Archive for the Day of (In)Action Category

Mohawk Warriors Block Route 344 at Kanehsatake

Posted in Day of (In)Action, Resistance, Six Nations Confederacy on June 6, 2008 by wiinimkiikaa

Mohawk Warriors Block Route 344 at Kanehsatake

May 30, 2008
by autonome

[Posted to friendsofgrassynarrows.com]

According to the corporate media (La Presse), Mohawk warriors at the Kanehsatake reserve in Quebec cut down trees and set them on fire, blocking Route 344 for several hours on May 29, 2008, in the same location as the main barricade of the 1990 Oka Crisis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oka_Crisis). Sûreté du Québec (Quebec provincial police) officers redirected traffic.

This was the only Native direct action to take place on the same date as the so-called “Day of Action” organized by the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), which is funded by the Government of Canada and is comprised of the Indian Act band council chiefs who administer the band council system imposed on Native peoples by the Canadian government. For more information on the role of the Assembly of First Nations see the article “Resist the Assimilation of First Nations” by Warrior Publications.
(http://www.warriorpublications.com/?q=node/12)

Some had expected action at the Tyendinaga Mohawk reserve in Ontario, where blockades has taken place on the previous year’s AFN Day of (In)Action (DOA). Instead, all was calm.

“We don’t see any need to respond to calls by (National Chief) Phil Fontaine. It’s not our call,” said Mike Brant of Tyendinaga in an interview with the Belleville Intelligencer newspaper. “He gets paid by the government to do his job. I don’t really know what his agenda is.” (http://www.intelligencer.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1049947&auth=W.+Brice+McVicar+and+Jeremy+Ashley)

Last year, the AFN held their Day of (In)Action on June 29, responding to a resolution launched by Chief Terrance Nelson of the Roseau River reserve. Nelson himself called off action on the day, as is explained by Warrior Publications in its “Analysis of AFN’s National Day of (In)Action” (http://www.warriorpublications.com/?q=node/8):

“On June 20, Prentice announced that 75 acres of new reserve land would be added to the Roseau River band, defusing any potential conflict arising from chief Nelson’s threatened blockade. Despite his fiery rhetoric prior to this, Nelson announced there would be no blockades as a result, and that the land would be used to build a gas station, a cigarette shop, and video-lottery terminals. A week and a half prior to this, Nelson had written a letter to the CEO of Canadian National stating that, if both CN & Canadian Pacific Railway helped pressure the government to resolve the claim, ‘Roseau River will not threaten or engage in any railway blockades for 5 years from July 1, 2007, to June 30, 2012…’ (Letter from Terrance Nelson to CN CEO Hunter Harrison, June 11, 2007).”

Nelson had done much the same thing on June 29 of the previous year, 2006, calling off railway blockades at the last minute after the head of CN rail agreed to write a letter to the federal government stating support for First Nations over solving land issues more quickly. Disgruntled Native youth were said to have wanted to continue with blockades anyway, according to an article from firstperspective.ca entitled, “Rail blockade called off: Was pact merely a lull before the next storm?” (http://friendsofgrassynarrows.com/item.php?604F)

The only action to take place on June 29, 2006, was at the reclamation site next to the reserve of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, where a railway line was briefly blocked as it had been previously after a police raid on April 20, 2006, and as was done in solidarity at the Tyendinaga Mohawk reserve. Nelson had called for rail blockades on this day in 2006 inspired by and in solidarity with the struggle at Six Nations and Tyendinaga in a release entitled, “Railway Blockade Set for June 29!” (http://friendsofgrassynarrows.com/item.php?585F). The AFN in turn co-opted this call and turned it into a day of inaction, working with the police and denouncing blockades in 2007.

For more information refer to the following web pages:

https://wiinimkiikaa.wordpress.com/category/day-of-inaction/

AFN DOA: Day of Action, or Dead on Arrival? (Warrior Publications)

http://friendsofgrassynarrows.com/item.php?734F

Advertisements

Tyendinaga update

Posted in Day of (In)Action, Repression, Six Nations Confederacy on July 31, 2007 by wiinimkiikaa

Arson suspected in trailer fire

For: http://www.intelligencer.ca
The Belleville Intelligencer
Saturday, July 21, 2007

A trailer parked along Highway 401 east of Belleville went up in flames Friday morning.

