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Tagged ‘Resistance‘

Fracking Indigenous Country

new-brunswick-oct-7-rally

Photo: Mi’kmaq – True resistance

Big Green, Sun Media and Elsipogtog

Counterpunch

October 22, 2013

By Macdonald Stainsby

 

If anyone doubted that it’s a good thing that Sun News in Canada has been both going broke and also denied the ability to force their way onto Canada’s basic cable system (vastly expanding their audience and getting themselves included in most homes with television subscriptions by default), the racist rantings of Ezra Levant in response to the recent RCMP attack on the Mi’kmaq community of Elsipogtog ought to clear it up.

Moving Beyond Keystone XL

Direct Action on Line 9

Counterpunch

September 04, 2013

by DAVID OSBORN

On the morning of June 20th a group of people walked onto the Canadian energy corporation Enbridge’s North Westover pumping station and occupied the facility. They called this blockade “Swamp Line 9”. The facility is part of what is called Line 9, a pipeline that moves oil west towards Sarnia and the refining facilities there. However, the industry has been engaged in an effort to slowly gain regulatory approval to reverse the pipeline, allowing it to carry tar sands oil east for refining or to the Atlantic coast for export. The pumping station for Line 9 had been shut down for work and remained shut down during the occupation as Enbridge employees were unable to access the site. The direct action effectively stopped all activity at the pumping station until June 26th when the Canadian authorities raided the occupation and arrested twenty people (you can support their legal fund here).

Direct Action and Line 9 Final Draft_html_537a1758

This action came after over a year of growing grassroots opposition to Line 9 and represents another escalation in the climate movement to address the failure of existing political institutions to deal with the climate crisis. It also has had the effect of continuing to raise the profile of the various efforts to move tar sands oil out of Alberta and engage people in Ontario about the issue. Here, outside of Hamilton in Ontario, much like in East Texas, Maine, Washington State, Oklahoma, British Columbia, and elsewhere communities are taking direct action to confront the root causes of the climate crisis.

In confronting the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure we also resist the devastating ecological transformation that occurs in service to markets and profit. In this sense this action, like those taking place across North America and the world, also represent people resisting the transformation of their communities by capitalism, which fundamentally drives the climate crisis with its need for exponential growth, its utilitarian view of the natural world as human-centered “resources” and its value of profit above all else.

Never Idle: Gord Hill on Indigenous Resistance in Canada

Never Idle: Gord Hill on Indigenous Resistance in Canada

March 18, 2013

[A condensed version of this article appeared in the March 2013 issue of The Portland Radicle.]

Radicle: Could you explain how indigenous power is apportioned in Canada and the Assembly of First Nations?

Gord Hill: The AFN is comprised of all the band council chiefs. We refer to them as the “Indian Act chiefs” because the Indian Act is federal legislation that was introduced in 1876 and it was through this act that the Canadian government imposed the reservation system and the band council system and status, like who is a Native. That’s the main thing about the Indian Act, so since then they imposed these band councils and chiefs onto all the reserves. The Assembly of First Nations was established in the early 1980s and it’s a national organization of these Indian Act chiefs. They’re basically a lobby group with the government. They’re a political organization of the Indian Act chiefs.

Editorial: A People’s Movement | Idle No More

Intercontinental Cry

By Jay Taber

Jan 15, 2013

In my recent editorial Anticipating Reaction, I listed some books that Idle No More activists and their supporters might find useful. One of those seemed particularly relevant to Canada’s current First Nations rebellion.

In James Forman’s 1997 book The Making of Black Revolutionaries, the former organizer of the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) — that led the sit-ins against American apartheid, and risked their lives in support of Black communities in Mississippi Freedom Summer — recalled the challenges of working with the established Black elites of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) who wanted to control the activists.

Peaceful Protests Profit from History of Militant Resistance | Idle No More

 

Another excellent analysis of the Idle No More movement by Zig Zag …

 

January 12, 2013

by Zig Zag

Warrior Publications

Warrior at Oka, 1990, standing on top of abandoned & over turned police car.Warrior at Oka, 1990, standing on top of abandoned & over turned police car.

“Unbelievable how chicken the police are to remove these people from blocking the railway. If it was anybody but natives they would have been arrested a week ago.”

Letter posted by Gerry, Jan 2, 2013, “First Nation blockade in Sarnia coming down,” Canadian Press, Jan 2, 2013

Any time there is a significant Native blockade or occupation, there are demands for its immediate removal by angry citizens. During Oka, 1990, and Six Nations 2006, for example, mobs of non-Natives rallied and sometimes rioted demanding that the military intervene to end the disputes.

