Winnipeg Indigenous And Northern Affairs Office Occupied By Protesters

occupy

CBC News Posted: Apr 14, 2016

Protesters at INAC office on Hargrave Street call for help for First Nations in crisis

Protesters have occupied an Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada office in downtown Winnipeg.

“We have officially occupied INAC in Winnipeg in support of our brothers and sisters across Turtle Island!!!!” organizer Raquel Lavallee posted on Facebook.

Protesters say they are taking over the Indigenous and Northern Affairs office in Winnipeg "in support of our brothers and sisters across Turtle Island." (Raquel Lynn Lavallee/Facebook)

Protesters say they are taking over the Indigenous and Northern Affairs office in Winnipeg “in support of our brothers and sisters across Turtle Island.” (Raquel Lynn Lavallee/Facebook)

A similar occupation took place in Toronto on Wednesday when about 20 members of Idle No More and Black Lives Matter set up in an Indigenous and Northern Affairs office there, demanding the federal government take immediate action to address recent suicide attempts in Attawapiskat First Nation in northern Ontario.

Protesters started that occupation with a die-in on the floor of the office, before holding a ceremony that included the burning of sweetgrass and sage.

They said they were standing in solidarity with the Attawapiskat community, which declared a state of emergency Saturday following reports of 11 suicide attempts in one day alone last weekend.

There are also reports of more than 100 suicide attempts and at least one death since September in the remote community of nearly 2,000 people.

Other First Nations dealing with recent suicides include Pimicikamak and Shamattawa in Manitoba.

First Nations across Canada need better funding and a commitment from the federal government to address the poverty, overcrowded housing, and other issues, the protesters in Winnipeg say.

It’s time … to honour our commitments of healing and reconciliation in Canada,” said Ko’na Cochrane, who heard about the protest and drove to the INAC office on Hargrave Street, between Ellice and Cumberland avenues.

INAC protest

Ko’na Cochrane drums on Thursday outside the Indigenous and Northern Affairs office on Hargrave Street in Winnipeg. (David Gaudet/CBC)

She drummed, sang songs and performed a smudge on the street in front of the office, where the protesters could see from a second-storey window.

“Canada has a serious problem and they need to deal with it in a big way. The population of indigenous people in Canada have had enough.”

Lavallee posted on Facebook that it has been peaceful but asked supporters to bring protesters water and food.

“Well we are doing fine up here. The security is being very friendly,” she wrote.

“The police are outside, we were told they were called only because there was concerns about our smudging.”

Protesters have set up inside the Indigenous and Northern Affairs office on Hargrave Street in downtown Winnipeg. (Raquel Lynn Lavallee/Facebook)

Protesters have set up inside the Indigenous and Northern Affairs office on Hargrave Street in downtown Winnipeg. (Raquel Lynn Lavallee/Facebook)

Protesters can be seen in the window of the Indigenous and Northern Affairs office at 365 Hargrave Street in Winnipeg on Thursday. (Dave Gaudet/CBC)

Protesters can be seen in the window of the Indigenous and Northern Affairs office at 365 Hargrave Street in Winnipeg on Thursday. (Dave Gaudet/CBC)

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INM And BLM Protesters Occupy Toronto Indigenous And Northern Affairs Office

A protester stands on a desk in the Indian and Northern Affairs Canada office Wednesday. Protesters occupied the office to urge Ottawa to address the Attawapiskat, Ont., suicide crisis. (Facebook / Idle No More Toronto)

A protester stands on a desk in the Indian and Northern Affairs Canada office Wednesday. Protesters occupied the office to urge Ottawa to address the Attawapiskat, Ont., suicide crisis. (Facebook / Idle No More Toronto)

Idle No More, Black Lives Matter protesters occupy Toronto Indigenous and Northern Affairs office

CBC News Posted: Apr 13, 2016

Protest to urge government action during Attawapiskat suicide crisis has been non-violent, say police

Protesters have been occupying the Toronto office of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) since mid-morning, demanding that the federal government take action following a recent spate of suicide attempts in Attawapiskat First Nation in northern Ontario.

Toronto police who arrived after 10:45 a.m. ET Wednesday say protesters removed a Canadian flag from the office, but that the protest has been non-violent.

As many as 20 protesters entered the office about 10:45 a.m. ET. (Facebook / Idle No More Toronto)

As many as 20 protesters entered the office about 10:45 a.m. ET. (Facebook / Idle No More Toronto)

As many as 20 members of Idle No More and Black Lives Matter flooded the office at Yonge Street and St. Clair Avenue East.

