As readers of this blog may know, one of the international struggles that i have been interested in has been that of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) against the despotic monarchy in that country. I have been especially curious about the role and relationship of women to this struggle, as reports from various sources have indicated that there is a self-consciously anti-patriarchal dimension to many women’s involvement with the CPN(M). Most notably, two texts by Comrade Parvati – one of the few women on the CPN(M)’s central committee – were like shots of fresh air when first read them, full of insights and analysis which was far more advanced than most of what i read coming from the left internationally or here in North America.
(These texts, for those who are interested: Women’s Leadership and the Revolution in Nepal and an Interview with Parvati from People’s March which is currently down but is normally up here.)
Back in March i wrote a summary of what i knew about what was happening in Nepal, and with the CPN(M) specifically. I saw both good and bad possibilities, but was optimistic. Nevertheless, i did note that the Maoists’ attitude towards sex – specifically polygamy and homosexuality – was worrisome. Even in a situation where male polygamy can be a real and serious mechanism by which women are exploited, i was uncomfortable with the Maoist “solution” which often amounted to forcing the “second wife” to leave the marriage.
A recent report by the Jagaran Media Center – an association of journalists from the most-oppressed Dalit (or “untouchable”) caste – sends up more warning flares that simplistic, mechanistic, reactionary and authoritarian attitudes regarding sex and anti-patriarchal struggle may become a serious problem. In this report – Badi Women Beaten by Maoists – the JMC provides a detailed account of a mixed (male/female) group of CPN(M) members singling out women thought to be engaged in prostitution and viciously beating them with wooden sticks.
Not only did the women obviously suffer the beating, but now (as they are no longer working as prostitutes seeing as they probably don’t want to get punished by their “liberators” again) they face starvation. As one of the women, Gomati Nepali, has asked, “How will we feed ourselves if we are not provided with alternate occupation? After we are beaten, we have stopped doing Pesha [sex work] but this has made us slave begging in different villages. No one even gives a hand of rice while begging.”
This action was clearly taken as part of the CPN(M) cadres’ struggle “against prostitution”, but whether this is an isolated incident or not i do not know. (The report notes that non-Dalit prostitutes in the area have not been molested.) Regardless: it should be spoken about and discussed and condemned and – as the JMC suggests – the CPN(M) “should apologize with these Badi Women publicly for this mishap and take strong action against the perpetrators.”
On top of that, and of relevance to those of us who do not live in Nepal and are not in contact with the CPN(M), this kind of misogynist abuse should call attention to the problem in anti-prostitution ideology and campaigns which rely on people who are not prostitutes to formulate tactics, strategies and goals. The left has a very uneven history, and no consistent position, on this complicated and not-at-all monolithic question. Chances are that even in a global revolution (and we ain’t nowhere near there yet!) different communities and peoples, not to mention people and communities of different genders, will approach and deal with this question in different ways.
Nevertheless, diversity does not mean “anything goes”, and it is not only feasible but is also necessary to establish what constitutes a coherent “left” or liberatory approach to prostitution, and what is incoherent, meaning what kinds of approaches end up making things worst for the oppressed.
Clearly, anti-prostitution campaigns which rely on attacking – either violently or by “softer” means – the prostitutes themselves should be rejected and condemned out of hand. Such positions should not be accepted as “one of many” possible approaches to sex work.
Not only are such campaigns reactionary, they have an innate tendency to veer into broader forms of misogynist (and homophobic and even more especially transphobic) violence. The JMC report notes that some of the women who were beaten were not even prostitutes, but they were nevertheless singled out, presumably because somebody had accused them of engaging in sex work.
Now just think: in a patriarchal context, what kind of woman gets accused of being a whore? The same kind who gets accused of being a “slut” or a “bitch” or “unclean”… i.e. any woman who in reality or in somebody’s (normally some man’s) fantasy has broken the rules and needs to be disciplined. It is in this way that anti-prostitute campaigns (which are often but certainly not always the same as organizing against prostitution) can lead to strategic setbacks not only for sex workers but for all women and anyone else who is oppressed by patriarchy.
Enough of the blablabla. The JMC E-Bulletin #17 (May 30 2006) can be read on the International Nepal Solidarity Network website; the relevant section i am reposting here:
Badi Women Beaten by Maoists
Nepali people had to bear lots of problems during the 10 years long armed conflict. Maoist rebels used armed weapons, which up to some extent affected feudal society. But in the name of challenging traditions and old social customs, they have several times violated human rights. For instance, Maoist Cadres have recently beaten 16 women of Badi Community this 10 of May 2006.
After the royal takeover of 1st February 2005, the political scenario of the country was totally disrupted. Maoists and Seven Party Alliance then came in understanding and brought about 12 points understanding. People's Movement 2006 made King move steps back and House of Representative (HoR) was reinstated. A result of this historic achievement, country is now in the path of constituent assembly and there is seize fire declared from both the parties.
Maoists who have declared that they would respect human rights have once again violated the human rights. 30 households of Badi of Mudha, Kaliali were involved in forceful prostitution as they do not have any other alternate occupation to live their live for. Civil society and local organizations of Badis itself are working to end this occupation and for their rehabilitation but the state never supported them and brought about any special programs for their rehabilitation. Finally, this community has to rely in this occupation only. But in the 10 May '06, 8 Maoists came to village and beat the 16 women out of which 13 were involved in Pesha (the forceful sexual occupation in local language is called 'Pesha') and other 3 were not involved in Pesha. This should not be forgotten that Maoists were quiet in the incident when few guys of 'Shahi' surname were there in Mudha and burnt the house and hand of a woman when she asked for money of her occupation.
2. Place of incident:
Dododhara VDC – 7, Mudha, Kailali (Beneath tree of Simal)
3. Date and time of incident:
10 May 2006 at 16:30 hours
4. Victims of the incident:
1. Meenu Nepali - 20 years
2. Man Kumari Nepali - 20 years
3. Sarita Nepali - 32 years
4. Goma Nepali - 28 years
5. Sushma Nepali - 23 years
6. Sanchi Nepali - 22 years
7. Suk Maya Nepali - 23 years
8. Manju Nepali - 21 years
9. Sani Nepali - 32 years
10. Gomati Nepali - 36 years
11. Juthi Nepali - 40 years
12. Bhawisara Nepali - 41 years
13. Hira Nepali - 24 years
14. Butti Nepali - 26 years
15. Ramkali Nepali - 35 years
16. Reeta Nepali - 40 years
8 Cadres of CPN (Maoists), including Com. Tufaan and other 4 males and 3 females.
Area Incharge of the area is Com. Kasam and Com. Anu looks after this village, Mudha.
6. Modes of beating:
Sticks, boxes and kicks.
7. Details of the incident:
8 Maoists beat the 16 women of Badi community living in the Mudha Bazar of Kalilali district. The victims were not even given water to drink when they asked while they were severely beaten by the Maoists.
At 4:30 pm, 8 Maoists came to the Mudha Bazar and ordered all the women who are engaged in Pesha, to stand in a line beneath the Simal Tree. They were then beaten with the wooden sticks. 41 years old Bhawisara Nepali said, "I am woman with husband and children; I am never engaged in Pesha, but they did not spare me." All the victim women said that they requested to not beat them in hands to the women who have put Norplant (a medicine for family planning which is kept in arms) but Maoists hit in the same place more badly.
All the 16 women said jointly that they were not even given water to drink when they asked. Maoists threatened them by saying that they may die if they are given water to drink while being beaten.
As per the saying of victims and seeing nature of wounds, it can be easily assumed that they were wounded in sensitive organs as well. Meenu Nepali and Manju Nepali further said that if it was possible to show, we would show you but ……….. Even after the 10 days of the incident, there were clear sign of black spots at the back, arm and leg of the victims.
The incident took place in the presence of non-Dalits neighbors but none were there to speak in favor of those victims. Local resident Dinesh Nepali (Badi) said that the ex-teacher Purna Bahadur Thapa threatened that if this incident will be revealed to Human Rights defenders and journalists, it will be danger for all of you as well them and also we will snatch the cameras, pens or whatsoever they bring along with them.
Victim Gomati Nepali said, "This country has not yet made us its citizen; how can we think of rehabilitation. Due to our caste, we are always socially boycotted. Still, we are not able to touch and use the water-tap used by non-Dalits. We always had this problem with us and even Maoists have added one more, beating us like animals. How will we feed ourselves if we are not provided with alternate occupation? After we are beaten, we have stopped doing Pesha but this has made us slave begging in different villages. No one even gives a hand of rice while begging. Our livelihood management should be now done by Maoists."
Out of the total 16 victims, 13 treated themselves in Tikapur while other 3, Butti Nepali, Ramkali Nepali and Reeta Nepali did not medicate.
