Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Thoughts on Canadian Genocide and the "Apology".

O pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth,
That I am meek and gentle with these butchers!
Thou art the ruins of the noblest
who ever lived in the tide of times.
Woe to the hand that shed this costly blood!
(Julius Caesar, Act 3:1)

A Moment of Reflection ...

If only we in Canada had an ounce of Marc Antony's outrage when it
comes to murder in our midst.

All the "honorable men" who slew Caesar had the weight of law on their side, as do the officials of church and state in our country who legally killed generations of innocent children in the "Indian residential schools", and who now absolve themselves of their crime.

Can we dare to ask for pardon from the slaughtered children, for our meek gentleness with their butchers?

Can we ask them to forgive us, when we watch a recent CBC TV broadcast in which Irene Favel described seeing a newborn baby shoved live into a roaring furnace by a priest in Saskatchewan, and we do nothing?

Why should we be forgiven? Who are we to issue an "apology" for our crimes when we refuse to be held accountable for them? When names are not allowed to be named? When priests and nuns are allowed to get away with murder? And when "misconduct" in residential schools cannot even be referred to at the government's upcoming "Truth and Reconciliation" hearings?

Crimes without criminals. Words without substance. That is the Canadian way.

Looking Back, and Forward:
Written on Squamish Nation Territory, under Foreign Occupation - July 21, 2008

Over the past year, the impossible has happened: the government and churches of Canada have been forced for the first time to publicly acknowledge that massive numbers of children died in their Indian residential schools, and that many of these deaths were criminal in nature.

But the predictable has accompanied the impossible: the very same guilty parties have responded to this exposure by effectively absolving themselves of this crime with a verbal "apology" and a self-appointed "inquiry" that is structured to ensure that the crime will be officially whitewashed.

Nothing less can be expected in a place like Canada, where the institutions that ran the residential schools are still in power and call the shots, with the help of their aboriginal collaborators.

But rather than being a cause of despair, this predictable scramble by the guilty to hide their filth is yet another crumbling piece of masonry in the collapsing facade called colonial Canada, which has never resolved what it likes to call its "Indian Problem" - and never will.

Only in an insecure and guilt-haunted nation could the fact of missing aboriginal children generate the enormous turmoil and change that we've witnessed in Canada since April of 2007, when the Harper government was forced to address the missing residential school children in Parliament.

The media scramble that resulted, and has never abated, hovers around the issue of dead residential school kids like a voyeuristic John, watching but not daring to touch all those mass graves. And yet two years ago, the topic was strictly forbidden and censored in the monopolized corporate media in Canada. Today, the Establishment seems to be struggling to gradually acclimatize the populace to the fact of genocide in their midst.

This is all a repeat, but on a bigger scale, of what was tried a decade or more ago, when the first lawsuits by residential school survivors threatened to nail the Catholic, Anglican and United churches to the wall. By slowly leaking to the public some aspects of the residential school nightmare in small, digestible pieces, the media and the courts contained the potentially- explosive issue to yet another ho-hum abuse litigation, complete with "apologies" and "compensation" .

Back then, by reducing genocide to a matter of personal injury claims, Canada spared itself what it's now forced to face: its own history of deliberately exterminating aboriginal nations. But, then as now, the strategy of the guilty churches and state seems to be identical: namely, to minimize and contain the issue by pretending to address it whole not addressing it.

Just as the so-called "Aboriginal Healing Fund" contained the fallout of residential school lawsuits with hush money to survivors, so now does the misnamed "Truth and Reconciliation Commission" (TRC) appear to inquire into missing children by studiously preventing any actual disclosure of their fate.

A simple reading of the TRC mandate reveals an alarming deception. While portraying itself as the definitive investigation into Indian residential schools, the TRC in fact is not an investigative body or a legal inquiry; it has no power to subpoena or compel involvement, does not allow the naming of the names of perpetrators, and will not allow any statement involving wrongdoing by a person or organization; nor does it extend immunity or protection to anyone offering evidence.

In short, the TRC is an explicit whitewash of any criminal behaviour in the residential schools. Imagine a "final report" on these schools that has not a single mention of misconduct in it!

Again, this is precisely what one expects when church lawyers and officials like the United Church's former Moderator Bill Phipps - a TRC convenor - establish an inquiry into themselves. And yet, this whole effort by the guilty is doomed to failure.

For one thing, the crime is too huge to contain. Since April 10, we have documented and released to the press thirty-three mass grave sites across Canada near former residential schools, where countless children are reputedly buried. In response, I have been inundated with stories from eyewitnesses who buried children, witnessed the incineration of others, and who saw killings and other crimes in the schools. And many of these stories have appeared in the media.

But what is especially encouraging and unusual about this disclosure is that it is being accompanied by a new wave of lawsuits against the churches responsible for these deaths, brought by relatives of children who were killed. For the first time, the churches and government of Canada are being named in criminal lawsuits for acts of murder.

It gets even better. In some cases, like on Squamish territory in what whites call Vancouver, these lawsuits will be launched not through Canadian courts of law, which have time and again disqualified claims involving murder, but in aboriginal courts of Justice, convened by traditional elders like Squamish Chief Kiapilano.