Tyendinaga Township fire Chief Dan Callaghan says firefighters were alerted to the blaze around 6 a.m.

The trailer, which had been parked on the south side of the highway, sported a Mohawk warrior symbol and the slogan “We support our troops.”

The sign refers to Mohawks occupying a Deseronto-area gravel pit as part of a land-claim protest.

Callaghan says an arson investigation is underway.

——————————————————————————————-

Damage to 401 during protest could cost thousands

Samantha Craggs
For: http://www.intelligencer.ca
The Belleville Intelligencer
Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Officials for the Ministry of Transportation report they have no estimates on the cost to fix damage done to Highway 401 during the recent national aboriginal day of action.

But a local expert said repairing road damages can cost thousands.

The June 29 protest, which saw police close a portion of the major highway from Belleville to Deseronto, caused minor damage to the road, most of which has been fixed, said spokeswoman Emna Dhahak.

Sections of a fence were knocked down or removed from three quadrants of an interchange, and two southbound guard rail posts were burned or damaged, she said.

There was a small area of burned asphalt on the paved shoulder and ash debris that was full of nails, she said.

There was also one crushed culvert end and two symbols painted on the structure piers, driving surface and barrier wall, she said.

The symbols will be covered with gray paint this week, she said.

Tyendinaga Township officials have yet to comment on whether damage was done to County Road 2, which was also blocked, said Reeve Margaret Walsh.

While MTO has no estimates yet, the cost of fixing guard rails varies, said Gerry LeMay, Belleville’s superintendent of public works when asked what, typically, such work entails.

A recent guard rail mangled by a car accident on North Front Street cost “a couple of thousand dollars” to fix, LeMay estimated.

With spray paint, “it varies,” he said of what it costs the city.

“It may just be a matter of painting over top of it. It’s just time consuming and a pain.”

The day of protest is not the only cause of local spray paint related to Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory.

“No OPP” can be found along Highway 49.

Recently, someone spray painted “No Indians welcome” on the highway leading in to Prince Edward County, said Chief R. Donald Maracle of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte.

Shawn Brant denied bail

Posted in Day of (In)Action, Repression, Six Nations Confederacy on July 6, 2007 by wiinimkiikaa

Brant denied bail

Samantha Craggs
The Belleville Intelligencer
Friday, July 06, 2007

Not even the honour of Shawn Brant’s mother could keep the Mohawk activist out of jail on new charges of mischief and breach of recognizance.

Brant’s mother Deanna, a retired teacher, took the stand at Brant’s bail hearing Thursday, offering a $50,000 surety that Brant would not plan, incite or participate in illegal protests between now and his court date. But Judge D.K. Kirkland denied bail anyway.

“It would be dangerous for him to be released at this time because he’s said ‘there’s more to come,'” Kirkland said after a nearly three-hour session.

Brant appeared in court seeking bail on the latest in a series of criminal charges, none of which has been proven in court. The earliest stems back to November 2006, when an accidental clash with Canadian military personnel during an otherwise peaceful demonstration near Deseronto led to two charges of assault and one charge of mischief.

Then in April, Brant led a group occupying a Deseronto-area quarry to block the CN Rail line for 30 hours, halting traffic on the busiest rail corridor in eastern Canada. He was out on bail from that charge when he was the voice of a group of protesters who on June 29, the national aboriginal day of action, blocked County Road 2 protesting First Nations poverty, unresolved land claims and high youth suicide rates, among other issues.

That protest also led to the closure of the rail line and a portion of Highway 401. This week’s arrest warrant, OPP said, relates specifically to County Road 2.

Peter Rosenthal, a Toronto-based social justice lawyer representing Brant, argued that conditions now are different from when Brant agreed on May 3 not to plan or participate in illegal protests. For one, Brant has agreed to step back and let native leaders negotiate, Rosenthal said. For another, he would not jeopardize his mother’s word.

“It’s obvious from the testimony that Mrs. Brant is the kind of surety courts look for,” Rosenthal said. “On those grounds alone, you must be satisfied.”

