Tag Archives: Land Defenders

Manitoba protesters stand with Six Nations, fight promised anti-blockade law

A demonstration along Highway 75 near Morris, Man., lasted roughly 2½ hours on Friday. (Patrick Foucault/Radio-Canada)

More than a dozen people protested along Highway 75 in Morris, Man., Friday afternoon

Demonstrators gathered in Morris, Man., on Friday, standing in solidarity with the 1492 Land Back Lane camp in Ontario and protesting the Manitoba government’s throne speech promise to introduce anti-blockade legislation.

“We’ve come together to protest, to show solidarity with Six Nations in Ontario and Land Back Lane camp,” said Harrison Powder, one of more than a dozen people at the protest on Highway 75 at the south end of Morris.

“Those people have been arrested there … while they’re trying to defend their treaty rights.”

Members from the Haudenosaunee community of Six Nations set up the camp in July on an area of land in Caledonia, Ont., slated to become a subdivision, but which people at the encampment say is stolen, unceded Haudenosaunee territory.

Ontario Provincial Police have arrested demonstrators at the site. On Friday, an Ontario Superior Court judge gave the camp until Oct. 22 to vacate the land before he rules on making an injunction against their presence permanent.

Powder said Friday was a national day of action for communities across Canada to stand in support of the 1492 Land Back Lane camp.

“We’re not the only community [and] we’re not the only groups who are protesting,” he said. “It’s happening across the country right now.”

Demonstration to fight promised anti-blockade law

The demonstration, which lasted roughly 2½ hours, was also a protest of legislation promised by Manitoba’s Progressive Conservative government that would restrict future blockades.

The government announced its intention to bring forward the new law in its throne speech earlier this week, saying the legislation will prevent “illegal protests and blockades,” referring to railway blockades earlier this year.

“There’s no way that this is designed to infringe on anyone’s right to lawful protest,” Premier Brian Pallister said at the time.

But Powder said that’s exactly what the law will do.

“The Charter of Rights guarantees us these rights … in Canada, to be able to protest bills, to express ourselves, to be able to … defend our communities,” he said.

In comments prior to the throne speech Wednesday, Pallister said blockades “take away” the rights of people they impact. Powder said Friday that’s incorrect.

“The most we do is disrupt the public for a few minutes,” he said.

In the case of prolonged blockades like the railway blockades earlier this year, Powder said people fighting government action are sometimes left with no other venue to make their voices heard.

“For us, you know, that’s the only way we get attention sometimes,” he said. “The public won’t pay attention, the politicians don’t pay attention to us, until we do something like blocking the railway. And that’s unfortunate.”

With files from Radio-Canada’s Patrick Foucault

By CBC News · Posted: Oct 09, 2020


Barricades Taken Down Outside Caledonia, Ending Occupation

Land defenders blockade outside Caledonia ends

Barricades erected by Six Nations people near Caledonia have been dismantled, marking an end to an occupation that lasted for nearly a month.

An OPP spokesperson confirmed on Tuesday that officers intercepted the development on Monday. A “verbal interaction” occurred between land defenders and OPP officers and they were subsequently instructed to leave, said Rod Leclair. Officials are on-site clearing leftover debris, he added.

The issue is linked to a contentious move by the Six Nations Elected Band Council to place a parcel of land into a federal corporation, ostensibly defaulting on a promise entered into by Ontario and the Haudenosaunee Confederacy in 2006 to stem the Caledonia Standoff, a protest that grew to a fever pitch after Indigenous people occupied a subdivision called the Douglas Creek Estates.

The unelected, hereditary council want the Burtch lands, located near Brantford, to be independent from the Canadian government, citing expropriation concerns. It validates its position through a letter signed by former Ontario premier David Peterson which says the land will return to its original state and status under the Haldimand Proclamation, an official order of 1784 that gave land to the Haudenosaunee people for their military allegiance to the British during the American Revolutionary War.

The blockade was initially located on Argyle St., a thoroughfare outside Caledonia. On Monday, the barricade was transplanted to Highway 6 and Sixth Line Rd., where it was later shut down, said Caledonia councillor Craig Grice.

“As of right now, Argyle St. is clear, Sixth Line is clear,” he said. “We’re just waiting for the reopening of the bypass. It was a small group of protestors that didn’t have the support inside Six Nations and I think that was proved last night.”

The OPP is investigating a fire that was set on Saturday on railroad tracks near the site of the botched occupation. No demonstrators were seen on Monday afternoon in the area, said Leclair, and no arrests have been made.

Grice said he is relieved, that the hope is to move on.

Torstar News Service




Mexico: Land Defenders Occupy Mining Installations


May 7th, 2016 from Servicios Para Una Educacion Alternativ 

translated by Earth First! Journal

Seven years since the brutal eviction in which the Coordinated Unity of Towns of the Valley of Ocotlán (CPUVO) were beaten and imprisoned, we are still demanding the immediate exit of the mining corporation Fortuna Silver Mines.

Coordinated Unity of Towns of the Valley of Ocotlán (CPUVO) were beaten and imprisoned, we are still demanding the immediate exit of the mining corporation Fortuna Silver Mines.

For this reason, the town of San José del Progreso, in the framework of the National Campaign to Defend Mother Earth and Land, has determined to occupy the main entrance to the mining projects installations.

Community members blame that company for the wily murders of our compañeros, Bernardo Méndez and Bernardo Vásquez, social warriors who lost their lives defending the land.