8. Eyewitness of the incident:
i. Hikmat Nepali:
We have our sisters in the Syaule Bazar of Kailali also. They are also engaged in Pesha. The Maoists of that area used to visit them everyday, counsel them and requested them to leave Pesha. But here, 8 Maoists came all of sudden at 4:30 in 10 of May and told to gather those females who are engaged in Pesha and started beating them with sticks, kicks and boxes. When asked for water to drink, water was not given. Some sisters who are not engaged in the Pesha were also hit, even they were not spared. It is matter of great insult to us that the male Maoists kicked our sisters in their sensitive organs in front of us. Our sisters were not given the level of human beings.
ii. Dinesh Nepali:
This incident took place because of these villagers. Otherwise, no one was beaten in this area till this date. All of them were beaten all of sudden. They were beaten in 10th May and today after 10 days, there is still the sign of wounds. Who will be responsible for their treatment and their alternate occupation to live life for? This is to be publicized as soon as possible. We youths will work for our sisters to leave this occupation.
9. Uma Devi Badi – President, Community Assistance Committee, Tikapur, Kaliali:
We condemn this activity of Maoists. No one has right to beat human beings as animals. It would rather be a good step if all of us join hands together for their rehabilitation from this Pesha. It is not maturity to use power to tell them to leave Pesha until there is any alternate occupation for them. Our organization is ready to lead those victim women if they want to raise their voices. We will protest against such type of inhumane activity. If we talk about Kailali district alone, women from other castes are also involved in this type of Pesha but in good hotels. No one uses their power to stop them and our sisters have no other occupation then this and they are beaten instead. It is good to make women leave this Pesha and our organization is also working since a long time for the same.
10. Perpetrator – Com. Tufaan:
We several times circulated the notice to not continue this occupation. Area In charge Com. Kasam and Com. Anu who is responsible for this area have several times suggested these Badis to leave Pesha but they never agreed and finally we had to beat them. I agree that it was me along with other 7 comrades beat them. This action from our party is for their goodwill. They got hands and legs which work; they should be able to choose alternate occupation themselves for their livelihood.
11. Current situation of victims:
No one was ready to speak a word about the incident when this reporter was there to investigate. Exactly at the same time, 3 Maoists among those 8 came there to ask them to attend their program in nearby village the following day. This reporter then had a dialogue with these Maoists and asked them on which ground did they beat these women. Only then victims came in front and cried out their pains.
Wounds and sign of wounds can still be seen. They have completely left the Pesha from 11 of May and are now begging in different villages by forming groups. Victims say that they do not get anything from begging but are rather being insulted everywhere. There is always problem of hand to mouth. They say they are rather made 'Slaves' now.
Dalits were sandwiched during the state of armed conflict. Now during the state of cease fire also, they are victimized. In the discriminatory social structure, Dalits are always victims and are always loaded with problems.
Having seen the nature of incident, Dalits are brutally beaten and their human rights violated. Sanchi Nepali, who was pregnant of 4 months, has also not been spared and was beaten severely. Nepali people are now not ready to accept the same old way of treating and taking action against them when there is law and order in the country now. It is illegality of Maoists who call themselves people oriented organization and don't allow people to drink water while beating them. Maoists should apologize with these Badi Women publicly for this mishap and take strong action against the perpetrators.
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
As readers of this blog may know, one of the international struggles that i have been interested in has been that of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) against the despotic monarchy in that country. I have been especially curious about the role and relationship of women to this struggle, as reports from various sources have indicated that there is a self-consciously anti-patriarchal dimension to many women’s involvement with the CPN(M). Most notably, two texts by Comrade Parvati – one of the few women on the CPN(M)’s central committee – were like shots of fresh air when first read them, full of insights and analysis which was far more advanced than most of what i read coming from the left internationally or here in North America.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
"Six Nations" refers to the six nations that are part of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy: Gayogoho:no (Cayuga), Kanien’keha:ka (Mohawk), Onyota’a:ka (Oneida), Onoda’gega (Onondaga), Onodowahgah (Seneca), and Ska-ru-ren (Tuscarora). The traditional territories of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy crosses the colonial US/Canada border, including parts of “Ontario”, “Quebec”, “Pennsylvania”, “Ohio”, “New York”, and “New Hampshire”.
There are many Rotin'oshon'ni communities. The Six Nations reserve is in the area known as southern “Ontario”, near the towns of Brantford, Caledonia, and Hagersville. Other Rotin'oshon'ni communities include Kanehsatà:ke, Kahnawake, Ganlengeh, Tonawanda, Allegany, Cattaragus, Akwesasne, Tyendinaga, and Gibson. There are also many Rotin'oshon'ni living outside these areas.
Since 1795 the Crown has continually stolen more and more land for occupation by settlers, sale to developers, and road construction. The area officially designated by the Canadian government as the Six Nations reserve is now less than 5% of the original area promised by the Crown in 1784.
On April 20, 2006 at around 4:30 AM, the camp was swarmed by police in cruisers and vans, using batons, tear gas cannons, and Tasers. The Police states that they arrested 16 people. The people resisted the invasion and managed to push the police back and hold the line. They need our support to maintain the resistance!
please spread the news widely, thank you!
For more information and to find out how you can show support contact the Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement or check out the Settlers In Support of Indigenous Sovereignty website.
Monday, May 29, 2006
May 25th, 2006
We invite our Brothers, Sisters, Friends and Allies to a BENEFIT CONCERT FOR “KANENHSTATON” - THE PROTECTED PLACE
FRIDAY, JUNE 16TH
IN SIX NATIONS (Chiefswood Park)
STARTING AT NOON
- NO DRUGS, ALCOHOL OR VIOLENCE - ZERO TOLERANCE -
As I am sure you are now all aware of the tense situation in Six Nations with regards to reclamation efforts, and that we are in the process of stopping the illegal construction of a housing project on Six Nations land. We need your continued help, solidarity and support to stand with us. Our talented and successful Indigenous performers and entertainers would be honored to perform for ALL our brothers, sisters, friends and allies. We are inviting you ALL to a Benefit Concert in Support of Six Nations Reclamation Efforts, and bring peace to a difficult situation. Admittance to the concert will be by cash donation, and will be kept in trust for the Reclamation Efforts.
As the SPEARHEADER of this Concert, we want to say KHENORONHKWA, (we give you love medicine) as we appreciate all the Indigenous artists and musicians who have already confirmed and stand with us in support. It has been OVERWHELMING.
We have Keith Secola, Willie Dunn, The Shane Anthony Band, The Pappy Johns Band, Digging Roots, Howard Lyons and Joseph Fire Crow (just to name a few), confirmed for the big date. In total we have over 27 bands booked for this date, and they are coming from as far away as New Mexico to do this!!!!!!
Please note that All our First Nations performers are coming to do this Benefit Concert on their own dime, and out of the goodness of their hearts, to stand in solidarity with Six Nations and The People.
We also want to say a HUGE and heartfelt Nya:wen (thank you) to our Brothers at GRAND RIVER ENTERPRISES, who have stepped up to the plate and have sponsored a World Class Stage with all the bells and whistles. Only the BEST will do for our First Nations Artists and Entertainers!!!!
We have also been receiving donations of Artwork from Aboriginal Artists across Canada and the US, so that we may have an Art Auction with all the proceeds going to the Reclamation Efforts in Six Nations. The date of this Auction will be announced at the concert. KEEP IT COMING....A BIG THANK YOU TO OUR TALENTED FIRST NATIONS ARTISTS OUT THERE!!! NYA:WEN KOWA!!!
Well known First Nations Actor, Gary Farmer,(Pow Wow Highway, Smoke Signals) and First Nations Actress/Singer Cheri Maracle(Black Fly, Moccasin Flats) have confirmed their support as MC for this benefit. You are ALL welcome to come and support us, and enjoy some of the finest First Nations talent across Canada and the U.S. Indigenous artists CAN make a difference.
Let's all take a stand together.
ITS FOR OUR CHILDREN AND THEIR FUTURE. WE NEED TO REMEMBER WHERE WE CAME FROM. We need to rally behind Six Nations and The People.
Please send this on to your fellow Indigenous Musicians, Artists, and Entertainers. We want to show the Unity among our Peoples and our supporters across Canada and the U.S.. LETS TURN THIS INTO AN INDIGENOUS ““WOODSTOCK FOR UNITY””
If you are NOT available to perform, then please feel free to send any donations; Art work, CDs, or anything you can, from your heart, to show your support.
Keep up the great work everyone!!!!!!
Please contact our events Coordinator, Tuesday Johnson-MacDonald, of TAP Resources (519-445-1794) on how YOU can help, and/ OR SEND MONETARY DONATIONS TO :
TAP Resources, Six Nations Reclamation Efforts
P.O. Box 669, Ohsweken, ON N0A 1M0
Performers and Artists: Contact David R. Maracle,
before May 31, 2006 to confirm your appearance as a performer, 613-396-2767; or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP
David R. Maracle
P.O. Box 323
Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, ON
at 7:03 PM
From Kahentinetha Horn:
MNN. May 27, 2006. People watching the televised attacks on our people at Six Nations are shocked to see how much self-restraint we have as a people. Don't mistake the Indigenous self-restraint for submission to Canadian authority. It's a lot harder to restrain oneself in the face of provocation, adversity, mistreatment, unfairness and attacks on human rights and dignity. This is what we've had t o do throughout the confrontations that have been organized against us by the Canadian state over our reclamation of our land now known as "Kanenhstaton", the precious land.
