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October 12, 2008 Weblog:

Criminalizing Indigenous Rights in Canada

Criminalizing Indigenous Rights in Canada
David Parker
September 8th, 2008.

HALIFAX - In September of 2007, the United Nations adopted the non-binding Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Four high profile countries notably voted against the declaration - namely Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand.[1] All four countries are states that were established by white settlers on indigenous lands, and all four are currently in disputes with indigenous peoples over land and sovereignty.

The Canadian state, built on the theft and occupation of indigenous lands, continues to benefit from its unjustly acquired assets. Equipped with an ultra-security state apparatus, Canada's repressive and suppressive anti-terrorist and security measures have historically struck hardest against those that have the most to gain, namely aboriginal nations and their legitimate claims for their rights to land and dignity.

Recent cases of indigenous protest in Ontario have been in opposition to government authorized resource extraction on native lands. Despite legitimate demands for sovereignty and decision-making power over their traditional lands, native protesters have been incarcerated: Robert Lovelace and the KI-6 (6 council members of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation) have received harsh fines and 6 months in jail for peacefully protesting against mineral exploration on the lands of KI and Ardoch Algonquin First Nation (AAFN).

» continue reading "Criminalizing Indigenous Rights in Canada"

October 11, 2008 Weblog:

Chiefs of Ontario intervene for Barriere Lake

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Chiefs of Ontario intervene on behalf of Barriere Lake Algonquins.

Please see attached

October 9, 2008 Weblog:

Video: Algonquin Blockade Attacked by Police

NOTE: NORMAN MATCHEWAN, SPOKESPERSON FOR THE BARRIERE LAKE ALGONQUINS WAS PUBLISHED TODAY IN THE MONTREAL GAZETTE!

» continue reading "Video: Algonquin Blockade Attacked by Police"

October 7, 2008 Weblog:

Tories on the Ropes?

Could Conservative fortunes have run out?

The impending economic problems in the US have caused many Canadians to turn to other parties. While the Conservatives are still leading nationally, they are behind the 8-ball in Ontario for the first time in months. The Liberals are leading by nearly nine percent.

In Quebec, the Conservatives have slipped to third, just two percent ahead of the NDP. The Bloc are leading.

In BC, the Tories are in a dead heat with the NDP.

October 7, 2008 Weblog:

Algonquins Hospitalized After Police Attack

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UPDATE: An Algonquin man is hospitalized the morning after Quebec police shot him in the chest with a tear-gas cannister. A disabled teenage girl was also treated with oxygen in the local Health Clinic. Twenty two children under eight and two babies were caught in the tear gas shot by the police.

To view photos

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, October, 7, 2008

Canada and Quebec use riot police, tear gas, and "pain compliance" on peaceful Algonquin families to avoid negotiations: 'pain compliance' perfect description of Conservative's aboriginal policy, say community spokespeople

Kitiganik/Rapid Lake, Algonquin Territory / - Yesterday afternoon, the Conservative government and Quebec used riot police, tear gas, and "pain compliance" techniques to end a peaceful blockade erected by Algonquin families from Barriere Lake, rather than negotiate, as requested by the community. The blockade on Highway 117 in Northern Quebec began at 6:00am Monday, with nearly a hundred community members of all ages and their supporters promising to remain until Canada's Conservative government and Quebec honoured signed agreements and Barriere Lake's leadership customs. Around 4pm, nearly sixty Quebec officers and riot police encircled families after a meal and without warning launched tear gas canisters, one of which hit a child in the chest.

» continue reading "Algonquins Hospitalized After Police Attack"

October 6, 2008 Weblog:

Highway Blockade set up by Barriere Lake Algonquins

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Barriere Lake Algonquins peacefully blockade highway 117:
Community loses patience with broken agreements and coup d'etat on Algonquin territory

Brief description: After exhausting all political avenues, the Algonquins of Barriere Lake and many non-native supporters have just blockaded highway 117. They will maintain the peaceful blockade until both the Canadian and Quebec governments honour their signed agreements that would allow co-management of their traditional territory and resource revenue sharing, and until Canada respects their leadership customs by appointing an observer to witness a leadership selection in accordance with their Customary Governance, and in good faith recognize the outcome.

