Archive for June 28, 2007

OTTAWA, June 27 – I am aware of public statements in recent days about intentions to disrupt traffic during the National Day of Action in support of First Nations on June 29.

While these comments have been widely reported they are isolated comments and do not reflect the position of the Assembly of First Nations, or the many First Nations across the country, who have organized peaceful and positive events that are inclusive of all Canadians.

We respectfully urge Canadians not to criminalize First Nations people with respect to the actions they plan to take on June 29 and beyond.

(edit: Phil asks that you don’t fight back against Terrorism.. The same Phil Fontaine who Shawn Brant says told him to do this)

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TORONTO, June 27 – VIA Rail Canada wishes to advise passengers that its services in Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada may be impacted by a possible blockade of rail lines that could be undertaken as part of the National Day of Action on June 29, 2007.

VIA services likely to be affected (in both directions) are the following:

– Toronto-Montréal

– Toronto-Ottawa

– Montréal-Senneterre

– Montréal-Halifax (June 28 departure)

– Halifax-Montréal (June 29 departure)

While VIA has not received any official confirmation of planned actions, and in fact may not receive any advance warning regarding the extent or location of a blockade, we wish to advise passengers who need to travel on June 29 on the above noted services, so that they can make alternate transportation plans if they wish to do so.

VIA will be waving any ticket service charges for passengers who wish to change their travel dates.

VIA and the railways over which its trains operate are monitoring the situation closely and will issue updates as more information becomes available.

VIA regrets any inconvenience this situation may cause its customers.

Customers may call VIA at 888-VIA-RAIL or visit this website for further information.

Courtesy of

Expect ‘fallout’ if violence is used at a planned blockade.

Native warriors across the country plan to keep a close eye on tomorrow’s events near Deseronto in case police attempt forceful tactics to stop Mohawk blockade plans.

The political manoeuvring of Assembly of First Nations Chief Phil Fontaine and other band chiefs to distance themselves from blockades has left the Tyendinaga Mohawks seemingly alone in the runup to the proclaimed native day of action.

“They are not alone,” said one well-connected source outside Tyendinaga. “Warriors from across the country are keeping an eye on it.”

“If violence is used against the people at Tyendinaga or anywhere there is going to be fallout,” he said. “We would not think too highly of (police use of force),” said Rarahkwisere of the Akwesasne Warrior Society, adding it is up to the clan mothers to decide on a reaction. “In the event someone gets hurt, the politics of the AFN go out the window and the grassroots people come together,”

(EDIT: So if we don’t tolerate their terrorism, they will react with more terrorism, but if we do tolerate it, they will of course be emboldened even more and react with more terrorism)

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Native leaders are calling for peaceful demonstrations tomorrow, fearing that whatever public support there is for aboriginals will dry up quickly if the day is marred with violence.

Their call follows threats from Mohawk hard-liner Shawn Brant, right, who has promised to block Highway 401 and the CN Rail line near Deseronto, Ont., in protest.

There are 134 native communities in Ontario and each one is expected to mark the day in its own way.

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The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador has persuaded Quebec’s aboriginal leaders not to organize protests for a day of action designated by its national sister organization.

‘The Oka crisis 17 years ago taught us a lot about how something simple can turn into a major confrontation.’— Chief Stephen McGregor, Kitigan Zibi

“We do not want to blockade bridges, we wish to build some,” Picard said when he made the request last week, warning that “any attempt of blockade or demonstration of civil disobedience will be severely denounced.”

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Staging illegal activities on Friday’s national aboriginal day of action would do nothing but “tarnish” the efforts of peaceful protesters hoping to further the case for improving the lives of aboriginal Canadians, former prime minister Paul Martin said Wednesday.

“I think it’s so important that this day not be marred by illegal activities and blockades,” he said. While most national and regional chiefs have called for peaceful demonstrations on Friday, there are concerns some communities may resort to illegal measures such as highway or railway blockades – acts that could spark confrontations with law enforcement.

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The Kingston Mohawk Support Network (KMSN) plans to hold demonstrations on and near railroad tracks in Kingston.

We will be calling upon our government to respect its historical agreements with First Nations, and to begin to conduct itself peaceably, justly and honourably in its dealings with all First Nations and peoples.

We have chosen the train tracks as the location for this event to demonstrate our solidarity with the numerous road and railway blockades that are being planned by First Nations communities across Canada as part of this National Day of Action.

A big part of celebrating the National Day of Action will be educating the non-native public as they cross the tracks, but equally important is showing the government and First Nations that First Nations are not alone in their fight for justice and the land they were promised.

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