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Posts Tagged ‘Six Nations’

Theresa “Toad” Jamieson vs Gary McHale at the colonial Cayuga courthouse

A forwarded callout from the Two Row Society
#SovSummer  #FreeToad

Remember Gary McHale? He is the anti-native racist organizer who has been provoking and baiting Six Nations land defenders since 2006, who has fronted a bullshit narrative of reverse racism that has been picked up by the likes of Christi Blatchford and Sun Media and poisoned public discourse, who wrote a letter to the Hamilton cops and the cbc threatening to come down to the #SwampLine9 blockade to “monitor” the protesters. Remember when we mobilized against that racist narrative, against his incursions on to the reclamation site, against the so called Caledonia Militia, against the alliance between the JDL and McHale’s (unofficially) white supremacist organization, canace?

Theresa “Toad” Jamieson is a fiercely dedicated front line land defender from Six Nations. She has been and continues to be an inspiration to many people.

On July 3 at 10am, Toad’s trial starts at the Cayuga courthouse. She is charged with “assaulting” Gary McHale on Feb 18 2012 when, McHale – escorted by OPP – forced his way onto Kanonhstaton, the Six Nations Reclamation site, then continued on past the police to worsen tensions and leading to arrests. McHale and the police are both employing the strategy of using racist agitators as bait in order to further criminalize Six Nations land defenders.

Toad is representing herself in court and challenging the court’s legitimacy and it’s alleged right to prosecute her on her own territory. She has asked for us to help mobilize support and to pack the court room.

Having recently been through the court system myself, i can tell you that it was unbelievably empowering to have a courthouse full of supporters there when i used my own sentencing hearing as a platform from which to challenge the system. We should now be extending that same support to Toad, who poses a much greater challenge to the state than I did. At her past court dates, the presence or absence of supporters has made a big difference towards how she has been received by the court; this is another reason it is important for us to be there.

Defenders Of the Land and #IdleNoMore have launched “Sovereignty Summer”, a call to build mounting pressure, including through mass direct actions to be joined by non-natives, to challenge the Harper government and the land destroying colonial system, a call for escalation in the ongoing struggles for Indigenous sovereignty, and now is a time to step up our support for Indigenous land defenders. In the wake of the amazing #SwampLine9 blockade which took place on Onkwehonwe Grand River Territory, it is especially important to support frontline land defenders from Six Nations.

The Cayuga Couthouse is at 55 Munsee St. N. The attached callout from the Two Row Society has contact info for people in various cities to help coordinate rides. I really hope to see lots of people there; this is a personal plea for folks to support the callout and pack the courthouse.

-alex.

#SovSummer #Solidarity

ps. Please do read the callout (here) and join the FB event (here)

Support Six Nations Land Defenders: an open letter to all those who have supported me

This is a letter I am writing to everyone who supported me over the past two years, since our arrests brought to light the massive police operation against a group of solidarity activists and community organisers.

In that time I have received such an incredible amount of support from friends and family, from allies, from “movement” organisations, and also from civil liberties organisations, academic and journalist associations, and unions. I have a tremendous amount of gratitude and appreciation for all of it.

As I head back into jail on Tuesday, lots of people have been offering renewed support, and having seen how substantial that support can be, I am asking that the support people are hoping to give to me over the next year, be instead extended to the new Legal Defence Fund recently established for Six Nations Land Defenders.

The type of targeting, repression, manipulation, intimidation and harassment that were directed at anarchist and other activist communities in the lead up to the Olympics and the G20 are realities that are standard fare in Indigenous communities where resistance to colonialism is a part of daily life.

However, in the years since the Reclamation action in 2006, people from Six Nations have not always seen the same kind of support that I and some of the other G20 defendants received.

Part of what is sadly ironic about the contrasting levels of support is that those who were most directly targeted by the intelligence/security operation against activists in the lead up to the G20 were those whose primary organising work includes building linkages and relationships with the strong network of Indigenous Sovereigntists and their allies, migrant justice organisers, and anarchists. The policing operation was largely designed to disrupt those relationships and that movement building. These are standard tactics used against the resistance movements that arise from Indigenous and other racialized or otherwise targeted communities.

I would like to propose that we now strengthen those linkages by turning the massive capacity for support that we have developed over the past two years towards supporting front line land defenders from Six Nations.

Since 2006 there has been a particularly insidious wave of criminalisation and demonisation aimed at Haudenosaunee people who are asserting the sovereignty of the Six Nations Confederacy and defending the land. The tactics used in everyday policing operations against Six Nations, like with other Indigenous nations, are exactly the type of oppressive state security that the rest of the southern Ontario “activist community” got a taste of around the G20.

I would strongly encourage you to consider formally supporting the new Six Nations Land Defenders Legal Defence Fund.