Click here for the Algonquins' full list of demands

Quotes from Barriere Lake Algonquin Spokespeople:

Michel Thusky, community spokesperson: "To avoid their obligations, the federal government has deliberately violated our leadership customs by ousting our Customary Chief and Council. In what amounts to a coup d'etat, they are recognizing a Chief and Council rejected by a community majority. The Quebec government is cooperating with the federal government too because they are using the leadership issue as an excuse to bury the 1991 and 1998 Agreements they signed with our First Nation."

» continue reading "Highway Blockade set up by Barriere Lake Algonquins"

August 13, 2008 Weblog:

Political Street Theatre at Indian Affairs

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As the day dragged on, Algonquins of Barriere Lake community members and supporters moved north to Gatineau and performed political street theatre in front of the Department of Indian Affairs. The scene depicts Chief Norman orchestrating a coup d'etat on Michael Wernick's territory with help from an Ontario police officer.

*Photo taken by Charles Mostoller

August 13, 2008 Weblog:

Letter Delegation

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A delegation including Louisa Ratt, Norman Matchewan, and some children from Barriere Lake delivered a letter to Michael's house. The package contained a press release from the event and a letter, addressed from Grand Chief Norman Young of the Tribal Council to Indian Affairs Minister, Chuck Strahl, calling for Indian Affairs to oversee and respect the outcome of a new leadership selection in Barriere Lake.

*Photos taken by Charles Mostoller

August 13, 2008 Weblog:

Algonquins of Barriere Lake hold up posters outside of Wernick's home

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*Photo taken by Charles Mostoller

August 13, 2008 Weblog:

Media Ring

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Norman Matchewan is interviewed by a ring of journalists outside of Michael Wernick's home.

*Photo taken by Charles Mostoller

August 13, 2008 Weblog:

Direct Action: Barriere Lake Algonquins Struggle for Justice

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On Friday, August 8th Barriere Lake community members and supporters gathered at Deputy Minister Michael Wernick's house. After appeals to their federal representative, Minister Lawrence Cannon, and protests at the offices of Indian Affairs were ignored, the community felt they were left with no choice.

*Photo taken by Charles Mostoller

August 11, 2008 Photo Essay

The Coup in Context

A look behind the removal of Barriere Lake's traditional government

August 7, 2008 Original Peoples

Dammed if You Don't

Hydro-Quebec turns its back on wind power

July 7, 2008 Weblog:

Barriere Lake Algonquins Interviews

GATINEAU- on June 26th, 2008 Algonquin representatives from Barriere Lake reserve in Quebec came to Gatineau. A protest was called outside the Northern and Indian Affairs building to demand the governemnt reverse the recent coup d'etat it imposed on the reserve. The protest turned out to be a diversion for a peaceful sit-in which took place in MP Lawrence Cannon's office in Buckingham, QC. In spite of the indigenous and solidarity activists demands to see the MP they were ignored and six members were arrested. They were released later in the night.

Correction: unnamed Algonquin representative of Barriere Lake in video is former Customary Chief Jean-Maurice Matchewan, under whose leadership Canada and Quebec signed the reserve's Trilateral Agreement in 1991.

June 27, 2008 Weblog:

Barriere Lake Algonquins arrested, jailed, and released

Short video of the arrests, by Bill Clenet, ROCG

After a six hour occupation of MP Lawrence Cannon's Office in Buckingham, QC, yesterday, six Algonquin activists and allies were arrested by Sûreté du Québec police officers.

The arrestees were detained for four hours and were finally released at 9:30 p.m. into the arms of cheering family and friends outside the Gatineau Police Department building.

Among the awaiting crowd was Customary Chief Benjamin Nottaway (seen in video) whom the government attempted to revoke from power in the Barriere Lake reserve by imposing a minority appointed government. The so called Coup D'etat was the latest in a long series of governmental interventions in the impoverished reserve and led to the office occupation which took place yesterday. Previously, the indigenous representatives attempted to raise awareness of neo-Colonial internvention in their community by camping on Parliament Hill one year ago.

More information soon...

