First Nations have ability to ‘paralyze’ country by shutting down trade routes: OPP Commissioner

First Nations have ability to ‘paralyze’ country by shutting down trade routes: OPP Commissioner

APTN National News
The commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police has taken to YouTube to defend his department’s handling of the Idle No More movement in light of criticism thrown at it by the courts and media.

Ontario’s top cop said it’s important to understand the overall strategy and that First Nations hold a lot of the power.

“First Nations have the ability to paralyze this country by shutting down travel and trade routes,” said Chris Lewis in the video posted Tuesday morning. “It is a difficult situation no matter how we view or address it.”

Lewis said there have been more than 60 demonstrations to date under the Idle No More banner and there hasn’t been a report of a single injury to a protestor, member of the public or officer.

The OPP was criticized last week by Ontario Superior Court Justice David Brown after failing to respond to a court injunction in Tyendinaga where a small group of Mohawks shutdown the Via Rail line for seven hours.

Justice Brown also slammed police in Sarnia for not acting on two injunctions he issued to have a blockade removed there. In both cases, the protestors removed the blockade and police refused to move in on them.

In Tyendinaga, the OPP said it was “too dangerous” to respond to the injunction. The protestors said they made the right choice because if they had they would have stayed longer and if they would have tried to make arrests there would have been a fight.

Lewis said arrests will be made after the protests if warranted. Police told Tyendinaga protestors they were under investigation for mischief.

“These concepts and strategies developed from experience, hard work and common sense are difficult and complex to explain to the general public,” said Lewis.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jose.verdugo.37 Jose Verdugo

    awsome peace is what we need not fighting the myan calander was not the end of the world it was a new beginng dont you feel it we cant keep hurting her she is crying to her children that are still in touch with her a sleeping giant that has to start here no matter our color its for us to wake up and see the light once again before she dies and there is nothing left for our children and so many gerations that are left behind us

    • AnOntario Resident

      Only one problem with Chief Lewis’ strategy. He does not have the “authority” to “arrest” persons of another Nation for things they do on their “own territory”.

  • max ireland

    it was the end of someones world never ever to be the same again power to the people without us who will buy your stuff lol

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=630975893 Jo-Ann Isaac

      LOL max, but even those will go too as we harvest those and make items with a good mind so others can appreciate the vision of the artist. You must admit there are some amazing native artists out there.

  • Eric S. Smith

    If the cops are serious about their current strategy, and the demonstrators go heavy on the parades and light on the blockades, the outcome will be all good. Or so my optimism tells me.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/polarjoa Jo McKay

    Very wise decisions by officers so far. There will always be big mouths and hot air blowing from those who are the ‘real’ entitled, so called elite, who really do think they are better then others. What some do not understand is force creates dangerous unpredictability, and what Canada faces right now is a massive movement of peoples who are passionate about saving environmental laws- (this is not a fly by night struggle, many, have been fighting with all means for many years) – the omnibus bills that ignored (again) First Peoples rights to Informed consent, and unilaterally de-regulate protections to Land, and Water has become the FINAL straw. If WE lose this fight, our children, gr children, great gr children, and YOURS lose so much more then we can even measure, that choosing to stand now, is, for most of us a no brainer. The mystery to me, now, and for a long time is why isn’t everybody out in the streets. Idle No More has a web site with info for those who honestly want to learn something. To me the bottom line is this – Canadians have the right to ‘use’ of the land ONLY so long as the Treaties & Treaty relationship is upheld in honorable ways. WELL the world knows it now, that this and past govts have continuously ‘broken’ the treaties. So, clearly Treaty Nations can choose to take back the use of their own territories (that’s all of it folks); that it is peaceful protest today is a sign of great restraint…If you want this over quickly call your govt as many Resource Industries have (because they know the implications of the Law) and tell them to honor the treaties and repeal the legislation that removes protection from the environment. Then get up off the couch and march with us!

  • jesse26

    Shut down the economy,, remember First Nations also depend on the economy,, Right?