The fund is currently being administered and coordinated by the April 28 Coalition which includes organisers from Six Nations as well as established allies from various unions and activist organisations. If the fund is successful, a formal board of directors will be established and procedures codified. For now, the immediate concern is fundraising for Francine “Flower” Doxtator and Kevin “Sleeper” Greene, though the goal is a sustainable fund that can cover legal costs for people from Six Nations who are charged while engaging in land defence actions.

Support for the Six Nations Land Defenders Legal Defence Fund could include a formal endorsement, a public statement of support, promotion within your organisations or networks, and/or making donations. Please contact the April 28 Coalition (kanonhstaton@gmail.com) for more information, or visit this link to donate directly: http://bit.ly/K39HCN.

Thanks again so much for your continued support

Sincerely,
alex hundert

#June26, Get on the Bus: Court Support vs Criminalisation

June 14, 2012 1 comment

UPDATE – Official Callout: June 25+26: Solidarity w Six Nations Land Defenders
Community Solidarity Network (CSN) Callout: Remember the G20 by supporting criminalized Indigenous Land Defenders and solidarity activists

***

An invitation to support front line activists

This June 26, exactly two years after the police kicked in my door for a pre-emptive arrest, two years after the burning cop cars and the black bloc riot, two years after the egregious police crackdown, i am finally going to be sentenced by an ontario court. We’ve know for months exactly what my sentence would be as it arises from a plea deal made in order to get the charges dropped for several of our co-accused, but in less than two weeks it will be official and i will be back in jail.

On the same day, a friend and ally, Fran Doxtator, also known as Flower, will be up in court in Cayuga on charges stemming from a February 18 incident at Kanonhstaton, the Six Nations reclamation site at Caledonia. Flower is a Haudenosaunee land defender, grandmother, and a member of the April 28 Coalition. Her newest charges are yet another instance of the criminalisation of Six Nations land defenders and their community, and must be challenged accordingly. For more info on Flower’s case see this link.

Support Flower: Get on the Bus

As luck would have it, Flower’s hearing is at 2pm and mine is at 10am, which means there is time for people to go to both. The April 28 Coalition is charting a bus that will bring people from the courthouse at 2201 Finch W in toronto (after my hearing) to the courthouse in Cayuga (for Flower’s hearing), and then back to toronto [more info, and a callout coming soon]. I want to strongly encourage people to fill that bus and to pack the court for Flower, to show solidarity with her and other Six Nations Land Defenders.

If i were not going to jail on #June26, i would be going to Cayuga to support Flower and the efforts and intents of Six Nations land defenders.

Since the g20, “criminalisation” and support have been a hot topics in activist and social movement circles. However, the criminalisation of Indigenous land defenders and sovereigntists has been a long standing practise in this country (and other colonial states), as has the criminalisation of migrant communities and other racialised and poor communities.

Resisting criminalisation as well as legal/jail support have increasingly become cornerstones of contemporary activist activities amongst settlers on ‘The Left’. Now it is time that we practice this at a level deeper and more meaningful than the simple support of our friends and closest comrades; it is time we shift our support to those whose communities are most targeted by the state, those whose struggles are at the root of the broader anti-colonial resistance on Turtle Island.

Resistance against austerity, colonialism, and criminalisation

There is more connection between these two cases than the simple criminalisation of front line activists, land defenders and organisers. There is also more connection here than the fact that, while our charges are seemingly unrelated, Flower and I have known each other for the better part of a decade now, and more than a few times we have stood on the same side of a line together.

Alongside the solidarity of anti-colonial activists, perhaps the most meaningful connection here lies in the fact that it is not our methods that the state seeks to criminalise, but our ideas and our stories and our bodies; they seek to crimialise both dissent and dissenters, in and of themselves.

The reason both dissent and the bodies and lives of those who would resist need to be criminalised by the state is because our resistance to colonialism and capitalism (of which austerity is but a face), fundamentally undermines the authority with which they govern and rule. When we challenge austerity we challenge the very notion that capitalism is an appropriate form of economic management. When we challenge colonialism we challenge the very legitimacy of the state and its mythologies.

When we insist that “we are all treaty people”, like when we insist that these are “our streets”, we tell the state as we tell the world, that we will not be ruled by those who exploit people and the planet for profit. We will be guided instead by treaties made between autonomous nations, and we will be guided by our historical connections to the earth and the lessons that have been learned through generations of relationships.

We will continue to resist, in part, because we know that this–this era of colonlialism and capitalism–cannot last. We will keep fighting for survival and for a better world that we all know is possible.

Fight on all fronts

The most important thing we can do, is almost always, to keep fighting on all fronts, from the locations that make sense for us.

June 26 is also the anniversary of the arrest of Mohammad Mahjoub who is one of the Secret Trial 5. He has been detained on secret information for 12 years, and is holding a rally in Toronto on this day. He was arrested on the basis of racial profile and has never even been charged, under a “security certificate” regime that only applies to non-citizens where the court has ruled that the presumption of innocence does not apply

Also on June 26, is a local fight in the Downtown East neighborhood of toronto for a men’s harm reduction shelter that the city is trying to cut and close down. This is a key example of how austerity is being brought down in this City – targeting the poor by shutting down a homeless shelter in the midst of a housing crisis and overcrowding in the shelters.

