Support Tyendinaga Mohawks: Free Shawn Brant

This info is from the Tyendinaga Support Committee which is a group in Toronto that has quickly come together to gather support to Free Shawn Brant.

In this info…

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1. August 29: Public Meeting to Demand the Release of Shawn Brant

2. Sign the Petition: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/supporttmt

3. Free Shawn Brant Website: http://www.ocap.ca/supporttmt.html

4. What you can do

5. Next Tyendinaga Support Committee Meeting

6. Join the Free Shawn Brant group on Facebook

7. Join the E-Mail List

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1. TAKING A SERIOUS STAND:

PUBLIC MEETING TO DEMAND THE RELEASE OF SHAWN BRANT

Public Meeting

Wednesday August 29th, 2007

7pm

Steelworkers’ Hall – 25 Cecil Street

Admission: Pay what you can

Speakers:

Natercia Coelho, wife of prisoner Gary Freeman

Naomi Klein, author and Featuring: Sue Collis, Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory

Shawn Brant, spokesperson for the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte (Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory), was denied bail for the second time earlier this month. Shawn is currently imprisoned in Quinte Detention Centre, Napanee.

Shawn Brant is the only person facing charges for his role in two major blockades carried out by members of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte during the past four months, as part of the struggle for their land.

Clearly, Brant’s real ‘crime’ has been to take a serious stand against the theft of the land, the denial of sovereignty and the impoverishment and abuse of his People.

The Mohawks of Tyendinaga, and Shawn Brant as a spokesperson for the community, have carved out a national platform to expose Canada’s complicity in the suffering of First Nations peoples. Given Brant’s refusal to live as a victim of the Canadian state’s systemic violence, he poses too great a threat to a country built on the backs of First Nations peoples. That is why he is still in jail, and why, if convicted, he will face federal penitentiary time. The government of Canada is trying to send a brutal message to First Nations people committed to resisting centuries of genocide and colonialism.

As supporters, allies, and people who live on and profit from stolen land – even through our mere existence – we bear a serious responsibility to understand the struggle in Tyendinaga, to support the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, and to participate in the fight for Shawn Brant’s freedom. If we sit back and allow this act of criminalization to imprison Shawn at length, if we allow Shawn Brant’s family to be torn apart, we too are participating in the on-going war against the original people of this land.

We invite you to come out and hear directly from Sue Collis, Shawn Brant’s wife, about the struggle against the Canadian government, a force that is determined to continue its colonial project ruthlessly and at age-old high cost. It is vital that we shift the balance of forces by building a movement of solidarity around Shawn Brant and, by extension, First Nations’ struggle for justice, respect, and the land.

Hosted by the Tyendinaga Support Committee.

For more information, please contact: support.tmt@gmail.com

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2. Sign the Petition: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/supporttmt

Please sign the following petition at the website above:

We, the undersigned, believe that Shawn Brant, spokesperson from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, should be released from jail and have all current criminal charges against him stayed. Given unresolved land claims, polluted drinking water, overwhelming poverty and suicide rates in First Nations communities across this country, it comes as no surprise to us when First Nations people create physical impediments to halt the extraction of resources and wealth from their land. Therefore, we believe that First Nations peoples have the right to refuse to live in these conditions and that the exploitation of their land should cease.

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3. Website: http://www.ocap.ca/supporttmt.html

A website has been started. Please check back frequently for updates about Shawn’s court case and what you can do to support. In the following week we will be posting support letters from various organizations, a more thorough booklet of information and analysis about Shawn’s situation and the struggle for land in Tyendinaga more generally as well as information about how to donate to the legal fund.

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4. What you can do

For now we are asking people to sign the petition, come to the public meeting on August 29th in Toronto and spread the word about Shawn’s continuing imprisonment. We are in the process of setting up a legal fund for the cost of the trial and will be asking for donations in the near future. We are also asking for organizations to write letters of support for Shawn that can be distributed and posted on-line. If you are part of a union, community group, political organization, church congregation or otherwise, please consider drawing up a letter of support from your organization and e-mail it to support.tmt@gmail.com. If you are in Toronto, come to the next meeting of the Tyendinaga Support Committee…

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5. Next meeting of the Tyendinaga Support Committee

Will be on Wednesday, September 5 at a location to be announced. If you are interested in coming to this meeting keep checking the website and a location should be posted there at least a week before the meeting.

