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The Aboriginal People's Television Network's latest newscast notes some interesting details about Shawn Brant's arrest on Friday.
Worth a look.
[Received via email from Shelley Brant]
I would like to address the myths that Police Commissioner Julian Fantino has perpetuated in the media since the arrest of Mr. Shaun Brant on Friday April 25, 2008 and the events that have transpired since regarding police action at the Mohawk protest in Deseronto:
An Open Letter to Police Commissioner Julian Fantino:
First of all Shawn Brant was not arrested during a routine traffic stop as explained by Fantino:
“Tensions boiled over in eastern Ontario near Deseronto, Ont. Friday, when one of the protesters of a land claim dispute near that community, Shawn Brant, was arrested during a traffic stop.”
Mr. Brant was arrested while giving an interview with APTN the Aboriginal People’s Television Network. This can be proven by watching their news footage on April 25, 2008 which shows Mr. Brant’s arrest and also verifies he was arrested while doing an interview with them.
Also there are no weapons on the site as reported by your men obviously when yours were drawn and pointed:
“Police say they saw a “long gun” being pointed at them from a location inside an occupied quarry, which protesters have controlled since March, 2007.”
“An order was issued to all police personnel on the scene to take cover, and guns were drawn by officers crouching behind their vehicles, but no shots were fired.”
‘The protesters said they had no weapons at the quarry.’
You also say that you are not trying to remove anyone from any land and that this has nothing to do with land claims, however, this comment shows that the protesters have indeed been ordered to leave the land they have been occupying now for close to a year.
After over 200 police officers raided the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory west of Belleville, Ontario on April 22nd, 2008 actions have escalated. On the evening of Friday, April 25th, the Tyendinaga community was again under attack, while continuing the blockade intended to protect itself and its "disputed" Quarry. Currently the Nation is surrounded by a wide police perimeter that prevents access to the Quarry.
"At the centre of the dispute is the Culbertson Tract, land which rightfully belongs to the Mohawks of Tyendinaga. Community members have been occupying a gravel quarry site for over a year," according to TMT.
Allies attempting to enter the perimeter are being turned away. Only residents holding valid documentation of property ownership within the perimeter are allowed entry.
Earlier in the week Agent Provocateurs were deployed in the local community to incite a conflict with the Mohawk Nation. The attempt failed but prevented local allies from supporting the Nation due to fear of police retaliation.
Police have attempted to dismantle the Mohawk blockade on Friday, and have beaten and arrested four individuals. These are Matthew James Kunkel, 21, Clint Brant, 29, Daniel John Dorene, 34, and Steve Chartrand, 32. They are scheduled to appear on Monday, April 28, 2008 in Napanee court. Prior to these arrests, Shawn Brent, 44, was arrested at a traffic stop allegedly for his role in preventing racist community members from attacking a woman and her child.
In solidarity, Six Nations' Mohawks in Caledonia have set up similar blockades at the Highway 6 bypass of the Sixth Line bridge and elsewhere.
Photo by Clarkwork Orange
I've never actually watched the Aboriginal People's Television Network, but judging from their coverage of the recent arrest of Shawn Brant, I'll likely be tuning in to their online newscasts far more often.
The dominant narrative surrounding Brant's arrest, one of the many sparks that has ignited the standoff currently underway between hundreds of heavily armed Ontario Provincial Police officers and an estimated hundred Mohawk demonstrators and supporters at a blockade in Tyendinaga, is that of Brant breaching his bail conditions from his arrest following June 29th. Brant, of course, was one of the organizers of the one-day blockade of Mohawks of a stretch of the 401 highway between Montreal and Toronto during last year's June 29th national day of action. His bail conditions prohibited him from taking part in protests or acts of civil disobedience.
According to the Globe and Mail's account, Brant was arrested "during a traffic stop" and that "during Mr. Brant's arrest, two officers were allegedly confronted by a group of people and assaulted." Apparently, police then "noticed several suspects who were wanted in connection with protests in Deseronto on Monday and Tuesday," after which their attempt at arrest was foiled. Police then noticed a Mohawk demonstrator at the Tyendinaga site "pointing a long gun" at them. The CTV has reported
From Mohawk Nation News at around 5PM Friday:
Mohawks surrounded at the quarry in Tyendinaga. Ontario Provincial Police OPP [are]fully armed with guns drawn. They are yelling through blow horns ordering the Rotiskenrekete to come down with their hands up, or else they are going to take them out. The Rotiskenrekete have told the OPP they are not coming down from there. We have been informed that help will probably not arrive in time. The OPP have said they are coming right away. There are 20 left at the quarry. Many have already been arrested.
