Thursday, December 3, 2009

Caledonia: Kobyashi Maru for the Government

Alright, so I know a lot of you don't follow Canadian...well, anything. But this is somewhat big news, and it's gotten a lot of people shaken out of their whacked out ideas about policing, like 'they have an obligation to save us' and 'the police are always effective'. Not to knock the cops...but yeah. Epic fail.

"Set some 400 metres behind a now-open barricade of downed hydro towers --in an area described as a "lawless oasis" and where the Ontario Provincial Police warn even now they cannot respond, even for 911 calls -- the two-storey house is the nerve centre for the protesters who brought the development to a standstill, neighbouring homeowners to tears and a police force to its knees."

Read more:

It's pretty lame. Essentially, law only applied to the townsfolks. Here's what happened:

In 1992, a construction firm buys a bunch of land from the government. The natives whine, sue, wheedle to get it back for the first time in 160 years, right? Even though the crown has a document saying "Hey, we 37 chiefs of the Six Nations agree that these lands are going to be sold to the government, under the assumption that money from their sale will be re-invested by the government for the people of the reserve." So, in 2006 when this company goes to develop the land, the natives from the reserve go and have a sit in protest. So, Henco (the developer) goes to the local government and goes "wtf?" A judge says GTFO to the natives, issuing a temporary order, which they burn. They burn it twice more before the judge says "WTF a'ight, that temporary order to GTFO just became permanent, and now you all have a contempt of court charge."

So, a couple of weeks later, the police show up and clear off the site. 21 arrests are made, but not before one of the natives squawks into a cell. Later, a couple hundred natives armed with bats, axes, and hockey sticks (welcome to Canada) show up, drive off the cops, set a couple of fires, and set up a Third World roadblock. Now, I don't know about you, but this is not the proper reaction to lawful orders. They then proceed to crash a truck into and burn a hydro transformer, damages over one million dollars. The fire captain shows up, looks at the Ontario Provincial Police just sitting on their hands and not even trying to stop this madness, and rolls his trucks the other way. He puts in a statement that the OPP was unwilling and unable to protect his firefighters from the protesters.

So, after a couple of days, some lawyers show up at the OPP offices with the documents proving the sale, plus a statement of the following:

"Please discharge your duty under Section 42 of The Police Services Act and the provisions of your Agreement with Haldimand County which requires you to provide adequate and effective police services in accordance with the needs of the municipality which you are not, and have not, been doing. Specifically, you are not enforcing or discharging your duties to prevent crimes and other offences. You are not enforcing the provisions of The Trespass to Property Act and The Criminal Code of Canada and, in particular, you are not enforcing a valid court order of the Superior Court of Justice."

That was three years ago. There's still no response, to my knowledge. Things got worse and worse- residents of the town started their own blockade, which they then took down. The natives blocked access to emergency vehicles, resulting in people hurt on the nearby highway to take a long-ass and potentially life-threatening detour. There were a lot of scuffles, and the natives burnt down another two transformers, and caused another two million dollars in damage while the OPP just sort of sat, stared, and oppressed the residents of Caledonia. Basically, since then, the natives have done what they want, intimidated people, caused massive economic hardship, assaulted people, etc. Residents say that the natives are armed, and I believe them.

So, we have a massive ongoing issue that was brought to light (well, the depth of all this) by a couple on the border of the 'restricted area'. Yeah, the protesters restricted an area. These people have been harassed, intimidated, threatened, assaulted, etc. for three years, and they finally started a lawsuit against the Ontario Provincial Police over it. Here's another awesome quote:

"Not far from him he saw men unloading long, rectangular wooden crates -- about four feet long and a foot wide and a foot deep with rope handles -- from a white Jeep and placing them inside two tents set up in the trees, he testified.

The boxes had "funky wording," as he said it, painted on the outside, like Cyrillic letters used in Russia and some other Eastern European countries. The crates were marked in a similar way as the wood he saw in the lumber yard where he worked whenever they received a shipment of "Baltic Birch" from Russia.

He reported what he saw to senior Ontario Provincial Police officers, he testified: "They said it is possible it could be AK-47s."

Read more:

Honestly, I couldn't think of anything they could be but rifles. So, essentially what we had here was armed lawlessness, and the police did nothing. I brought this up in class, and a couple of people looked stumped. They couldn't understand why the police weren't helping the residents. One accused me of making it all up. I shrugged- this just worsened my opinion of 'police services'. If they're not policing, and they're not providing a service, what are they doing? I mean, they're not obligated to pull my ass out of the fire, but not being obligated to uphold the law? What the hell?

Anyways, I'm following this lawsuit like a hawk. There's two ways this ends:

1. The government pays these people off, starting a tidal wave of lawsuits and class-actions against the OPP, the Fed, and Indian Affairs.

2. The government says "The police have no obligation to do anything" and we have our foot in the door for Concealed Carry legislation.

Either way, the government loses. Right now, all they're doing is stalling and wringing their hands. Either they're failures, or they failed horribly.


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