June 26, 2008 Weblog:

Barriere Lake Algonquins Occupy MP Office

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GATINEAU - On Thursday, June 26th, Algonquin representatives from Barriere Lake and allies assembled outside the Gatineau offices of Indian Affairs, across the river from Ottawa. The demonstration was a diversion, intended to draw attention from peaceful occupation of Lawrence Cannon's office, MP for the Barriere Lake region. The Algonquins demanded a meeting with Cannon to discuss the recent government ousting of the Customary Chief and Council as well as a re-election monitored by outside observers.

The Barriere Lake Solidarity Collective, based in Montreal, as well as Algonquin representatives from Barriere Lake itself have vowed they will not leave the office until their demands are met. They have been threatened with arrest, and are welcoming support from anyone willing or able to assemble in Buckingham, QC.

Algonquin media liaisons inside the office occupation were unreachable, but Django, a spokesperson of the Solidarity Collective answered a few questions. Speaking to the situation on the ground he noted that “on the inside the police have asked some of the people to leave peacefully. There were three people that left [because they] weren’t willing to be arrested. [Those were] a cameraman and two Algonquins.” When asked what he predicts will take place later in the day, he replied “we’re still waiting for the demands to be met. The office normally closes at 4:00 p.m. or 4:30 p.m. so we’re thinking that’s probably the time [the police are] going to try and do the arrests.”

» continue reading "Barriere Lake Algonquins Occupy MP Office"

May 31, 2008 Features

Contemporary Currents of Quebec’s Student Movement

An interview with Sophie Schoen of L'Association pour une Solidarité Syndicale Étudiante (ASSÉ)

May 28, 2008 Opinion

An Eagle Feather for Linda Keen?

The question of jurisdiction (Part III in a series)

May 22, 2008 Weblog:

Solidarité avec Écosociété

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A new website, Solidarité avec Écosociété, has been launched in support of the publishers of Noir Canada, who are facing a SLAPP suit from Barrick Gold, to the tune of $6 million.

In related news, recent protests at Barrick's May 6th AGM in Toronto are documented at protestbarrick.net.

Similar protests took place in front of Goldcorp's AGM in Toronto on May 20th.

April 12, 2008 Weblog:

Barrick Gold blocks booklaunch: Noir Canada

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The book launch for Noir Canada: Pillage, corruption et criminalité en Afrique, edited by Alain Denault and the Collectif Ressources d'Afrique out of Montréal, was a cancelled yesterday when the authors and publishers (Édition Écosociété) received letters from a law firm representing Barrick Gold.

The letters alledgedly refer to apparent inaccuracies in the book, more particularly around the representation of Barrick's role at Bulyanhulu, in Tanzania, where more than 50 small scale miners were buried alive in 1996.

Barrick has also sued The Guardian and The Observer over articles that they published about the Bulyanhulu massacre.

Noir Canada is about the role of Canadian companies in Africa, which operate with the "unfailing help of the Canadian government."

The list of corporate abuses is long: advantageous mining contracts in the DRC, partnerships with arms dealers and mercenaries in the Great Lakes region, miners buried alive in Tanzania, an "involuntary genocide" by poisoning in Mali, brutal expropriations in Ghana, using people from the Ivory Coast for pharmaceutical testing, devastating hydroelectric projects in Senegal, the savage privatization of the railway system in West Africa...

I sure hope that Écosociété goes ahead and releases the book...

» continue reading "Barrick Gold blocks booklaunch: Noir Canada"

January 20, 2008 Weblog:

Abdelkader Belaouni still in sanctuary...

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By Stefan Christoff
Hour

Algerian refugee Abdelkader Belaouni has spent the past two years in sanctuary at St-Gabriel's Church in Pointe St-Charles. On Jan. 1, 2005, Belaouni took sanctuary in open defiance of a deportation ordered by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

"I'm not hiding from Immigration Canada, but I want to tell them clearly, I will not be presenting myself for deportation," stated Belaouni in a public statement at the time.

Ever since, Abdelkader Belaouni, with the support of multiple community organizations and social justice groups, has been fighting a very public battle with Immigration Canada. It isn't the only battle he's faced in this lifetime. In 1996 he escaped a violent civil conflict in Algeria, which took an estimated 100,000 civilian lives. As a blind man, Belaouni made the journey to New York City, and while he never gained status there he did carve out an independent life selling telephone cards.

