by Megan Kinch
A union local of 22 people has been on strike for more than three months. They’ve already been replaced with scab labour. They’ve been called greedy and spoiled for demanding an increase in the starting rate of $12 and basic safety equipment for extremely dangerous and difficult work. They were arrested for handing out leaflets. They faced a court injunction that would ban them from making noise in a public park, and when the employer loses, they are sued for $4 million dollars. Their employer, Porter airlines, is a darling of the local elites, who prefer to bypass Pearson airport for quick flights to New York and Montreal.
Welcome to the new face of labour disputes, which looks more like the worker struggles that inspired Mayday in the 1880s, than the ritualized and symbolic modern strikes. But community members and workers from other unions are coming through with solidarity actions and donations, and the problems keep piling up for Porter.
Porter has effectively refused to bargain, instead trying every strategy to avoid dealing with the workers. Porter and the Toronto Port Authority tried to take out a court injunction which would have prohibited leafleting and loud noises in nearby Little Norway park. They lost. But then they sued the union for $4 million over their Twitter account. Both Porter and the workers have strategically used social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, with union supporters making memes and co-ordinating protest blitzes of Porter’s Facebook.
Big unions and the OFL have kicked in money and support to this ‘David and Goliath’ fight, but this struggle, and the larger struggle for justice in the workplace, isn’t going to be won with dollars. There has been a significant amount of solidarity shown by workers and community members, on the picket line and at the gates to the ferry, including unions with militant traditions such as CUPE 3903 and the IWW.
Jordy Cummings is an academic worker in CUPE 3903 and has been doing social media solidarity: “I spent three months on the picket line fighting for some degree of job security for precariously employed academic workers, and they ended up legislating us back to work. Little did I know that this was the beginning of the end of legal trade unionism in Ontario. The precedent was set with us, and now strikes are basically illegal. If a union does strike, they are legislated back to work within days or starved out and replaced, as with Porter workers.”
I spoke to Porter fuel worker Enrique Perez. He said that the main demand is not wages, but safety.
“We wrote a letter in April regarding the safety concerns, understaffing, high turnover rate, flight delays and worker injuries,” he said. “You need two people to fuel a plane but we end up having only one person because of staffing problems. That guy over there (points) fell off a plane and broke his arm. I had a night when I almost walked into a propeller. You really need people who’ve been around for a while to tell the new workers stories and sort of warn people.”
Perez said that Porter is refusing to acknowledge the complexities of the job: “Many complicated aspects to the job like where there is ice out, you don’t use salt, you have to use special stuff. They start us at $12, or with a DZ licence they pay 14.50. People are only getting $16 for driving a dumptruck. But this is also a dumptruck that is crossing runways when the planes are landing, carrying 50,000 worth of fuel. We drive it across the runways to put it in the fuel farms 3 times a day.”
Normally, a union is able to stop work by having a picket line which is allowed to halt vehicles for a few minutes on their way in and out of the worksite. This is the main protection against hiring replacement workers, known as ‘scabs.’ But Porter has used the police to break normal normal picket lines and even had people arrested for leafletting. Porter/Toronto Port Authority is also trying to get the right to have their own private police at the airport.
Striking for basic safety demands is something that was supposedly in the past. Canadian labour law is supposed to guarantee a safe workplace. Before the ‘labour peace’ compromise that followed World War 2, pickets lines and unions were often illegal, and had to be enforced through direct action. Unions had to fight private police in what were sometimes pitched battles. It hasn’t got to that point yet, but already picket lines are basically being made illegal through increasing anti-worker regulations.
James Taylor, strike coordinator for the Porter workers, had this to say about the arrest and the legal difficulties faced by the small union in trying to maintain a picket line. “Unfortunately as a small group we couldn’t picket the entire airport but we figured we could leaflet the passengers. So Mary and I tried because we’re staffers and didn’t want the guys to get arrested. We went over and handed out fliers on the sidewalk, it was pretty chill. The Toronto Port Authority told us to leave and said we were trespassing, and we said “no, we think we have the charter right to be here and distribute leaflets. The didn’t really enjoy those arguments. They got formal trespass letters to give us. In the meantime they called the duty officers and they had 8 or so cops there. They put us both in handcuffs and charged us with trespass and released us on the spot.”
Lawyer Glen Wheeler from COPE, the union the workers are with, called this “quite outrageous” and said that the court did end up upholding their charter right to hand out fliers.
The local community near the airport is also being drawn into a battle with Porter, who is trying to get permission from the city to expand the Island airport and fly jet planes. Rob Chamberland lives on a boat in a dock near the airport. He says that the people who will be affected aren’t having meaningful input into the decisions being made.
“Remember that there are three main communities, there are the islanders who mainly live on Ward and Algonquin Islands, there are the condo-dwellers, mostly new home owners, and then there’s the boaters, both liveaboards and your average weekend sailor. Then there are those who flock to the waterfront of the island for a day with nature. Life will now include jets, increased noise, increased pollution, and profit over community welfare. Airport expansion means the whole area becomes an industrial zone”
I spoke to Carrie Sharpe, who has been helping coordinate community support for the workers. She spoke about the attempted injunction: “What’s scary is that it was even on the table. This is an attempt to shut down dissent. Porter is trying to discourage dissent at a time when they have an application to have jets fly out of the airport and to fill in some of the lake. This injunction process has already had a chilling effect on mobilization, there will be people now afraid to protest island expansion…they are doing all this in order to shut down protests over the use of public assets for profit.”
