Sunday, October 15, 2006

Only the Facts Please!

So, was it one, two, three or how many arrests at Caledonia today?

Any first-hand accounts?


Swift said...

I can't comment on any arrests. There were none that I saw. Stories on march so far contain many inaccuracies and ommissions. Did you get my email? Sent you one before my first post as well as the one just now.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Swift, I just got two emails from you. They are really lagging.

So tell me all about it!

Swift said...

I arrived at Caledonia a little later than I had planned. The OPP had a RIDE programme set up on old highway 6 just at the north end of town. I was driving a station wagon and was tempted to say to the officer that he could see that I hadn't brought a rifle or a pitchfork with me. I drove all the way through town. There were police cars parked at various locations along the way. Douglas Creek is at the south end of town.

There was no RIDE programme at the south end of town. Nor was there a RIDE programme that I could see on either of the roads leading to the reservation. I came back into town on the first side road to the east. The OPP at the RIDE and the ones directing traffic into the arena were amazingly polite and cheerful. So much for a tense situation.

I missed the drive by that is mentioNed in the news. Shortly after I got there some native flags appeared at the back of the meeting. Unlike the Brantford meeting ther was no heckling by the Natives. MSM had their cameras running this time.

The 5 planned speeches went forward. Joanne, when you hear them you'll want to link.

After the speeches the March itself started. I almost ran over the Mayor. That's right, the Mayor. The same Mayor that is quoted in the MSM as being deathly afraid of violence. And she didn't have a police escort. Who did she fear was going to be violent?

We proceeded to walk towards the DC lands by a roundabout route.
THere was at least one wheel chair, three dogs and lots of kids, A very threatening bunch. One of the dogs was being carried it was so small. The largest didn't like the crowd and kept trying to get off to the side.

After about eight blocks, and one police car, (they were REALLY worried that we would not follow the planned route) we came to the crescent where most of the problems occur. The police had blocked this off. While the bulk of the marchers stayed across the street, Gary and a few others, with a horde of media, went over to talk to the officers. This was the confrontation that the media is reporting. One of the local women tried to give one of the officers a rose. The officer refused to accept it. So she put the rose on the road at his feet. The US flags that Gary has talked about could be seen on the lawns.

We then turned left towards the Catholic school. Arriving there we went into the back. There we saw the wooden fence that has been built to protect the children. Some of the media approached the fence and drew some reaction from the natives on the other side. I, like most of the marchers, stayed near the school building. We then went back out front. Most of the marchers from Caledonia decided to take the short way home, as the main street and Tim Hortens is only a block away. This shortcut was valiantly defended by the OPP. They probably thought that Timmies would run out of coffee if everybody stopped for a cup. If anybody was arrested this would probably be the spot. The OPP wanted to ensure their supply of coffee was not depleted.

Anonymous said...

Only white protesters would have gotten arrested - that's a fact.

Swift said...

The whole danger thing was just an attempt to discourage any body from coming to the march. The police and McDithers new that the natives WERE NOT going to cause any problems with all the media present. They also knew the march was going to be peaceful. The real potential for violence was the meeting in Brantford when the Mayor cancelled the hall rental. There were no MSM cameras there, so there might have been some violence, but many of the Natives taunts were met with laughter. Must have been frustrating for them, having their taunts laughed off.

Swift said...

Did you know that CTV has held a secret court case and found that the native claims are justified. They must have, they say that the lands were illegally taken from the natives in the story on the web.

Swift said...

Did you know that CTV has held a secret court case and found that the native claims are justified. They must have, they say that the lands were illegally taken from the natives in the story on the web.

Swift said...

900chml story

Gregory Bonnell, who filed this story must have gotten stopped in the RIDE programme, and since he missed the march made up the story. The scool is right on the border not 300 yards away and the march was never stopped.

Swift said...

Joanne, Iknow you said nothing but the truth and that my comments about defending Timmies may sound like I didin't follow your request. But the truth is that defending Timmies was the only useful thing the OPP were doing by blocking of the direct access to the main drag.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Swift, thanks for the first-hand reports, and might I add that you have a very entertaining way of delivering them!

I laughed at the Timmie's comment, and the pitchfork reference. Thanks so much for this.

How do you feel about the whole thing? What do you think it accomplished? I agree with you about the cautions sent out by all politicians, etc. They just wanted to keep this quiet.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Swift, here is a map off the Caledonia Wake-up call site, if anyone wants to check out the street names.

So what was the route you were forced to take?

Swift said...

Before we get to the march itself I'll set the scene. The OPP had set up a four car at a time Ride programme at the north of the town. Several other cruisers were also north of the river. Argyl was not blocked anywhere south of the river. This was at about 1:15, after the rally started. Now the OPP and the provincial government were claiming that the rally was an invitation to violence.

Where are the DC lands? If you click on the + control on the map once you will be able to find Braemore at the south end of town. The DC lands are the open area just south of Braemore. There is access to the DC lands from Argyl.

If you have two groups in close proximity who might clash violenly, the first thing you do is block the easiest most direct route between them. At 1:15 this route was open! The OPP was sure that their would be no violence!

When the march started we went along what is left of Onhava Lane, crossed Argyl and proceeded along Kinross. Argyll street was still not blocked off. We stopped at Braemore. The last block of Kinross was blocked off by a handful of OPP. This is where the rose was refused. The offer and the blocking of the last block was arranged beforehand.

The march then turned left on Braemore. The Catholic elementary school is located on the south side of Braemore. As you can see Braemore continues to Argyl. There may now be a side street that enters the DC lands between the school and Argyl. I did not go back that way so I can't say for sure.

As you can see this way back to the arena is much shorter than going back along Kinross. There is also on the south east corner of Argyl and Kinross a Tim Horton's.
When we came out of the playground at the back of the school the only thing left to do was go back to the arena on Haddington.

The Caledonia residents saw no reason not to go the short way. The group I was beside was going to stop into Timmies on the way home. This must be the rush at the police lines that so many news reports say occured at the end of the rally. As I said the OPP were valiantly defending Timmies as the rush was along Braemore towards Argyl! Not towards the DC lands

If we go on to the people who claimed to be trying to join the native protesters the map will show you that they were very close to the Argyl street. If there is a way into the DC lands before Argyl the OPP should have hasd that blocked off but they didn't need to block off Braemore. As far as I know neither Argyl street or the entrances to the DC land off Argyl street were ever blocked. At any time during the march anyone who wanted to join the native protest could have done so without crossing the police lines. In other words it stinks of being a setup.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

In other words it stinks of being a setup.

It sure does, Swift. On so many levels.

PGP said...

Sounds more like tempests in a teapot than a "setup".
Interesting to see that aside from providing a forum for some speeches this was an apparent non-event.

Swift said...

It brought the situation in Caladonia and Ipperwash back into the news. Would Ipperwash still be going on if it kept getting in the news? The lerft wing has been using these tactics with great success for years. Segregation was also defeated with the same tactics. There will be more tyo come according to Gary.