Activist Communique: Spring breezes call in Indigenous rights summer
In early Spring, Idle No More, in conjunction with Defenders of the Land, issued a joint call out for a Sovereignty Summer - to heat up the political landscape across Canada.
This new trend was to really spread the message out and perfect the actions and tactics needed to challenge colonialism in Canada and as far away as Palestine.
This is indeed a wake up call.
From the press release:
"We have shaken the foundations of inequality in Canada, and invited communities to join in a movement for social and environmental justice. We now need many more people to stand with us."
Canada is notorious for its hidden racism and polite, political and social put downs of anyone not within dominant culture.
This truth even more so as Stephen Harper has set his newest term as an Tory vs. Everyone Else mentality.
Excluding Patrick Brazeau for a moment, and where some would argue that Assembly of First Nation Chief Atleo belongs here, too, most Indigenous communities are not on the sunshine list. Or the Harper-cares-hug-brigade to your community.
These days - drawn from a strong history of Indigenous resistance to Canadian colonization - Stephen Harper and Indian Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt can expect a summer facing off against multiple vectors of resistance across Canada.
From the West Coast, resistance is strong around tanker issues and the route of tar sands pipelines through Canada and then to Asian markets.
On the East Coast,there is dissonance over the government's handling into who qualifies as a member of the Mi'kmaq nation.
We saw on SUN TV how members of the right wing media demean Indigenous Struggles.
Examples include making fun of fasting Chief Theresa Spence, who was sleeping for weeks in a tipi because she dared go to a nearby hotel up (gasp) take a shower.
Instead of all the important political spunk around how a Lady in Leadership get treated, don't forget Bev Oda's $16 orange juice.
We also saw the Harper government choose to release its finding on the Attawapiskat audit that attempted to put Spence in a bad light - regardless of whether the report was accurate.
Back to the Sovereignty Summer call out, "The Harper government’s agenda is clear: to weaken all collective rights and environmental protections, in order to turn Canada into an extraction state that gives corporations unchecked power to destroy our communities and environment for profit. Harper is trying to extinguish Indigenous Peoples’ Inherent, Aboriginal and Treaty rights to their territories, because these rights are the best and last protection for all Canadians."
Groups like the Grass Roots Committee of Ontario have been active - especially around the 60s scoop. There is an opportunity for unity here.
After a successful vigil last night to honour the death of Cheyenne Fox (Loon Clan) who fell twenty four stories to her death.
According to their position, their criminal, expert investigators ruled the death of suicide - base on eye-witness account from the people the balcony below and thus could not have seen much of what was occurring above them.
Yes, they might have seen the body go over the railing after it was falling towards them at the behest of gravity, but they could not properly see if Cheyenne was distraught over an issue and if she was approached by someone on the balcony. Or was she grabbed and pushed over the top.
On the other hand, questions remained why were there so many bruises found on her body, some of which others say are far too extensive bruising and found in some areas not related to the impact of the fall.
The members from last night Candlelight vigil are moving forward toward the next big action on June 1, 2013.
So following the call out by Idle No More and Defenders of the land, the will have an action on June 1,2013
On June 1,2013, the Grass Roots Committee will step bravely through the tourist and student crowd during the march, ultimately taking on a section of the Gardiner Expressway.
After speeches will be made,the group will finally make it's way back to Dundas Square.
Now before I head the howl from some of regarding the Gardiner.
In Toronto, in June 17, 1999, about two dozens activists shut down the Gardiner Expressway until their voices were heard.
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