Before legalized unionism, community and workers had to work together in order to get any kind of decent standard of living. It was brutal physical and legal repression of the Haymarket protest for the 8 hour work day in Chicago, back in 1886, that started Mayday protests for International Workers Day. Today, many workers still don’t have the 8 hour day and are forced to work more or less, and workplace safety is being rolled back. The old formalized picket structures aren’t working anymore. In this new era of labour disputes, workers and community members in solidarity (who are often workers themselves somewhere else) are going to have to jointly struggle against corporate impunity and greed. This is already happening with the Porter airlines strike, and with this year’s Mayday protest the solidarity is getting more solid!
by Binnadang Migrante Canada
The Cordillera Day event is a uniting activity held in our home country of the Philippines and here overseas. In these yearly celebrations, it would serve us well to look back in time to where we came from, the difficult paths that we had to go through in order to be where we are today.
Cordillera Day is on its 29th year of celebration in our native land (the Cordillera region of the Philippines) and its 5th year here in Toronto. On May 4, we will be guided by the theme “Strengthen unity in the indigenous people’s struggle for self determination. Uphold the rights and welfare of migrants and families. Support the politics of change.”
Binnadang – Migrante is spearheading the celebration. We are an organization of indigenous migrants to Canada that is advocating for our rights as migrants and actively engaging in the struggle of the indigenous peoples in the Cordillera for self-determination and for the Filipino peoples’ struggles for genuine freedom and democracy.
Cordillera day was born out of the struggle of the Cordillerans. It provides us a venue to give tribute to our martyrs who courageously defended and protected our indigenous people’s rights for our land, life, honor, rich culture, and vast resources of the Cordillera region in the Philippines. Ama Macling Dulag, a respected tribal chieftain, helped unify tribes in the Northern Cordilleras from the late 70’s to early 80’s to resist the construction of the World Bank–funded Chico River Basin Hydroelectric Dams. On April 24, 1980, Dulag was brutally killed by the Philippine military. Up to now, no justice has been served for his murder.
Today, we reflect, learn, derive inspiration and gain further guidance from our Cordilleran martyrs’ perseverance in various struggles throughout the past decades. As migrant workers, we have been forced to leave our families and live under exploitative and oppressive conditions abroad by the very same reasons why Ama Macling struggled before and why many of our people are still struggling now.
The land, life and livelihood of the Cordillerans are under attack! Across the region, the adverse effects of large scale mining have resulted in irreparable damage to the natural environment and local agriculture, the economic and even physical displacement of indigenous communities, and the aggravation of climate change impacts. Human rights are trampled through militarization, employment of union busters, private armies and pseudo-unionists who do not really serve the interest of the people.
The problem of development aggression and security continue to intensify the worsening phenomenon of forced migration. Most of the Cordillerans live on the graces of our fertile lands. But the richest of our lands are claimed by foreign capitalists and local elites. Thus many of us were left with no choice but to migrate overseas, a condition that makes us vulnerable to different forms of exploitation.
The indigenous people together with the other toiling masses of the society are left with no recourse but to resist. We want to finally go home to a country where there is an opportunity for a decent life, where Cordillerans are the ones who benefit from the riches of Cordillera, where our culture is respected and where the Filipino people are free and our society is truly just.
Hosted by ILPS Commission in support of Indigenous People’s Struggles
Join us for a discussion with delegates from the ILPS Commission on Indigenous People’s Struggles and a report back on the Commission’s recent trip to Savant Lake, Ojibwe Nation of Saugeen and Mishkeegogamang, Ojibwe First Nation. This trip and event are critical in the Indigenous-led Commission’s work of building unity and coordination among grassroots struggles against Canadian colonialism.
Darlene Necan, an Indigenous delegate to the Commission from Savant Lake, Ojibwe Nation of Saugeen, is on the frontline of anti-colonial struggle in her community. Mining, clearcutting and herbicide spraying is destroying the ability for her people to live off the land. She is working tirelessly to build grassroots power and resist the poisoning of traditional food sources and lack of adequate housing.
Gary Wassakeeysic, an Indigenous delegate to the Commission from Mishkeegogamang, Ojibwe First Nation. Highway 599 runs right through Mishkeegogamang and is a key artery for allowing the million dollar ventures of mining companies in Northern Ontario. Yet, his community faces severe overcrowding, police brutality and poverty. Gary is a a grassroots activist on the frontlines of resisting this oppressive contradiction.
Indigenous and non-Indigenous Commission delegates recently returned from a trip to both communities. They will speak to the ways in which ILPS-Canada can work to these efforts, in order to build a strong united front against Canadian colonialism and its destruction of Mother Earth.
These organizers struggle for resources to have basic necessities for life, let alone to further their organizing.
The event is FREE but generous donations are greatly needed and appreciated.
Darlene,Gary and the organizers they work with, also need the following materials as soon as possible. If you can spare any of these items, please do so to directly help indigenous delegates of the ILPS Commission build grassroots power in their community:
Join us in supporting this inspiring struggle for the Land, and all Life.