In other words, raising the spectre of murdered children is unleashing a revolutionary challenge to Canada and its courts, as survivors and other native people invoke their own sovereignty to win justice.

This fact raises the second problem of Canada's attempt to co-opt and contain its culpability for genocide: namely, that there is no consensus "at the top" of how to deal with the threat of indigenous sovereignty. The power of the Canadian establishment is too fractured and regionalized to devise a common response to the growing breakdown of native peoples' imprisonment in their own land.

Today, the Canadian state does not have a single, credible group of collaborating native elites to impose a uniform "Indian policy" across the nations, which means that any effort to simply shut down or contain the furor over missing residential school children will meet with failure. The growing native populaces, restless, off reserve and plagued by poverty and discontent, are too diverse to be so easily managed anymore.

This fact highlights the third roadblock to any easy resolution of the residential school crimes: the particularly vulnerable position of Canada in the world economy as an exporting and tourist nation, and the battering its "humanitarian" image and credit rating have taken as a result of the residential school scandal.

One of the main reasons behind the creation of the fraudulent "Truth and Reconciliation Commission" was the need to create a convincing public relations front to the world during the period leading up to the 2010 Olympics in British Columbia, a region that is the hotbed of independent native protest and non-treatied communities.

The Canadian elites - native and white - are terrified of the prospect of native road and railway blockades during the B.C. Olympics, disrupting as these will the "new relationship" between these elites in their efforts to secure new foreign export markets for Canadian resources, most of which are located on unceded native land. An upstart aboriginal bourgeoisie is acting as the chief arm of the Canadian state in securing these markets, especially with Asian countries, and restraining protests by their own people in the process.

Nevertheless, all of these factors add up to a single truth: Canada and its churches - and their aboriginal accomplices - will be unable to extricate themselves from their liability for their crimes, and therefore will remain extremely vulnerable to any public criticism or protest campaigns aimed at exposing the full extent of the residential school genocide.

The Implications for Us, and the Challenge

Until recently, the movement to bring Canada and its churches to justice for genocide has been localized and relatively unpopular, even among supposed "progressives and radicals". And yet its impact on events has been profound, and has forced Canada's back to the wall, simply by continuing to make public the hard evidence of death and torture in residential schools.

This work is finally paying off, as our efforts are stimulating a much broader reaction among even mainstream Canadians, and we are linking up with more disgruntled residential school survivors and aboriginal youth. There are now twenty six local groups across Canada working with our network, organizing protests, documenting evidence, and educating the world about the Canadian holocaust.

As the frustration of survivors continues to grow with their loss of any avenue for resolving their claims, as the bogus "TRC" exposes itself as Canada's version of the Warren Commission, and as the puppet native chiefs continue to become alienated from their own people, a huge crisis of leadership is emerging in the aboriginal world.

This crisis has created a unique opportunity for those committed to indigenous sovereignty and full justice for residential school survivors. What is lacking is the audacity, the networks, and the overall strategy to begin uprooting the causes of genocide and the colonial political-economic system that is ruining our lands and people.

Last April 15, ten indigenous elders launched their answer to the government's TRC: an independent "International Human Rights Tribunal into Genocide in Canada". That Tribunal will begin its work this autumn, by convening local inquiries into deaths and other crimes in residential schools, in open opposition to the TRC.

As part of its work, this Tribunal will begin enforcing the Eviction Notices issued by Squamish hereditary Chief Kiapilano against the Catholic, Anglican and United churches on his territory, in "Vancouver". We will claim these buildings and lands as our Mohawk cousins are doing in their land reclamation battle in "Ontario". And within these liberated zones, we will be establishing popular courts of justice to try and convict those persons and organizations responsible for the residential school crimes.

Until September 15, I will be travelling in Europe and elsewhere to gain new international allies for this campaign and cause. Let us begin planning for this "hot autumn" by planning local Tribunals and direct actions of sovereignty and reclamation in all of our communities, against the churches, corporations and government responsible for the murder of our peoples.

May our hearts and courage rise to this challenge. Spread the fire.

I am your brother,

Kevin Annett Eagle Strong Voice
for the Tribunal and sovereignty campaign

260 Kennedy St.
Nanaimo, BC V9R 2H8
ph: 250-753-3345 or 1-888-265-1007

hiddenfromhistory@ yahoo.ca
Read and Hear the truth of Genocide in Canada, past and present, at this website: www.hiddenfromhistory.org

Friday, July 11, 2008

Police Attack Mohawk Grandmothers

Solidarity with Katenies!
-- "Canada" has no jurisdiction over Mohawk land

On July 14, 2008, Mohawk grandmother and activist Katenies has again been
ordered to appear before a judge in the Superior Court of Cornwall,
Ontario. Again, Katenies will refuse to recognize the authority of the
courts and demand that Canadian officials prove they have jurisdiction
over her as an Indigenous woman.

One month ago, on June 14, 2008, Katenies -- accompanied by Kahentinetha
of the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory - was targeted for arrest by Canadian
Border Services Agency (CBSA) guards on an outstanding warrant for
allegedly "running the border" in 2003, and offenses resulting from her
refusal to appear in court and validate the colonial justice system.