But Crown attorney Bob Morrison was not. Brant’s mother, like everyone else, knew from various media reports that Brant was talking about blocking Highway 401 and did not try to stop him, he said.

Morrison also took Brant to task when he took the stand on his own behalf, bringing up how open Brant was about breaching his May 3 bail conditions.

“You had no intention of ever complying, did you?” Morrison asked.

“Well…” Brant said. “I actually…no.”

Brant said if released on bail, he would not disrespect his mother’s honour “or place her in a position where I did that,” he said. “That’s not who we are.”

At the same time, “I believe we touched people’s hearts” on the national day of action, he said. “I believe for the first time in 125 years, people gave a shit if our kids live or die.”

The questioning took an unexpected turn when Morrison asked Brant to tell him about his house. Brant said he is building a “longhouse for community events,” about 1,500 square feet, with cherry floors, stone walls and wood ceilings using material he started saving seven years ago when he was on social assistance.

Brant appeared in court after a negotiated surrender to Napanee OPP Thursday morning. He arrived in a car driven by wife Sue, which also carried Dustin Brant, 20, who Shawn Brant said will be the new speaker of the quarry group.

“I hope they don’t believe putting me in jail puts the issue in jail,” Brant told media before his surrender.

In court, Brant wore a green shirt and camouflage pants and was cuffed at the hands and feet. He listened quietly from the prisoner’s box as the Crown read his own words back to him, citing various media reports where he said the first Highway 401 closure was “just the beginning.” OPP officers set up a metal detector in the stairwell leading to the courtroom, screening spectators for weapons.

Kirkland said he admires civil rights defenders such as Martin Luther King Jr. But blockades and other such tactics, he said, are Black Panther-style militancy. Granting Brant bail would be undermining the court, and doing so would contribute to “chaos,” he said.

“We do need people to protest,” Kirkland said. “We do need Shawn Brants to protest…Taking the law into your own hands, however, violates the order of society and is the beginning of the escalation of violence upon violence.”

About four rows of the court room gallery were filled Brant supporters, many of whom wore camouflage clothing similar to that worn on the day of action.

“Sago!” (a Mohawk salutation) some of them called to Brant, raising their fists in unison when court was adjourned. Brant raised his fist back as he was led out of the courtroom.

The preliminary hearing will be Aug. 27.

——————————————————————————————-

CN sues Brant and others, again

Samantha Craggs
The Belleville Intelligencer
Friday, July 06, 2007

Canadian National is slapping another lawsuit on Mohawk protester Shawn Brant for blocking its main Toronto-to-Montreal rail line.

Brant is being sued again — making two active civil suits from the corporation — in relation to parking an old school bus across its rail line during the June 29 national aboriginal day of action, CN spokesman Mark Hallman confirmed the suit Friday.

CN is suing for financial damages incurred when rail traffic was cancelled June 29, Hallman said. The amount has not been specified, although CN has said that $103 million worth of freight is carried on the line during an average 24-hour period. CN halted freight operations and embargoed all traffic that day after hearing native protesters had erected an illegal blockade near Marysville, said a statement released that day.

CN also sued Brant — along with Jason Maracle, Tara Green, “John Doe, Jane Doe and persons unknown” — for a 30-hour blockade of the rail line April 20, and another blockade a year earlier. Also included in the recent lawsuit are “John Doe, Jane Doe and persons unknown.”

Hallman stressed the lawsuit was “related specifically to the actions of June 29. We enjoy very positive relations with First Nations.”

No dates have been set for the suit, nor have the allegations been proven in court.