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6. Join the Free Shawn Brant Group on Facebook

Why not? There’s already 680 members.

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2407903830

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7. Join the E-Mail List

To join the Tyendinaga Support Committee e-mail list (if you are not on it already) please go to:

http://masses.tao.ca/lists/listinfo/tyendinaga_support

Thanks for Reading

-Tyendinaga Support Committee

http://www.ocap.ca/supporttmt.html

support.tmt@gmail.com

**

Ontario Coalition Against Poverty

10 Britain St. Toronto, ON M5A 1R6

416-925-6939 ocap@tao.ca www.ocap.ca

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8 Responses to Support Tyendinaga Mohawks: Free Shawn Brant

  1. PC Voter says:

    Shawn Brant is a terrorist, and I am surprised and disappointed to see you supporting his terrorism. He advocates violence against those who oppose his terrorism and it well understood that his band of thugs were armed with firearms and ready to kill.

    In my community (Ottawa) the proposed light rail transit system was halted due in no small part to extortion demands of Natives. This is progressive?

    Time to seriously take a look at yourself in the mirror and ask if you are a force of good or evil in this world. You don’t have to support every single anti-establishment movement that pops up, you know. Why not exercise a little judgement?

  2. verbena19 says:

    Thank you for your comment. I do try to exercise judgment in my support. However, I feel very strongly about the plight of our First Nations People. It is long past due that our governments redress the injustices we have perpetrated upon the original inhabitants of our land. This is why I support Shawn Brant and do not consider him to be a “terrorist”. And no, I do not support every single anti-establishment movement that crops up. I am not anti-establishment, but I am anti-injustice regardless of who perpetrates it upon whom and I do support many ‘establishment’ issues if they are ‘just’ and for the good of the people.

  3. PC Voter says:

    We seem to disagree whether Brant is a terrorist. Here is the Criminal Code of Canada definition that matters.

    (b) an act or omission, in or outside Canada,

    (i) that is committed

    (A) in whole or in part for a political, religious or ideological purpose, objective or cause, and

    (B) in whole or in part with the intention of intimidating the public, or a segment of the public, with regard to its security, including its economic security, or compelling a person, a government or a domestic or an international organization to do or to refrain from doing any act, whether the public or the person, government or organization is inside or outside Canada, and

    (ii) that intentionally

    (A) causes death or serious bodily harm to a person by the use of violence,

    (B) endangers a person’s life,

    (C) causes a serious risk to the health or safety of the public or any segment of the public,

    (D) causes substantial property damage, whether to public or private property, if causing such damage is likely to result in the conduct or harm referred to in any of clauses (A) to (C), or

    (E) causes serious interference with or serious disruption of an essential service, facility or system, whether public or private, other than as a result of advocacy, protest, dissent or stoppage of work that is not intended to result in the conduct or harm referred to in any of clauses (A) to (C),

    and includes a conspiracy, attempt or threat to commit any such act or omission, or being an accessory after the fact or counselling in relation to any such act or omission, but, for greater certainty, does not include an act or omission that is committed during an armed conflict and that, at the time and in the place of its commission, is in accordance with customary international law or conventional international law applicable to the conflict, or the activities undertaken by military forces of a state in the exercise of their official duties, to the extent that those activities are governed by other rules of international law.

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    http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Parl=37&Ses=1&Mode=1&Pub=Bill&Doc=C-36_4&File=42#6

    I appreciate that you are civil and regret that I may sound harsh. Harsh is not the same as unjust. I genuinely believe that the Natives are taking advantage of a wave of political correctness among our governments and I am standing up for my rights. Thanks for the opportunity to do so on your blog.

  4. verbena19 says:

    (E) causes serious interference with or serious disruption of an essential service, facility or system, whether public or private, other than as a result of advocacy, protest, dissent or stoppage of work that is not intended to result in the conduct or harm referred to in any of clauses (A) to (C),

    (All emphasis and bold letters mine.)