Following Sept. 11, 2001, Belaouni left New York out of the fear of systemic persecution against Arabs and Muslims, including mass deportations, disappearances and the fire-bombings of mosques. Immigration Canada didn't exercise sympathy or compassion in the case, instead issuing a deportation order for Belaouni three years after his arrival in Montreal.

Today, Belaouni remains in sanctuary, never having stepped foot outside St-Gabriel's Church in all the time he's been there. "After two years I remain here without status. It is tiring, it is depressing, I want freedom," he explains. "It is clear that the government is aware of my current suffering and my difficult history in Algeria; they must act now and regularize my status."

» continue reading " Abdelkader Belaouni still in sanctuary..."

December 28, 2007 Gender

Gender, Race, and Religious Freedom

The Bouchard-Taylor Commission's Hijacking of 'Gender Equality'

December 17, 2007 Photo Essay

Refusing to Accommodate Racism

Community Groups Oppose the Bouchard-Taylor Commission

November 29, 2007 Weblog:

"Reasonable Accommodation": A Feminist Response

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Photograph: Women's studies student Lily Tandel presenting the statement (below) to the Commission's Citizens' Forum on November 20, at the Bibliothèque Interculturelle in Côte-des-Neiges, Montréal. Also pictured, Nada Fadol, a member of the statement-writing committee. Photo credit: Tanya Déry-Obin.

"Reasonable Accommodation": A Feminist Response /
Les « accommodements raisonnables » : Une réponse féministe

Simone de Beauvoir Institute, Montréal

[version française à suivre]

As anti-racist, anti-colonial feminists in Québec, we have serious misgivings about the Commission de Consultation sur les pratiques d'accommodement reliées aux différences culturelles. The Conseil du statut de la femme du Québec (CSF) has proposed that the Québec Charter be changed so as to accord the right of gender equality relative priority over the right to religious expression and to ban the wearing of "ostentatious" religious symbols in public institutions by public employees. Our concern is that the Commission and the CSF's subsequent intervention pave the way for legislation that will restrict rather than enhance the rights of women. We invite you to join us in questioning the exclusionary structure of the Commission, the assumptions it supports, and the negative impact it is likely to have on women's lives.

So, why call into question the legitimacy and the effects of the Commission?

» continue reading ""Reasonable Accommodation": A Feminist Response"

November 29, 2007 Weblog:

Dion's Constituents March in Ville St-Laurent

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A number of Stephane Dion's constituents marched through his riding, demanding that the Liberal leader oppose legislation around Security Certificates.

November 20, 2007 Weblog:

McGill Daily on Tar Sands

The McGill Daily, a student paper in Montreal, has a pair of decent articles about the tar sands in their most recent edition.

October 7, 2007 Foreign Policy

Behind the Boycott

Picketers demand that Indigo shareholders cut ties with occupation

September 20, 2007 Weblog:

Demonstrators Disrupt Bernier's First Speech in Quebec as Foreign Minister

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One by one, protesters stood up to interrupt recently appointed foreign minister Maxime Bernier during a speech urging support for the occupation of Afghanistan.

Press accounts in both French and English called it a "baptism of fire" for Bernier.

Radio-Canada has video.

Toronto Star correspondent Allan Woods couldn't make the drive from Ottawa, and ended up publishing quotes from the transcript that was sent to him. He probably got home early enough to watch it on TV.

September 19, 2007 Weblog:

25th Commemoration of Sabra / Chatila Massacre.

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Picket and Remembrance in Downtown Montreal...

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22nd, 1pm
Indigo Bookstore
Corner of St. Catherine & McGill College
(metro McGill)
Montreal, Canada

Between September 16th and 18th, 1982, Israeli military forces in Lebanon, under the direct command Ariel Sharon, former ‘Defense Minister’ of Israel, provided military logistics for the massacre of thousands of Palestinian civilians in the refugee camps of Sabra and Chatila by the right-wing Phalangists militia of Lebanon...

Full Information at Tadamon!

September 18, 2007 Weblog:

Montreal activists call on Brian Mulroney to Denounce Israeli Aparthied

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Montreal, September 18th 2007: The Montreal network of the Coalition against Israeli Apartheid welcomed former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney during a launch of his autobiography at Indigo bookstore by unfurling a banner denouncing the apartheid situation under which Palestinians are living...

Full release from Tadamon! Montreal.

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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.

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