Want to help promote the event? Print off a PDF of this notice: ILPS Indigenous Commission Event.pdf
Join and share the Facebook event page.
by Tom Keefer
The Two Row Wampum is one of the oldest treaty relationships between the Onkwehonweh (original people) of Turtle Island (what Indigenous nations called North America before European colonization) and European immigrants. This treaty was made in 1613 between the Dutch and the Haudenosaunee as Dutch traders and settlers moved up the Hudson River into Mohawk territory. The Dutch initially proposed a patriarchal relationship with themselves as fathers and the Haudenosaunee people as children.
According to Mohawk historian Ray Fadden, the Haudenosaunee rejected this notion and instead proposed that:
“We will not be like Father and Son, but like Brothers. [Our treaties] symbolize two paths or two vessels, travelling down the same river together. One, a birch bark canoe, will be for the Indian People, their laws, their customs and their ways. The other, a ship, will be for the white people and their laws, their customs and their ways. We shall each travel the river together, side by side, but in our own boat. Neither of us will make compulsory laws nor interfere in the internal affairs of the other. Neither of us will try to steer the other’s vessel.”
Well aware of the political and military strength of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Dutch agreed with the principles of the Two Row. As was their custom for recording events of significance, the Haudenosaunee created a wampum belt out of purple and white quahog shells to commemorate the agreement. The Indigenous legal scholar John Borrows described the physical nature of the Two Row Wampum as follows:
“The belt consists of two rows of purple wampum beads on a white background. Three rows of white beads symbolizing peace, friendship, and respect separate the two purple rows. The two purple rows symbolize two paths or two vessels traveling down the same river. One row symbolizes the Haudenosaunee people with their law and customs, while the other row symbolizes European laws and customs. As nations move together side-by-side on the River of Life, they are to avoid overlapping or interfering with one another.”
The Two Row Wampum treaty made with the Dutch became the basis for all future Haudenosaunee relationships with European powers. The principles of the Two Row were consistently restated by Haudenosaunee spokespeople and were extended to relationships with the French, British and Americans under the framework of the Silver Covenant Chain agreements. It was understood by the Haudenosaunee that the Two Row agreement would last forever: “as long as the grass is green, as long as the water flows downhill, and as long as the sun rises in the east and sets in the West”.
While 2013 marks the 400th anniversary of the introduction of the Two Row to Europeans, it is important to note that the concept of the Two Row and the idea of reciprocal relationships of peace, friendship and respect between different entities has a much deeper connection to the Haudenosaunee world view.
The Two Row is a foundational philosophical principle, a universal relationship of non-domination, balance and harmony between different forces. The Two Row principles of peace, respect and friendship can be extended to any relationship between autonomous beings working in concert. These include nation-to-nation relationships, dynamics between lovers and partners, and the relationship between human beings and our environment.
While the Two Row Wampum was created to commemorate the introduction of the Dutch Republic and is derived from Haudenosaunee traditions and philosophy, it is also consistent with the outlooks of many other Indigenous peoples seeking to accommodate themselves to the sudden arrival of Europeans on Turtle Island. Almost universally, Indigenous peoples extended their hands in peace and friendship to the newcomers to their lands, and sought to improve their lives through trade and friendship with these newcomers. But at the same time, Indigenous people were intent upon maintaining their own ways of life.
The Two Row can function as a framework for decolonization right across Turtle Island, since holding true to the Two Row means supporting the right of Onkwehonweh people to maintain themselves on their own land bases according to their own systems of self governance and organization. These traditional Indigenous systems are opposed to the values of the capitalist economic system. Rather than being driven by notions of “profitability” and production for markets, traditional Indigenous economics are based upon localized subsistence production taking place in harmony with nature.
In this framework, people do not “own” land, but belong to the land as a part of creation and safeguard it on behalf of coming generations. In most traditional Indigenous societies, resources and wealth were shared, and production was geared towards meeting human needs, rather than the of commodities to be bought and sold on the market.
The Two Row Wampum remains a treaty relationship that Haudenosaunee and other Indigenous nations defend today, even if the Canadian state has failed to uphold the principles of the treaties it inherited from the British Crown. Since the capitalist economy which so degrades and exploits the majority of non-Indigenous people has proven incapable of upholding this agreement, it is time for those who support Indigenous rights on the non-Indigenous side of the Two Row to reclaim these principles. We should not be surprised that the rapacious British Crown and the imperialist Canadian state is not willing to respect the self-determination of Indigenous peoples or uphold the Two Row Wampum. But that doesn’t mean that the majority of people in Canada cannot be won over to living by the principles of genuine peace, respect and friendship with Indigenous peoples on this land.
With the rise of a new cycle of Indigenous struggle through the Idle No More movement, and with the global crisis of capitalism intensifying, the 400th anniversary of the Two Row Wampum is a perfect moment for us to start redefining this relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.
For more information about the Two Row Wampum, please visit http://tworowsociety.com/.
by Jesse M. Zimmerman
Successive Conservative governments led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper have moved to make Canada an “energy superpower.” As a result, Alberta’s tar sands have become central to Canada’s economy.