The stand-off began last Monday following the initial stages of construction by a dubiously legal condo development on Mohawk territory. The OPP's claim that officers had seen a "long gun" carried by Mohawk protestors bears an eery resemblance to Ipperwash. MNN points out that the area around Tyendinaga seems to have special significance for the Harper governments current plan for "continental integration" of the Canadian Forces.
This situation could be more complicated than appears at present. The Canadian Special Forces, which is the main military unit that would be active in the United States under the "Civil Assistance Plan", is moving the so-called Joint Task Force 2 to the Trenton area, just 25 miles from Tyendinaga. They will be forming a new special forces battalion. Land in the Trenton area is being secretly bought up by the government for a base and training site. A total of 400 hectares (1.5 square miles) will be purchased.
We arrived in Windsor just in time for the Windsor Peace Coalition's antiwar march. Stuart was interviewed by the local TV station after he made some remarks about corporate media coverage of Afghanistan.
A decent crowd made it out, and folks expressed a lot of concern about the ongoing collapse of the manufacturing sector.
We were honored to have Jean Candio attend the talk. We also chatted with James Winters, author of Mediathink and the editor of Flipside, an online magazine of sorts that ran from 1995 to 2000, and Margaret Villamizar, a local organizer who contributes to the TML Daily. We also saw a few copies of the Scoop, a local paper that does some alternative coverage.
In Hamilton, a lively crowd packed into Sylvia Nickerson's little studio.
Hamilton is a fascinating little city, with a strong history of working-class labour organizing, but a rather depressed economic situation at present.
Local radio show The Other Side showed up, and there seemed to be a fair bit of interest in organizing a local media coop. A number of folks signed up as sustainers, and a decent discussion was had.
We stuck around for the art crawl the following day, before leaving early in the morning for Windsor.
We heard the sad story of how frat-boy student politician types managed to sneak through a referendum to defund CKMS, the local community station.
I also got to chat very briefly with Taarini Chopra of Alternatives Journal, a venerable subscriber-driven independent publication that has managed to stick around for the last 35 years.
Guelph saw two events, back to back. The first was a quick gathering at the Bookshelf's eBar, and the second was more of a student crowd at the University. We chatted with Mary Skerrett of CHAN, Karen Houle, and fielded a lot of thoughtful questions from a great many others.
It was good to see something of a nascent movement towards awareness of native sovereignty issues and a possible tilt towards decolonization among some of the student organizers.
From Ottawa, we moved quickly to our nation's capital in order to miss the massive snowstorm that was... oh wait. Anyway, we went to Toronto quickly, and were able to avoid the monster snow dump last weekend. Other than an interlude involving a fever and stumbling around in a haze for one and a half days, things went well.
David told us about how he used to teach journalism in BC, but how there was very little point, it seemed, in teaching students how to practice journalism ethically, because there was really nowhere that would actually let them use those kinds of skills.
Reposted from an OCAP email
(Please see Robert Maurice's ex-wife's response at bottom)
On March 4, OCAP held a protest in city council around the freezing death of a homeless Native man named Robert Maurice which had been reported in various media. Twelve days earlier OCAP, and a number of agencies attended a committee meeting to express our concerns about the closing of over 300 shelters beds, which has led to serious overcrowding in Toronto hostels. We expressed our anger at Mayor David Miller and city politicians who had remained silent around Robert’s death.
It was later discovered that although Robert had been homeless on and off for many years, he did have housing at the time of his death. Robert had been living in a private Habitat boarding home for psychiatric survivors since late summer 2006. He was forced to share a small room. We were told that up to thirty people lived in the house. Robert would have had very little privacy in that boarding home. Most of Robert’s income would have gone to pay for his room and board leaving him very little money.
Mohamed Harkat, one of the "security certificate five" was arrested at his home while taking his morning shower yesterday. The stated reason on behalf of federal immigration authorities was the fact that his mother-in-law was not home at the time. His bail conditions stipulated that she remain living with Harkat and his wife. She still lives with both of them.