When we face our adversaries in just about every walk of life, it is sickening how we have to hold everything in and walk around as if we're wearing a mask to hide our true feelings of anger and frustration. Right from the day we are born we are assaulted by the agencies of the colonial governments. Many people are trained to look at us with pity or condescension or fear. It's as if we were some kind of reptile or untrained animal. The natural world is not respected in colonial society the way it is in ours where we learn favorable lesson from every type of creature. 25% of the species on the planet are extinct now. We had something to learn from each of them that we will never now learn.
So far we we're threatened with an armed Ontario Provincial Police attack on March 22 which was aborted. Then we were physically attacked by the heavily armed OPP on April 20th. Finally their hired guns managed to organize a rabid crowd to come to the reclamation site to "kill those Indians". They carried pepper spray, baseball bats, cherry bombs and other weapons. These are all old strategies that have become familiar to us. Where did they get the pepper spray from? The only people who normally have it are the cops.
The whole aim of these confrontations is to get us so riled up that we will do something rash. Then they can have the excuse they want to use full force against us, making it seem like thuggery is legal. This demonstration is something they want to show other Indigenous people that they'd better stay in their place, "or else". So far, not one of our people has taken the bait. Everyone was there on their own initiative. Everyone was free to decide for themselves what to do. Everyone decided to stay and to hold our ground. In the face of the armed threat of the rioters and the police the restraint that was shown reflects the depth of the power and understanding in all of our people. No one was aggressive, no one backed down and when attacked, we defended ourselves very well.
That's the way we are. This shocked Canadians. As one guy from Vancouver said, "I don't know how you people can do that!" We can do it because we know who we are. We know the way of the Kaianereh'ko:wa and the natural world.
So what's next? If Canada wants a repeat of the Mohawk Oka crisis of 1990, or the Ipperwash standoff, or Burnt Church or Gustafsen Lake, it can go ahead with its plans. Is it doing this on purpose? Or is it just bad habit? Either way, it's time for Canada to pull up its socks, behave like an adult, stop threatening us, obey its laws, honor its promises and deal with us as equals. Canada has a choice.
In 1990 when the politicians found they could not get us to fire the first shot so the army could complete the job, they decided that it would be a good idea to bring in some snipers. They wanted to kill off a few of those they considered to be key Mohawks. They knew that this would drive us crazy and would unleash anger like they had never seen before. Of course, we'd be as helpless as fish in a rain barrel. We'd be surrounded by the army. This is what they had to do to have the excuse to do us in.
It might have worked! I don't know why, but I was targeted. We found out about this plan and were very careful not to come out of the Treatment Center where we had been holding out for over a month. We were surrounded by at least 2000 Canadian soldiers with more weaponry than they have in Afghanistan today. Then on September 26th 1990 the army decided to back off and let the Quebec Police come in. We were told they were going to be very aggressive. You know what that means, eh? So without a moment's notice, the 55 of us, men, women and children, walked out and ran into the woods. The soldiers and the police were so angry with us for pulling such a surprise on them, they chased us down, beat us up and even bayoneted my then 14-year old daughter in the chest.
Even though we had weapons, we had never fired a shot at them.
Recently someone was describing to us the disgusting shame and abuse that Palestinian families are put through when they try to leave their walled compounds to go to work or school or wherever. Heavily armed young Israeli soldiers routinely mistreat and insult them. All they can do is put their heads down while the other people watch. They have no choice but to show restraint.
What does this do to self-esteem? It makes a white hot anger blow in people's hearts. We know we don't have any choice but to show self-restraint. But that doesn't mean we accept subjugation. The unwieldy state apparatus that Canada has set up around us has created "prisons of grass", both real and metaphorical. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper just made an announcement that he wants to build more prisons and hire more police. Is he building an "absolute" police state? If we are supposed to be living in a culture of peace, this shouldn't be happening.
MNN Mohawk Nation News
This update is from two days ago – May 27th – my apologies for only uploading it now:
Hello from Grand River
Things are pretty quiet around the site these days. Maybe too quiet.
I've been reading alot in the surrounding newspapers. Caledonia mayor marie trainer was quoted this week as saying the army should be brought in. One of her councillors thinks that the government should just cut off all of the funding that comes into the territory. "Cut off the tax exempt cards, cut off the monthly cheques, cut off the food banks..." (I still wonder where they get the idea that monthly cheques come to our people.)
My response to those types of suggestions is "you're absolutely right!", but first the crown should pay the billions and billions of dollars owed on land leases, the taxes collected on our land, the resources taken from our land and compensations for the destruction of the lands stolen and abused etc. etc. If the crown paid her debt to our people there would be no need for the scraps that come to our people through their government structure. And then there is the interest monies on top of all that. When canada pays her debt we'll gladly get rid of all of those other things.
Wonder if canadians realize they've been duped? They talk as if we are a burden to them. Like they're supporting us. Does it not occur to them that they are the burden? They have been freeloading off our lands and resources for thousands of years. Even IF, and i say if because we know that the land "surrenders" are fraudulent, but IF the 1841 surrender was real, where is the money?????????? They have never paid for one single lease that they have obtained throughout history (to my knowledge anyway). When you lease a car and don't pay for it what happens..... they take it back. That's exactly what we did with our lands. In fact, we should be ready to re-possess the whole haldimand and then let PM Harper say that it's not a federal matter.
And as far as mayor trainer's irresponsible remarks about bringing in the army..... guess she doesn't think much of her citizens in caledonia if she really wants a war zone in her backyard. And they call us terrorists! Then she was quoted as saying that the natives damaged the hydro station causing the power outage in caledonia, six nations, hagersville etc. "It was definitely natives" trainer said friday (quoted from the Brantford Expositor) The fact of the matter is that there is no way anyone will know for certain whether it was natives or non-natives who did the damage because all of our people were up on the front line, and ANYONE could have done the damage. we had removed the barricade at #6 hwy and 6th line the night before, and the opp were the only ones at the end of #6 (argyle st) and #6 bypass. We had opened up the road for pete's sake and she is trying to say that she knows it was natives.
All throughout this reclaimation we have had non-native shit disturbers sneaking into the camp for one purpose and one purpose only, to try to discredit and disrupt the peace. We have had the army dude who admitted to shooting one of our men in the face a few day's before he was caught. We have the idiots in camoflauge on four wheelers taunting our men and the opp trying to incite the war. They brought their video camera with them and proudly turned it over to tv 11 but for some reason were ashamed enough to want to have their faces hidden. And they are the jackasses who threw rocks over the bi-pass and could have potentially killed someone but blamed it on our men because their camera caught one of our men throwing something back at them. Look at the direction of the throw and look at where the barricade was. We were over half way over the #54 hwy so there is no way we caused any damage to any vehicles. it was all a set-up.
And then there was the fire at the barn across the road the night after the police raid on April 20th. Even the farmer believes it was non-natives who were trying to make it look like we were vandalizing the neighbourhood. And yet our men are the ones who went to put out the fire even before the fire trucks arrived. On thursday nite we were accused of shining laser lights and shooting off firecrackers and rattling the nerves of the opp. Next night they caught 3 non-native punks with their firecrackers and bottle rockets after having fired off a few, again to try and incite the war.
We are continuously having to deal with this type of action and yet do we retaliate? No. We keep the peace. We turn over the idiots when we catch them in our camp. We could beat the crap out of them and teach them a lesson and i'll tell you, i give our men the deepest respect and credit for NOT doing it! And why shouldn't we? Do you see us going into caledonia and acting like idiots? Do we sneak around trying to incite a war? We have kept the peace. We are upholding our Law and yet we are criminalized for it.
To me the criminals are the ones who refuse to look at the truth. They make ignorant comments like "just because your ancestors sold the land for beads and now you're crying about it" and other stupid remarks that a kindergarten child would say in a playground fight. I hope stephen harper and marie trainer realize that we are beyond kindergarten and this ain't no playground. And in answer to all of those who wonder or like marie trainer "know that the natives did it", all i can say is that it wasn't something that we did. Our people were on the front line wondering why caledonia didn't want the plank road opened, and the first realization that the hydro was out was when we noticed that the street lights were off and then someone noticed the black smoke. So as far as i'm concerned anyone could have done the damage.
And i like how the government is so quick to respond with thousands of dollars to Henco and the Caledonia businesses for their losses, and yet get them to pay their debt with respect to land leases, they immediately send in negotiators to try and get out of it. How long have we waited for compensation. They don't want to pay up so they send in the guns.
