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With his CBSA helmet and raingear, honorary firekeeper "Harry" watches over the Akwesasne People's Fire on Kahwenoke ('Cornwall Island'). The fire has been burning at the main crossroads since May 1, 2009 and now, nearly six months later, a building constructed by community members so that elders and others may stay warm over the winter is nearly complete.
The Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) building, abandoned since June 1st, looms in the background. CBSA abandoned the post within the Akwesasne Mohawk reserve when residents announced their rejection of the Canadian government's plan to arm the CBSA agents on June 1st. Police shut down the international Seaway bridges and border crossing just minutes before midnight June 1st, as hundreds of Mohawk residents gathered to protest the imminent arming of CBSA agents within their territory.
The bridge and border crossing were re-opened in mid-July, when CBSA set up a makeshift post at the foot of the bridge over in the city of Cornwall, Ontario. After decades of racial profiling and harassment, Akwesasne residents have now been facing heavy fines and vehicle seizures by CBSA if after crossing into New York they do not immediately drive straight through the island and get in the often lengthy one lane line-up on the bridge to report to CBSA. Island residents are also obligated to wait in the line and go through Canadian customs even when only traveling from Kahwenoke into Cornwall for groceries, appointments, or to pick up their children from high school.
by Isain Mandujano, published on Proceso.com.mx
Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, August 26th. - After eight days of detention, the State Judicial system's Attorney General's Office (PGJE, for its Spanish acronym) freed activist Mariano Abarca Roblero, who was accused by Canadian corporation Blackfire Exploration Ltd of affecting the company's economic interests, due to the highway blockades led by Abarca Roblero.
According to the court document #033/FS10/2009 in the case taken up by the State Attorney for Relevant Issues of the PGJE, Abarca Roblero was accused of attacks against public roadways, criminal association, organized criminal activity, offences against the peace and the physical and public integrity of the collective and of the State.
Mariano Abarca was detained on August 17th by state police agents when he was leaving a primary school, where he left a letter requesting permission for the school premises to be used this weekend for the second national gathering of the Mexican Network of those Affected by Mining (Red Mexicana de Afectados por la Mineria, REMA).
According to his lawyer, Miguel Angel de los Santos Cruz, the police were supposedly in possession of an "order to appear," which they never revealed.
"In theory, this order does not imply detention. However, when he was taken to the State Attorney's office and gave his declaration, his detention was ordered immediately thereafter. Because detention only permits the judicial system to hold someone for 48 hours, the order was requested for 30 days," he said.
De los Santos added that Abarca was detained for eight days in the PGJE detention center.
"The Only Crime": Testimony of Marcial Hernandez, beaten, detained, and hospitalized in Honduras
Text, translation and photos by Sandra Cuffe
San Pedro Sula, Honduras, August 15th, 2009.
Repression against the national movement against the military coup in Honduras has become a daily occurrence. All over the country, police and the army are using tactics of terror and violence to disperse protests and illegally detain demonstrators.
Nevertheless, the resistance actions coordinated by the National Front of Resistance to the Military Coup in Honduras (FNRCGE, for its acronym in Spanish) continue to grow across the nation.
On August 14th, organizations and citizens in resistance from the northwestern region of the country mobilized in Choloma, blocking vehicle traffic along the highway between San Pedro Sula and Puerto Cortés. It was a very strategic choice of location, along the main highway leading to the country's main port. Puerto Cortés has a great volume of exports, principally to the United States, of textile goods from the maquila factories in the northwestern region, as well as the fruits of the Tela Railroad Company, subsidiary of the transnational banana company Chiquita.
Soon after the highway blockade began, there was a negotiation between resistance leaders and police officials, supposedly in order to avoid yet another violent eviction. According to witnesses, a verbal agreement was made between the two parties to allow the protest to continue for another hour and peacefully disperse.
- For immediate release -
ANTI-MINING GROUP TO STAGE 36 HOUR SIT-IN AT CANADIAN EMBASSY IN MEXICO CITY
Frente Amplio Opositor (FAO) marks Global Day of Action Against Open-Pit Mining in opposition to New Gold Inc.’s Cerro de San Pedro mine in Mexico
Mexico City, July 21, 2009 – Anti-mining activists are marking the first ever Global Day of Action Against Open-Pit mining with a 36-hour sit-in outside the Canadian Embassy building in Mexico City.
The action is being planned by the Frente Amplio Opositor (FAO), a coalition opposed to Canadian corporation New Gold’s Cerro de San Pedro open-pit gold and silver mine in Central Mexico. New Gold Inc. is based in British Columbia.
