Christie Blatchford was ready for tough criticism of Helpless, her account of the 2006 aboriginal occupation of a housing development in Caledonia, south of Hamilton.

The inaction of the OPP as protesters barricaded the town’s main street, burned a bridge and committed assaults and other crimes, amounted to a collapse of the rule of law, the national newspaper columnist argues in her book.

She concentrates on the policing of the protesters rather than the land claim that inspired them, and knew some readers might take her to task for that.

“I thought I could defend myself against that criticism,” she said during her Ottawa book tour yesterday.

“But I never expected people would start calling me a racist because I took that approach, and I’m stunned by it.”

When she arrived for a speaking engagement at the University of Waterloo earlier this month, protesters from Kitchener-Waterloo Anti-Racist Action occupied the stage, secured together with bicycle chains around their necks.

The speaking appearance was cancelled, but the university has invited her back.

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