December 22, 2009

Torch blocked on Canadian reserves

Torch Relay Blocked at Oneida

Torch relay makes brief detour, heads deeper into Ontario

By Martha Worboy
For the second day in a row the Olympic torch relay was forced to take a detour around a native reserve due to safety concerns.

A road blockade was set up by protesters leading up to the Oneida of the Thames reserve, an Oneida First Nation near London, Ont., where the flame was to make its 10th community appearance of the day.

“We will not visit Oneida as a faction of the community has pledged to disrupt the relay and prohibit us from entering the community,” the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games said in a news release.

VANOC made the decision in conjunction with the RCMP and the Ontario Provincial Police to ensure the safety of the participants and spectators would not be jeopardized in any way, according to Suzanne Reeves, director of communications for the Olympic flame relay.
Olympic Torch Relay Stopped at Six Nations

Relay re-routed off Six Nations' Territory

By Alex Hundert
Ohsweken, Grand River Territory--Yesterday, as reported in many mainstream media outlets, organisers from Six Nations of an action against the Olympic Torch Relay declared the day a success. Their goal of keeping the torch and the relay caravan out of the "heart" of their territory was set in order to prevent the Torch Relay from being used to paint a benevolent image of Canada's relations with First Nations, and to prevent a violation of their territorial sovereignty as well as of the Haudenosaunee (Six Nations) "Great Law of Peace."Six Nations protesters disrupt torch relayAboriginal protesters diverted the Olympic torch relay route on Monday away from the Six Nations reserve near Caledonia, Ont.

Runners had been expected to carry the torch down Highway 54 onto the reserve. Officials instead drove it to a local hall, where 25 torchbearers took turns running it around a circuit in the parking lot.

Protesters waving Mohawk Warrior and Iroquois Confederacy flags said the torch had no business on Six Nations land, which they consider sovereign territory.

But many more reserve members gathered at the hall to support the aboriginal torchbearers.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Aboriginal Youths to Carry Olympic Flame and Protests Planned Against Torch Relay.

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