EDITORIAL: Asymmetrical Warfare

By Jay Taber

Jan 13, 2013

Intercontinental Cry

There was no illusion of collaboration between Ottawa and the Assembly of First Nations on Friday. AFN is wholly dependent on Ottawa for its existence. They are collaborators by colonial design. They may see themselves as making the best of a bad situation, but they are not challenging the system of dominion.

Indigenous Grassroots & the Indian Act Band Council

by Zig Zag

Warrior Publications

January 7, 2013

“Consequently, the leadership of grassroots movements should not be vested in elites or individuals, but rather arise from the the community itself. It is the community members who should meet, discuss, and decide on their course of action. This decision-making power should never be delegated to others, for then the very purpose of grassroots mobilizing would be lost.”

Grassroots fist logo

Debates arising from the recent Idle No More movement have revealed two main interpretations of what comprises the grassroots.  One seeks to exclude band councils, while the other views chiefs & councillors as an integral part of the grassroots, simply by virtue of them being members of the community.  Clearly, we need some basic understanding of what constitutes the grassroots in order to advance our movement.

Idle No More Movement Urged to Remain Grassroots Ahead of Jan 11 Protests

Cross-posted from Warrior Publications
Originally posted on Straight.com
by Stephen Hui, Georgia Straight
Jan 9, 2013

For his part, Hill sees the Idle No More flash mobs, round dances, and blockades that have occurred as “really positive steps” because they’ve mobilized many previously “idle” indigenous people. But the activist argues that if the movement is to gain substantial concessions from the government, it needs to learn from social movements in Latin America that are capable of “paralyzing the economy” of their countries. … “This is disarming the people,” Hill said. “It’s imposing pacifism on them, and it’s dampening their warrior spirit—their fighting spirit—which we need in a resistance movement.”

 

Stephen Harper meeting not the end of Idle No More, local organizer says

Gord Hill (holding the Mohawk warrior flag during a 2010 Olympic protest) says the Idle No More movement needs to stay grassroots to succeed.
Stephen Hui

Although Prime Minister Stephen Harper is preparing to meet with a delegation of First Nations chiefs on Friday (January 11), a long-time indigenous activist says this should not be viewed as a success for the Idle No More movement.

Indeed, Gord Hill told the Georgia Straight the high-level meeting actually represents the co-optation of the grassroots indigenous-sovereignty movement by band chiefs and councils that owe their power to the paternalistic Indian Act. According to the 44-year-old Kwakwaka’wakw author of The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book, the Canadian government has historically used these “elites” to suppress efforts by First Nations people to fight colonialism and oppression.

“I wouldn’t even focus on January 11,” Hill said by phone from his East Vancouver home. “That’s something that the colonial regime and its collaborators are doing, so I wouldn’t even focus on that. People need to focus on the long-term strategy and methods of organizing.”

Hill calls himself a “critical supporter” of the Idle No More movement, which was started in October by four women in Saskatchewan, has rallied around hunger-striking Attawapiskat chief Theresa Spence, and has seen thousands take to the streets inside and outside the country. Although he hasn’t yet joined the ranks of Idle No More protesters, Hill is considering participating in the “global day of action” set to coincide with Harper’s meeting on Friday.

Indigenous Masculinity and Warriorism

Indigenous Masculinity and Warriorism

Intercontinental Cry

By Jay Taber

Dec 29, 2012

The warrior spirit is a vastly misunderstood and misconstrued calling. As the voice of the protector, its authenticity is distorted by militarists and pacifists alike. Those who heed the call in today’s world of warped values and political illiteracy must be prepared to deal with both ignorance and ingratitude.

Indigenous Resistance in Canada

Indigenous Resistance in Canada

Intercontinental Cry

By

Dec 24, 2012

While the non-violent direct action of First Nations currently has broad support across Canada, the history of indigenous resistance in Canada shows that the only time Ottawa has taken First Nations seriously is when faced with economic disruption, civil disobedience or armed self-defense. As First Nations organize in opposition to the Canadian government’s current agenda to terminate their human rights and the environmental protection of Canada’s land and waters, they would do well to reexamine their own history, and how they got where they are today. Aiding them in that effort is associate professor Glen Coulthard, a Yellowknives Dene instructor in the First Nations  Studies Program at the University of British Columbia.