The tar sands are a massive patch of submerged oil, totaling 140,800 square kilometers. Extracting petroleum from the tar sands requires a lengthy and expensive process that uses a large amount of fresh water and ejects an enormous amount of greenhouse gases.
Needless to say, the tar sands can cause irreversible damage to the planet. Indeed, as Dr. James Hansen, a NASA scientist, said last year: “If Canada proceeds, and we do nothing, it will be game over for the climate.” Yet, the government is currently planning to expand the tar sands project by building pipelines across Canada in order to export the petroleum to international markets.
One of the proposed pipelines is the “Northern Gateway,” which runs from Northern Alberta to the Pacific Coast of Kitimat in British Columbia. Many organizations and First Nations communities have opposed this pipelines for many reasons, including: the possibility of oil tankers capsizing near the fragile eco-system of the Pacific Coast; the possibility of pipe leaks; and that the pipe route is located on indigenous territory. It does not help that Enbridge—the company that would be developing the Northern Gateway—has had a history of major oil spills. In 2010, Enbridge spilled a total of 34,122 barrels of oil, forcing entire communities to evacuate.
The opposition to the Northern Gateway has been fierce, and the pipeline has now become a hard sell for both Enbridge and the Harper government. However, rather than abandon the project, another route is being sought — one that is much closer to home.
Since 1976, a pipeline called “Line 9,” has transported oil through Southern Ontario. Initially, Line 9 carried crude oil from Sarnia, through Ontario, and into Quebec. In the 1990s however, the flow was reversed so that oil flowed from Montreal to Sarnia. Now, Enbridge is proposing to reverse the flow once again, but this time to carry tar sands oil instead of crude oil.
The larger plan is to have Line 9 connect to other pipeline infrastructure from the West, and to carry the tar sands oil to Montreal and further on to Portland, Maine in the United States. The ultimate goal is to pump tar sands oil from Alberta to the Atlantic coast in order to bring tar sands oil to international markets.
The National Energy Board has approved the reversal of one part of the existing Line 9 infrastructures—the flow from Sarnia, Ontario to Hanover, Ontario. Enbridge is now seeking approval for the rest of the line to be reversed.
Enbridge’s Line 9 plan presents a huge threat to the communities that live alongside the route—that’s 9.1 million people who live within 50 kilometers of it. Indeed, Line 9 was originally created to transport conventional crude oil—not tar sands oil, which is a far more corrosive and acidic type of petroleum. There is no telling of what tar sands oil could do to the aging pipe.
Further, the pipe runs through many water sources, including both the Humber and the Don River in Toronto—the city’s primary drinking sources. The pipe also runs through many waterways near major city centers, including Kingston, Hamilton, Burlington, Ajax, and London; as well as eighteen First Nations territories. And—when we consider Enbridge’s track record—there is also the catastrophic risk to those communities in the event of a spill.
Communities that live along Line 9 have started to mobilize against Enbridge’s proposal. Considering that we live in the days of superstorms and unprecedented heat waves, mobilization may be the only way we can get out of the bind we now find ourselves in. The past few years, with the Occupy movement and Idle No More, have given us examples of how to mobilize and resist callous and short-sighted policies—examples of how people-power from the grassroots is a potent force to be reckoned with!
Protesting colonial plunder and ecological destruction may not be ‘legal’, but it’s right!
Indigenous Desk- 4:06pm / 9 Feb 2013
This morning around 10:00am, Montreal police reportedly arrested 36 people who were protesting outside the Palais des Congrès, where Montreal Board of Trade was hosting a natural resources conference.
The protest was dubbed ‘Protest Against Plan Nord 2.0’ on the Facebook event page. Opponents of the resource extraction plan point out that the conference’s objective is simply to advance the previous Liberal government’s Plan Nord, which is now being rebranded in the hands of the Parti Quebecois government of Pauline Marois as “Le Nord pour tous” (The North For All). The 25-year project is estimated to bring in $80 billion in investments and create 20,000 jobs. The government scheme is being used to turn working-class people in Quebec – especially in rural and northern regions – against indigenous people’s struggles and the concerns of those who foresee the ecological damage.
People’s journalist and Basics correspondent Louisa Worrell was live on the scene and reported some 400-500 people in attendance, “a mix of generations and people including Anglophones, Francophones and Innu.” Aaron Lakoff of the Montreal Media Co-Op recently reported on the developing resistance of Innu communities to the massive resource extraction plan.
Worrell was among the dozens arrested after police attacked the demonstration. Worrell, texting to Basics live from her holding cell on her unconfiscated phone, reported being arrested “after yelling at police to stop hurting protestors.”
“I began yelling when I noticed 4 cops on top of one person ‘arresting’ him… This reminded me of Junior Manon [18-year old killed by police in Toronto]… and others who have been victim of the ‘pain compliance’ tactics of police force.” Worrell also reported being taken in with 9 minors “who were arrested for having sung in front of the building.”
A short video on CBC.ca shows a barrage of riot police storming a crowd of dispersing protestors. The police attacked the demonstration after a window was broken at the conference site, which one Facebook user on the Plan Nord 2.0 page attributed to police agents. Whether it was an of righteous anger or a police plant setting up the protest to be attacked, the whole rally was criminalized not on the basis of a broken window pane. Sgt. Ian Lafrenière of the Montreal police said 32 of the people arrested will be charged with taking part in an illegal assembly – deemed “illegal” because protestors failed to provide police with an itinerary in advance.
