirmation of the Six Nations right to the Grand River land could mean the end of their reign of environmental destruction and dissolution of their illegal colonial system. What happened at Six Nations yesterday is a small distraction. We don’t know who Peterson’s clients are when he’s not at Six Nations. We do know that he is aware of the corporate interests served by the denial of Indigenous rights. We also know that he’s been double dealing telling Caledonians that Ontario has no intention of returning land to the Six Nations while assuring Six Nations people that Ontario would formally recognize our title.

Once we realized this, we knew that Peterson did not really want the talks to go on even though he sounds conciliatory in public, especially when he talks to the media. He put on a different face during the meetings with the Six Nations. He sat there with a surly expression the whole time. This is a man who is not happy when things do not go his way.

Said a Mohawk about what’s going on, “You can’t steal land. You can’t put it into your pocket and walk away with it. You can only illegally occupy it”.

Another commented, “They lost the argument about the land. When a baby doesn’t get its way, they start busting everything. That’s what they did yesterday. The media has not been telling the public or the people of Caledonia the truth”. There is no real difference between the people of Caledonia and the people of Six Nations. All agree they want to live peacefully. Let’s hope people don’t get distracted from this goal by outside instigators who don’t care spit about the people of Caledonia or Indigenous people. The real Caledonians and the Six Nations people do not want to hurt anybody. The Caledonians threw bricks of cheese at the Six Nations who threw it back at them. Maybe this can be reenacted every year after this.

Could the ‘Bread and Cheese Fight’ have been avoided? Not when there’s so much corporate “greed” at stake.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Canadian criminality

from an email just received:


1:00 Monday. May 22, 2006. Day 83 of the land reclamation. In a gesture of goodwill, Six nations people took down the barricade on Argyle Street in front of the Caledonia at 6:00 am this morning. Yesterday the Caledonians blocked the road for 6 buses of supporters from Toronto. They also blocked ambulances from going to the hospital. One man died alone because they did not let him family go to his bedside. A car with a reporter and some women from Six nations paper was surrounded by Caledonian men and women. They smashed the windows. The Ontario Provincial Police stood around shoulder to shoulder without moving, just watching, allowing the hooliganism to go on. “We are looking after it,” they told the Six Nations people. When Six Nations people went to help the people who were being attacked, they were surrounded by more Caledonians, who shoved and hit them and accused the Indigenous people of instigating the violence. When the woman was hit, the Six Nations men jumped in and about three or four big fights broke out. The OPP continued to allow these Caledonian hoodlums to keep up their attack..

The Six Nations have put up the barricade again.

There is a large police presence. But just standing there. They are not stopping the Caledonia people from coming in. Everytime we try to soften things up and deal with people on the expectation they will behave in a civilized way, look at what happens.

This is public misbehaviour which is a direct result of the way the issues are handled by the Canadian government and the Canadian press. They do not present the legitimate basis of the Six Nations people’s complaints. They make it look like we are the law breakers. They are wrong in letting the public no know of our legitimate claims. The blame for this lies squarely on the shoulders of the public officials in the way they are presenting this whole issuer.


Try the Prime Minister, the police, the UN, anyone you can think of who may take responsibility for law and order in Ontario.

Thursday, May 11, 2006