From Harkat's support committee:
MOHAMED HARKAT, SECURITY CERTIFICATE DETAINEE UNJUSTLY ARRESTED IN OTTAWA
Mohamed Harkat was arrested Tuesday afternoon by Ottawa police
accompanied by Canadian Border Services agents at his home in Ottawa. CBSA alleges that Mohamed Harkat breached his bail conditions. In fact no breach occurred. The crown has 48 hours to bring him before a federal court judge. Mohamed Harkat is also already scheduled to appear in court next week to argue for changes in his bail conditions.
What you can do:
A) We ask organizations to issue statements along the lines of the following statement from the Justice for Mohamed Harkat Committee.
Statement from the Justice for Mohamed Harkat Committee
1. There was no breach of Mohamed Harkat's bail conditions. This, despite the conditions imposed being the toughest in Canadian history.
2. The arrest's timing was highly questionable given the facts:
- Mohamed Harkat's bail is up for review next week;
- Bill C-3, the new Security Certificates law, is being debated this week in the House of Commons.
This arrest could only have happened by order of a cabinet Minister - which was confirmed to Mohamed Harkat by CBSA officials. It also occurred on the eve of Adil Charkaoui's Supreme Court appeal.
3. The arrest constitutes harassment in the context of an
[The following is a letter to the editor received on Jan 8, 2008]
From the beginning, the Crown, Ontario and agents wanted the farcical mediation meetings to be held behind closed doors. They wanted to isolate the Ardoch and Shabot Algonquin "leadership" to make secret $deals$ over a supposed uranium mine. According to Indigenous law, such meetings that concern the people should be open to the people as the Algonquins have repeatedly insisted.
Suddenly, Ontario says the meetings are open to the public but now they are to be held in Kingston, outside of Algonquin territory, two hours away from the affected community. Moving the mediation out of Algonquin territory is also a breach of Algonquin law.
However, this is a clear case of the proverbial, "Out of the frying pan and into the fire!" Kingston is in Mohawk territory!
Why, we must ask, would the meetings be moved to Kingston? For whose convenience? We hear rumours of Crown agents who need city night life and their accustomed type of "watering hole", not available in the remote areas of Sharbot Lake. The new location was certainly handy for the Mohawks, perhaps too handy. When they changed the venue, the mediation team knew Kahentinetha Horn of MNN was planning to attend - Randy Cota and Bob Lovelace had invited her!
(In July 2007, the Algonquins sent a wampum to the Mohawks seeking their help in the blockade against uranium mining at Robertsville. Nuclear development on Algonquin land would affect Mohawk communities downstream. This official nation to nation agreement is ongoing.)
After deliberating for months, the Supreme Court of Canada finally refused to even hear the case of Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey, the first two war resisters to have publicly travelled to Canada in order to refuse to fight the US's illegal war in Iraq. They are expected to face deportation proceedings soon.
The War Resisters support campaign held protests in eight Canadian cities over the weekend and is appealing to supporters to bombard Canadian MP's with letters and faxes asking for a parliamentary provision allowing Hughey and Hinzman to remain in Canada.
On Tuesday, November 20th, 2007, a motion in support of Hinzman and Hughey, introduced by Toronto NDP MP Olivia Chow, is expected to be presented before Canada's Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration.
Geoff Bickerton has some thoughts about the democratic implications of the deal between the CAW and Magna.
As anticipated in the photo essay about Algonquin resistance to uranium mining on their land, members of the Ardoch and Shabot Obaadjiwan Algonquin Nations canoed to Ottawa to protest the planned uranium mines on Parliament Hill and demonstrate that the waters connect planned mines with downtown Ottawa.
According to this story, it appears that a group of Navajo were detained without a warrant or arrest by the RCMP using antiterrorism legislation.
were on their way to Deseronto in nine vehicles with 10 horses in tow to show support and respect for a group of Tyendinaga Mohawks, said Spata Desareau, 64, a member of the tribe. They travelled across western Canada without incident, but once in Ontario, were stopped by law enforcement three times - Wawa, Sault St. Marie and finally Kaladar, where they were taken into police custody Sunday, he said.
Much has already been written about the now front-page story of police provocateurs captured in a video posted on Youtube. The scandal has managed to cleanly separate the story of the protest from the story of the SPP itself, but it is definitely an unlikely story to have become front-page news.
The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.