Katenies has maintained since 2003 that border officials and the Canadian
colonial courts have no jurisdiction over Kanion'ke:haka people or land.
In January 2007, Katenies served court officials with a "Motion to
Dismiss", demanding that they establish jurisdiction, if any, over Mohawks
and their ability to travel freely between "Canada" and the "United

[The Motion to Dismiss is linked here:
] and summarized as follows.

During the CBSA attack, Katenies and Kahentinetha - who are both writers
and contributors to Mohawk Nation News (MNN) - were treated brutally by
border guards. Both were handcuffed and tackled to the ground. Katenies
was jailed for three days. Kahentinetha suffered a heart attack and is
under the care of her family. [www.mohawknationnews.com ]

[Reports about the CBSA attack, and background information, are linked at:

As mainly non-native groups and collectives based in settler communities
on or near Mohawk lands, we are publicly standing in support of Katenies,
and demand all charges against her by the colonial courts be dropped. We
also condemn the brutal attacks by the CBSA on both Katenies and
Kahentinetha on June 14, 2008 and declare our solidarity with Indigenous
struggles for land, freedom and self-determination.

Endorsed by:
Agitate (Ottawa)
Les Apatrides Anonymes (Montreal)
Block the Empire-Montreal
Common Cause (Ontario)
Kingston Indigenous Solidarity Network
No One Is Illegal-Kingston
No One Is Illegal-Montreal
No One Is Illegal-Ottawa
La Otra Campaña (Montreal)
People's Global Action Bloc (Ottawa)
Solidarity Across Borders (Montreal)

To endorse this statement, and Katenies, please contact
indigenoussolidaritymontreal@gmail.com This legal challenge will cost
money. MNN has none. Canada is apparently hiring top law firms to fight
the Mohawks. If you could send donations, it would be greatly appreciated
to: "MNN Mohawk Nation News", Box 991, Kahnawake [Quebec, Canada] J0L
1B0. Nia:en/Thank you very much. www.mohawknationnews.com

Sunday, July 06, 2008

The Diggers

This was originally titled A Vision for Today, from Yesterday and was sent to me by Hidden From History.

A poor man named Gerrard Winstanley wrote the following words in April, 1649 as he and a handful of other poor folks called the Diggers tried to restore a small part of England to the common treasury with their own hands. Their struggle to create a spiritual communal society under the noses of the landlords and their Cromwellian army met with the same result that happens whenever faith stands unarmed before men with guns.

But Winstanley and the Diggers live on, and his few words not only capture the essence of my life’s calling, but remind me how the Thing we are fighting has rampaged and done its genocide on our people on both sides of the Atlantic.

I hope this reminder will unite us all more with a vision of a world made equal, and one - and thereby stir us into action - and check out the great Billy Bragg song based on their tale! (below):

In the beginning of time the great creator Reason made the Earth to be a common treasury, and not one word was spoken that one branch of mankind should rule over another; and the reason is this, that every single man, male and female, is a perfect creature of himself, and thus none is subject to another …

Yet selfish imagination did alienate man against himself, and did set up one man to teach and rule over another, and expel his fellow from his natural right to the whole earth and its fruits. And hereupon the earth was hedged into enclosures by the false rulers, who stole the earth for themselves and made their fellows their slaves and servants.

And that earth that is within creation, made a common storehouse for all, is now bought and sold, and kept in the hands of a few, and thereby the great creator is dishonored, as if he were a respecter of persons, delighting in the comfortable livelihood of some, and rejoicing in the miserable poverty of others. For in the beginning it was not so …

But when the earth becomes a common treasury again, as it must, owned by none and shared by all, then this enmity of all against all shall cease, and none shall war against another or seek to dominate others, nor desire more of the earth than another.

St. George's Hill, Surrey, England, April 10, 1649

Billy Bragg singing "The Diggers":


In 1649
To St George's Hill
A ragged band they called the Diggers
Came to show the people' s will
They defied the landlords
They defied the laws
They were the dispossessed
Reclaiming what was theirs.

We come in peace, they said
To dig and sow
We come to work the land in common
And to make the waste land grow
This earth divided
We will make whole
So it can be
A common treasury for all.

The sin of property
We do disdain
No one has any right to buy and sell
The earth for private gain
By theft and murder
They took the land
Now everywhere the walls
Rise up at their command.

They make the laws
To chain us well
The clergy dazzle us with heaven
Or they damn us into hell
We will not worship
The God they serve
The God of greed who feeds the rich
While poor men starve.

We work, we eat together
We need no swords
We will not bow to masters
Or pay rent to the lords
We are free men
Though we are poor
You Diggers all stand up for glory

Stand up now.

From the men of property
The orders came
They sent the hired men and troopers
To wipe out the Diggers' claim
Tear down their cottages
Destroy their corn
They were dispersed -
But still the vision lingers on.

You poor take courage
You rich take care
The earth was made a common treasury
For everyone to share
All things in common
All people one
We come in peace
The order came to cut them down.

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