All of these struggles are deeply and intimately connected.

For people who are not able to get on the bus to Cayuga to support Flower and Six Nations Land Defenders in general, i would strongly encourage people to attend the morning City Council meeting to support the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty’s fight for the SchoolHouse, and to attend the rally for Mohammad Mahjoub, rather than just coming to court for me and skipping these other events.

***

*more info about getting on the bus will be available here and at April 28 Coalition soon*

No Olympics on Stolen Native Land

November 30, 2009 Leave a comment

Solidarity with Six Nations and organizing against the 2010 Olympics.

For over a year now, AW@L has been devoting much of energy to our No Olympics on Stolen Native Land campaign. In October of 2008 we, along with some of our friends from Toronto, Guelph and London teamed up with a crew from Six Nations to blockade the Olympic Spirit Train. Just yesterday a friend and I (from KW ARA) worked with a group of youth activists from Six Nations to drop several No2010 banners at the Canadian Aboriginal Festival in Hamilton.

On December 27 in Kitchener, AW@L will be joined by friends from Six Nations and across the region for a rally, march and demonstration against the Olympic Torch Relay.

For AW@L Radio, every time we have spoken with any of the members of Yong Onkwehonwe United (YOU),  they have stressed how central the anti-Olympics campaign was to their work at Six Nations. When Missy Elliott and John Henhawk spoke at the KW Community Centre for Social Justice (kwccsj), as when they spoke at the Rally in Solidarity with Six Nations Land Rights, they stressed the importance of Indigenous-settler solidarity in practise against the Games.

It has been suggested by some media commentators, both locally and nationally, that the Olympics as a target of protest is merely an attention getter. While the international media spotlight is part of the reason this protest movement has become so heated, it is ignorant to suggest that it is the grassroots activists who are the ones that are taking advantage of the spotlight.

The feds, BC, Vancouver, VANOC and the Olympics’ corporate sponsors are using the Olympics to send a message to world; they are all good global citizens representing the alleged Olympic ideals of unity and excellence through competition.

Their $6 Billion media stunt is nothing but a hoax.

Part of the message of the 2010 Olympics is that Canada has reconciled with First Nations—that this is a post-apology Canada. They are trying to make the world forget that we are one of only three countries that have not signed the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (DRIP). They are trying to make Canada forget that the Union of BC Indian Chiefs refused to endorse the Olympics, so instead a corporation called The Four Host First Nations, comprised by willing Band Council representation from four coastal First Nations, was created to host the Games. They are trying to send the same bullshit message that Harper espoused at the G20 in Pittsburgh when he stated that Canada has “no history of Colonialism.” But Canada does not only have one of the ugliest colonial histories in the world, in fact, in Canada colonialism is ongoing.

On the west coast, in so-called British Columbia, almost all of the territories are unceded, meaning that Canada has no treaties legitimizing their occupation of the land and their control of the resources. One result where treaties have been signed, recently in the case of the Nisga’a, has been the institution of private property on the res. In other places in the west, like in the land claims process across the country, the negotiations are dominated by the structures and limits imposed from the federal side, and only money in exchange for title and access to resources is on the table for “negotiation”.

And this is where it all comes back to Six Nations. The negotiations on land claims at Six Nations are a disgrace; at a total standstill with the feds being obstinate, disruptive and disrespectful. And with respect to those claims, AW@L is very cognizant of the fact that we live on Six Nations’ land.

KW is right on the Grand River, the Haldimand Tract, which is Six Nations territory. Like the Coast Salish Territories, the Grand River Territory is stolen land. The land on the coast remains unceded, and Kitchener-Waterloo, Brantford, Cambridge, and others are all partially on lands that have been illegitimately obtained through illegal surrenders.

VANOC parading the torch through the Grand River Territory, like the scheduled “Sunrise Ceremony” planned for Kitchener’s Torch stop, is an attempt to put a certain face on Canada’s relationship with Indigenous people, with Six Nations. Because, at AW@L, we believe in the importance of the stories we tell ourselves in our communities, we don’t intend to let that lie be told unchallenged. Not in our town.

We plan to support YOU and other activists from Six Nations in their stand when VANOC tries to bring the torch through the Six Nations res on December 21; we will support in whatever way we are asked. There the issue is sovereignty. Canada wants Six Nations to participate in the Torch relay as a Canadian municipality. But Six Nations is not a Canadian municipality. So we will support activists from Six Nations when they assert their sovereignty by saying that Canada and VANOC cannot dictate the terms by which an international symbol is paraded across Haudenosaunee territory.

Upriver from Six Nations, we are pleased to be able to say that we are working with our allies there to resist the Olympic Torch Relay when it comes through Kitchener, the last stop on the Haldimand Tract.