Friday, June 29, 2007

Solidarity schism

Well the blockades are up, and Shawn Brant is flaunting the fact that he has firearms ready in the camp.

I see some bloggers are not overly enthused about the AFN's National Day of Action, but I think we need to differentiate between the hotheads like Brant, and the other more peaceful protesters.

In fact, National Leader of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples Patrick Brazeau was on CBC Newsworld this morning, attempting to make it clear that the majority of First Nations chiefs and aboriginals do not condone Shawn Brant's actions.

Seriously ladies, would any of you really have a problem with Chief Brazeau protesting in your town? Another great link here - Native leaders divided on use of blockades. (H/T Jack's Newswatch).

* * * *

Update: Just caught an interview on Newsworld with Shawn Brant. He and Fantino are obviously not the best of friends. He said that Fantino accused him of using the deaths of aboriginal children as a way to further his agenda. Brant told reporters that this is intensely personal for him because his wife lost a pregnancy of two twin girls due to an 'accident' while drawing water from a well. So he obviously blames the ROC for the loss of his two infant daughters, due to the fact that they had no running water and his pregnant wife had to go and haul water from a well.

While giving the interview, his supporters were milling around in the background with bandannas covering everything but their eyes. Why the bandannas? Why wouldn't they be proud enough to show their faces?

Road closures: If you're travelling to an Ontario cottage today, maybe better read this first.

9:05 a.m. Newstalk 570 has just reported that a deal has been reached between the natives and OPP to reopen the 401. Details to follow.

Star - It's official - Deal reached to reopen 401.

Star - Protest leader happy with results.

OPP Road Closures site here - Not sure how up to date it is.

* * * *

Major Update: Brant says he'll turn himself in at the end of the day - CBC. I believe the charge is mischief.

Stephen Taylor - Day of Action a Success?

Lots of opinion here at CBC - Your view.

Patrick Brazeau's blog here!

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Saturday Update: Fantino's tactics explained here - How police stared down natives.

The template for police negotiations is generic, Dr. Webster said, but there are unique dynamics in dealing with aboriginals.

“This is Canada's dirty little secret, how aboriginal people have been treated. I've told police before, ‘The best thing you can do is cross the line and stand over there with them.'”


Anonymous said...

Clearly Brant's crew are asking for a confrontation.

Clear also that his band may not be representative of all First Nations today, HOWEVER, what's our government doing about it??

McGuinty's paying lipservice.

Fantino's out front leading. Fantino for Premier!

I think that Via and any individual whose loses money because of the blockade should charge their loss to Brant and his thugs.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Yeah, McGuinty said something about it not being a provincial issue. Funny how the problems are usually here though.

Anonymous said...

"I think that Via and any individual who loses money because of the blockade should charge their loss to Brant and his thugs."

Are you kidding?...There is going to be lot's of lawsuits from different law abiding private enterprises who could not get their J.I.T (Just in time) goods to their promises delivery times and lost of passager business (Via, Greyhound etc...) but these lawsuits will be sent to governments and in the end, YOU AND I WILL FOOT THE BILL YET AGAIN!!!

I hate this wimp of a country more and more every day...

As an aside, looking at this, I would now be tempted to start creating my own National day of protests (Using blockades) for issues like these:

- Abolishing the Senate
- Significantly Reduce taxes/reduce the size of Governments : Why pay so much tax for a country who can't even enforce the law? Or deliver a decent healthcare system?
- Close down the CBC

If the cops issue a warrant and/or threatens to remove us and our blockades or for my arrest we'll just tell them we are armed and ready...
Who's with me???

(*Cricket sounds*)

'Thought so...

jckirlan said...

LOL AHAHAH Well said #3.
Were peacekeepers and lovers here. Not fighters.
We won't even fight for our land , culture or boarders.
There is nothing left for this country. Time to "lie back and think of England".
Maybe John McCallum( which way to Dieppe?) and his ilk with the glorious and proud Canadian history of the Norway invasion and the Vichy ridge in their sailscan go and show some leadership.
Yeah I didn't think so either.

