Archive for January, 2009

Six Nations land protectors stop work on Brantford housing project

Posted in Resistance, Six Nations Confederacy on January 23, 2009 by wiinimkiikaa

Protesters stop work on housing project

Posted By SUSAN GAMBLE, BRANTFORD EXPOSITOR STAFF [Ontario]
Friday, January 23, 2009

Workers will be off the job today at the Empire Homes housing development on Conklin Road after native protesters halted the project.

A representative of Empire Homes said the company voluntarily shut down work at the site Thursday and will remain off work today.

Mary Morrello, of Empire Communities, downplayed Thursday’s protest, saying the company is holding talks with native representatives.

“We are totally onside with the aboriginals and understand their plight 100 per cent but we also have a clean title to the lands, so there’s a bigger issue here than us,” she said.

“We wish we could help them but the issue is so big, it’s beyond us.”

Morrello said that, despite some of the catcalls from construction workers Thursday morning, the protest was peaceful.

“The workers were upset because this is their livelihood but the construction superintendent has spoken to the tradespeople. We just want peace.”

Construction workers yelled at about 15 to 20 protesters as a dozen police officers tried to form a line between the two groups.

About 50 to 60 Empire workers left the site, said protester Gene Johns.

“They’re not supposed to be digging here,” said Johns. “This is the third time we’ve been here and they won’t listen.”

Johns said he represents the Six Nations Confederacy and the community.

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Saskatchewan: Native teen escapes cop car, freezes to death

Posted in Cree Nation, Repression, Resistance on January 13, 2009 by wiinimkiikaa

Beauval mayor criticizes RCMP handling of teen’s escape
Calls Mounties’ reaction ‘on the edge of incompetence’

Tuesday, January 13, 2009
CBC News [Saskatchewan]

The RCMP [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] should have notified people sooner about the escape of teenager in custody who was later found frozen to death, the mayor of a northern Saskatchewan town says.

“I would call it on the edge of incompetence,” Beauval Mayor Alex Maurice said.

The 19-year-old from the Canoe Lake First Nation in the province’s northwest was arrested early Saturday morning after RCMP received a complaint of an intoxicated person.

According to police, the man was taken to the detachment in Beauval and when the arresting officer left the man alone for a minute in the back of the car, the man ran off.

Temperatures were well below freezing at the time.

The RCMP said they immediately searched for more than an hour. They then switched gears and started knocking on doors, but there was no sign of the man.

Members of the Canoe Lake First Nation formed a search party the next day and found the body of the man — an apparent victim of the cold — on a snowmobile trail seven kilometres from town.

The man’s name hasn’t been released.

An autopsy has been ordered. It’s not believed there was foul play, police said.

Maurice said RCMP should have notified locals sooner. The man’s family didn’t find out he had been missing for over 12 hours, he said.

If people had known, a search party could have been organized sooner, he said.

“I don’t think he was a dangerous offender or anything, and in the middle of winter, common sense should have prevailed on the part of the RCMP,” Maurice said.

Maurice accused the RCMP of ignoring local trackers who believed the man had walked out of town.

“Within an hour and a half, these Canoe Lake elders and the people who did the search party, within an hour and a half of starting the search party, they found him frozen to death,” he said.

An outside police force will be brought in to oversee the investigation.

Beauval is about 450 kilometres north of Saskatoon.

Manitoba prison trashed in riot

Posted in Repression, Resistance on January 12, 2009 by wiinimkiikaa

Gangs clash in Manitoba prison riot

Jan 12, 2009
THE CANADIAN PRESS

WINNIPEG – Long-simmering tensions between two criminal gangs were behind a riot at a federal medium-security prison in Manitoba, says the Winnipeg Free Press.

The melee Saturday night seriously injured four inmates and damaged a living unit that houses 100 prisoners at Stony Mountain Institute.

The Free Press reports that inmates – some wearing masks – set fires, stabbed their fellows and threw garbage cans at corrections officers, who battled back with pepper spray and displayed their shotguns.

It took almost six hours to bring the rioting inmates under control.

The Free Press quotes sources as saying the mood at Stony Mountain had been tense since New Year’s Eve when corrections officers seized 36 prison-made knives. The penitentiary was locked down for two days at that time.

The sources say the main prison rivalry is between the Manitoba Warriors and the Native Syndicate.

On Saturday, a penitentiary intelligence officer received word something was planned for the prison’s recreational hall, so extra officers were sent in as a precaution, a prison source told the Free Press.

But the planned confrontation was only partly averted. One group of inmates managed to seize control of a kiosk that regulates access to all the cells on one of the living units. That led to a battle with corrections officers who attempted to regain control of the situation.

“Staff had to withdraw. The unit was overrun by inmates,” the source said. “Staff had to use a huge amount of pepper spray. There were fires going and some of the inmates had their faces covered (with balaclavas). They were throwing garbage cans.”

Prison officials have declined to discuss many details of what happened.

But Stony Mountain spokesman Guy Langlois did say Sunday that after gaining control of the living unit, the inmates barricaded themselves inside and blocked off the main entry as well as the emergency exit.

The institution then called in its emergency response team, a unit specially trained to control riots and other disturbances, he said.

The prison, about 25 kilometres north of Winnipeg, is expected to remain in lockdown for at least a few days.

No staff members were hurt. Langlois said the prisoners in hospital appeared to have been stabbed or beaten.

“They’re trying to call this an incident, but it’s a riot,” a penitentiary source said. “The place is trashed.”