“The sit-in is a nonviolent protest to demand that the Canadian government intervene in the case of New Gold’s Cerro de San Pedro mine”, said FAO member Juan Carlos Ruiz Guadalajara. “The mine is still operating despite having lost its environmental permit in a recent court ruling. We are reminding the embassy that we will continue to raise our voices against corruption, human rights abuses and environmental destruction”.
Mexican Secretary of the Economy figures reveal that more than 70% of all mining exploration, development and production projects in Mexico are owned by Canadian corporations. Canadian mining companies have benefited from legal reforms that the Mexican government adopted in order to accommodate NAFTA and draw foreign investment.
Open-pit mines, such as Cerro de San Pedro, have generated controversy due to their devastating environmental and social impacts.
to see the other 99 photos of the July 3 2009 march against the coup through the streets of Tegucigalpa: http://flickr.com/photos/lavagabunda
please feel free to re-post, forward, etc my info... will be posting regularly to this blog, the MediaCoop.ca & all other media below & available to write articles of various lengths and focuses on short notice. get in touch!
grassroots reporting from the streets of Tegucigalpa, Honduras...
Freelance journalist, photographer, contributing member of DominionPaper.ca & MediaCoop.ca, and Honduras correspondent for UpsideDownWorld.org
Honduran cell = (504) 9525-6778
Canadian cell = (514) 5... [while in Honduras, voicemail & text messages only!]
public email = email@example.com
twitter = SandraCuffeHN
facebook = Sandra Cuffe
photos = http://flickr.com/photos/lavagabunda
video [content up soon!] = http://www.youtube.com/user/lavagabunda27
Honduras blog [content up soon!] = http://hondurassolidarity.wordpress.com
Dominion blog = http://www.dominionpaper.ca/weblogs/sandra
Akwesasne blog = http://akwesasnecounterspin.wordpress.com
Kahwenoke, Akwesasne, Sovereign Mohawk Territory
June 15, 2009.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AKWESASNE COMMUNITY ACTIVISTS DENOUNCING CBSA AND POLICE HARASSMENT AND RACIAL PROFILING ARRESTED IN CORNWALL ON NATIONAL RECONCILIATION DAY
Bail hearing for Dwayne David set for 9:30am Monday, June 15th at 29 Second Street West, Cornwall, Ontario
On June 11th, dubbed "National Reconciliation Day" to conmemorate the one-year anniversary of the Government of Canada's official apology to First Nations for the residential school system, Akwesasne community residents Khristy Sawatis and Dwayne David were arrested by Cornwall police.
Dwayne David remains in police custody until his bail hearing, which has been set for 9:30am on Monday, June 15th, at the Ontario Court of Justice, located at 29 Second Street West in Cornwall, Ontario. Akwesasne residents, outside supporters, and media will all be present.
Only a few nights prior to his arrest, around the sacred fire at the main crossroads on Kahwenoke ("Cornwall Island") across the International Road from the now-abandoned Canadian Customs and Immigration building, David commented on the reaction to the apology of many traditional Akwesasne community members, many of whom are residential school survivors themselves: "The real people cried, because it wasn't real. It was a show."
[Photo (2008) by Sandra Cuffe of an old Glamis mining claim stake in an area of traditional Quechan territory that is an ancient sacred trail between two sacred mountains.]
June 9, 2009
Fort Yuma, CALIFORNIA/ARIZONA -- Today, the NAFTA Tribunal in the Glamis Gold dispute against the United States released its long-awaited decision.
The Tribunal found that the State of California's and the United States' actions in regulating hard rock mining on public lands did NOT violate provisions of NAFTA.
"We were the first tribe to have our briefs accepted in a NAFTA claim dispute" stated Mike Jackson, Sr., President, Quechan Nation. "The award shows that the Tribunal understood that the Indian Pass area is a sacred area to the Quechan people, worthy of protection from hard rock mining. After battling the mining company for nearly fifteen years, it is good to have this decided. We encourage Glamis (now GoldCorp) to take immediate steps to put the matter behind all of us."
Such steps could include GoldCorp not appealing the decision and abandoning or otherwise relinquishing its mining claims so that the existing withdrawal of the area from new mining claims would absorb the area proposed for the mine. Glamis must also pay two-thirds of all proceeding costs.
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
Photos by James Clark, Megan Hope and Enid Godtree.