In this sense, far from finding justice for these violations to our rights as Indigenous People, the mining corporation, in cahoots with state and federal authorities for over a year (since April, 2015), acquitted the murderers.


In the same sense, this project is expanding through territories of San José del Progreso, Magdalena Ocotlán, Monte del Toro, and San Martín de los Cansecos, even though the communities have made evident the systemic violations which the project has produced against the towns, leading there to be no peace in José del Progreso.

CPUVO declares solidarity with the struggle and resistance in this country and makes a call out to continue coordinating our strength and brotherhood[/sisterhood] to defend via the National Campaign to Defend Mother Earth and Land.

We demand the immediate cancellation of the San José [mining] project, as well as its expansion into ejidos [communal land] and municipalities. In addition to the immediate cancellation of ALL [emphasis added] mining projects in the state of Oaxaca, we also recognize communities who have strengthened their resistance in the Central Valley regions, as well as the Southern Mountains, North Mountains, Mixteca, and Isthmus [Valles Centrales, Sierra Sur, Sierra Norte, Mixteca, and Istmo] against mining projects of death.

Justice for San José del Progreso!

Coordination of Unity Towns of the Valley of Ocotlán, May 6, 2016


Land Defenders Strike Back Against Mining Industry After Colorado River Poisoning

Land Defenders Keeping Armed Watch Over Akwesasne As NY State Manhunt Continues

(Jerry Jock, left, and Bryan King, right, take a break after searching through swamp and thick bush for escaped murderer David Sweat. APTN/Photo)

(Jerry Jock, left, and Bryan King, right, take a break after searching through swamp and thick bush for escaped murderer David Sweat. APTN/Photo)

Jorge Barrera | ATPN National News

Akwesasne men keeping armed watch over territory’s edge as New York State manhunt continues

AKWESASNE— Armed with shotguns and AR-15s, a group of about five men from Akwesasne searched through swamp and thick bush on the edge of the territory Saturday for an escaped murderer who has been on the run from authorities for three weeks.

The camouflage-clad men, known as “Land Defenders,” were acting on a tip from the community that a white male had been spotted entering the woods in an area known as the “Al Capone bootleg trail” because it was used to smuggle booze during the prohibition area.

Roger Jock, who led the four-hour search, said the ongoing manhunt for the escaped inmate was beginning to put people in Akwesasne on edge.

“We have been watching and listening to this unfolding,” said Jock. “A lot of people here are on edge.”

Three members of the Land Defenders search crew emerge from the bush following a search for escaped murderer David Sweat. APTN/Photo

Three members of the Land Defenders search crew emerge from the bush following a search for escaped murderer David Sweat. APTN/Photo

New York State and U.S. federal authorities continued to focus their search on an area about 16 kilometres south of Malone, NY., which sits about 40 kilometres south-east of the U.S.-side of the Akwesasne Mohawk territory. Akwesasne straddles the Canada-U.S. border and is about 120 kilometres west of Montreal.

State and federal authorities have established a 35 square-kilometre perimeter around the area they believe still contains David Sweat, one of two men who escaped the Clinton Correctional prison on June. 6. About 1,200 state and federal law enforcement officers are involved in the manhunt.

Sweat’s partner in the escape, convicted murderer Richard Matt, was shot and killed by a U.S. Border agent Friday. Matt was holding a shotgun when he was gunned down.

St. Regis Mohawk police chief Matthew Rourke said in an interview with APTN National News Friday that the hunt for the escaped inmate is still too far away from the community to put his force on alert.

“They are still a good (40 kilometres) away from where we are, if not farther away,” said Rourke. “We are aware of the situation and we will provide whatever assistance as required.”

New York State law enforcement officers at a roadblock near Malone, NY, Saturday evening.

New York State law enforcement officers at a roadblock near Malone, NY, Saturday evening.

Jock said he believes Sweat had likely slipped through the police perimeter.

New York State police said earlier this past week that investigators believed the escaped men were headed to Canada. Jock said he grew concerned the men could end up in Akwesasne and put out a call for eyes on the edge of the territory.

Jock also got in touch with Duane Chapman, also known as Dog the Bounty Hunter, who is now in Malone.

Chapman was in sporadic contact with Charles Kader, an Akwesasne journalist, during the day. At one point Chapman texted, “go, go, go” after Kader sent him a photo of Jock and his crew searching through the bush.

The search crew waded through swamp and dense brush while swarmed by black flies and mosquitoes.

Jerry Jock joined the search out of concern for his family.

“It’s basically about protecting our people,” said Jock, as he sat at the back of a pick-up truck with an AR-15 next to him. “My kids are down the road over there.”

Bryan King said he trekked through swamp and bush for the same reason.

“I live up the road too,” said King, who carried a shotgun during the search. “We’re basically all family.”

Roger Jock said it is up to the men to protect the community and he said words have little meaning without action.

“If we can’t protect our people, then we’ll let someone else do it,” he said. “But I am a strong believer in protecting our own.”

Later in the evening, Jock received a request to check an area around a large garage at the end of a bush trail. He and a relative, with their semi-automatic long-guns in hand, slowly walked around the building and peered between rusting cars and trucks for any signs of an unwanted visitor.

“The plan is to make sure we don’t take any rumours of sightings lightly,” said Jock. “It’s our responsibility.”