Six Nations Update About Friday Night's Rally (May 5)
Forward below from someone at the reclamation site. -- Annamarie
I just wanted to send out a brief report from the Caledonia townspeople demo today. The good news is that it was a lot smaller, about half the size of the gathering last Friday. The gathering was also a lot more subdued, with no fire barrel, and very little in the way of chanting, air horns and public drunkenness. There was one ugly incident when a native woman crossed from the Six Nations side and was verbally attacked by a crowd of white people as she was escorted through by police. Following this incident, a few townspeople marched to the front of the police line and had a verbal confrontation with the cops demanding to be similarly let through the native lines but this just ended up being an argument with the police (as well as a few non-native Caledonians who were trying to talk some sense into the racists).
The media were filming both of these events, so they may well be reported in the news. There was no sign of any overt and organized neo-Nazi presence at the rally and many of the townspeople protesting tried to make the argument that they weren't racist, but just wanted the road open. One protester pointed out that since there were a half-dozen people of color in the protest, the demonstration was multicultural and not racist. I think that it is safe to assume that because of the publicization of the KKK leaflets, a fair number of local residents did not come to the protest. At the height of the protest at around 8:30 p.m. there were about 350 townspeople. That declined to about 200 people at 9:30 p.m. and less than 100 people at 10:30 p.m.
While there were some of the regulars who had been consistently going to these protests, there were also a lot of people who had been present before and very vocal, who weren't there this time. I went expecting it to be extremely tense and that townspeople would confront "outsiders" but it was really quite subdued. There was a major OPP presence of at least 100 officers on the line blocking highways six and a few dozen more in uniform sprinkled throughout the crowd.
There were a number of pro native white supporters that were present including a group of people from the Canadian Union of Postal Workers who showed up with union flags and then apparently left when they were heckled. This happened before I arrived so I can't really report on it and wasn't able to get their contact info.
One interesting thing that was overheard by observers and was also stated to a global news reporter (so this might be on the news) is that some Caledonian residents are apparently planning to set up roadblocks surrounding Caledonia and to only allow white people into town. This person said that the roadblocks would go up on Saturday morning at 8 a.m. I have no idea if they are actually capable of doing this or if
this is just talk, but their line of argument is that since the native people can put up a roadblock and decide who can get through without interference from the OPP, they want to be able to do the same thing at the entrances to their town. I don't know if they can get enough people to do this, and what the OPP response will be, but it is something to keep an eye on. I imagine that if it happens, it will be on the news
[name edited out at the request of the sender]
Hamilton East MPP wants compensation for Firefighters
STANDING UP FOR FALLEN FIREFIGHTERS - FOR FAIRNESS
Ontario should lead not trail others in the campaign to ensure firefighters receive compensation for their occupational diseases, says New Democrat Andrea Horwath.
The Hamilton East MPP has the support of firefighters and their families for her private member's bill, to recognize and compensate firefighters without question for diseases attributed to their job. The bill is named in memory of Hamilton firefighter Bob Shaw, who died after developing cancer of the esophagus from fighting the deadly toxic Plastimet Fire.
"I made a promise to the Shaw family that I would bring forward the necessary legislation to ensure occupational diseases related to firefighting are appropriately recognized and compensated. The McGuinty government has been slow to move on this life and death file. My bill may finally spur some long overdue action. And this can pave the way for other workers who are seeking similar provisions," Horwath said.
Compensate firefighters for job-related diseases
Ont. NDP Leader Hampton on Child Care
STANDING UP FOR KIDS - FOR BABY SAFETY, CHILD CARE
NDP Leader Howard Hampton put on a full-court press for kids at Queen's Park this week.
On Tuesday, Hampton called on the McGuinty government to give Ontario hospitals the resources they need to improve maternity ward security - that after two women were arrested for snatching a baby from a Toronto hospital. Hampton called for more nurses, mandatory maternity ward sign-ins and baby security bracelets.
Then on Wednesday, Hampton spoke up for Ontario kids and parents who are losing out because Stephen Harper has given up on child care. "Dalton McGuinty has a choice to make. He can keep his promise to stand up for kids, and invest $300 million Ontario dollars to create a made-in-Ontario child care system, or he can cut and run on child care," Hampton said.
Ontario NDP Leader Hampton Calls for Gas Price Relief
STOP GAS PRICE GOUGING BY REGULATING PRICES
NDP Leader Howard Hampton is calling on Dalton McGuinty to regulate Ontario gas prices, to stop gas price gouging.
"Motorists across Ontario are suffering from pump shock. Big Oil is gouging them, scamming them and ripping them off - but Dalton McGuinty is standing on the sidelines, doing nothing, letting people suffer," Hampton said.
"The premier should stand up for drivers. He should regulate gas prices to stop gas price gouging and ease motorists' pain at the pumps," the NDP Leader said.
Howard Hampton calls for gas price relief
Cindy Sheehan's Next Target May be PM Harper
According to this Straight.com commentary by Derrick O'Keefe
, peace mom Cindy Sheehan could stir debate about Canada's growing "war on terror". Sheehan, the highest-profile opponent of George Bush's wars, is visiting Canada this week.
The timing of the woman who has reinvigorated the U.S. antiwar movement couldn’t be better. Prime Minister Stephen Harper is currently presiding over the transformation of Canada’s military and foreign policy, and the increasingly deadly conflict in Afghanistan continues with remarkably little dissent within Parliament, despite public misgivings and rising casualties. Harper is also displaying a fanaticism about framing media coverage and stifling discussion that is reminiscent of the regime in Washington, D.C.
Canadian Soldier's Mom Pushes for "Red Fridays"
A Canadian soldier's mom is pushing a movement for people to wear red on Fridays to support the troops in Afghanistan until every soldier is home. Audrey Slaney says "Red Fridays will boost the morale of troops in what is becoming an increasingly dangerous war zone".
Read more here
The Buzz: Afternoon Headlines
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A huge conflict of interest; The question arises: should Rove be paid by the American taxpayers to run a political campaign or should he be paid by the Republican National Committee and quit the White House?
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Bush Told to Get Congressional Authorization Before Military Strikes on Iran. Bipartisan Group of Congressman tell Bush "we want to be clear, should you decide that force is necessary, seeking congressional authority prior to taking military action against Iran is not discretionary. It is legally and constitutionally necessary." - A BuzzFlash News Alert
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For Washington Correspondents, WH Reporting is Just Business, Not the Truth
BuzzFlash's unabashedly scathing opinions need no introduction to those who are regular readers of this 'pull no punches' site. These daily comments are blunt in their honesty. Today's commentary is about the WH correspondents' and media's willing promotion of "Brand Bush", followed by a few top headlines, reprinted here with the kind permission of BuzzFlash.
In a BuzzFlash Editorial during the Alito hearings, we noted http://www.buzzflash.com/editorial/06/01/edi06005.html:
"The Democrats are looking to appeal to the brain; the Republicans to the manipulation of emotions that race through the heart -- and are subject to the strategic use of television 'stories' and photo ops.
The parties are targeting two different body organs.
And in a world dominated by trivial news that appeals to the emotions -- and sensational celebrity gaffes, romantic entanglements and crimes -- the appeal to the brain has but the shortest of shelf lives.
It's barely but a blip on the radar screen of the evening news."
The editorial was entitled, "Governing by 'Soap Opera': The GOP Fine Art of Demagoguery vs. the Dazed and Confused Democratic Leadership Appeal to Reason."