1. Thousands of Tamils converge on Toronto's Gardiner Expressway on May 10th for almost 4 hours shutting down a key artery in the City's road network. The protest was part of a series of actions in Toronto contesting the war in Sri Lanka and the Canadian governments actions or lack thereof.
2. People get a unique view of a section of the City normally over-run with cars going 80 kph. Tamils had previously shut down major sections of the City including a 4 day protest on University Ave.
3. One of many Tamil Tiger flags at the event. Tiger supporters were prevalent amongst the protesters, many of whom were calling for a separate Tamil state in addition to an immediate ceasefire.
4. Police tactics at the event were relatively non-confrontational. Protesters were allowed to come and go from the ramp and bring in supplies (coffee,food, blankets). Protesters who biked to the event to join the demonstration created the rare sight of bikes locked up to the guard rails on the Expressway.
5. One of many vigils. Protesters were totally peaceful.
6. Toronto Police, OPP and RCMP were called into the protest. Police discussing tactics with other units.
7. Riot Police form at one end of the protest.
8. A small group of police begin beating protesters before other police order them to stop. 4 are arrested.
9. Tamils agree to end the demonstration peacefully and march to Queen's Park (the Ontario legislature)...but not everyone gets away unscathed.
10 days later, the Sri Lankan government declares a conventional victory over the Tamils. The leader of the Tamil Tigers is declared killed.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - On Sunday, April 26th, 2009, a final march was held in protest of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank representatives' meeting. A weekend of demonstrations and direct actions was held to demonstrate people's anger at the policies of these financial institutions, as well as the recently allocated $1.1 trillion bailout to the IMF by the countries of the G-20.
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.
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.
Criminalizing Indigenous Rights in Canada
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. 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).
Farmers in West Bengal, India have pushed Tata Motors off agricultural land.
"The West Bengal government acquired 1,000 acres of land for the Nano project in 2006.
"At least 10,000 farmers accepted compensation for their land, but approximately 2,000 of them rejected it as inadequate and demanded 400 acres of land be returned.
"'You cannot run a plant with police protection, you cannot run a plant when bombs are being thrown, you cannot run a plant when workers are being intimidated,' Tata said."
Shawn Brant has had 7 of the charges against him dropped by the Ontario Crown.
He has plead guilty to 3 of the other charges against him and according to CBC will "receive a sentence of time already served in pretrial detention, plus a 90-day conditional sentence to be spent on his reserve."
A presentation made in August of this year in Napanee, Ontario by Brant's lawyer, Peter Rosenthal, warned that Brant was going to expose police actions if taken to trail including alleged illegal wire tapping by the OPP and the reversal of previously granted immunity.
The crown was seeking a 12 year jail sentence for Brant.
*Correction: In the original edit of this posting, Peter Rosenthal was incorrectly said to have made a presentation in Caledonia. The presentation was in Napanee.
The past month has been a hotbed of indigenous social justice activity in Ottawa. The Algonquin community of Barriere Lake has organized and carried out several actions alongside local organizers and ally groups.
On June 26th, 2008 a dozen Algonquins and supporters occupied the office of MP Lawrence Cannon, Stephen Harper’s Quebec Lieutenant. Cannon is the also the Minister of Transportation and MP Responsible for the Pontiac Region in Quebec, in which Barriere Lake is located.
“We came here today to demand a meeting with the minister,” said Acting Chief Benjamin Nottoway in front of the MP’s office in Buckingham, QC. His demand of the minister was “to call for a leadership reselection in our community. We hope to get a response by today, or we will stay here as long as it takes.”
The aboriginal activists and allies unfortunately could not stay, as by five in the evening they were forced to leave the office. Six were arrested, detained, and released later in the night, greeted by a crowd of cheering supporters.
The chief’s promise to continue putting pressure on the minister was not in vain as on July 16th almost a hundred members of the reserve of 450 came to Ottawa for a three-day protest and camp-out.
We’re here to demand the minister live up to the promise that he made to us,” said former chief Jean-Morice Matchewan. “They never kept one promise that they made to us,” he continued.
[Andrea from People's Global Action picked up the CoC's petitions at the anti-SPP demonstration and decided to make a few points while offering to deliver them.]
Dear Maude and Staff at the Council of Canadians,
I just wanted to write to let you know that the 10,000 petitions you delivered with great fanfare to the gates of the Chateau Montebello last week are safe. You know, the ones in the three clear plastic bins with the blue lids. The ones featured in that photo on your website ( www.canadians.org).
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.