That's exactly what they did in 1924. Our confederacy had asked for an accounting of the lease monies and rather than give the accounting (because they had already embezzled the money), they used the RCMP to bring in the guns and establish a form of government that they knew they could control. And then they set up a process that requires big money to fight them and hundreds of years to get it into their courts. It is the biggest fraud going and the only reason they get away with it is because we let them.
And as far as the people who say that we wanted the band council system, the families that went and asked for this new form of government, is the same as it is today, a handful of people who didn't like the way things were going and rather than council and have their voices heard through the process, they went behind the back of our people and sold us out. Those same families still are in existance today. Only this time, there is no way we are going to let them sell us out. We have our delegates at the table and the people are making the decisions just as it should be. And we are no longer going to let them hide behind their fictitious justice system. it is all a fraud based on unilateral decisions of the crown and that IS illegal.
Then we have others who believe that they are the titleholders and that only they will make the decision. Sorry to burst your bubble, but the few of you who meet are NOT a nation. You are like the rest of us. Only a small number of people when standing alone. Only together in Unity and Solidarity will we get through this and it is ALL OF THE ONKWEHONWEH who are affected by this. not just the Mohawks and not just Six Nations.
The Onkwehonweh are the title holders to the world, and we have a responsibility to the onkwehonweh nations of the world to protect our land for the future of our people, in honesty, in peace and with integrity.
Setting up barriers to divide and conquer is the game the crown has played and by continually creating the divisions within, you are playing right along side of the crown and into their hands. Perhaps you should look at who is guiding you and question their motives. The people at the site are doing what we are obligated to do according to the Law. We are working together with all of the Six Nations, including those from the other territories because yes they have a voice in our circle and yes they have an interest in what we are doing. It is not for selfish gain and it certainly isn't about money. I pray that you will come to an understanding and continue to work WITH the people and not against them. It is only you who can decide this.
Finally, so that everyone is clear, Mr. Peterson has given the time frame of May 31st to have dealt with the barricades. i don't know exactly what his plan is, but i understand that is his goal. To have all of the barricades down by the 31st of May. The people need to be aware of this, because between the media using polls to suggest bringing in the army or using the opp to remove us, marie trainer and other's calling for the army to come in, and the history of our people and the way the government on behalf of the crown has always "dealt with" our people during any kind of "occupation", you need to be aware of the reality of the situation.
Keep the Peace, Keep Strong, and Keep getting the word out. As soon as we know of any further developments, we will let you know. talks are to resume on the 31st and we are having a people's council tomorrow. All are welcome.
OK, i have been lax in keeping up to date with things over the past few days. Mainly as a result of that always-busy week that follows the Montreal Anarchist Bookfair, i’ve just missed keeping abreast of events.
This is just a quick note of explanation – hopefully i’ll get back on top of things soon!
at 12:36 PM
Sunday, May 28, 2006
Reposting the following from AnnaMaries’s Verbena-19 blog: It seems that this article from MNN that I posted yesterday did not tell the whole story: MNN "Poor sports" in Ontario. 6 Nations "shut out" Today I've received an email from someone who is on the Six Nations reserve, and was informed that: "The games were called off because one was for Monday when all hell broke lose and the others due to the power outage that effected the reserve as well as all the other people you have heard about. They were told it would take 3 to 4 days to get power back on. So all games have been put over till next week." I apologise for the misinformation in my previous post, and will try harder to sift through all the information I receive from different sources and hopefully find the gem of truth, since I am a seeker of truth and I do not feel good about my error. However, the article does give us some insight into the emotions of some people and the need for dialogue, patience and understanding of the different view points. We have not always treated the Native People with the respect that they deserve. Indeed, many grave wrongs and atrocities have been perpetrated upon them by us and our governments. I can only hope that the voices of reason, justice and peace will prevail and that negotiations proceed in this spirit.
It seems that this article from MNN that I posted yesterday did not tell the whole story: MNN "Poor sports" in Ontario. 6 Nations "shut out"
Today I've received an email from someone who is on the Six Nations reserve, and was informed that: "The games were called off because one was for Monday when all hell broke lose and the others due to the power outage that effected the reserve as well as all the other people you have heard about. They were told it would take 3 to 4 days to get power back on. So all games have been put over till next week."
I apologise for the misinformation in my previous post, and will try harder to sift through all the information I receive from different sources and hopefully find the gem of truth, since I am a seeker of truth and I do not feel good about my error.
However, the article does give us some insight into the emotions of some people and the need for dialogue, patience and understanding of the different view points. We have not always treated the Native People with the respect that they deserve. Indeed, many grave wrongs and atrocities have been perpetrated upon them by us and our governments. I can only hope that the voices of reason, justice and peace will prevail and that negotiations proceed in this spirit.
Friday, May 26, 2006
MNN. May 25, 2006. The first sign that rot is spreading to the core of community relations in rural Ontario came when a team of 11-year lacrosse and 7 and 8-year old baseball players were ostracized. The Caledonia team refused to play against our kids on either Six Nations or Caledonia diamonds. Another town, Fisherville, won't come down to Six Nations to play our kids either. Meanwhile we are paying $200 an hour to play lacrosse in the Caledonia Arena. When our team showed up yesterday at the regular time, the Caledonians locked us out.
There are two court actions which could be brought because of these events. A complaint of racial discrimination could be made in the Ontario Human Rights tribunal and an action for breach of contract could be brought into small claims court.
We don't know who initiated this petty snit. We do know that the instigators of the "Bread and Cheese Fight" were not members of the Caledonia community. Our contacts in Caledonia did not know them. However, their m.o. was recognizable to Indigenous people on other parts of the country. They've been seen before in the thick of the fray in other attacks on Indigenous nations. There is a strong suspicion that these trained instigators may be part of covert state funded operations. We saw it at Lasalle and Chateauguay in Quebec.
We ran into it in 1974 when the Indigenous caravan arrived in Ottawa to demonstrate on Parliament Hill. We were all gathered there and the riot police was called in. We wondered why they were there because we were all peaceful. We noticed a few non-natives in our midst with heavy-ladened backpacks. Suddenly these guys reached into their bags and pulled out iron tools, rocks, handles and even small axes. They threw them at the police and then took off. The police attacked the crowd and we all got beaten up. Paddy wagons were already there. It was a set up. **
Canada refuses to follow international law by dealing with us on a nation-to-nation basis. Canada does not respect proper communication. Every time there is a problem, it turns into a confrontation and armed forces are sent in.
In 1990 the Mohawks of Kanehsatake were refusing to let the nearby town of Oka to build a golf course over our ceremonial sites and burial grounds. On July 11th a paramilitary Quebec Police force opened fire on the defenders at Kanehsatake. To stop the blood bath that was obviously possible, we closed down the Mercier Bridge that goes over the St. Lawrence River from Kahnawake to Montreal.
The people of Chateauguay, a bedroom community right next to Kahnawake, were angry. They had rioted against our people in the same way that the Caledonians tried to attack the Six Nations people. Night after night they would gather at the edge of our territory on the other side of the barricade. They would burn our effigy, make threats and set off fires and loud firecrackers which sounded like guns.
We sat calmly on our side of the barricade and watched. They wanted to come into Kahnawake to attack us. At the same time they would scream in French, "Bring in the army". We heard persons purporting to be the KKK were there too, instigating fights between the rioters. The Quebec police withdrew and the RCMP came in. Then the instigators turned the crowd against the RCMP, beating them up and throwing bricks at them. Twelve were injured. That's when the Canadian army came in and the Chateauguay people clapped and screamed with joy.
Even though the misbehavior such as riots, civil unrest, vandalism, threats, attacks on the police and each other was going on among the non-native people, we got goy surrounded by the army. They refused to let any people leave our community to get food, medical supplies or anything we needed. We set up about 5 eating centers on the territory. After a while we ran out of gas. We all had to walk, ride bikes, bring out roller skates or whatever mobility we could find. It was surreal. For about 2 months it was quiet, without traffic. We were alone without any non-natives in our midst. Our supporters were not allowed to come in to bring provisions to us. When they weren't caught by the citizens' vigilantes of the nearby towns, they managed to sneak in by water and even dropped some by aircraft. In the end we had to open up the bridge because we were running out of food.
What is happening to the children's sport teams at Six Nations is nothing new to us. This happened after the Mohawk Oka crisis of 1990.
After the crisis was over, the surrounding towns changed their schedules so that our kids could not compete. We had put a lot of money into their communities for hockey, lacrosse, football, wrestling, baseball, you name it. We are big sports fans. When the kids play, the whole family supports them. When our kids were stopped from competing, of course, the Indigenous crowds diminished dramatically. The arenas started to lose money.
Also, we stopped shopping in Chateauguay. Businesses started to go under. The situation got so bad, in a fit of desperation the town of Chateauguay even tried to sue us for $25 million for not shopping there. Good luck! They didn't get anywhere on that one. 16 years later they have not completely recovered. There's still a big division between the people over there. The moral of the story is that this silly snits can snowball. They can bring economic ruin to whole communities.
