Statement from Battlecade LLP., sponsors of "Extreme Fighting 2"; Donald Zuckerman, executive producer.
On Saturday night, April 27, peacekeepers from the Kahnawake Band of the Mohawk Nation and agents of the Quebec Provincial Police (Surete) arrived at the Hotel du Parc in Montreal and arrested five contestants of the previous night's world championship Extreme Fighting matches, the referee and the ring announcer.
The next day, matchmaker was arrested and jailed. This action was in direct contravention of the spirit of an agreement made between the Kahnawake tribal council and promoters of the world championship Extreme Fighting event.
These hamfisted arrests were a flagrant attempt to intimidate Battlecade and the skilled athletes who compete in our Extreme Fighting matches, which were sanctioned by the Mohawk Athletic Commission.
The Quebec government has caused extreme and unwarranted damage to these individuals and we will take the appropriate steps to redress this wrong. The athletes and the crew were held in squalid conditions in a Montreal jail. They were not given an opportunity to be arraigned until Monday, even though the charges were the equivalent of a misdemeanor.
This outrage arose because the Quebec government was embarrassed that it could not intimidate the Mohawk Nation into calling off the fights that it considered were legal under its sanction.
During the raid on the Hotel du Parc, police burst into the room where fighter Steve Nelson and his girlfriend, Mitzi Jones, were lying naked in bed watching television. Five or six police refused Ms. Jones' pleas for privacy to get dressed as Mr. Nelson, a high school teacher and coach, was taken into custody.
We want to emphasize again that we did not come into Canada to break any law. We were invited by the Mohawks to stage the matches at the Kahnawake Sports Complex, which were attended by about 5,000 people and broadcast in the U.S. on pay-per-view. The matches were held in total compliance with Mohawk regulations and several attending physicians were present. Referee John Donahue, who was arrested and jailed, supervised the fights carefully.
Battlecade Extreme Fighting is a rugged combat sport, but it has far less potential danger to our highly trained athletes than a rough and tumble Canadian hockey game or the boxing matches Quebec thinks it regulates so closely.
CONTACT: Battlecade Public Relations, New York
Kelli O'Reilly, 212/687-1765
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|Date:||Apr 29, 1996|
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