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At present, Tyendinaga Mohawk community members are being targeted for their opposition to an expensive new police station, paid for in part by the Federal Government of Canada, as well as their opposition to quarry operations where no adequate environmental assessments have taken place. (Tyendinaga Support Committee)
The Band Council and the Ministry of Public Safety and Security are building a $1.9 million cop shop.
On September 24th, 2008, the new police building was put on hold after community members blockaded the intended site of the building. Such demonstrations took place again on October 29, 2008. (Tyendinaga Support Committee)
Concern over the second quarry operation stems from alarm at the tremendous speed with which this particular quarry has been established and grown in size. These fears have increased in recent weeks as households in the direct vicinity of quarry operations have experienced water problems and collapsed wells for the first time ever. (Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory)
A quote from a reader telling me I am wrong as to what was originally written,
“Regarding the quarry issue, there is no band awarded contract for any quarry on the territory. The police building site servicing contract was awarded to a local contractor. This building was to replace an old Tyendinaga police building that was originally built in 1917 and renovated several times. The building has a leaky basement and mold issues and our officers need a new facility. The band has many priorities including water and replacing old infrastructure and are working diligently to address them in a responsible manner.”
Build-All Contractors is a company owned by Belleville Police Chief Maracle’s brother, and has been awarded the contracts for both the police station and the quarry.
Currently, warriors in Tyendinaga have been targeted with arrest following these mounting criticisms over Band Council operations and spending. This amounts to an unprecedented attempt to criminalize and jail any effective opposition in the community. This is an attack on our families, our children, our culture and the way we think. This has moved beyond a simple community dispute. The federal government is making a final push to eradicate those people who believe in the strength and power of the Mohawk Nation and who will stand in its defence. (Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory)
At the November 10, 2008 action in Guelph a pamphlet was distributed to the public, explaining:
The location, the intersection of Clair Road and Gordon Street, was chosen, because it is a main economic artery on which trucks ship products and natural resources everyday. The day was chosen because it was the same day arrest warrants were being served in Tyendinaga.
In both Tyendinaga and Guelph (and virtually everywhere else) corporate interests threaten the safety of and access to clean water, a fundamental human right. Just down the road from the intersection where the action took place, Nestle Waters has a permit to extract 3.6 million liters of water per year, all for free. This permit was approved by the Ministry of Environment, despite a massive public outcry in Guelph. The Nestle Water bottling facility is the biggest in North America and poses a direct threat to the quality and quantity of water available in Guelph.
In both Tyendinaga and Guelph funding for police is prioritized over the actual needs of our communities. At the intersection where the action took place a new police station is scheduled to be built. This multi-million dollar endeavor comes at the expense of badly needed social services. In Guelph there is no public funding for safer crack kits, very limited addictions counseling services, and the waiting list for affordable housing includes over 2300 households.
As a result of this action Mandy Hiscocks, Yehuda Nestel, Shabina Lafleur-Gangi, Zach O’Connor, and Devin Crawford were arrested and charged with mischief, arson and a variety of other offences. As a result of the ridiculous bail conditions (including being required to live with a surety and obey a 9pm-6am curfew) some of those have been forced from their homes and communities. Some are now living in unhealthy situations. These charges come at a time of increased police harassment and surveillance of activists in our community, and they are a continuation of police attempts to disrupt political organizing in Guelph. The defendants are being represented by Davin Charney who can be contacted at 226-747-2317.
Ways you can help
Donations to the legal support fund for the defendants in Guelph will be split 50/50 between their defense and financial support of the Mohawk Warrior Society of Tyendinaga. Donations can be made by sending a cheque to:
The Central Students Association
Human Rights Office
Room 244, University Centre
University of Guelph
Include HRO – legal defence fund in the memo line
Take a moment to put pressure on the feds who are helping to make the police station happen. We need to tell the Canada state and their agents to:
(1) immediately stop their attacks, and police brutality;
(2) honour Indigenous rights and jurisdictions;
(3) support the Mohawks’ struggle for self-determination; and
(4) get Canada and Indian Affairs out of Haudenosaunee (Six Nations) Territory.
Peter Van Loan, Minister of Public Safety, House of Commons, Ottawa
phone: 613-944-4875 or 1-800-830-3118
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