Whether or not the people of Caledonia or Fisherville are being suckered by megalomaniacs who have infiltrated the Canadian government, the effects of their boycott may prove devastating for their communities in the long run.
We suspect that that Caledonia is being incited to do this. It is obvious that someone's interest is being served by turning non-natives against natives. It is equally obvious that it will do nothing for Caledonia or Fisherville in the long run. We hope our friends will not buy into this nonsense. Some of their kids are playing on Six Nations teams. We know who are our friends are. Let's get back to being good sports.
Six Nations has produced a lot of elite native athletes. This is something that concerns all young people. This is a time when elite athletes, native and non-native, could take a stand to promote good sportsmanship.
MNN Mohawk Nation News
at 4:00 PM
Sago from Grand River.
It's been a few days since my last update and the atmosphere at the camp has been a dramatic change since then. When the events unfolded on Monday after our original attempt at keeping the PEACE and opening the first barricade on Plank Road (Argyle St) i wondered if we'd ever be able to come to consensus again to continue with our original agreement and open up the barricade. The tension was very high and with the continued attempts by the instigators among the Caledonians to fuel the fire and taunt our people, it left many with hardened and heavy hearts, including my own. It was hard to even consider sitting at the fire and once again discussion showing "good faith" and continuing with our plan to re-open plank road.
Many people were angry at the display of racism and violence instigated by the non-native's, especially when the media made it out to be the native's who were at fault. Nothing that should be news to us however. The remarks at calling for the army to come in, the one-sided reporting of some of the larger media portraying caledonia citizens of the victims of terrorist acts and the 30 or so of our people who were pepper-sprayed compared to maybe 3 or 4 of the non-natives showed exactly what we have been saying all along. When it comes to the Onkwehonweh and the issue of land rights, there is no justice. We get labelled terrorists because we continue to work under the Great Law of Peace, and trying to maintain peace while being met with acts of war is hard to swallow.
Many of our supporters and e-mails suggested that forget it, keep up the barricades. Don't open them up because of the safety of our people was threatened. And to be honest with you, it continues to be threatened whether the barricades are there or not. The non-native people who have fear and anger in their hearts continue to try to intimidate, continue to show their ignorance, and continue to refuse to look at the truth regardless.
But the people chose to trust. Trust in each other, trust in the people, trust in the Kaierenekowah and trust in the process of our Law as well as ultimately in our Creator. The people made a decision to go ahead and open the barricade again, and this time we made it very clear to the opp that they are responsible for their people and that should anything occur again that threatens the safety of our people, if anyone violates the peace that we have extended, the barricade on argyle street will be put up immediately and there will be no more chances. It was decided that ONE MORE TIME we will show that good faith. Many people believe we have shown that "one more time" too many times, but we did it. And while there was uncertainty, it was definitely an empowering decision. We were upholding our Law. We were maintaining our authority on our land, including plank road, by determining the conditions of the policing etc; and upholding our responsibilities and obligations to our people and allowing the process that has been established between the crowns representatives and the delegates of the people to continue.
I had one caledonia resident ask if it was David Peterson who helped negotiate bringing down the barricade or if the Six Nations people who did it themselves. I told him absolutely mr. peterson played no role in the barricade coming down and that it was all the six nations people who did it. He was quite happy to hear that. Another caledonian thanked me and shook my hand. And while the main gate to the site is blocked by the hydro tower and manned by the men, the atmosphere is almost as it was before the opp invaded on april 20th. Many supporters are once again honking and stopping by to show their support. Bringing coffee and stopping to talk. It is a good feeling and far outweighs the angry outbursts of a few individuals who probably don't even live in or near caledonia. The "paid protesters" is what i call them.
We all know that the government's plan when dealing with "native land occupations" is to make the negotiations fail, and they have every intention of making sure this one does as well. We still have the idiots who try to come into the camp, try to steal our flags, and try to incite trouble, but the rotiskenrekethe are right on top of everything and when a situation arises, they deal with it. I am very proud of the men who have put their own personal lives on hold to uphold their obligations to the Kaierenekowah, and to all of the Six Nations Territories and families whose men have come to help and support, as well as other Onkwehonweh Nations; Nya Weh Kowah to you too!
The skepticism and doubt still exists among many of our people as to whether we made the right choice. Even one of the clanmothers shared her concerns with respect to the safety of our people, but she applauded everyone for their efforts and good minds at having come to the decision and standing by it. But we are a long way from having the peaceful resolution we are all seeking. we have yet the barricade on the railway as well as the #6 hwy by-pass which peterson expects to have managed to resolve by may 31st. In fact, that is david peterson's only mandate. To "get the barricades down and then we'll talk" he continues to use the rule that they won't talk while the barricades are up. Yet they expect us to talk while threats of court injunctions being enforced through violent actions of opp still hang over our head. I guess maybe he does understand us a little. Our people are not intimidated by threats of violence and court injunctions. They mean nothing to us.
In an interview today i was asked the question of what it would take to see some resolve. I told them that for me, it would be for canada to admit to the world that they are guilty of the biggest white collar crime in the history of their people. Since the so-called existence of corporate canada, the crown has knowingly committed land theft not only of the haldimand tract, but for the whole of turtle island; and reaped the benefits of the land through fraudulent taxation of its citizens, has sucked the land of all of the resources to the tune of billions and billions of dollars being embezzled through the intentional fraudulent acts. And they call us criminals!!
To me, an admittance of guilt would be appropriate, then we can begin working on righting the wrongs that they have committed. Perhaps that is what should be put to mr. peterson at the negotiating table. As representative of the crown, his mandate should be first to accept responsiblity. Stop playing us for the fools he believes us to be and start being accountable for the actions of the crown. They have yet to provide anything that shows they understand the depth of the crime that they have committed. If peterson really believes that sitting at a table to discuss when the barricades are coming down will see the results that he anticipates, perhaps her majesty better begin preparing the next delegate mandated to speak to our people. The barricades are not the issue. Theft, fraud, misappropriation of our lease monies and molestation and intercourse of the Holy Grail is what we are talking about! Let's get real peterson! The crown has usurped her authority through trickery lies and deciept and the Onkwehonweh have their eyes open and we are standing at the head. We are the Holy Grail and we are ready to defend the Peace through any means necessary.
Do i think caledonia and canadians have a right to be angry? Absolutely! But they should direct the anger at where it is justified. The crown. They bought land that they hold no title to, they have been paying taxes to a government that has no authority to collect taxes, and they have been taught a history of lies and deception in an attempt to cover up the biggest crime of mankind since they killed the peacemaker. They should be angry because they are continually played to be the fools all the while her majesty reaps the benefits of her ultimate fraud.
Definitely we are ready to talk. Definitely we are ready to send in our delegates to the table and begin resolving the situation. We are ready and armed with the truth, and we are not afraid to use it. The haldimand itself was used to undermine the authority of the Original League of Nations, our Confederacy, and the crown used it to get her foothold into our land in north america. Now the haldimand has come back to haunt them, and they will be answerable to the fraudulent actions that they have committed.
Justice for Creation will Prevail. Keep the Peace, keep up the support and keep the momentum going. The crowns representatives want this to go away. They even have major newspapers like the globe and mail, and tv stations putting out leading polls such as "How do you think the government should deal with the situation with Six Nations in Caledonia, bring in more opp, or bring in the army" those my friends are the beginning stages of justifying another attack, and we want all of our supporters to be ready, because if anything happens here, canada will have declared war against all of the Onkwehonweh Nations of the world and we must defend by any means necessary.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
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.
This just in my email box:
“Bread and Cheese Fight”
Victoria Day at Six Nations - Who Was Being Sucker Punched?
Ontario does not want to recognize Six Nations or any Aboriginal Title
MNN. May 23, 2006. At 6:00 am May 22nd, "Bread and Cheese Day", the Six Nations people removed the barricade on Argyle Street in Caledonia as a gesture of goodwill. What ensued is being called, the "Bread and Cheese Fight". It was the 83rd day of the reclamation of Six Nations land and the stopping of construction of a housing project of Henco Developers. Talks aimed at resolving the situation were scheduled to continue. Let's not be fooled. What followed was part of somebody's plan. It's clear that professional instigators played a role in the rioting. David Peterson's tactics created fuel for the flames.
The rioters were to arrive with about a dozen instigators and outsiders. Several savvy observers counted and this is what they saw. Our sources have consulted with genuine "Caledonians" and confirmed that the most active rioters were people they had not seen before. The rioters were supposed to find the native barricade still up. We think they are pro' instigators because we've seen the same kind of faces before. In particular the main rabble rouser looked like a 50 year old cop. He was surrounded by guys made to look like "skin heads" [as if skin heads are still around. As if they lived in a nice rural community like Caledonia]. A short guy with sun glasses who was punching a cop was recognized by a native viewer. She said he is the spitting image of a guy high up in the KKK. We've also seen the m.o. before. The police routinely function to get the "rabble" to do their dirty work.