They say they are standing in solidarity with the Attawapiskat community, which declared a state of emergency Saturday following reports of 11 suicide attempts in one day alone last weekend.

Attawapiskat map

Protesters refuse to leave the premises until INAC officials speak with them directly.

“We would like to hear that they are doing more than just sending social workers after the fact. There are so many issues at stake,” protester Carrie Lester told CBC Toronto by phone.

“We’re prepared to stay as long as it takes,” Lester said. “Once we have got that determination … then, we are fine to go.”

Officials from Health Canada said on Tuesday afternoon that 18 health workers, mental-health workers and police were being dispatched to support the Attawapiskat community.

“Our government wants to assure First Nations that we are personally and directly engaged in the recent states of emergencies that have been declared,” reads a statement by Health Minister Jane Philpott.

Lester said it is not enough and protesters want to see the federal government taking more action.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/protesters-occupy-indian-northern-affairs-office-1.3533662?cmp=abfb

4 Arrested, 1 Released In Minneapolis After Shooting Of 5 Black Lives Matter Protesters

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Masked Gunmen Open Fire on Black Lives Matter Protesters One Block From Police Precinct. Photo: stare-me-down

By Red Power Media, Staff

4 Arrested, 1 Released after masked gunmen shot Five people near Black Lives Matter encampment

Racial tensions boiled over Monday night when several men shot five people near the Black Lives Matter encampment at the Fourth Precinct police station in north Minneapolis.

The victims, all black men — ages 19 through 43 — were taken to hospitals with noncritical injuries, according to police.

The shootings occurred at 10:45 p.m. on Morgan Avenue N. about a block north of the precinct station.

Black Lives Matter demonstrators have camped the Fourth Precinct for more than a week after 24-year-old Jamar Clark was shot dead by a police officer during a scuffle on November 15.

The fatal shooting of Mr. Clark has led to a series of tense standoffs outside the Fourth Precinct police station.

On Tuesday afternoon, NBC News reported two men have been arrested.

The search for other suspects continued.

Initially, police had said they were hunting for three white suspects.

Activists said the shooters were white supremacists wearing ski masks and bulletproof vests, yelling racial slurs, before shooting several bullets into the crowd, striking protesters in the legs and arms.

Minneapolis’ Black Lives Matter group were among dozens claiming on Twitter that the shooters were “white supremacists.”

“What happened last night was a planned hate crime,” the group said in a statement Tuesday.

Asked about the allegations swirling on social media, Minneapolis Police Department spokesman John Elder said it was “way too early in this investigation” to make a statement about claims the shooters were white supremacists.

“I have heard a dozen different theories, and as part of our investigation we will investigate every one of these until we can ascertain which one is applicable,” he told NBC News.

Black Lives Matter Minneapolis chided the police Tuesday for not protecting protesters.

“We reiterate that we have zero faith in this police department’s desire to keep us safe,” the group said.

UPDATE:

1 of 4 shooting suspects released

The Star Tribune reports Minneapolis police said they arrested a 23-year-old white man in Bloomington at 11:20 a.m. Tuesday.

The second shooting suspect, a 32-year-old Hispanic man, arrested in south Minneapolis at 12:05 p.m. has been released.

About 2:30 p.m., two other men turned themselves in, police said, saying they were white, one age 26 and another age 21. They were being interviewed by investigators, officials added.

On Tuesday afternoon, Black Lives Matter Minneapolis held a rally outside the Fourth Precinct police station before gathering several hundred protesters to march to City Hall in downtown Minneapolis. Another large group of activists remained outside the police station.

After the arrest, Mayor Betsy Hodges said she is proud police are making arrests in “last night’s abhorrent shooting.”

“We are sparing no efforts to bring any and all those responsible to justice,” Hodges added.

Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau said on Twitter that the officers are “true professionals” and noted that “MPD worked nonstop through the night to bring justice in last night’s shooting.”

Palestinians and #BlackLivesMatter activists unite for Bay Area direct action

Protesters chained themselves to the entrances of the Oakland federal building on Friday. Activist Reem Assil is on the left. (Charlotte Silver / The Electronic Intifada)

Protesters chained themselves to the entrances of the Oakland federal building on Friday. Activist Reem Assil is on the left. (Charlotte Silver / The Electronic Intifada)

Submitted by Charlotte Silver on Sat, 01/17/2015 | Electronic Intifada

Before the sun rose on Friday, a couple dozen activists had chained themselves to the doors of the Oakland, California federal building with the intention of shutting it down.