——————————————————————————————-

brant.jpg

Tyendinaga, June 29th, 2007, Assembly of First Nations Day of (In)Action

Blockades on Assembly of First Nations Day of (In)Action

Posted in Day of (In)Action on July 4, 2007 by wiinimkiikaa

Blockades on Assembly of First Nations Day of (In)Action

See also: AFN DOA: Day of Action, or Dead on Arrival? (Warrior Publications)

Despite the Assembly of First Nations’ (AFN) collaboration with Canadian police forces and denouncement of blockades on their National Day of (In)Action, June 29th, several were put into effect in eastern Canada:

Indian Brook, Mi’kmaq Territory – The Mi’kmaq Warrior Society blocked Highway 102 near Enfield, Nova Scotia, but allowed drivers to pass if they payed a dollar to help alleviate poverty and poor health conditions on the reserve. The money is said to be headed towards elders and youth. “Our chiefs and our councilors are raping and pillaging our own people. They’re taking the money and putting it in their own pockets,” said James Pictou of Indian Brook, as quoted in the Halifax Daily News.

mikmaq.jpg

Kahnawake, Mohawk Territory – One lane of traffic blocked for an hour on Highway 30 and Highway 138. March across Mercier Bridge, with Unity/Warrior Flags raised on top of the bridge and traffic totally blocked for about an hour and a half. Corporate news reported that 150 people attended the Mercier Bridge action and that a statement was read disassociating it from the AFN and its leader, Phil Fontaine.

kahnawake.jpg

Kanehsatake, Mohawk Territory – Blockade with trees of Highway 344.

Akwesasne, Mohawk Territory – Mohawk Nation News reported that tires were seized by Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) near the Seaway International Bridge. Corporate media reported that wooden pallets were thrown on the roadway at the foot of the bridge after midnight and set on fire. Akwesasne Mohawk Police officers intervened and say they seized an AK-47 after shots were fired in the air. They also say suspects have been identified and will be charged.

Tyendinaga, Mohawk Territory – CN Rail and Highway 2 blocked. OPP shut down Highway 401 before warriors could. Arrest warrant issued for warrior Shawn Brant.

tyendinaga-401.jpg

tyendinaga.jpg

Wahta, Mohawk Territory – Muskoka Road 38 at Ragged Rapids Road blocked in the morning, about eight kilometres from Bala, Ontario. One lane had been opened at 12:45 p.m. and the entire blockade was removed in the mid-afternoon, according to area OPP.

Six Nations of the Grand River Territory – Six Nations reserve police say 15 masked and camouflaged people blocked the Seventh Line bridge over the Highway 6 bypass. The cops say they were able to clear the bridge and the masked group left and went to the Reclamation Site at Caledonia.

Alderville, Anishinabe Territory – Roads blocked leading to a reserve in Alderville, a town halfway between Toronto and Kingston, Ontario.

Northwest Ontario, Anishinabe Territory – Manitoulin Island and North Shore Natives blocked Highway 17 at the Highway 6 turnoff to Espanola for an hour. 200 people later gathered on Highway 17 at the Serpent River reserve in Cutler and stopped eastbound traffic completely. The OPP reported that a vehicle was parked on railroad tracks, blocking the Huron Central Railway, which runs between Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury.

Aamjiwnaang, Anishinabe Territory – Some 50 people blocked a CN rail spur line near Sarnia in southwest Ontario.

Guelph, Ontario: In support of sabotage, not the AFN

Posted in Day of (In)Action on July 4, 2007 by wiinimkiikaa

Guelph, Ontario: In support of sabotage, not the AFN

[Contributed anonymously to news.infoshop.org]

June 29th: Today a rail blockade was set up in Guelph Ontario, but it failed. This was due to a number of complications, either way no trains were stopped.

Nevertheless, this is the kind of disruption that we strive to create every day, regardless of whether it has been called for by sellout collaborators, individuals or simply for our own joy.

We want to make it clear that we do not support the AFN; the ends that they seek through bargaining with the government, that is responsible for the systematic oppression and exploitation of Native people, our land base, and pretty much every living thing existing on the remainder of this planet.

It is important to act at every opportunity we get to build momentum and community, in order to challenge the powers of the State and Capitalism that are incessantly assaulting our lives.

We do not act on simplistic calls to action (for action’s sake), but use these chances to coordinate our efforts and add to the momentum we are building with others, acting together on our desires to redefine the conditions under which we live. We do this for ourselves and our allies, not for the disempowering political aims of the AFN.

It inspires us to see communities and individuals comming together, employing direct action tactics in a coordinated day of disruption, and acknowledge that inaction is to abandon our allies in today’s actions. Unlike the AFN, we support all acts of sabotage that were created today and continue to inspire us in our own battles.
To the barricades and into the night friends!