Then they were to make a ruckus and start attacks on the Six Nations people. The uniformed OPP were to just stand there and watch, pretending to be neutral. Then it would turn into a melee. Then the crowd was supposed to turn on the cops for not letting them get at the Indians. A few cops would get hurt. Then there would be an excuse to bring in the riot police conveniently stationed nearby. Many would be arrested, native and non-native. The non-native would be released and we would never know who they were. The natives would be charged. All this we've witnessed before.
The planners got it wrong this time. The Six Nations did open the road. When the non-native rioters arrived, they found the street open. This threw their plans out the window. There was no obstacle to overcome. So they set up their own barricade so they could find a target. When a car carrying native people came along, they attacked it. When people from the site came to help, they attacked them. What ensued was not a confrontation between the native and non-native people. It was a planned attack on the native people. When the native people started defending themselves, the corporate media got the photos they wanted. Images that make the natives look like the aggressors are plastered all over the media today. They also have Caledonians saying things like, "Bring in the army", "This is terrorism" and "Dissolve both sides and everybody should go home". Even the power outage was part of the scheme to create what was to look like chaos between native and non-native. Are there any real journalists left in corporate media in Canada who will report the truth?
During the riots David Peterson, the so-called "negotiator", arrived on the scene. The native people were polite. He went over to the non-native rioters and got pushed around. It was all a show. Then Peterson said, "The government wants the Caledonian and the Six Nations people to be in solidarity". He said he was against all the people who used force to make everything generate into chaos. Who used force? It was clearly the non-native side. His most telling remark was, "The talks may not go on" [he hopes]. This is what the whole display was all about - to stop the talks and to distract attention from the validity of the Six Nations claim.
If you were to dig deep to find the underlying interests that are served by stopping the talks, you would hit the hard rock of corporate greed. What is happening in Six Nations right now is not just about a piece of land on the Grand River. It's about all native rights to land and resources in Canada. It will set the tone for the treatment of Indigenous rights in every other part of the country. Big business absolutely does not want Canada to start respecting Indigenous rights. They had a real problem a few years ago when Justice Thomas Berger's Report on the McKenzie Valley Pipeline raised public awareness of the relationship between environmental issues and Indigenous rights. The Berger Report is almost forgotten. The McKenzie Valley pipeline is on the negotiating table again. Corporate interests do not want to suffer another Berger type setback caused by a bunch of do-gooder Canadians who think they want to live in a clean and healthy world.
Affirmation of the Six Nations right to the Grand River land could mean the end of their reign of environmental destruction and dissolution of their illegal colonial system. What happened at Six Nations yesterday is a small distraction. We don't know who Peterson's clients are when he's not at Six Nations. We do know that he is aware of the corporate interests served by the denial of Indigenous rights. We also know that he's been double dealing telling Caledonians that Ontario has no intention of returning land to the Six Nations while assuring Six Nations people that Ontario would formally recognize our title.
Once we realized this, we knew that Peterson did not really want the talks to go on even though he sounds conciliatory in public, especially when he talks to the media. He put on a different face during the meetings with the Six Nations. He sat there with a surly expression the whole time. This is a man who is not happy when things do not go his way.
Said a Mohawk about what's going on, "You can't steal land. You can't put it into your pocket and walk away with it. You can only illegally occupy it".
Another commented, "They lost the argument about the land. When a baby doesn't get its way, they start busting everything. That's what they did yesterday. The media has not been telling the public or the people of Caledonia the truth". There is no real difference between the people of Caledonia and the people of Six Nations. All agree they want to live peacefully. Let's hope people don't get distracted from this goal by outside instigators who don't care spit about the people of Caledonia or Indigenous people. The real Caledonians and the Six Nations people do not want to hurt anybody. The Caledonians threw bricks of cheese at the Six Nations who threw it back at them. Maybe this can be reenacted every year after this.
Could the 'Bread and Cheese Fight' have been avoided? Not when there's so much corporate "greed" at stake.
This just in my mailbox:
Good Morning from Grand River
Well, by now everyone has heard how our show of good faith was met.
Yesterday morning by 6:00 a.m. the main barricade on Plank Road (Argyle Street) was removed and the road was completely open ready for use. It wasn't met with good faith however, on the part of Caledonia residents, or at least those claiming to represent Caledonia. Their human barricade refused to budge and at one point, surrounded an elderly couple who were attempting to come through. The opp stood by and watched as the angry crowd refused to let our people through and when spokesman Clyde Powless and spokeswoman Janie Jamieson tried to go up and talk to the opp to get them to help our people through the line, they were surrounded by the angry caledonia representatives and shoving and pushing began. We were told that the vehicle that our elders were in had windows smashed, however, the opp said that no damage was done to the car. It was unclear at that point as to why the caledonia citizens did not meet our efforts of good faith, but later in an interview, Ken Hewitt, representing the Caledonia Citizens Alliance stated that they were not satisfied with the fact that only one of our barricades were taken down and that they wanted all of the barricades down and they wanted the Onkwehonweh people off the land that we've re-claimed.
Obviously David Peterson and the Town of Haldimand didn't inform the caledonia residents of the nature of the negotiations and the process that was being followed. Our press release of early yesterday morning with Chief Allen McNaughton and other representatives of the Confederacy Council stated the status of the negotiations and that as agreed, the main road into Caledonia was being opened up as a show of good faith. Later on that morning there was statements made by some of those on the caledonia side of things that they wanted to march down argyle street to the site of the land reclamation. This was exactly the concern of the Onkwehonweh people in their hesitation at wanting to open up the road in the first place. The intention of our people to keep the peace and open the road was being met with anger and threats to our safety.
Needless to say, because the opp were unable to convince those representing caledonia to disassemble their human blockade and go home and allow us to proceed as planned with the peaceful negotiations, the barricades were put back up. At one point, one of the elders of our people had offered a symbolic gesture to let them know that we still are upholding the peace and that they must choose which direction they wanted to proceed, but he was met with hollering and insults from the non-native protesters. I must add as well that in speaking with the opp, they had mentioned that many many caledonia residents were deeply disappointed in the people who were instigating the people on their side, and that many believe that those present who were causing the disruption, were not residents of Caledonia and that they were outsiders who's main intent was to instigate trouble. And that they did.
They were given a time frame to dismantle their people and allow the Onkwehonweh to continue with our offering of opening the road, and when they refused to move, at the end of that time frame, the consensus of the people was to dig the road up and a backhoe was brought in to begin that process. Again, the opp asked for more time to persuade their people to go home, and the digging stopped but their people refused to move. At one point in the afternoon some of the non-native protesters began trying to come around the side of the opp and rush toward our people. The men and women stood in defense of our position and at least 30 of our people were pepper sprayed, a couple of our people were taken to the hospital, and several of the caledonia people were hurt in the scuffle.
Again, we were able to bring our people back to refrain from any further escalations of violence, however, the mood at this point was indeed tense. By evening there were anywhere from 250 to 300 caledonia citizens in their human blockade and most of the people of Six Nations had gathered in solidarity behind our barricade. The opp had called in extra support from all over the surrounding areas, and at one point the riot squad had gathered in hopes of getting the caledonia people to go home. No action was taken by the opp or riot squad, and by around 2:30 this morning, most of the residents from the caledonia blockade had retreated. as of this morning at around 7:00 am., the barricade on the plank road is still there, and the people are considering now if another show of good faith will result in the same situation or worse, or whether we should once again, attempt to remove the barricades to allow the traffic to move freely through and allow our delegates to continue with the peaceful negotiations that were scheduled to continue this week.
We need our supporters to understand that we are continuing with our peaceful position, that we are unarmed, and intend to maintain that position of Peace, on our Land, and trust in our People, in our Kaierenekowah -- the Great Law, and in our Creator and the process that was given to us to resolve this situation to the best of our ability. We appreciate all of the phone calls and e-mails, and I apologize if I am unable to respond to each of your e-mails individually, but at this moment, we are working diligently to ensure the safety of our people at the site, and will keep everyone posted and updated as quickly as possible. The solidarity of the Onkwehonweh people is the most important factor in this situation and we appreciate all of those who are standing by to support in any way that is necessary if the Crown's representatives fail to keep the negotiations proceeding toward a peaceful resolution.Hazel
According the CKRZ FM’ 9am report, all is quiet at the Reclamation Site this morning.
Ontario Hydro is claiming that the electricity is out because of sabotage – presumably the power tower which was brought down to reinforce the new First Nations barricade – and that it will remain out for days.