With their arms linked together with plastic tubes, each protester standing in front of the main entrance of the federal building displayed a sign stating their nationality’s solidarity with Black resistance.

Representing Palestine to Syria, the Philippines to Korea, these activists declared their support of the burgeoning uprising that is pushing back against what they describe as the racist violence of the police and criminal justice system in the US. Activists also asserted that they are linking their movements together.

“My role as a Palestinian American is inextricably tied to the Black struggle and it is imperative to stand side by side to fight racist wars,” protester Reem Assil told The Electronic Intifada as she was chained to the building’s entrance.

“I am sending a message to my government and to our community that we support Black resistance unequivocally.”

The direct action was planned in concert with a host of actions planned to take place throughout the Bay Area and the United States this weekend in an effort to reclaim the annual birthday commemoration of civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The action was planned to last precisely four hours and twenty-eight minutes, representing the length of time that 18-year-old Michael Brown was left dead in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri last August after police officer Darren Wilson shot him at least six times, including twice in the head.

As Rania Khalek has reported, there are “growing bonds of solidarity between the Black American and Palestinian liberation struggles, which have intensified” since sustained nationwide protests calling for racial justice began in Ferguson after Brown’s killing.

“Reclaiming militancy and internationalism”

In response to a call from Ferguson Action — a social movement that began in Ferguson but organizes nationally against police violence — activists around the country are staging protests and direct actions to re-assert the radical vision of Martin Luther King Jr., which they say has been whitewashed over the years.

Friday morning’s action in Oakland was organized by Third World Resistance, an ad-hoc coalition of San Francisco Bay Area groups that came together for this weekend.

Third World Resistance was spearheaded by the Arab Resource and Organizing Center(AROC) and BAYAN (a group that opposes the dictatorship in the Philippines), and includes the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, the Haiti Action Committee, the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network and many more local organizations representing Korean, Chicano, and Vietnamese communities in the US.

“For MLK weekend, we are reclaiming the militancy and internationalism that was the hallmark of the last phase of Dr. King’s life,” a statement handed out by the group said.

Coalition building

Protesters chanting “I believe we will win” after successfully blocking the entrances to the federal building for four hours and twenty-eight minutes. (Charlotte Silver / The Electronic Intifada)

Protesters chanting “I believe we will win” after successfully blocking the entrances to the federal building for four hours and twenty-eight minutes. (Charlotte Silver / The Electronic Intifada)

AROC was also responsible for the historic Block the Boat actions at the Oakland Portthat repeatedly prevented Israeli Zim cargo ships from docking in the Bay Area last year. At the time of the Block the Boat actions, Lara Kiswani, the group’s executive director, made clear that AROC was committed to building a long-term movement that would represent a broad coalition of forces.

“We have a long history of working side by side with Black liberation movements in the Bay Area, and today is part of that history,” Kiswani told The Electronic Intifada.

AROC has worked with other community organizations in the Bay Area to oppose the militarization of local law enforcement offices and the surveillance of people of color. Last October they helped persuade the Oakland mayor to discontinue hosting Urban Shield, an annual weapons expo and SWAT training event.

“It is not about taking away from any individual struggle, but about deepening and strengthening our analysis of the US government and its role in repression at home and abroad,” Kiswani explained.

“Connecting the dots”

Third World Resistance was welcomed by the ONYX Organizing Committee, the local group that is loosely coordinating the 96 continuous hours of action planned for this weekend in the Bay Area.

Cat Brooks of ONYX told The Electronic Intifada that she was thrilled to see this coalition’s action kick off the weekend of protest.

“Before Dr. King was murdered, he’d begun to connect the dots between global and domestic violence and the connecting dot was capitalism — across the globe,” she said. “Our allies [who] are organizing have done a beautiful job of articulating that their vision is in alignment with lifting up the Black struggle.”

The protesters who had chained themselves together across the entrances to the federal building had committed themselves to getting arrested if the police escalated it to that point. However, police presence remained minor throughout the morning.

A handful of police officers from the Department of Homeland Security, which maintains jurisdiction over federal property, oversaw the protest and did not intervene at any point.

While the main entrances remained blocked for the duration of the action, organizers redirected federal employees to side doors and alternative entrances. Kiswani said that while employees may be going to work, most people were not accessing the services inside because the main entrances were blocked.

Third World Resistance will reconvene to form a contingency in a final rally and march, scheduled for Monday in Oakland.