GRIS Newsletter #2 - Dec 04 2012

GRIS Newsletter #2
In this one:

News and Updates:

1. Grassy Narrows Blockade: 10th Anniversary --

* interviews with Judy da Silva, Leah Henderson, and Gary Sault,
* stories from Toronto and Kenora,
* a reflective essay on the blockade
* a retrospective slideshow with photos from Grassy Narrows and the blockade

2. The Struggle Against Pipelines and the Tar Sands

* Story: Pipeline Surveyors Ordered off Indigenous Territory
* Story: Duly Warned: Investors in pipeline given letter on behalf of Unist'ot'en
* Reportback: Stopping Line 9: Toronto conference lays basis for mass challenge to tar sands pipeline
* Essay: Tar Sands Pipelines as Bottle-necks against the Consolidation of Power in Canada

Upcoming Events:

1. Wed. Dec. 5: Film Night in Solidarity with Grassy Narrows Blockaders

News and Updates

1. Grassy Narrows Blockade: 10th Anniversary

This past Sunday (Dec. 2, 2012) was the tenth anniversary of the logging blockade in Grassy Narrows Asubpeeschoseewagong First Nation. Events took place across the continent to mark the day (though KW's will be happening this Wednesday -- see below for more info!). Grassy Narrows blockaders themselves held a protest in Kenora, ON. In Toronto, a sacred fire was held outside Queen's Park. You can also watch the Globe and Mail's coverage, who interviewed elder Gary Sault and activist Leah Henderson. You can also listen to Judy da Silva speak about the blockade to the CBC (the show is "Grassy Narrows 10 Years Later", Monday Dec. 3). Charles Wagamese shares reflections on the importance of the blockade in an article, Infernal Wind, Eternal Nodin. And lastly, click here to see a retrospective slideshow with picture from Grassy Narrows and the blockade.

2. The Struggle Against Pipelines and the Tar Sands

The battle against dangerous and destructive pipelines continues across the country, with indigenous communities again on the front lines of land defense and ecological protection. On November 20th, Wet’suwet’en community members occupied B.C. evicted pipeline surveyors; demonstrations took place across the country in solidarity with their stand against powerful energy and investment companies. A solidarity demonstration was held outside the RBC in Uptown Waterloo, though to our knowledge no write-up was made. See below for two stories covering the actions elsewhere.

Toronto Media Co-op -- Pipeline Surveyors Ordered Off Indigenous Territory

by Unis'tot'en Camp, Nov. 21, 2012
On the evening of November 20th, 2012, Wet’suwet’en Chief Toghestiy intercepted and issued an eagle feather to surveyors from the Can-Am Geomatics company who were working for Apache’s proposed Pacific Trails Pipeline (PTP). In Wet’suwet’en law, an eagle feather is used as a first and only notice of trespass. The surveyors and all other people associated with PTP were ordered to leave the territory and told that they are not ever allowed to return to Unis’tot’en land. As a result of the unsanctioned PTP work in the Unist’ot’en yintah, the road leading into the territory has been closed to all industry activities until further notice.

Read full story here.

Toronto Media Co-op -- Duly Warned: Investors in pipeline given letter on behalf of Unist'ot'en
by Hillary Bain Lindsay, Nov. 27, 2012

TORONTO - Dozens of people gathered outside the Toronto headquarters of the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and Jarislowsky Fraser Limited (JFL) today to present the companies with letters of warning.

"This letter is to issue a warning of trespass to those companies associated with the PTP [Pacific Trails Pipeline] industrial extraction project and against any affiliates and contractors infringing upon traditional Wet'suwet'en territory." The letter is signed by Freda Huson, a spokesperson for the Unist'ot'en, a clan of the Wet'suwet'en nation.

Read full story here.

Meanwhile, here in Ontario, the Enbridge Line #9 continues to face community resistance across the province, after having submitted their application for reversing Line 9B (from Hamilton to Montreal), despite repeatedly stating on the record that they had no intention of doing so. As in the previous phase of approval, this process will continue to negate the relevance of treaty rights, either here in Ontario (the path of the pipeline) or in Alberta (the site of extraction), where the right to free, prior and informed consent has not been met by multiple impacted communities. On November 17th the convergence to plan resistance to Line 9 took place in Toronto. We share the story on the conference below, as well as an essay analyzing the importance and the strategy of the fight against the tar sands.

Rabble.ca -- Stopping Line 9: Toronto conference lays basis for mass challenge to tar sands pipeline
By John Riddell, Nov. 23, 2012

The November 17 conference, "The Tar Sands Come to Ontario: No Line 9," was a big success. Three hundred people jammed into a lecture theatre at the University of Toronto for the plenary session. Every seat was taken, more than 50 people stood or sat in the aisles, and an equal number listened from just outside the door.

The unusually large turnout for an educational teach-in shows clearly that there is now a basis for organized public initiatives against the threat of hazardous tar sands oil being piped across southern Ontario and Toronto through Enbridge Inc.'s "Line 9."

Read full story here.

Montreal Media Co-op -- Tar Sands Pipelines as Bottle-necks against the Consolidation of Power in Canada

by anonymous, Nov. 27, 2012

Perhaps more than at any other time in its history, the Canadian state has invested its future in a single massive industrial project. The Tar Sands (1) is increasingly the driver of Canada's economy, a symbol of its national identity, and central to how it seeks to position itself globally in the future. As pipeline projects advance across the continent, there is a pressing need for us to understand how, in opposing the transportation of Tar Sands oil, we have an unparalleled opportunity to disrupt the capitalist political system in this country. This is especially important in Ontario, where presently the movement against the pipelines is weakest.

Read full essay here.


Upcoming Events

1. Wed. Dec. 5, 8PM: Indigenous Solidarity Film Night -- "As Long as the River Flows"

Where: Congrad Grebel University College, Rm. 1300 (University of Waterloo)

For 10 years, Grassy Narrows First Nation (located north of Kenora, ON) has been resisting loggign on their traditional territory by blockading logging roads. They have successfully prevented logging giant Abitibi from logging their land, and continue to battle Weyerhauser as they seek to harvest timber in their territory.

Come watch the film "as Long as the River Flows" and learn about Grassy Narrows' journey and how you can support them in their continued resistance and struggle for the right to manage their territory.

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