Sharbot Lake, August 29 – Police take no action
Canada in focus ⬿

Sharbot Lake, August 29 – Police take no action

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John Ahni Schertow
August 30, 2007
 

As it turns out, the OPP did not forcefully remove those at the site yesterday. An hour-long meeting did take place however, between three OPP officers and six leaders of the Ardoch and Sharbot First Nations.

During the meeting, Insp. Garry MacPherson, head of the OPP’s Aboriginal Relations Team, said the OPP lawyers haven’t gone over the injunction yet, so at the moment they don’t have any plans to act. He also said that if it’s determined the OPP must follow the judge’s order, the OPP will warn everyone ahead of time. “We’re not going to sneak in. We’re not going to come in en masse or anything like that” he said.

No offense to the OPP or Insp. MacPherson, but I’m not sure the words can be trusted. In any case, there’s something more important to consider right now…

Why are the OPP even sitting at the table? Where is the Government of Ontario? Where is the Government of Canada? Do they not both have an obligation to be involved in matters such as this?

Let’s not forget that the government is the root cause of this situation. Frontenac’s certainly no innocent third party, they’re just like every other corporation—but the government usurped and then sold the land, and they did not have the right to do this.

The only way they could have had the right is if the Traditional Owners of the land permitted Canada to sell the land, and they were not given such a permission. In fact, Canada didn’t consult them in any sense. Instead, Canada just did whatever the hell it wanted without regard to law or to the People…

And now the government isbeing called upon to step up, and they’re nowhere to be seen. Instead, they’re hiding in the distance behind a bunch of honourable words, hoping the people just magically vanish.

Yes, let’s talk about the law

We often hear from the government about the importance of the rule of law. We’re told that a law that cannot be enforced is not a law, that a Nation-State unable to maintain the law is a lawless Nation-State. Janie Jamieson brought up this very point in her recent speech, when she pointed out how the violent incidents at Gustafsen Lake, Oka, Ipperwash, and Caledonia all occurred in the name of protecting the rule of law.

I wonder though, can the government simply pick and choose what laws it wants to protect and enforce? Because it seems to me, the only reason the invasions/attacks occurred at Oka, Ipperwash, and Caledonia is because Canada illegally usurped the Land. Where’s the rule of law here? But after the usurpation, oh my—the rule of law is suddenly what’s most important.

In the name of the law, Canada demands the people abandon their land, ignore their rights, and to be complicit with the wrongdoing.

This is exactly what’s being expected of the Indigenous People near Sharbot lake right now–and things are right at the point where Canada, the self-proclaimed international champion of human rights, is about to add another tick on it’s internationally-recognized, abysmal human rights record when it comes to Indigenous People.

The rule of law, what? If Canada is so concerned about the rule of law, maybe it should start by setting the example, by respecting it’s obligations to the people, by acting with honour and integrity, by taking responsibility for itself, and in this situation by getting involved and working with the People to resolve it peacefully.

Anything less is by their own logic, unlawful. And threatens the rule of law itself…. unless of course discrimination, theft, and the violating human rights and indigenous rights is somehow legal?

I don’t have anything to say beyond this, but I encourage you to call and write both governments and demand they step in and address this situation responsibly. The OPP should not be sitting at the table. The government should.

Ontario Premier McGuinty’s email is dalton.mcguinty@premier.gov.on.ca (or phone 416-325-1941) and you can email Prime Minister Stephen Harper at pm@pm.gc.ca

From the Kingston-whig – A group of natives and police officers huddled inside a screened tent yesterday to discuss a judge’s order to remove protesters barricading a proposed uranium site near Sharbot Lake.

All eyes were fixed on Insp. Garry MacPherson, head of the OPP’s Aboriginal Relations Team, as he spoke to the group in slow, measured words.

Dozens of non-native onlookers crowded around the tent’s perimeter to listen to the man in the dress shirt and tie and to the native leaders around him.

MacPherson arrived yesterday morning at the scene of the blockade by local Algonquins who have been preventing a uranium prospecting company from entering the site since June 29.

A judge on Monday ordered the Algonquins to leave the site or risk being forced off by police.

MacPherson said OPP lawyers haven’t gone over the written order, which was released Monday, and didn’t yet have any plans to act. If it’s determined the OPP must follow the judge’s order, the OPP will warn the protesters ahead of time, he said.

“We’re not going to sneak in. We’re not going to come in en masse or anything like that,” he told the Algonquins around him.

The hour-long meeting involved three OPP officers, including MacPherson, and six Algonquins, leaders of the Ardoch and Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nations. It was held in the form of a traditional First Nations pipe ceremony and telling circle, a native tradition that is meant to provide courage and encourage people to speak the truth. The person who is speaking holds an eagle feather, which is passed from person to person.

A few metres away, more than 30 cars lined both sides of the road, the vehicles of dozens of area residents and Algonquins who had heard the news about the judge’s order and came to lend their support.

The Algonquins took over the entrance to the site between Clarendon Station and Mississippi Station on June 29, the national day of aboriginal action. (source)

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