Speaking on behalf of Basics Community News Service, Chairperson JD Benjamin demanded the immediate release of Worrell and all the other protestors, and the dropping of all trumped up charges. “The alleged ‘crimes’ of today’s protestors will not obscure the violence meted out by Montreal police against people exercising their basic democratic rights, nor will it divert our attention from the violence that will be conducted on the environment in northern Quebec and the Innu, Cree, and Inuit communities that will see their ancestral lands ruined by Pauline Marois’s plunderous Plan Nord 2.0.”
ZAD Movement in France Reflecting a Strong Anti-Capitalism
by Julie Gorecki, Basics Community News Service
PARIS – In the forests of the small French village of Notre-Dame-des-Landes (NDDL), you’ll find farmers ignoring eviction notices, activists strapped to tree tops, and police barricades surrounding the area. When entering NDDL you see the word “ZAD” sprayed all across city walls and road signs. It means “Zone a Défendre”, or “Zone to Defend” in English. Stop signs are plastered with stickers that read “No Airport!”
The mobilization against the construction of a second airport outside of the French city of Nantes came out of a 2009 French Climate Camp. The aim, was the same as all other climate camps that had gained serious force in Europe at the time; self sustain, educate, debate and mobilize towards “system change not climate change.” Direct actions were planned in week one and executed in week two. It was here that climate justice activists started planning to block the development of the airport. The first step was occupying the land where the airport would be built. In the following months a small group indefinitely moved into the forests of NDDL and started constructing cabins. They sent out a call out across Europe mobilizing activists to join them in an anti-capitalist movement saying “NON!” to the new airport.
Three years later a wide range of leftist groups from France and abroad inhabits the area. It has become what some call a self-sustaining community of “eco-anti-capitalist resistance”, while others have labeled it “Europe’s largest post capitalist protest camp.” Whichever way you look at it, it has become a prime example of direct action for system change in Europe.
Today, groups present at ZAD range from the association of farmers, to trade unionists, radical environmentalists and anarchists. There is also a heavy dose of those who wear no political label but are deeply engaged, while artist activists are also out in good numbers. In the midst of this diversity of radical political stripes and sectors, there is a powerful solidarity between the inhabitants, who are now known as “Zadists.” They are united by one common end – challenge the exploitation of our current economic system by stopping the construction of an airport, do so by physically occupying the land where they plan to build it, and autonomously construct the alternative.
The result has been an array of self-made shelters ranging from mud huts, impressive wood cabins, to tree houses nestled high in trees. For those who live at ZAD permanently, construction has extended to things needed to make life good within the zone. Self-managed bars, communal vegan kitchens, art spaces, and a recently built nursery to make engagement with parents easier, are all examples of how developed this place really is.
ZAD’s level of organization is nothing less than outstanding, demonstrating the power people have when they come together. Camps, buildings, and intersections have all been named and put onto an easy to read map. Weeks are packed with endless seminars, workshops, and days of construction. Activities include countless topics such as anti-repression, dealing with state violence, to forms of art resistance and vegan cooking workshops. “Life here is mostly good. It takes some time to adjust to a few things, but the good things about it beat the rest. Like the calm, the community… knowing that I’m completely independent from the system while fighting it at the same time. It’s good. I’m happy here,” says Pierre, (a cover name, to protect his identity from police) who has been living at ZAD for about 8 months.
ZAD keeps this massive community connected with its very own pirated radio station called “radio klaxon.” Klaxon reports on where the police are located, updates on daily actions and reminds its listeners of the diverse message of ZAD by broadcasting shows on various issues concerning Zadists. That being said, the level of critical discussions about political views, ideologies, and how to live well together at ZAD do not go ignored. ZAD is based on fighting interconnected systems of oppression that not only exploit the environment but also minorities, marginalized people and women. Several collectives have formed on site to keep this significant systematic critique alive.
One of them is the women’s only “Women, Trans, Dyke” group who empowers women and lesbians in the zone. They have also held mixed anti-sexism and anti-homophobic meetings as a reminder of the several forms of capitalist domination many Zadists are fighting.
It is difficult to judge how many people live on the site, but it is said to fluctuate between 200-500 permanent residents, and with visitors and special events there can be up to 1000 people moving through the zone. Days of national mobilizing and action have seen up to 20,000 supporters.
However, in October of 2012, the government announced that before November they would evacuate ZAD for good. It wasn’t a good ecological start for newly-elected “Socialist” President Francois Hollande – acting like just another capitalist – who promised to put climate change high on his political agenda. More importantly Hollande elected Jean Marc Ayrault, the mayor of Nantes between 1989-2012, as France’s prime minister. Ayrault also happens to be the main man behind the airport project and has been pushing its development for decades. Protestors have developed the popular catch slogan “NON Ayrault’port”, as a creative alternative to “NO Airport.” However, with his new political powers Ayrault has only intensified his efforts in continuing the airport project.