There’s lots of mainstream news reports out there. The way in which some of them tell the story is (purposefully?) unclear, so it is worth remembering the order of events: First Nations people took down their barricade as a show of good faith, settlers continued to maintain a racist anti-Native barricade, settlers initiated violence against First Nations people, then finally as an act of self-defense the First Nations people re-established their barricade. According to the Toronto Sun after the barricade was first re-established people from the First Nations side were still trying to reason directly with the white mob, offering a truce and de-escalation and still offering to take down the barricade. It was only once this was refused that they brought in heavy machinery and dug up the road.
So please, let’s be clear: above and beyond questions of sovereignty and decolonization, at this point we are talking about actions of legitimate self-defense.
Monday, May 22, 2006
Just to recap: earlier today as a gesture of good faith the First Nations people took down their blockade in Caledonia. Certain white Caledonians obviously misinterpreted this generosity as a sign of weakness and decided they would mount their own settler blockade and not let any First Nations people through. Then a racist mob attacked First Nation people; fists flew and the OPP intervened pepper spraying people.
Understandably, the First Nations people re-established their blockade, using heavy machinery to tear up the street.
At this point, to do so is clearly a necessary measure of self-defense.
The how and why is not clear to me yet, but what is clear is that there is no electricity throughout much of the region. A news report i heard earlier gave the estimate of over 6,000 homes without electricity. Not sure why this is (sabotage? cut-off by the authorities? a fluke?) – the mainstream media seems to be implying that Ontario Hydro can’t fix things because of the self-defense barricade re-mounted by the First Nations people, but this could just be a crock of shit. What’s clear is that the massive loss of electricity could be a complicating factor tonight. Making it all the more important to keep both eyes no what is going on.
I would have a lot to say about this all – and i probably will do so – but not right now. Let’s just say that “white rights” blockaders attacking First Nations people in this manner provides an interesting lens through which to examine questions of nations, classes and States. But that kind of discussion can wait for another day.
Right now, i’m gonna suggest you get to Caledonia to support the Six Nations people. Or if you can’t, do something else. It’s a big continent, there are just so many ways to take a stand in support of the Six Nations people and against racism… and as i’ve said before, there’s a hell of a lot of land that can be occupied.
For all the day’s news updates regarding the racist mob violence in Caledonia, please see the Settlers In Support of Indigenous Sovereignty website.
For ongoing updates, it is worth listening to CKRZ FM – the Six Nations radio station. CKRZ can be listened to on the web; they have been having sporadic reports from Caledonia, as well as (from what i can gather) news every hour on the hour (EST).
Although her right-wing affiliations make my skin crawl, Meaghan Walker-Williams is maintaining a thorough round up of anti-colonial commentary from the blogosphere.
This just in my inbox:
OPP condone mob rule
"All hell and shit has broken loose"
YOUR HELP IS URGENTLY NEEDED RIGHT NOW!
MNN. 1:00 Monday. May 22, 2006. Day 83 of the land reclamation. In a gesture of goodwill, Six Nations people took down the barricade on Argyle Street in front of the Caledonia at 6:00 am this morning. Yesterday the Caledonians blocked the road for 6 buses of supporters from Toronto. They also blocked ambulances from going to the hospital. One man died alone because they did not let his family go to his bedside. A car with a reporter and some women from Six nations paper was surrounded by Caledonian men and women. They smashed the windows. The Ontario Provincial Police stood around shoulder to shoulder without moving, just watching, allowing the hooliganism to go on. "We are looking after it," they told the Six Nations people. When Six Nations people went to help the people who were being attacked, they were surrounded by more Caledonians, who shoved and hit them and accused the Indigenous people of instigating the violence. When the woman was hit, the Six Nations men jumped in and about three or four big fights broke out. The OPP continued to allow these Caledonian hoodlums to keep up their attack.
The Six Nations have put up the barricade again.
There is a large police presence. But just standing there. They are not stopping the Caledonia people from coming in. Everytime we try to soften things up and deal with people on the expectation they will behave in a civilized way, look at what happens.
This is public misbehaviour which is a direct result of the way the issues are handled by the Canadian government and the Canadian press. They do not present the legitimate basis of the Six Nations people's complaints. They make it look like we are the law breakers. They are wrong in letting the public no know of our legitimate claims. The blame for this lies squarely on the shoulders of the public officials in the way they are presenting this whole issuer.
EVERYBODY DO SOMETHING.
Try the Prime Minister, the police, the UN, anyone you can think of who may take responsibility for law and order in Ontario.
Although the blockade in Caledonia was taken down today as a sign of good faith by the Six Nations people, this has been met with an escalation from the settler side. Further postings will follow later today, but at the moment reports are coming in of several hundred hostile settlers who have massed at the site of the confrontation. The people at the reclamation site need support now – if you can make it there please do so.
How to get there: From Niagara Falls and Toronto, take Highway 6 straight south from Hamilton to Caledonia.
From Buffalo take Highway 3 west to Highway 6 and north on Highway 6 to Caledonia.
From Windsor take Highway 3 East to Highway 6 and go north.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Montreal's 6th Annual
Saturday, May 20, 2006, 10am-6pm
2515 rue Delisle
(near Lionel-Groulx metro)
Free! Welcome to all.
Mainspace and 1st floor rooms are wheelchair accessible.
The bookfair is a child-friendly event. Bring your kids!
Free childcare on-site. Kids and Parents Activities.
- The largest anarchist event in North America
- Part of the month-long Festival of Anarchy
- Followed by a full day of Anarchist Presentations and Workshops (May 21, 2006)
Some Bookfair highlights include:
* Introductory Workshops to Anarchism (Rooms 302 and 305):
Kidz Invasion II! (Room 119, Cafe Mozaik, Arts and Crafts Room, outdoors, everywhere):
With Arts & Crafts, Theatre, Dance, Music-Making, Sports and Games for the kids (all ages);
* And over 75 distributors, vendors and groups at the bookfair, from Montreal, Quebec, North America, Latin America and Europe (Main Auditorium and room 119 at CEDA)
For complete information, please consult our website.
BOOKFAIR FILM PROGRAMME -- In Room #202 of the CEDA
11:00 -- Another Future (30 min. excerpt) – SP. With FR. Sub-titles 50
years later, this film tells the story of Spanish Anarcho-syndicalists, who led a self-managed revolution at the center of the Spanish Civil War. The film was made according to the will of older Spanish radicals to rebuild the collective memory of their generation, and to leave the rest of us a testimonial.
11 :40 -- Going Condo -- dir. Brett Story -- BILINGUE
Going Condo explores the mechanisms and consequences of gentrification, focusing on the working-class neighborhood of St. Henri in Montreal in the midst of government planned “revitalization" and massive condo development. It follows the efforts of community residents and housing activists as they battle the rapid gentrification of the neighbourhood, while exploring larger questions about the political economy of displacement and housing injustice.
12:50 -- A l’épreuve du reel – dir. Florence Miettaux and Grégory Mouret. – FR. A Documentary about the experience the VAAAG (Alternative, Anticapitalist, Anti-war Village.) In 2003, in the context of the G8 meeting in Evian, several radical networks decided to initiate a new militant approach within the framework of the anti-globalisation protests. This project put into practice anti-authoritarian concepts of social relations. Autonomy, direct democracy and self-organization were the basis of the building of the VAAAG.
13:55 – Three Films on Immigration:
- It’s Happening Near You (FR. With EN. Subtitles.) A 6 minute film shot at a Belgian immigration detention center.
- 9e collectif A short film on the 9e collectif in France (FR.)
- Buenas Noches Señors! (EN) by San Diego Indymedia and Cascadia Media Collective Border Faction A 25 minute video showing the 3 week long border camp and other actions to stop the California Minutemen which took place in July of 2005. The video includes daytime marches and protests as well as nighttime actions to disrupt the Minutemen ' s border patrols, which take place primarily at night. While the Arizona Minutemen were able to detain hundreds of migrant people, in California no migrant people were stopped at the border. The actions in the film were organized with the help of the Gente Unida Coalition, La Tierra es de Todos Coalition and the o.r.g.a.n.i.c. collective.
14:45 -- Compliation Lucioles (FR.)
A Compilation of videos made by local video activists les Lucioles.
15:30 – The Heart Has Its Own Memory (Canada, 2005, 13 minutes) – (EN.) Dir: Audrey Huntley This short film looks at violence against First Nations Women in Canada, the lack of justice for missing Aboriginal women and racist police inaction and impunity. Huntley creates a collage of the women's stories featuring interviews with family members and friends. The film plays with native oratory and is a testimony to the pain and grief of the community as a whole and a message of no more silence.
15:50 – Fallujah – ENG.
Fallujah is a collaborative production created by Iraqi and American filmmakers. After a major US led offensive launch in November of 2004, two-thirds of the city was destroyed and thousands of its citizens were forced into refugee camps. Code Pink commissioned Iraqi filmmaker Homodi Hasim to send a team of videographers and investigative journalists to Fallujah to record the destruction and death inflicted by the American assault. He also interviewed many of the thousands of Fallujah residents who were forced to live in refugee camps on the outskirts of Fallujah and Baghdad. Using the footage produced by Code Pink and additional footage of the US led destruction of Fallujah, Deep Dish Television has produced this gripping documentary.
