The Coalition Venezuela We Are With You (CVEC) passed a resolution on August 12, 2007 calling for the freedom for Shawn Brant, spokesperson for the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte. The fight continues! Below is an announcement of meetings in Vancouver where featured speakers include Sue Collis, Kaheld Barakat, Dustin Rivers, Lindsay Bomberry and Angela Sterritt. Be sure to sign the petition in support of Shawn Brant at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/supporttmt/
WEST COAST SPEAKING TOUR TO SUPPORT THE TYENDINAGA MOHAWKS!
DROP THE CHARGES AGAINST SHAWN BRANT!
THURS NOV 15 @ 6:30 PM
ROOM 1700, SFU HARBOUR CENTRE
515 WEST HASTINGS
Suggested Donation $5-20
All proceeds go to Tyendinaga Support Committee
FRI NOV 16 from 12:30-2:30 pm
UBC, Student Union Building Room 205
Organized by Students for a Democratic Society
Supported by UBC Law Students of Colour United
Information: email email@example.com or call 778.868.1907
With Sue Collis, Lindsay Bomberry, and others TBC
* SUE COLLIS a non-native resident of Tyendinaga Mohawk Territories (TMT).She is the wife of Shawn Brant and mother of two children and is currently on a speaking tour to build awareness on the struggles at Tyendinaga. She has also been an anti-poverty organizer with OCAP in Toronto.
* LINDSAY BOMBERRY is Onondaga Nation, Eel clan of the Haudenosaune Confederacy League of Peace. She is a youth activist, performer, artist and writer and has been involved with indigenous and community politics for most of her life. She is currently training to be a traditional clanmother and maintains a strong voice and presence within the grassroots. She is just returning to Vancouver from the frontlines of the Six Nations Reclamation on Grand River Territory in Ontario.
* KHALED BARAKAT is a Palestinian community activist who was born in Rammallah. He is the editor of the Al-Shorouq Arabic newspaper and also a member of Al-Awda-Palestine Right to Return Coalition.
* DUSTIN RIVERS is a Skwxwú7mesh youth. Fueled by generations of injustice and a legacy to decolonize, he searches for an authentic Indigenous way to create lasting change for his people. He is currently working at Redwire, Native Youth Media.
* ANGELA STERRITT is a Gitxsan, Irish woman who lives and works on Coast Salish Territory. She is a grassroots indigenous organizer, an advocate for indigenous women and girls, as well as an artist and writer.
When Justice Fails, the Tyendinaga Mohawks Block the Rails
The Culbertson Tract was stolen from the Mohawks in 1832 and in 2003, the federal government acknowledged that the Culberston Tract was never surrendered and is Mohawk Land. Although negotiations for the land began, the land itself continued to be exploited by corporate developers and the government issued licenses to gravel quarry operator Thurlow Aggregates to remove over 100,000 tonnes of gravel per year.
In November 2006, the Mohawk community of Tyendinaga reclaimed and occupied the quarry and shut down corporate operations at the quarry. This served as a basis to launch a broader struggle to raise awareness on issues of theft of indigenous land, polluted drinking water, and overwhelming poverty and suicides in all indigenous communities. On June 29th, the Mohawks of Tyendinaga blockaded rail lines running through stolen land for upwards of 30 hours. Dozens of trains were stopped, business as usual in Ontario was ground to a halt, and the Canadian public was forced to consider the reality and struggle of indigenous communities.
As a result of these actions, criminal charges have been laid against Mohawk spokesperson Shawn Brant. Shawn was released on bail in September after having spent more than a month in custody at the Quinte provincial detention centre in Napanee, Ontario. He now faces a total of nine (9) charges and a minimum of 12 years of jail time if convicted, while living under bail conditions including a curfew.
It is clear that the severity of the prison time openly being sought by the Crown indicates the punishment the Canadian state is prepared to inflict on all indigenous people who take courageous stands against ongoing colonial exploitation and corporate devastation in order to defend and protect their land and their communities for future generations.
* Interviews with Shawn Brant
* More than a mine, a metaphor by Naomi Klein, Globe and Mail, May 4 2007
Reprint at: http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/05/04/978/
* Shawn Brant: Another case of Canada's political persecution of indigenous people
* For more information contact the Tyendinaga Support Committee: http://www.ocap.ca/supporttmt.html