Gabby in QC said...

" ... he obviously blames the ROC for the loss of his two infant daughters, due to the fact that they had no running water and his pregnant wife had to go and haul water from a well."

I don't mean to be heartless for his loss, but his "reason" begs the question: why didn't Mr. Brant haul the water from the well himself, instead of letting his pregnant wife do it?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

why didn't Mr. Brant haul the water from the well himself, instead of letting his pregnant wife do it?

Exactly. No doubt that there should be running water available in any community in Canada, but there are lots of things you shouldn't do when you're pregnant. Heavy lifting is one of them. You ask for help.

Kelly said...

My daughter and friends have planned a trip up to Algonquin Park this weekend. I phoned her to tell her to check the roads that might be closed before she leaves. She angrily wondered why the natives are striking out against the people who live here and not the government themselves. She wondered what they are thinking by making people angry enough that they are now against them and not for them.

She also mentioned that the reserves should be done away with and in its stead, create communities like they have in Toronto so that you don't lose your culture. Too long has the government given hand outs instead of a hand up. More native people need to take advantage of the free education that they are given to get a good job and better their environment/standard of living.

I agree with her. The government needs to get a backbone and say enough is enough. We are ALL Canadians and we need to live under the same rules and regulations. What's done is done and we can't go back. Start anew.

Neo Conservative said...

"Hours later the OPP issued an arrest warrant for protest leader Shawn Brant on a charge of mischief."

It's like these thugs went out and egged somebody's house.


Joanne (True Blue) said...

Well said, Kelly.

Good editorial in today's Globe along somewhat the same lines.

The Reserve system just isn't working.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I also like the phrase used in this editorial by Dan Gardner of the Ottawa Citizen - "And nothing is better suited to crushing the human spirit than abject dependency".

How true. It destroys self esteem.

Anonymous said...

Any group who compells business's to close shop, hinder the nations freedom to move, advertises their ability to exercise leathal force , and threatens physical violence is a terrorist organization.

No Canadian reguardless of nation , colour ,sex , or creed should be excempt of penalty when freedoms or lives are threatened by any extremist element.

The laws against such action needs to be enforced , and if violence ensues the military should be engaged to enforce conditions of peace. These insurrecting criminals need to be brought to justice.

Timothy Coderre

PGP said...

Do you suppose that Brant may have been hoping for an escalated confrontation? Bet on it! To me his rhetoric has been indicative of that intent.
I suppose that by diffusing the situation the OPP managed this incident successfully. But, since when is the duty of the police complete when they have diffused a situation?
The fact REMAINS that laws have been broken and there is apparently not going to be any consequences for a number of people who did so.
Aside from Brant being charged with mischief there remain quite a few breaches of law that are seemingly not being addressed!

This is no resolution ..... more like a 'Time Out'!

SouthernOntarioan said...

Good point pgp, but I'm pretty pissed off at Fantino right now for all the ignoring he's been doing.

People have a right to protest, but that right ends when they violate other's rights, which has been done. The move to close the rail lines was done to disrupt the Canadian economy, an act against the government and against all Canadians.

The OPP should have been prepared to disrupt the protests as soon as people started moving towards the site. Don't wait until they are set up, have police tailing these groups and arresting them before they arrive.

Don't tell me they couldn't have because these people were bragging days in advance of their plans.

Gannyaa said...

Some bloggers appear to be ignorant, and see only the drunken stereotype of Indian. That Christian Catholic blog doesn't seem to even follow it's own creed, nor show compassion.

My family today has been torn apart by the government of Canada, yesterday, and the generation of my great grandmother. It hasn't stopped.

"To disrupt the lives of other Canadians who have actual jobs, and whose extorted tax dollars keep said Indians in booze, smokes and junk food. Not to mention free everything else, including university educations they don't bother getting."

Of course "some bloggers" overlook the doer's, instead perpetrating hate and a lie. I support Patrick Brazeau, and would like to see change. His blog is the voice that needs to be heard.

