Flag flap continues
Monthly marches planned
Posted By DONNA PITCHER , CHRONICLE STAFF WRITER
Posted 16 hours ago
Escorted by the OPP, Merlyn Kinrade of Caledonia and about two dozen demonstrators peacefully marched down the shoulder of Argyle Street past Douglas Creek Estates (DCE) last Saturday.
The march the Caledonia Lions Hall before the group drove to the OPP station in Cayuga where they presented speeches and hung posters.
Merlyn Kinrade is the Caledonia Liaison for the Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality (CANACE) and was the organizer of last Saturday's march. The march was held in support of Randy Fleming who the group contends was "illegally arrested for carrying a Canadian Flag while he walked down Argyle St. past DCE". DCE has been at the centre of controversy ever since it was claimed as native territory by Six Nations citizens in 2006.
CANACE had requested that Mayor Trainer and Councillor Craig Grice of Haldimand County Council, Haldimand/Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett and Haldimand/Norfolk MP Diane Finley march in support of residents who they (CANACE) feel have been the victims of race based policing. They did not attend.
The group gathered at the OPP station in Cayuga for a few speeches. Two posters of Randy Fleming were erected. According to the organizers these photos showed the "excessive force that was used against Fleming during his arrest". The poster read, "Warning. OPP Racist Policies Enforced."
"We are at the end of the beginning," said Mark Vandermaas, who is the advisor for CANACE. Vandermaas spoke to the group about the recent news coverage they have received. "We haven't had this much media since we were arrested. We are still going to hang flags, at every pole across from DCE."
"My brother got manhandled walking down the street," said Doug Fleming during the speeches. Fleming also spoke to the group about the forming of the "Caledonia Militia" and the meeting schedule for Tuesday June 23. Fleming said using the word "militia" was meant to touch a nerve, and it did. As far as he is concerned, "We preformed a community service today, and we will work within the law; we have enough outlaws now."
According to Kinrade CANACE will keep marching, "Until we get resolution to the madness in Caledonia." His plans are to march once a month.
When I sent my story to the editor I sent him the one that was not quite complete, so here is the rest of the story;
“The march by a few residents and non residents was completed without incident and the OPP are happy for that” said Inspector Dave Maclean, Haldimand OPP detachment. “The organizers of this march and those marches they plan to continue into the summer, really need to look at their objectives and what they hope the end result will be before they disrupt this beautiful community any further. As well as draw costly police and emergency resources away from serving the entire county”. This sort of activity will not resolve the land claim issue or any of the associated activity.
Maclean is of the opinion that all it does is increase tensions and frustrations locally and affects the majority of people in both communities who want to carry on with their day to day lives, and who hope this gets resolved by those who have the ability to do so.
Haldimand County Mayer Marie Trainer declined the invitation to Saturday’s march with CANACE. Trainer said in a telephone interview with the Chronicle Monday morning “I just don’t think that it is quite appropriate for me to march with them”. As far as the “militia” Trainer said this was made out of frustration and she would make a final decision as to where she stands on this issue when she sees what their actions are. Trainer will not be attending the militia meeting in Cayuga on Tuesday night. “You don’t know what is going to happen,” said Trainer.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Flag flap continues