Last October police forces numbering 1200 moved into ZAD under the code name “Operation Cesar.” Tear gas, pepper spray, and rubber bullets were their weapons of choice, leaving many injured. Bulldozers also rolled in crushing a high number of significant standing structures. Police elevated in cranes wrestled people out of tree houses. In many cases they used tear gas or pushed on pressure points on activists bodies to speed up the process. These expulsions went on for most of October and have continued sporadically since then. It was then that French mainstream media started paying attention to images of farmers and Zadists getting roughed up. Images of tear gas turning pristine forests into smoky battlefields were aired across the nation. Yet, the inhabitants stuck by their word and with great effort defended the zone. They built immense road blockades, locked themselves into structures, hung from difficult to reach trees, and stood strong in the face of police lines. On November 17th a call out was put out for a weekend of protests and action to rebuild all that has been destroyed at ZAD.
The response was tremendous. An estimated 30 000 showed up in the streets of Nantes, and then moved to ZAD in order to start reconstructing. Several structures were re-built and 40 tractors, chained tightly together, now form a protective ring around the welcoming camp “la Chataigne.” Thousands gathered in Nantes and across France the following weeks to make their voices against the construction of the airport heard.
“The citizens of Nantes don’t want this second airport. We are strongly opposed. Look at the protests! Look at the resistance! With today’s climate change we must develop industries that don’t contribute to the problem,” says Elisabeth, a life long resident of Nantes and supporter of ZAD.
The fierce resistance has ended the expulsions for now and today ZAD is as active as ever. They have been successful in holding down camp, and rebuilding what has been lost. The difference is that now they do so enclosed within police lines and at constant threat of another destructive eviction.
Tensions between the government and those resisting the airport are much older than the ZAD settlement itself. In the 60’s there were already quarrels between farmers and the state on changing traditional methods of farming within the region. Moreover, the same airport project the Zadists are fighting today was first proposed in 1972.
Resistance led by local farmers and residents has gone on since then, making the struggle more than 40 years old. Unlike the massive factory farms of North America that shell in extraordinary yearly profits, the farming industry in France still largely functions on a small-scale level. Farmers usually inherit their land from ancestors and the profession still has the reputation of hardly making a profit. Their average annual earnings range around 24 000 euros a year depending on what they’re farming. Most of the farms at ZAD are dairy farms, which are known to earn even less. The high rate of suicides among French farmers is a sad symptom of their struggle. Farmer’s unions form a significant part of the labour movement in France. In relation to ZAD, the ACIPA, a collective of 45 local anti-airport associations including far left political groups, and trade unionists, is the organization that has mobilized farmers and locals against the construction of the airport.
There are of course significant ideological differences between farmers and the tree squatting activists of ZAD. At certain times they have caused serious tension. Nevertheless, the movement has seen a remarkable level of unity and friendships evolve between all groups there. Farmers have been seen standing between lines of police and balaclava-wearing activists and in some cases have even opened up their farms to aid Zadists.
The attacks on the ZAD settlement itself have significantly increased awareness and support for the movement. Now it is being compared to the famous 1970’s struggle of Larzac, a movement of farmers who mobilized against the construction of a military base on their land. After 10 years of strong resistance, they won. Their victory was confirmed when the first-ever socialist president Francois Mitterrand came into office and obliterated the plan for the military base in Larzac. Today, Hollande has proven to ignore the footsteps of his predecessor, and instead stands against the many people he promised a much ‘lefter’ France. However, Zadists and supporters alike are looking to the victory of Larzac as inspiration and are not planning to back down any time soon.
This track conferred mostly about the land under siege within Southern Ontario, one person spoke briefly, but passionately about the mountainous regions in The Philippines under attack as well. After the speakers shared their experiences, feelings, and thoughts in regards to the struggles of land defending, the group took a short break. After lunch, we gathered again and broke off into two smaller groups to discuss future steps.
Kanonhstaton, otherwise know as the Douglas Creek Estates Reclamation within what is known as Caledonia, started in 2006 and continues to this day. Within this group, 4 different representatives spoke about their involvement, the prevalent issues at the height of the reclamation, and how matters have evolved and persisted since then. A union member that has supported Kanonhstaton and other issues within The Six Nations Reservation highlighted the importance of Trade Unions showing solidarity and recognizing the parallels within worker’s and land defender’s struggles. Three community members expressed the anguish, racism, and resentment they experienced. They described land defending as if it were similar to engaging in war, depicting long-term conflicts between colonists, imperialists, and oppressors that resurfaced during the height of the reclamation in 2006. The message was that the opposing forces were and are breaching treaties and disrespecting historic agreements set up between nations. Community members also spoke about the various reactions and interactions between the O.P.P. and the community members of Caledonia. Many people did unite together during the reclamation and have continued their relationship, so that Kanonhstaton can still remain a “Protected Place” to this day.
One representative from the Treaty 3 region described her experiences, the challenges her community has faced and the struggles they continues to encounter. She expressed the frustration of land defending in the remote location where her territory is located. People have been bombarded with empty promises and sometimes even threatened to surrender their right to the land and resources. The speaker was able to invoke some inspiration because she single-handedly shut down a project, and ceased the destruction of some land. She also noted that in order to continue resisting assimilation, land theft, and cultural genocide, unity, resources, education, and outside support is crucial.
