The Toronto Star is reporting that the self-defense barricade put up yesterday has been voluntarily dismantled by the First Nations people at Caledonia:
Caledonia blockade dismantled May 23, 2006. 03:49 PMMore news will follow as i (hopefully) receive more news…
CALEDONIA, Ont. — More then two months after native protestors took control of a contentious section of highway near Caledonia, the road was reopened to traffic after a new deal was brokered during early afternoon talks.
Signs of progress were evident when a native in traditional Mohawk dress offered Ken Hewitt, spokesman for the Caledonia citizens' alliance, a lilac branch symbolizing a peace offering. It took several more hours for the road to officially open, due largely to a gap in the highway dug by native protesters over the weekend.
While residents were relieved to see the road opened, many were still concerned by an ongoing power outage affecting about half the town. Power was cut Monday night after vandals lit a car on fire and drove it into a transformer station.
Then tempers flared in the community and fights broke out between residents and natives at the barricade.
Diane Howatt, a Caledonia resident, said locals just want life to get back
"We'd like to get back to being friends and neighbours again," she said.
"This is a big victory for Caledonia," said former Ontario premier David Peterson, assigned by the province to mediate the dispute.
Hazel Hill said the protesters had a "council" this morning where they decided to proceed with plans to open the main thoroughfare into the town.
The bypass around Caledonia remains closed.