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Business owners protest Oneida Indian Nation from behind the wheel

By By GARY LIBERATORE

VERONA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Local business owners showed up at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino Monday afternoon - not to gamble, but to protest.

About 4:45 p.m. on Monday, a demonstration was held outside the main gates of the Turning Stone Resort along Route 365 in Verona - a demonstration of construction vehicles. Behind the wheels of dump trucks and flatbeds were protesters.

The organizer of the protest is Gary Harvey, owner of Harvey materials construction in Rome. Harvey said he has "had enough" and that if he has to pay taxes, so should the Oneida Indian Nation. He said if the governor doesn't start collecting, these protests will only get bigger and bigger.

"We can go in there, legally. We can do it legally, collect the taxes, then, let's start talking," Harvey said. "Let's shut em' down. They've driven how many people out of New York State? How many businesses? What's another five thousand people? In the realm of things, what's another five thousand people? Shut em' down."

The Oneida Indian Nation released a statement Monday afternoon in regard to the protests.

"The courts have resolved these issues and there is no sense re-hashing them," said Oneida Nation spokesman Mark Emery. "It is time for our community to move forward, not backwards. The Oneida Nation employs 4,800 people and pumps about $290 million into the state economy annually."

Harvey said he may even gather people to protest outside the homes of politicians he believes are "not doing their job."

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