Another man shared the ongoing conflicts within the Philippines. The government allows industries to annihilate the land, claiming that the expending of resources will strengthen the economy and employment rates. He described the invasion of lands that were used by the people for all aspects of survival, and that most areas will no longer adequately sustain the groups of people they once did. It was obvious that he was grateful for the solidarity and unity ILPS has created and the need for continued global communication and involvement. He again highlighted the necessity of maintaining relationships between all nations so that land defending can remain united,and find comfort in the fact that they are not struggling alone on this earth.
After a lunch break, the assembly of people split into two so there were smaller groups of people to brainstorm and develop themes and ideas. During discussion we established the relevant concepts of Community Power, Preparation, and Direct Action which are sustained by a foundation of resistance and the spirit of resurgence. Building community power is attained by developing and maintaining treaty relationships and fulfilling nation-to-nation agreements. Such agreements such as the One Dish, One Spoon and the Haudenasaunee-Anishinabek Friendship Belt must be re-visited and honoured. Preparation lies heavily in education, spreading awareness, constant communication, consolidating resources and mobilization. A rally or similar event may only last for a couple hours on one day but the preparation involved beforehand is most important and will determine the success of any campaign or initiative. Direct Actions can occur once community power develops and strengthens along with the imperative preparation. Direct Actions against Line 9, and acts of solidarity with peoples on the west side of Turtle Island were some current issues brought up. Shutting down pumping stations, blocking railways or highways and rallying outside parliament can be useful tactics in voicing concerns and involving the general public.
The other group discussed the possibility of physically joining their groups together, and experience the respective communities first-hand. The people from the Philippines and Northern Ontario both experience the pressures and results of open pit mining. It was discussed that Filipino communities who have experiences with mining (such as Bayan Canada), can go up into the Northern regions of Ontario and speak of the negative experience they have had. If monetary funding allowed it, there could be an exchange where Indigenous people who are being offered mining opportunities, to travel to the Philippines to see the devastation first hand. The ILPS “Commission in Support of Indigenous Peoples” would take on the responsibility of organizing the logistics.
Overall Track 4 brought many issues to the surface, and educated the entire group on various struggles. It was a great avenue for highlighting the similarities between different land reclamations and land defending campaigns. In breakout groups people were able to concretely determine themes and emphasize that resistance and the spirit of resurgence are imperative to land defending.
by Giibwanisi (aka Richard Peters)
Another version of this article by Giibwanisi appeared on December 11, 2012 at Oshkimaadziig.org.
It seems that when faced with crisis, the entire nation of Indigenous Peoples on Turtle Island can put away their personal differences and rise together as one. The truth of the matter is that we are always in constant crises. One only needs to look at the many industries that are destroying our ways of life, such as the tar sands, forestry, mining and commercial fishing, or the area known as “chemical valley” in Sarnia, Ontario. These extractive industries form the backbone of Canada’s capitalist economy, which is destroying all life on the planet. These industries also fail to recognize the ecological disasters they are creating, where we the Indigenous Peoples who live in and around these industries are sick and dying from the aftermath. Furthermore, we do not get to partake in the “wealth” that is created from this ecological destruction, forced to live in poverty either on our reserves or assimilated in urban centers, leaving behind our ancestral lands and the ways of life that go with it.
A brief history lesson: The Two Row Wampum
The true Law of the Land is the “Gushwenta” or the Two Row Wampum belt. This is the confederacy of peace that all nations on this land - including European nations like the Dutch in 1664, the French in 1701, and the British in 1763 - all adopted into. The basic principles of this Great Law are: Peace Co-existence and Non-interference, founded upon peace, righteousness and respect. The Two Row Wampum is a pure white belt with two rows of purple. There is a much deeper explanation of this belt, and how it can be applied to individuals, marriage, and how we function within the greater context of community on multiple levels. For now, I’ll just explain the shortest version, which is our Nation to Nation agreement between Indigenous and Settler Nations.
The two purple rows represent two boats, each one depicting a nation’s vessel. The British are represented using a ship, and the Indigenous depicted using a canoe. The two vessels share the river in which they are set upon. They never do anything to the river that would affect the others vessel. They do not dam the river, nor do they do anything that can be construed as steering the others vessel. At the time when this covenant of Peace was adopted by the British in 1763, the Indigenous Peoples were a military force to be reckoned with. Chief Pontiac had just led a rebellion that burnt down 10 of 12 British forts. This military show of force is what led the British to push for peace with the 1764 Silver Chain Covenant Belt at Fort Niagara, where the Indigenous nations accepted that peace and reciprocated by offering the 24 Nations Belt, and the Two Row Wampum Belt.
The way that I have come to understand this Great Law of Peace, is that we share the resources of the land in brotherhood and sisterhood. We are Nation-to-Nation allies and we come to each other's aid in times of distress and war (hence the reasons we fought alongside the British in the War of 1812.) But it is also fundamentally understood that we have different ways of life, and that we are entitled to these ways of life, as long as our ways of life do not interfere with the others. As evidenced by history, the British nation represented by Canada has not upheld their end of the peace agreement, and has been interfering with ours ever since.
