By Zema Luncher
Local politicians are starting to fear for their lives as protests to the dump site in Teeny Township heat up.
Comise County Warden Tom Gudgeon said people have been sending more and more letters of concern about the dump every day.
“My email inbox is always full so other important messages aren’t getting through,” Gudgeon said. “It’s also very painful on my eyes to read them all.
I’ve had to take Tylenol for the past two weeks because I keep getting headaches.”
Another local politician, Augustus Vann, says he has been suffering from severe anxiety since he visited the site last week. Farm families had blocked the gates with tractors and still wouldn’t let construction workers through. They waved signs and yelled at Vann while First Nations groups, who have been camped on the site for weeks, beat on drums.
“It’s been very stressful,” Vann said. “Everywhere I go now, I hear drums.
I can’t get them out of my head and I’ve been having nightmares about the signs too.”
Other politicians say they are worried about the level of hatred towards the garbage that the land has been set aside for. Support from the David Suzuki Foundation, the Council of Canadians, the Green Party and other violent, anti-garbage groups will only incite more anger among locals, politicians say.
“I’m afraid bags are going to be seriously hurt, either physically or through the awful stereotypes built up by these protestors about garbage.”
The uneducated and brutish nature of the protestors is also a big part of the problem, the politicians add.
Attempts by the Tracer to speak to the protesters early yesterday were mostly unsuccessful.
Many of the protestors rolled around on the ground and grunted while dragging signs behind them. One man, also carrying a green and white sign, said he “ain’t never seen so many hoss’less carriages in his life.” He stared through the fence at the dump trucks and excavation machines with his mouth open.
The protestors have been living in tents on the site and feeding on fresh vegetables from nearby farms, keeping the level of garbage to a minimum to avoid contact with the bags.
Anthropologist John Smith, who has been watching the situation closely, said this is typical of opponents of the site.
“They tend to be actually quite barbaric to be frank,” he said. “They know nothing of how important and needy garbage is in this county especially.”
The county has responded to the threat by allowing OPP officers to fine and arrest the protestors if they do not stop their blockades and continued use of violence.
Members of the financial sector praised these actions.
“Finally we have a government that is not giving in to the insane demands of these radicals,” said Halton Brewster, a local financial advisor.
Now, the county continues to try to negotiate with the protestors. Talks have been a challenge because so few of the site’s opponents seem able to speak a coherent language or follow normal logic, politicians say.
“Anyone who thinks that placing garbage over an aquifer is dangerous is certainly someone who will be very difficult to reason with,” Gudgeon said.