If a people truly believed in their government, they would support this change from ignorance to truly a peaceful and progressive relationship. Continue with past behaviour and expect the government to deal with Aboriginal issues, is like passing the buck.

Where are the people who will console the women in my family after all their children have been taken away and placed in far distant provinces or countries?

Would you not like some compensation for damages? Those of us who do receive the little monies in the form of medical, dental and education funds, find that we can take care of ourselves, when the resources (money grows in trees, rocks, fish) are returned, our families reunited.

Standing up for one's right's, one's culture has never been against the universal law. Canadian law on the other hand, changes according to the government needs to control it's non-citizens.

Who will stand up for our women? Shawn Brant, and Patrick Brazeau both appear too, just in different ways. Fighter's (police) are supposed to keep the peace, not peg off indians and create more of an outrage.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Fighter's (police) are supposed to keep the peace, not peg off indians and create more of an outrage.

Very eloquent comment Gannyaa, but this last line accents the fundamental difference. Some Canadians see police as law-enforcers, and not just peace-keepers. Fantino obviously sees his job as one to make sure nobody gets injured or killed; whatever it takes.

Anonymous said...

Casino Blockades should go up every time one of our roads or rails is blockaded - aboriginals would quickly end their blockades if it cut into their cash cows.

SouthernOntarioan said...


No offence intended but you are deliberately ignoring the fact that many of our families came to Canada with nothing but the shoes on our feet and clothes on our backs.

Refugees from eastern European countries conquered by the Nazis in the 30s, or from Vietnam after the tragedy there, or even more recently from Cambodia after the genocide there.

No one compensated us for the lands we lost back home, and generally no one even had sympathy for us here once we arrived. We had to work doing the jobs that no one else wanted and work our way up.

You speak of families ripped apart, and well do we know it. Because not everyone can escape the horrors we fled, and some were left behind and lost forever.

Native families that endured the crimes you spoke of are in the process of receiving payments in compensation and an apology for the crimes they suffered.

But who will compensate the sex slaves whom the native groups traffic through reserves such as Walpole Island though? (see the 2003 report to the Library of Congress on "Nations Hospitable to Organized Crime and Terrorism") Will those bands take financial responsibility for their crimes? Not likely.

I may make mention of this example a lot because my family grew up in the area nearby this reserve and know a bit about the dark secrets there.

My point is not to minimize the suffering of aboriginal peoples but to show why some people from particular areas are less sympathetic to native claims.

Mac said...

gannyaa, I'm not sure how to say this politely but I'll try as best I can. Your points are all designed to evoke emotional responses so you can claim the victim's role. Perhaps others are taken in by this but I'm not buying it.

Perhaps I should weep and claim to be a victim too? Oh poor me! The government steals my tax dollars and give billions every year to the reserves!

Governments (past, present & future) try to deal with so-called First Nations issues but until natives take control of their own lives, the problems will never be resolved. Taking control means abandoning the "blame game" and embracing self determination.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Good points, Mac. Chief Patrick Brazeau is a powerful example of a leader who acts with integrity, and urges other natives to do so as well. His blog site is listed towards the end of this post, but Jack's Newswatch has it listed permanently on the sidebar of "Noteworthy Bloggers".

Mac said...

I've read through his blog and he's definitely a breath of fresh air in the native community... long overdue...

Mac said...

Here's an interesting article... Click!!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Mac, thanks for that link!

I'm not done with this topic, BTW. Just biding my time til Canada Day weekend is over.

However, I've been receiving information from an 'unnamed source' and doing lots of reading on this topic.

Patrick Brazeau's earlier post on accountability is an eye-opener too. I've never heard such frank talk from a native leader. He is, as you say, a breath of fresh air.

Gannyaa said...

Thanks for the debate.

This blog and others is a great way to educate each other.


Joanne (True Blue) said...

Gannyaa, I'm so pleased with the civility of this debate. I haven't had to delete any comments yet! Thanks for your involvement.