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From: No One Is Illegal Montreal
[Une delegation des militantes de Montréal – incluant une membre de Personne n’est illégal-Montréal -- est présentement à Akwesasne (territoire Mohawk, à la frontière de l'Ontario, New York et Québec) comme témoins de la résistance communautaire contre les douaniers armés. Quelques articles expliquant la situation, principalement en anglais, mais aussi en français, sont ci-dessous. Il y aura des mises à jour de la situation à Akwesasne sur le blogue de Personne n’est illégal ici]
“[The Canadian Border Service Agency] is a foreign oppressive force who occupies our sovereign community and territory. (They are) unwelcome, uninvited and now carrying firearms. For lack of a different description, that is considered by some an act of war.” – Larry King, member of the Akwesasne Mohawk Territory (quoted in Ottawa Citizen, May 29, 2009)
[A delegation of three non-native Montreal activists, including a member of No One Is Illegal-Montreal, is currently at the site of protesters at the Kawehnoke Port of Entry (Cornwall Island) on the Mohawk Territory of Akwesasne. Native protesters at Akwesasne are welcoming allies to stand in solidarity, and to witness their efforts to resist the imposition of armed guards on Mohawk territory.
The No One Is Illegal-Montreal website will have updates directly from Akwesasne, as well as maintain a mainstream and alternative news compilation, at the following link]
-- CBSA guards abandon posts
[photo: Jethro Tulin reading a statement in front of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, right before the Barrick Gold Annual General Meeting, April 29, 2009. photo by Sandra Cuffe.]
Earlier today, indigenous Ipili human rights activist Jethro Tulin, executive director of the Akali Tange Association in Porgera, Papua New Guinea, registered and read a formal statement to the plenary of the 8th session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at the UN headquarters in New York City. The statement follows below.
After the UNPFII ends this coming Friday, Jethro Tulin will be traveling to Washington DC for a series of meetings. Before returning to Papua New Guinea, he will be speaking at a series of public events in Montreal, Ottawa (tbc) and Toronto, between June 5th and June 9th.
For more general information, see ProtestBarrick.net
For more information about (or to help coordinate) events, contact: Sandra Cuffe, 514-583-6432, email@example.com
UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Eighth Session
Intervention by: Jethro Tulin, Executive Officer of Akali Tange Association (Porgera, Enga Province, Papua New Guinea)
Supported by: Asia Caucus, Pacific Caucus, Western Shoshone Defense Project (Nevada, USA), Peoples Earth, Society for Threatened Peoples International (ECOSOC), Indigenous Peoples Link
Item 7: Future Work of the UNPFII
New York, May 27, 2009.
MEMORIALIZING THOSE FALLEN IN DEFENSE OF THEIR COMMUNITIES
[aka How to Make Real Sure You're on the Terrorist Watch List]
New York City, May 25, 2009.
Flyer: Sakura Saunders
Photos: Sandra Cuffe
Inspiration: The Missing Plaque Project in Toronto
Image #1: Our flyer...
Image #2: Good ideas are FREE!
Image #3: The real news (Columbia University in the background).
Image #4: 3940 Broadway in the Washington Heights neighbourhood north of Harlem. The building was the Audubon Ballroom at the time of Malcolm X's assassination during a speech in the packed hall on February 21, 1965.
Image #5: Statue of Malcolm X in the lower left corner marks the spot of his assassination in what is now a museum known as the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center.
Image #6: Central Park at night.
Image #7: In front of the American Museum of Natural History, there is a peculiar statue. Theodore Roosevelt is riding majestically on horseback, flanked on either side by an African man and a Native American man, both on foot. Perhaps it is in fact meant as a subtly critical piece concerning forced marches, but the statue seems to embody the myth that one great country was built by all, side by side. It seemed like a good place (thanks for the tip, Ben!) to chalk: FREE LEONARD PELTIER, NATIVE AMERICAN P.O.W.
I write from the inner (ie you need an event or staff pass to get here) cafe & main networking area. And I'm smoking. Inside. Because it's international territory. Actually, there are prominent no smoking signs all over the place. A large sign reads "The United Nations General Assembly has decided to implement a complete ban on smoking at United Nations Headquarters indoor premises." And yet, dozens of people - including UN staff - are smoking away, all day. Could there be an incredibly amusing parallel between the lack of implementation of the indoor smoking ban and the role of the UN in the world?
Along with a growing multitude of people, many of the 2000+ indigenous delegates are increasingly critical of the corporatization of the United Nations and its affiliate bodies. Although we all enjoyed the free wine and music.
It has been amazing to run into people from last year's Longest Walk 2, the Protecting Mother Earth conference, and to meet new people(s) attending the forum. The conversations range from Canadian Assembly of First Nations representatives traveling to Latin America to promote mining in indigenous communities to the ongoing State of Emergency in Porgera, Papua New Guinea, to the Mapuche flag, to journalism in Africa, and everything in between... There are dozens of parallel and alternative events occurring both on and offsite.
