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OPP appear to be preparing to use force at Six Nations blockade

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Section: Canadian News Geography: Ontario Six Nations Topics: police, Indigenous

April 11, 2006

OPP appear to be preparing to use force at Six Nations blockade

by Hillary Bain Lindsay

Six weeks after citizens of the Six Nations repossessed land near Caledonia, Ontario on February 28, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) appears to be making prepations to remove protesters by force.

On April 11, more than 50 police cruisers gathered at an abandoned school on Unity Road in Caledonia. Two paddy wagons and several vans were also seen.

"Things are very tense," said Dick Hill, one of the people on site. "We are trying to defend our lands, which were taken from us. Every time we try to stand up for who we are and what we are, they come and drag us away."

Before the site was blocked by protesters, Henco Industries had began construction on 10 of 71 houses planned for the site, says the Hamilton Spectator. Citizens of the Six Nations say they set up the blockade after officials ignored other forms of protest.

The piece of land under dispute was registered as a land claim by the Six Nations Band Council in 1987 and has yet to be settled.

"We're doing what justice calls for," explained Sewatis. "We're here telling people that it's our land and it was illegally attained and it was illegally sold. That's just the plain simple truth."

The Six Nations people are demanding nation-to-nation dialogue with the Canadian government and continue to call for a peaceful resolution. If the OPP choose to use force, however, those manning the blockade say they will defend their land and their people.

"If they break the peace, we'll do what we have to do," said Hill.

For more context to the current situation at the Six Nations' blockade click here

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