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After a week of tension the police services have declared withdrawal from the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. Though announcing today all Ontario Provincial Police barricades are to be removed, cruisers and helicopters continue to survey the area.
Satisfied with the outcome, the Mohawk defenders of the Quarry have declared victory, consequent to which all solidarity blockades at Six Nations in Caledonia have also been removed.
Three members of the Tyendinaga Mohawks remain in custody though two were released on Monday, April 28th, 2008.
Supplies, a trailer, a barbecue, food, and some vehicles belonging to the Mohawk community have been taken by the police forces and are still not returned.
Meanwhile, non-Native allies have been assembling and delivering supplies from various Ontario cities to support the Mohawks in their struggle since Friday, April 25th, 2008.
The community estimates police surveillance will continue until Thursday when the remaining detainees are scheduled to appear in court.
For this purpose they are requesting monetary assistance with legal fees and will be holding various fundraisers.
Yesterday morning, Monday April 28th, police forces of mixed origin invaded the Tyendinaga blockade on Deseronto road. Following a short confrontation, a trailer belonging to the blockaders along with food and a barbeque were confiscated.
A trench dug by the Mohawk blockaders was filled in by the police, which forced them to retract to a single point on Deseronto road. Most of the blockades established over the weekend have been taken down or forcibly dismantled by police.
The Quarry is now surrounded with 2-300 police officers along with intelligence and surveillance vehicles.
Of the five arrestees, detained Friday April 28th, 2008, Daniel John Doreen, 34, and Stephen Chartrand, 32, were released.
According to The Whig, the bail conditions the two had to sign include keeping away from the Quarry, reporting to police weekly; not to plan, incite or participate in any protests that "interfere with traffic on highways, airways, railways or public waterways" and not associate with the co-accused, unless for "religious or cultural ceremonies."
Matthew James Kunkel, 21, Clint Brant, 29, and Shawn Brant, 44, remain in custody.
Solidarity actions from by non native protesters continue to support the Tyendinaga community throughout the province. A Part of the Hanlon Highway in Guelph was briefly blockaded by allies last night. Sunday saw a convergence at Dalton McGuinty’s office, and an emergency rally is scheduled in Toronto today at noon.
The Aboriginal People's Television Network's latest newscast notes some interesting details about Shawn Brant's arrest on Friday.
Worth a look.
After over 200 police officers raided the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory west of Belleville, Ontario on April 22nd, 2008 actions have escalated. On the evening of Friday, April 25th, the Tyendinaga community was again under attack, while continuing the blockade intended to protect itself and its "disputed" Quarry. Currently the Nation is surrounded by a wide police perimeter that prevents access to the Quarry.
"At the centre of the dispute is the Culbertson Tract, land which rightfully belongs to the Mohawks of Tyendinaga. Community members have been occupying a gravel quarry site for over a year," according to TMT.
Allies attempting to enter the perimeter are being turned away. Only residents holding valid documentation of property ownership within the perimeter are allowed entry.
Earlier in the week Agent Provocateurs were deployed in the local community to incite a conflict with the Mohawk Nation. The attempt failed but prevented local allies from supporting the Nation due to fear of police retaliation.
Police have attempted to dismantle the Mohawk blockade on Friday, and have beaten and arrested four individuals. These are Matthew James Kunkel, 21, Clint Brant, 29, Daniel John Dorene, 34, and Steve Chartrand, 32. They are scheduled to appear on Monday, April 28, 2008 in Napanee court. Prior to these arrests, Shawn Brent, 44, was arrested at a traffic stop allegedly for his role in preventing racist community members from attacking a woman and her child.
In solidarity, Six Nations' Mohawks in Caledonia have set up similar blockades at the Highway 6 bypass of the Sixth Line bridge and elsewhere.
Photo by Clarkwork Orange
I've never actually watched the Aboriginal People's Television Network, but judging from their coverage of the recent arrest of Shawn Brant, I'll likely be tuning in to their online newscasts far more often.
The dominant narrative surrounding Brant's arrest, one of the many sparks that has ignited the standoff currently underway between hundreds of heavily armed Ontario Provincial Police officers and an estimated hundred Mohawk demonstrators and supporters at a blockade in Tyendinaga, is that of Brant breaching his bail conditions from his arrest following June 29th. Brant, of course, was one of the organizers of the one-day blockade of Mohawks of a stretch of the 401 highway between Montreal and Toronto during last year's June 29th national day of action. His bail conditions prohibited him from taking part in protests or acts of civil disobedience.
According to the Globe and Mail's account, Brant was arrested "during a traffic stop" and that "during Mr. Brant's arrest, two officers were allegedly confronted by a group of people and assaulted." Apparently, police then "noticed several suspects who were wanted in connection with protests in Deseronto on Monday and Tuesday," after which their attempt at arrest was foiled. Police then noticed a Mohawk demonstrator at the Tyendinaga site "pointing a long gun" at them. The CTV has reported
From Mohawk Nation News at around 5PM Friday:
Mohawks surrounded at the quarry in Tyendinaga. Ontario Provincial Police OPP [are]fully armed with guns drawn. They are yelling through blow horns ordering the Rotiskenrekete to come down with their hands up, or else they are going to take them out. The Rotiskenrekete have told the OPP they are not coming down from there. We have been informed that help will probably not arrive in time. The OPP have said they are coming right away. There are 20 left at the quarry. Many have already been arrested.
The stand-off began last Monday following the initial stages of construction by a dubiously legal condo development on Mohawk territory. The OPP's claim that officers had seen a "long gun" carried by Mohawk protestors bears an eery resemblance to Ipperwash. MNN points out that the area around Tyendinaga seems to have special significance for the Harper governments current plan for "continental integration" of the Canadian Forces.
This situation could be more complicated than appears at present. The Canadian Special Forces, which is the main military unit that would be active in the United States under the "Civil Assistance Plan", is moving the so-called Joint Task Force 2 to the Trenton area, just 25 miles from Tyendinaga. They will be forming a new special forces battalion. Land in the Trenton area is being secretly bought up by the government for a base and training site. A total of 400 hectares (1.5 square miles) will be purchased.
The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.