The Lead up to June 29

The Lead up to June 29

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John Ahni Schertow
June 27, 2007
 

June 29 is almost here and I thought I would post an overview of what is being planned. First though, I would like to reiterate something, which Wasase recently pointed out in a commnuique: the need to go beyond a day of action.

With respect, one day of action is simply not enough when our struggle is one that spans our entire lives. It has been going on for dozens of generations now–What can we really accomplish in this one day? There is much need to put this in perspective.

Protest has never changed a System or a Nation, especially while that Nation has a long term strategy whereby which they successfully use anything we do against us, at our expense. Meanwhile, if we are limited to these acts alone, then it’s as if we’re playing a slightly twisted zero sum game: because while we continue to ‘lose’, nothing changes for us, so then nothing really gets better, so everything continues getting worse. It’s a vicious circle

This is by no means absolute, but I point this out because, as Noam Chomsky continues to remind us, we are subjects of an Imperial Grand Strategy. Policy in other words…

What is our strategy?

I’m not about to try and make one up here, and experience has taught me that there is no one right plan or way, but as our struggle is a common one, there is a common approach, and an integral part of that is learning from the experience of our ancestors, to see what we must do differently.

If we deny ourselves this, than our actions can only result in “more of the same.” Law and rights are nothing more than scratches of ink on paper, right? So how can there be justice? And how can there ever be freedom and peace when we are stuck in a position of subordinance in a slave-master paradigm? Forever subjects of policy.

To yield sustained results that benefit the land and the people, it is fundamentally necessary to step away from that paradigm, and be truly self-determining people. Again, this is not absolute–there’s definitely no uniform approach here– but it is not enough to ask, it does no good to take, and resistance alone is just resistance…

Even if the heroes of Empire took responsibility and put things right, we would still have to fulfill our own needs, unless of course, we choose to live as complete wards like someone in a coma who can do almost nothing on their own, and who will likely die without external intervention.

We breathe on our own

Restoring our Customs and Traditional Governments, empowering ourselves, working together as people regardless of our differences, defending the land, respecting and protecting the Children, the Women, the Elders and Two Spirits, and acting as sovereign Nations outside of the colonial system… Within our hearts, I believe this is our common vision.

Where does protest fit in that?

I myself see it as nothing more than a tool. Sometimes it’s appropriate to use it, other times it’s not — but the tool does not matter so much as those holding it and how they will use it.. If it works and we don’t get hurt, then great! If it does not, then maybe it needs to be used differently. And if it works against us, then maybe it has to be put down.

Well, we will see what this protest serves in due time. Meanwhile, let us continue to move forward and lay the foundation for future generations — because the problems before us will not be resolved in our lifetimes, nevermind in one day. (If it could, it would have been done already)

Respectfully
Ahni.

Preparations for June 29

(I’m certain there’s more than this planned, but this is all I could find right now.)

Traditional land ‘destroyed’; First Nations take fight to Toronto, locals prepare for day of action
Activists from two Northern Ontario First Nations groups erected a nine-metre teepee on the front lawn of the Ontario legislature Monday, four days before a planned national aboriginal day of protest…

Protest to highlight forgotten Lubicon
One of Canada’s most notorious native land-claim disputes will be brought to the provincial legislature on Friday as part of a national day of protest. The Edmonton-based Friends of the Lubicon Alberta plan a demonstration to draw attention to the century-old dispute between the federal government and the [500]-member band, who live 100 km east of Peace River.

Blockades from T.O. to Montreal expected
A crucial highway and rail line that moves tens of thousands of people daily around Central Canada will be subject to a crippling blockade on Friday, a spokesman for the Tyendinaga Mohawk reserve in Eastern Ontario says. The protesters are considering shutting down the CN Rail mainline that runs between Toronto and Montreal, as well as Highway 401, as part of the national day of action called by the Assembly of First Nations.

Prentice denies protest threat prompted land deal
Indian Affairs Minister Jim Prentice is denying reports that a recent land claims settlement with Manitoba’s Roseau River First Nation was an attempt to quell anger during the national aboriginal day of protest on June 29. During an appearance on CTV’s Question Period, Prentice said the 75 acres of land granted to the Roseau River First Nation last week was a result of long negotiations — and not mounting threats.

Regional Events: Solidarity with First Nations Peoples
1. Student/Youth March and Gathering, June 29th, Queen’s Park, Toronto
2. New Credit/Council Fire March and Gathering, June 29th, Harbourfront, Toronto
3. March of Solidarity with the First Nations Peoples, June 29th, Montreal
4. Picket and Demonstration, Anti-Canada Day, July 1st, Montreal

Solidarity Protest in Guelph
A rally is planned for St. George’s Square on Friday, June 29 at 5 p.m. to support Aboriginal land rights and sovereignty. It’s organized by the Guelph Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement

SFN joins day of Action
The Saugeen First Nation will be holding a Solidarity March at 11 a.m. on June 29, starting at the band office and ending at the burial grounds at the United Church. The day is intended to educate the public about the conditions Aboriginal people face and how governments have dealt with those issues. Kahgee invites everyone to join in the march, and said it will be a peaceful day. He hopes people will join in pressuring the government to start doing better, legally and morally, for Aboriginal people.

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