Archive for July 3, 2007

As reported on the morning of June 29th, the OPP issued a warrant for the arrest of Terrorist Shawn Brant while he was blockading roads and railways.

I wrote that morning that it was a token warrant which they were failing to enforce. It has been 4 days now, and (suprise) The OPP have not arrested Shawn Brant. I predicted the warrant was issued so the OPP could say they were doing something (besides shutting down the 401) and now they are proving it.

On June 29th, Brant said he was going to turn himself in at midnight. The OPP failed to arrest him despite knowing exactly where he was all day and instead watched as he maintained illegal blockades. At midnight they clearly let him walk away and if asked they would either refuse to comment or say something about not wanting to “escalate the situation” or ” to avoid confrontation “.

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The natives’ national day of protest apparently was devised to make Canadians sit up and take notice of their plight — poverty, health care, education, etc.

However, it might be far more beneficial if natives opened their books to show skeptical Canadians just where all their tax dollars are going and why natives insist they are in such a pitiful state. No one seems to know, or if they do, they’re not telling.

Even national native leader Phil Fontaine, in a CBC interview, sniffed around the numbers. He stated that of $10 billion Ottawa spends on natives, only $5.2 billion “reaches our communities” and that 10,000 people work on aboriginal affairs, at a cost of $2 billion. He didn’t mention where the other $2.8 billion went.

Accountability of native dollars apparently is hush-hush. Try getting answers from native affairs in Ottawa or even your own MP and you come out with zilch.

Read the full story here

DESERONTO, Ont. (Jun 30, 2007)Police were hunting last night for the man who shut down traffic in eastern Ontario and parked $100 million of cargo during the national day of action.

Mohawk Shawn Brant and about 40 supporters shut down Hwy. 401 for about 11 hours, blocked Hwy. 2 and prompted railways to stop trains along the Toronto-Montreal and Ottawa-Montreal corridors.

The blockades captured most of the attention on what was otherwise a peaceful day of protest by natives drawing attention to living conditions on Canada’s reserves. CN Rail’s decision to halt traffic on its busiest Toronto-Montreal line meant a daily average of 25 freight trains and 22 Via Rail trains were blocked.

Brant was unrepentant, saying he’ll do it again.

“This is the first time ever we’ve shut down the 401, and I don’t believe it’s going to be the last,” said a defiant Brant. And he said he won’t surrender to police until sometime next week.

Read the full story here

A few short kilometres from each other on Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, two distinct approaches to the national aboriginal day of action unfolded.On Wyman’s Road, a rickety school bus blocked the CN Rail tracks, part of a protest from a group of Mohawks led by Shawn Brant that saw Highway 401 closed for 12 hours and a portion of Highway 2 closed for the entire day Friday.

At York Road and Highway 2 in Shannonville, meanwhile, Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte (MBQ) band councillor Trevor Lewis handed out information pamphlets.

“If you’re headed east, we’re told Highway 2 is blocked,” Lewis told an agitated Quebec driver. “You can take York Road to Highway 49.”

“The 401’s blocked too,” the driver said. “Why is it blocked?”

“I don’t know,” Lewis said. “We’re not part of that.”

On a day of wildly conflicting approaches to educating the public on First Nations issues, that was putting it lightly. After days of talk in the media, Brant’s group headed to Highway 401 late Thursday evening to block it. But the OPP, anticipating safety issues, shut it down instead between Belleville and Marysville around 11:30 p.m., said Sgt. Kristine Rae. Commissioner Julian Fantino and other officers spoke with Brant throughout the night, “trying to resolve it,” she said.

Read the full story here

The aboriginal day of action has come and gone in Canada and the country is largely better for it. Across the land, native communities expressed their hopes and fears in actions that were, with a few notable exceptions, entirely lawful. Good for them.

But in eastern Ontario, the action taken was not legal but, instead, a violation of the law of the land and the rights of the general public. A small group of native protesters blockaded Highway 401 as well as Highway 2 and the main Canadian National Railway line between Montreal and Toronto. The leader of the natives, Shawn Brant, warned that they were armed with guns and ready to respond violently if provoked. This action, in marked contrast to the other demonstrations, was totally unacceptable. If not checked, it will threaten the civil peace and order of the nation.

Read the full story here

All across the land, native leaders are beating the drums for tomorrow’s National Day of Action. The point of the protests, they claim, is to “educate” the rest of us about the terrible conditions endured by aboriginals. “Poverty among Canada’s first nations peoples rivals Third World conditions,” explains Phil Fontaine, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations. “It’s this country’s dirty little secret.”

If so, it’s the worst-kept secret in the world. You’d have to be brain dead not to be aware of the poverty of the reserves, the awful housing, the bad water, the sickness, the suicides, the hopelessness. People have grown weary of this story because it never changes. Kashechewan and Davis Inlet and Pikangikum all blur together. Those poor children, they say. And then they change the channel.

Everyone is trapped in the narrative we’ve constructed to explain it. The Europeans arrived, wiped out most of the natives, stole their land and tried to stamp out their culture. All the dysfunction of aboriginal communities stems from the original sins of the conquerors. Only the restoration of their land and culture (plus more money) will restore their dignity and fortunes.

We now have a vast Indian industry of chiefs, government bureaucrats, lawyers, consultants and academics that is heavily invested in this narrative. Many of these people are well-meaning. They are also the chief obstacles to change, because their remedies make the problems worse.

Read the full story here