    That is why Shawn Brant is not a terrorist. Obviously, we have differing interpretations of this section of the Code. I am not a lawyer. However, voicing differences of opinion is our right as citizens of a democratic country. You may ‘exercise your rights’ by commenting on my blog any time you wish. As long as you are civil and do not resort to foul, inflammatory language you are welcome here. And thanks for the Criminal Code of Canada link (Bill C-36 Royal Assent).

  5. Annie says:

    I watched the YOU Tube videos that where posted with Shawn Brant speaking. His speech was hateful. It might surprise him to know alot of Canadians suffer everyday with poverty, some of us have buried a child, some of us have fought the system for children with disabilities only to see the system take 10 years, and then such a small change is made by politicians.
    I grew up near Tyendinaga territory, and went to school with many of the children from the territory, and myself have a grandmother who is Mohawk.

    Let us not forget, the real reason he is in jail. HE BREACHED HIS BAIL AGREEMENT!!! While fighting injustices in society are very important, they can be done without spewing hateful remarks and working through the processes no matter how long they take. It took me 10 plus years to make a dent in the treatment of disabled children. You can make great changes without breaking the law.

    Canada has one set of laws, and I continue to hope they apply to all of us. And something all blogs fail to state, is that the Mohawk residents came to Canada like the united empire loyalists, so the sign by the 401 in marysville saying ” Oh Canada, your home our native land” Canada belongs to all of us, as my great grandfather was given land for fighting with the british, so to where the mohawks. We all need to take care of the land.

  6. verbena19 says:

    Yes, we all need to take care of the land. I too am ‘fighting the system’ for my disabled brother and others in similar situations, through my letters and phone-calls, meetings and such. Indeed, it is a long, arduous, frustrating, ongoing process. I never propose violence and do not condone it. I did not see the YouTube video you refer to, as my computer has been acting up lately, not allowing me access to most videos. Whenever I saw Shawn Brant on tv, he spoke like a peaceful man without resorting to ‘hate speech’.

  7. annie says:

    When your computer is better there are eight parts recorded. If you search under Shawn Brant you will find them. “Tyendinaga Mohawk Struggle for the Land, part 1/8.. In one clip he talks about “railroads being run through their communities because the land was cheap”. If you look at a map of Canada, the railroads run through the middle of many communities including my hometown of Belleville. “Now in 2007 I don’t give a rats ass, whether we create victims, whether white people like us or don’t,” “not until they suffer like we have suffered, not until that happens will we stop,”z’f–k the white man, and f–k their money.” The most damning portion part 7,. has been pulled. The biggest problem with all of this is that arguments are not based on facts, but emotions.The danger of such emotional arguments is that you fail to see the other side. So many suffer in Canada and are forgotten by all levels of government and always have been. Activism is great, but to get others to care you have to care about them. People of all colour and race get left behind and suffer, nothing will change until all our seen. I do not see Shawn aa a political prisoner, just someone with a cause who broke the law. And up until the time he turned himself in was prepared to serve his time, but now he has changed his mind. Not until we elect a GOOD government will any of this be resolved for everyone.

  8. verbena19 says:

    Annie, thanks for your insightful input and the video highlights. I’ll look them up once my computer is better. No time now, as I’m busy with canvassing/election preparations for my riding association’s provincial candidate. So much to do, so little time…

    I agree with you that we until we elect a GOOD government, nothing will be equitably resolved for everyone. Let me reiterate that I am a PEACE advocate and always promote/propose PEACEFUL resolutions to ALL conflict. The way I see it, violence only begets more violence, just as wars are merely bandaid effects and do not solve underlying issues, hence the cycle of violence never stops. We must get past this culture of violence. Only by truly listening to the ‘other side’ can we find meaningful, lasting solutions. No one is better than the other person; we are all related as products of the same Creator. To co-exist peaceful, justly, safely, equitably in harmony should be our ultimate goal. Our Planet belongs to all of its inhabitants. All of us must take care of our Home, just as we do our own separate dwellings. If we desecrate our land, our children will have no habitable home left. This must be of utmost concern to ALL peoples everywhere.

    In my opinion, Shawn Brant got carried away by his emotions. He was not a violence-prone man. I guess this can happen to most of us if we vent our frustrations without considering the consequences.

    best regards, annamarie

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