Friday, October 30, 2009

The following notice came Molly's way via the people around the libertarian socialist group Autonomy and Solidarity, publishers of the Upping The Anti journal. The area around Brantford Ontario, of course, has been the scene of a long standing land claims dispute, and the rally announced below is to show the Mohawk defenders of the land that they are not alone. It's quite heartening to see the number and variety of sponsoring organizations.
Saturday Nov. 7th -- Rally in Solidarity With Six Nations Land Rights:‏
Upping the Anti has endorsed this event and encourages you to attend it if you're in the area or can make it.
*Saturday Nov. 7th -- Rally in Solidarity With Six Nations Land Rights!*
Rally at 1 PM, Victoria Park, (Corner of George St. and Darling St.,Brantford, ON).
Potluck dinner and social to follow at 5PM at the reclaimed Kanata Village site.
Down with the Brantford Injunction!
No Developments on Six Nations Land!
Drop all charges against Six Nations land defenders!
Meaningful negotiations now!
Speakers include:
Aaron Detlor (Lawyer for the Haudenosaunee Development Institute)
Bev Crawford (Haudenosaunee Hoskanigetah)
Bill Squires (Mohawk Workers)
Chris Harris (Black Action Defense Committee, Toronto)
Dawn Martin-Hill (Dept. of Indigenous Studies, McMaster)
Jan Watson (Co-founder of Community Friends in Caledonia, CAW 555)
Janie Jamieson (Former spokesperson for the DCE Reclamation)
Jim Windle (Brantford TRUE)
Missy Elliott (Young Onkwehonwe United)
Phil Monture (Six Nations Land Claim Expert)
Ruby and Floyd Monture (Six Nations Land Defenders)
Steve Watson (CAW Educational Department)
Tim Reynolds (Brantford TRUE)
Tom Keefer (CUPE 3903 First Nations Solidarity Working Group)
Vince Gilchrist (Haudenosaunee Hoskanigetah)
(Note: Group affiliation in the brackets is for informational purposes only and does not necessarily indicate that the speaker is speaking on behalf of their group).
Brantford, Ontario has become “ground zero” in the struggle over Indigenous rights in Ontario. Most of the city is under land claim, but instead of halting development until the status of the disputed land can be negotiated, Brantford city council is carrying out an aggressive policy of encouraging the criminalization of Six Nations land defenders.
Since 2006, when protests in nearby Caledonia erupted, over 60 people from Six Nations have faced more than 160 criminal charges as they have tried to peacefully stop illegal developments from taking place on their lands. It is time for allies and supporters of Six Nations to stand up and bring pressure to bear on our governments and institutions in order to demand that they respect and honor the treaties and agreements we have made with Indigenous nations.
The Six Nations Solidarity Network — a group made up of non-native activists from communities in and beside the Haldimand tract, is calling all supporters of Six Nations land rights to join us in a peaceful protest on Saturday, Nov 7th 2009, at 1pm in Brantford’s Victoria Park (corner of Market St. and DarlingSt.).
The demonstration will march through Brantford and stop at a variety of sites including:
* City Hall (where local politicians have criminalized Six Nations land rights through injunctions and arrests)
*MPP Dave Levac’s Office
* Harmony Square (where Six Nations land is being expropriated to make room for the new YMCA)
* Indian Affairs Office
* Brant’s Crossing (on the unceded Nathan Gage tract)
* Erie Ave at Birkett Lane (on the Eagles Nest tract and where Six Nations land defenders have most recently been charged).
At each of these stops, the demonstration will be addressed by speakers about the pressing issues relating to each stop. The demonstration will conclude with a potluck and social which will begin at 5:00pm at the reclaimed Kanata Village Museum. The space is being made available by the Mohawk Workers.
Bring food to share!
Buses and carpooling to Brantford are being organized from Paris, Guelph, Caledonia, Oshwegen, Kitchener-Waterloo, Hamilton, Toronto and other nearby cities and towns.
To endorse the demonstration or get in touch with the organizers, please email or visit for more information.
This event is endorsed by Brantford TRUE, CUPE 3903 FNSWG, AW@L, CAIA York, Upping the Anti, and is being organized by the Six Nations Solidarity Network which includes local environmental activists and activists from a variety of union locals including the CAW, CUPE and the Steelworkers.
Here's another story from the Toronto Star about a press conference held yesterday by four of Canada's major unions at the conclusion of their campaign to press the federal government to do more about the situation of native people in Canada, more beyond issuing effect less 'apologies'. Once more it is heartening to see unions taking up this important issue.
'Sorry' not enough for natives, unions say:
'Disgraceful' conditions persist in native communities after residential schools apology
Richard J. Brennan OTTAWA BUREAU
Published On Thu Oct 29 2009
OTTAWA — Four of Canada's largest unions have joined together to urge the federal government to tackle the appalling conditions facing the country's native communities.

The labour movement's "sorry is not enough" campaign is pressing the Conservative government to get beyond last year's apology by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to Canada natives for the emotional and physical harm done to them by the residential school system.

"Sorry is not enough when aboriginal peoples in almost every measure are the most marginalized group in Canada," John Gordon, national president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) told a press conference Thursday.

"Now we are to tell members of Parliament that the time has come to take the natural next step after an apology. Begin to make it right," Gordon said.

Besides PSAC, the group includes the United Steelworkers (USW), Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW), and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which together represents tens of thousands of unionized workers across the country.

The government can begin to address aboriginal poverty by implementing the Kelowna Accord, said the union leaders.

The accord, which withered and died, was an initiative by the former Paul Martin Liberal government to improve the education, employment, and living conditions for native communities.

Among the most pressing needs is the demand for clean water on native reserves, the unions agree. There are 108 communities across the country that must now boil their water before drinking.

"The fact that over 100 communities cannot drink their water is a national disgrace," national CUPE president Paul Moist told reporters.

"Water is a right for all people regardless of their race or their heritage, it is not a privilege," Moist said.

National CUPW president Denis Lemelin said Canadians are "expecting more than just words from the government. We want to see action."

Pat Van Horne, Steelworkers' national representative, said the government's apologize for abuse in the past "does not make up for the continuing abuse that now takes the form of gender discrimination, lack of housing and clean water and the barriers that still face First Nations in their quest for economic, social, land based and cultural rights."

"First Nations cannot wait another century for truth, reconciliation and progress," she said.
NDP MP Jean Crowder, the party's native affairs critics, urged all Canadians to write to Harper asking Canada to sign onto the United Nations Declaration of Indigenous Rights.

"We really do need that grassroots pressure to force the government of the day into making the right decision around human right facing aboriginal, Métis and Inuit," Crowder, the MP for Nanaimo-Cowichan, said.

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