Echo Of Silence (Canada, 2003, 20 min) – (FR.)
Dir: Chloe Germain-Therien
In 1997 two Basque men, Gorka Perea and Eduardo Plagaro, sought refugee status in Canada after being charged with arson in Spain. They claimed that their confessions to the crime were signed under torture. In 2001 the two men were detained as suspected terrorists in a prison in Rivières-des-Prairies, Quebec. The Echo of Silence documents their experience in Canada: their detention, their temporary release, and finally their extradition in June 2005, despite an active grassroots movement to keep them in Canada.
BOOKFAIR ART EXHIBITS:
The Bookfair is showing diverse works by artists from Montreal and elsewhere, focusing on issues close to anarchists and exploring themes of autonomy. The works can be found in the hallways of the first, second and third floors and on the stage in the Main Hall of the CEDA.
*Self-portraits by Mahmoud Jaballah, Hassan Almrei and Mohamed Harkat. Refugees detained indefinitely in Canadian prison without charge or trial, under secret suspicions. Threatened with deportation to torture.
*Struggle and Solidarity: A Photo Exhibit from Kashipur, India and Choco,
Project Accompagnement Solidarite Colombie (PASC) is a direct solidarity organization supporting the struggle for land and self-determination of communities engaged in civilian resistance in Choco, Colombia. The photo exhibit is made up of images from "El Planton", an action that called for international support in the fight against displacement and (para)military and corporate occupation of peasants' land. Blandine Juchs, Will Shorey, and Tatiana Gomez participated in El Planton. Tatiana Gomez is an organizer based in Montreal. She was in Colombia with Project Accompagnement Solidarite Colombie in the summer of 2005. Approx. 15 5"7 mounted photos
For over 13 years, the adivasi (indigenous) and dalit (caste) people of Kashipur, India have been fighting a proposed bauxite mine and alumina smelter. Canadian alumina giant Alcan has a 45% holding in the project. The anti-mine people's movement has faced escalating repression, harrassment and police brutality and, since late 2004, Kashipur has been a virtual police state. The photo exhibit consists of images from the Kashipur region and the community members who continue to resist the Alcan-backed project.
*Tamara Herman and Brook Thorndycraft traveled to Kashipur in 2005 to record a community radio documentary on the people's movement.
Montreal Anarchist Bookair
Monday, May 15, 2006
You can read more about the situation and their struggle here and here.
Capitalism… there’s really no system like it!
Friday, May 12, 2006
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
I just received this from the act-mtl list:
** A First Nations Sensation! **Aboriginal Drag Queens... and friends!
*******************************************Friday, May 12/06Doors open 8pm Show starts at 9pmCabaret Cleopatra - 1230, boul. St-LaurentCover: $10 (sliding scale... pay what you can!) *******************************************
It's going to be an awesome drag show in support of the upcoming International Two-Spirit Gathering, which is being held in the Laurentians in September. For more info on the gathering — and our other upcoming fundraising events — on this website.
Hosted by Symara Styles and the lovely Ali Bloch Featuring Symara, Damita Foxx (from Winnipeg), Ms. Giselle and Dixie Landers (from Ottawa), Aiyyana Maracle, and some fantabulous local drag queen (and king!!) friends. It promises to be good times, so please try to come down... and pleease forward to all your friends and contacts!
It's for a good cause, after all... Any questions, just send me an e-mail.
STOP NIOCAN'S PROPOSED NIOBIUM MINE ON KANIEN'KEHAKA TERRITORY!
Demonstrate at Niocan's Annual General Meeting of Shareholders
WHEN: May 18th, 2006, 9:30am
WHERE: Best Western Hotel, 3407 Peel (corner Sherbrooke)
WHAT: Demonstrate Against Niocan's Annual General Shareholder's Meeting
Refuse Niocan! Resist Environmental Racism! Reject Canadian Colonialism!
Niocan Inc., a Montreal-based mining corporation, is nearing the final stages of approval for their "Oka Project", a toxic niobium mine to be developed within traditional Kanien'kehaka (Mohawk) territories.
Community members have taken a clear stance on this issue - they said the destructive project would not be tolerated! In addition to the outright violation of the centuries old claim the Kanien'kehaka people have to this land, the mine also poses serious environmental threats - the release of ionizing radiation which will contaminate the air, soil and water.
Niocan assured their shareholders they only invest and develop in politically stable regions. In solidarity with the Haudenosaunee Peoples from Six Nations to Kanehsatake, we gotta let the investing-class know: "The myth of political stability is over!" Investing in developments on stolen native lands has a price - and that price is the risk of bankrupcy Henco Industries is currently facing. The decolonization movement is growing and coast-to-coast People will rise up in solidarity with Kanehsatake!
bring noisemakers, placards, banners and your anti-colonial determination!
Last May, Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks Thomas Mulcair announced that Montreal-based mining company Niocan Inc. would have to provide more substantive environmental study results before he would issue the necessary certificate of authorization to move ahead with the company's niobium mining project on unceded Kanien:keha'ka (Mohawk) territory.
In a letter to shareholders on November 30, 2005, Niocan stated that the company is "reassess[ing] the hydrogeological studies to date and to propose a plan of action to provide answers to the questions raised by the professionals at the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parcs (MDDEP)." The report also reiterated Niocan's commitment to "move ahead with vigor and determination on the Oka Project."
The report to shareholders cited the recent Oka municipal elections as proof of community support for the project, stating: "the mayor and four councilors that support the Oka Niobium Project have been re-elected. This is further evidence of the support of area residents for the project." This, despite a press release issued last May 16th by the Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement (BAPE) stating: "the commission learned through the public consultation process that the land on which the mine is located is subject to claims... [and] most public consultation participants are very concerned about the mining project, to which they did not consent."
Niocan's former Chairman and CEO René Dufour said "the Mohawks have nothing to do with this." But Dufour couldn't be more wrong. The land on which the proposed mine would be built has never been surrendered to the Canadian government, and thus neither Niocan nor the Quebec (an equity investor in the project to the tune of $427,000) have any legal right to continue with this environmentally devastating project. This is yet another gross example of the blatant violation of Native sovereignty in Canada. More studies and assessments will mean nothing. They simply cloud the real issue, which is one of violation of Mohawk land claims by the governments of Canada and Quebec and the huge corporations they keep close to them.
Currently, Niocan is awaiting a certificate of authorization from Claude Bechard, the newly-appointed Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment & Parks to give the project the go ahead. Niocan is confident the certificate will be granted.
If you can not attend the May 18th demo, please phone/fax or email your objections to Claude Bechard at:
Phone: (418) 521-3911
Fax: (418) 643-4143
A sample letter:
Attention: Mr. Claude BÉCHARD
We are writing to you to express our absolute opposition to Niocan Inc.'s proposed Oka Project.
This project would entail destructive practices on traditional Kanien'keha'ka (Mohawk) land - territory that they have laid claim to for centuries and continues to be disputed. Thus far, no efforts have been made on the part of the government or Niocan Inc. to consult with the people of Kanehsatake in regards to this mine. Despite Niocan's claims, the community remains adamantly opposed to the project. Regardless of the company's assertions that the Oka Project will result in a dramatic infusion of capital and jobs into the local economy, this operation is not environmentally, economically or culturally sustainable for the Kanien'keha'ka people. The Socio-economic study carried out by Niocan's auditors, KPMG, contained no recognition of these matters. The fact that the Quebec government has a $427, 000 equity investment in the project is not lost on community members and allies; nor is the fact that mining operations have historically targeted Indigenous lands and perpetrated violence, displacement and environmental racism.
We would also like to reiterate the environmental concerns that have been raised by members of both the Kanehsatake and Oka communities. Despite the BAPE's dismissal of the amount of radioactive material which will be released during the excavation, essentially, there is no established safe limit of ionizing radiation. Consequently, neither Niocan Inc. nor the government can guarantee the project will not have adverse health effects on those living in the area. Locals are already exposed to the highest national levels of radon gas - a well established carcinogen. Secondary to previous mining activities, radiation levels in some homes in Oka already exceed the relatively lax Canadian safety standards. There is no documentation as to what these levels are in Kanehsatake.
Besides release into the air, waste from the operation will be released into the local water system; the water table will also be used to supply the project. The far-reaching effects of all of these derangements on the local agriculture and way of life cannot be understated. Furthermore, the materials left behind in slags and tailings after the projected 17 year operation will continue to negatively impact the environment and future generations. In April 2000, 62% of the Parish of Oka voted against Niocan's project.
Approval of this project would result in serious violations of Kanien'keha'ka treaty rights and the rights of all local residents to health and security.
Therefore, in alliance with the communities of Kanehsatake and Oka, we demand that Niocan Inc.'s Oka Project proposal be rejected by your office.