Saturday, September 15, 2007

Terra Obscura

Ontario's no-go zones:

Aboriginal protesters left Sam Gualtieri one blow short of death when they ran away after attacking him in the house he was building in Caledonia, Ont., for his daughter and her fiancé, Mr. Gualtieri's brother Joe said yesterday.

[…] Mr. Gualtieri was attacked after a Thursday protest stopped construction at the Stirling South building development in Caledonia, southwest of Hamilton. The 90-unit subdivision, on eight hectares, is about one kilometre from the disputed Douglas Creek development, which has been occupied by protesters from the nearby Six Nations reserve since February, 2006.

[…] Joe Gualtieri said Ontario Provincial Police officers on the site "stood there, and they did not intervene" until after the beating, when the attackers had fled.
Related:
While the province purchased the Douglas Creek site from the developer, builders who now become the target of protest should not look to the province for help, according to industry sources who attended a recent private briefing by John Burke, the deputy minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

Industry sources said that, last Friday, the final business day before the writ calling the provincial election came down, Mr. Burke said the province stands behind its land registry system and development approval process.

But he cautioned that native protests turn a construction site into police business, and even if the builder gets a court injunction ordering protesters off the site, the police will be cautious in enforcing it because their priority is avoiding conflict, the sources added.
If police are avoiding conflict, it ought to be no surprise that they are of no use in resolving it. But the conspicuous avoidance by the province's lawmakers of even the subject of conflicts between parties that nominally depend on the government to broker them guarantees not only that those political and physical conflicts will continue, but also that the justice of competing claims will not receive serious public reflection. Perhaps if one side has disavowed its dependence on the government to resolve conflict, then other sides ought to be disabused by now of the notion as well… but we all know it doesn't work quite like that.

Unless anyone can suggest a more likely explanation, it would seem that the police are there precisely to maintain that dependence from the other sides… even if that means overlooking a protection racket. Certainly the politicians aren't comfortable with the topic, even going so far as to try to shut up the media.

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

even if the builder gets a court injunction ordering protesters off the site, the police will be cautious in enforcing it because their priority is avoiding conflict, the sources added.

What a joke, they'll send the entire SWAT team to smash down the door of a two-bit pot dealer - a victimless crime - and kneel on his back with a gun to his head, trash his house, and drag him away to jail, but as for protecting anyone's life or property, well, "we'd rather avoid conflict".

What you are witnessing is not a lapse in governmental responsibility but is "situation normal". It's not, "We the people and our government standing against lawlessness." It's gangsters using the law to further the ends of gangsterism.