For immediate and widespread distribution:
Québec – Canada – Americas
mining, human rights and citizens’ rights
an open-pit mine on the mont-royal?
see : www.royalor.com
may 11 2009
Mont-Royal 1 :30 -2 :30
(at the gazebo at Duluth & Parc)
Representatives of different communities affected by Canadian open-pit mining projects will stake a claim on the mineral rights of the Mont-Royal. Their aim is to symbolically demonstrate the harms and prejudices faced by their communities whether in Québec, elsewhere in Canada , in Mexico , in Honduras , in Chile or in Papua New-Guinea. The claim will be duly filed with the Ministère des Ressources naturelles du Québec.
Come one, come all to call for :
1. a reform of mining laws
2. the legal accountability of canadian companies operating abroad
3. a public debate free of « slapp » suits
In collaboration with Coalition québécoise sur les impacts socio-environnementaux des transnationales en Amérique Latine and many other organizations. For more information : Lazar Konforti 514.827.7486 firstname.lastname@example.org, Daviken Studnicki-Gizbert 514.398.4251 email@example.com. An event organized in conjunction with the Cadre des activités parallèles du 5e Congrès mondial d’éducation relative à l’environnement (www.5weec.uqam.ca), May 10 - 15 Palais des Congrès Montréal.
On April 29th, as Canadian mining giant Barrick Gold held its annual general meeting inside Toronto's Metro Convention Centre, a colourful protest took place across the street.
Indigenous leaders from Diaguita territory in Chile, affected by Barrick's upcoming Pascua Lama mega-project, and from Ipili territory in Papua New Guinea, were permitted to address the AGM as proxy shareholders.
While the company recognized that there have been "some deaths" around the mine in Porgera, Papua New Guinea, Barrick vehemently denied any link to or responsibility for the documented extrajudicial killings, harassment by company security forces, or - more recently - the grave human rights violations currently continuing under a State of Emergency in Porgera.
A national newspaper in Papua New Guinea ran a
front page story on April 30th about security forces burning the homes of several hundred landowners living around the mine. Community activists involved with the Porgera Landowners' Association estimated that the number of torched homes has reached between 500-600 as of April 30th.
Protest Barrick, an activist network that has been working to link affected communities and raise awareness about the issues they are facing, has organized a speaking tour in southern Ontario and Montreal over the next two weeks, with the participation of affected community leaders.
This morning, Torontonians making their way down University Avenue, a major north/south downtown traffic artery, encountered a vocal gathering of mainly Tamil-Canadians, protesting State repression of Tamil civilians in northern Sri Lanka.
Long before 9am, a 2-block section of University between Dundas and Queen streets was completely blocked by the large demonstration and surrounded by police barricades, bikes and agents. The police presence did not seem to bother the energetic crowd, chanting slogans such as "Stop the Genocide!" and "Tamils Want a Permanent Ceasefire! When Do We Want it? NOW!"
One participant commented that while mobilizations in Ottawa have been much larger, there have nevertheless been consistent actions in Toronto over the past three months or so. Another explained that just this morning, there were more than another 200 people killed. "It's a very difficult situation," he added.
A Human Rights Watch report states that recently "obtained information places total civilian casualties at 7,000, with 2,000 deaths... All displaced persons crossing to the government side are sent to internment centers in Vavuniya and nearby locations. These are military controlled, barbed-wire camps..."
Along with an immediate permanent ceasefire, demonstrators demanded a two-state solution, and immediate Canadian and US action. All Canadians were encouraged to learn more about the situation and to get involved, reminded by a banner that 'Our Silence - License to Kill.'
[[Reposting of Project Fly Home update & call for action]]
Bring Abousfian Abdelrazik Home!
Cross-Canada Campaign 7 April to 7 May
Update and Call for Action
On Friday, 3 April, Minister of Foreign Affairs Lawrence Cannon refused to give a passport to Abousfian Abdelrazik. The flight Abousfian was due to board left without him, and he remains in the same situation of forced exile that he has been in for six years - living for almost a year in the Canadian embassy in Khartoum.
On Tuesday, 7 May, his lawyers will go to the courts to ask for a mandatory order to compel the government to bring Abousfian back by "any safe means at its disposal". This is being argued on the basis of section 6 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which states, "Every citizen of Canada has the right to enter, remain in and leave Canada."
If they wanted to, government officials could, literally, send a plane today to bring him home tomorrow. But the government's actions have flown in the face of the law and public opinion, and officials have refused to do what is both within their means and within their legal obligation - to bring Abousfian home. Without public pressure, there is no guarantee that they
will even respect a court order.
Project Fly Home is thus calling for a public campaign leading up to 7 May to push the government to act NOW to bring Abousfian home.
It is imperative that the level of pressure and public scrutiny remain very high. The government has clearly proven its capacity for duplicity and its strong resistance to upholding Abousfian's rights. This is a case which is important not only for Abousfian but for all of us who are concerned about preserving the rights and freedoms - and most importantly, the dignity and equality - of all.
Mario Joseph, the leading human rights lawyer in Haiti, granted me a long interview yesterday in Port-au-Prince. We discussed many things (published soon), but when I asked him about what activists should be doing in Canada and the US, he said: "Keep your eyes wide open, watch your governments closely, be sophisticated in your research." He expressed deep gratitude as well to all those who have been working for democracy in Haiti.
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.