Divide and Conquer: Undermining the Two Row Wampum
As the Idle No More campaign grows across Turtle Island, we must be careful about the direction the movement will lead. I myself took part in one such rally, and as powerful as it was, there is the potential for danger. As we marched down University Avenue in the downtown core of Toronto, some of the chants were “Who’s land is it? Our land!” “Who’s Land is it? Our Land!” If one follows the Two Row Wampum, and is of the mind that we share this land, then those who have settled here have rights to the land as well. But what sort of rights? Not the rights of the corporations to plunder the land and its resources to the point of no return. No one has the right to extinguish the existence and nationhood of Indigenous Peoples.
When the British North America Act was enacted in 1867, and the numbered treaties that fell afterward, the Canadian Government gave to Canadian settlers most of the rights to the land and waters that Indigenous People had, thus creating a division amongst two nations that were once allies.
The corporations dominating Canada in the name of the settler nations are directly interfering with our distinct way of life, which is in direct conflict of the Two Row Wampum agreement. This would suggest that we are well within our sovereign rights to take back that land that we agreed to share - until the two nations can agree to co-exist with each other, in mutual harmony with the earth.
Without a fundamental understanding and education of the Two Row Wampum and the roles and responsibilities of both Indigenous and Settler nations, we could see arise greater conflict and strife between Indigenous Peoples and settler Canada. This is an outcome we must all work to prevent.
Anishinabek Seven Fires Prophecy and Lighting the Eighth Fire
According to Anishinabek prophecy, we recognize that we are in age of the Seventh Fire. According to this prophecy, we have two roads to choose from at this time, and that is it. There are no alternatives. We can continue supporting this destructive world of capitalism, imperialism and individualism, in which we end life for all Earth’s people. Or we can return to our natural ways in balance with the Earth. It is all or nothing.
The Eighth Fire Prophecy says that if all nations - Black, Red, White, Yellow - can all collectively agree to live as equals, in harmony with each other and the rest of creation, we can continue on for many more years. The Eighth Fire Prophecy cannot be lit, if we cannot agree on this simple solution. Which brings us back to the Two Row Wampum Belt. Peace must be restored, and all nations must agree.
The Sleeping Giant and 'Idle No More'
Nanaboozhoo, the original man is said to have gone to sleep. The Anishinabek people no longer considered him useful and viewed him more of a clown or a trickster. He was hurt and ashamed, and went to sleep on top of a silver mine to protect it from being excavated. In our teachings, it is said that he may wake up once again, when the Anishinabek need him. Well, the time for need is far overdue. We are at the precipice of disaster. And only a return to our original ways can arguably save us. I was fortunate to listen to Jacob Wawatie and Louise Wawatie of the Algonquin Anishinabek Nation talk about the Sleeping Giant, and the Eighth Fire. They suggested, that the kindling of the Eighth Fire already lies in each in every one of us. But it is up to us, to work together, and to unite all the peoples of all the directions to light that Eighth and final fire. They also said, that the Sleeping Giant is the spirit of the Anishinabe, and only when we can rise together as one, can we say the Sleeping Giant is awakened.
What the Idle No More Campaign has successfully done, is to stir some interest, and to get the people to march, and rally all across Turtle Island. Could this be the awakening of the Sleeping Giant? If so, then we must be wary of what direction we lead this Giant, and if we are to successfully rouse the Giant, we must ensure that this Giant never goes back to sleep. There is lots of work to be done.
Let's Unite the Oppressed Peoples of All Nations
As we partake in our marches, rallies and protests in the coming weeks and months ahead, we must consider why we are doing this; and what exactly it is that we hope to achieve.
Are we merely doing this to protect the few rights and privileges doled out for the few and governed by the Indian Act? Are we doing this because we are tired of living in poverty and we would like a larger share of the economic provisions? Are we doing this because we don’t want to be assimilated? Are we doing this to protect our inherent ways of life? Why aren’t we doing this to unite all nations and recognize commonalities within the struggle of all four colours?
We have been divided as Indigenous nations and from the settler nations for far too long. It is time to revitalize the Two Wampum and restore our nation-to-nation agreements from the grassroots. It is the people who will make the change. Not the selected leaders.
The extinguishment of our treaty rights seems to be the main attraction of the recent protest, bringing us together. The four colours have been divided for quite sometime, and that separation hinders the ignition of the Eighth Fire. The recent growth in revolutionary struggles and uprisings across the globe - especially Europe and the Middle East - has made it obvious that capitalism has failed all four colors; and all peoples of the earth suffer from the greed and destruction caused by the few.
Wouldn’t it be amazing, that if this momentum were to successfully unite all nations on Turtle Island, awaken the Sleeping Giant, and light the Eighth Fire all in one fell swoop? It could potentially be the catalyst that would change the outlook of the entire planet.
Some people would argue that I’m dreaming too big. But thats the amount of love that I have for all of Creation.
The eleventh hour is here. We are in the age of the Seventh Fire prophecy. Which road are you going to choose?
Analysis of Idle No More Mobilization
by Zig Zag, Warrior Publications, Dec. 12, 2012
Re-published with permission from author.
On Dec. 10, 2012, several thousand Native peoples rallied across Canada as part of a national day of action dubbed “Idle No More” (INM). The protests targeted Bill C-45 and the policies of the ruling Conservative Party. In Edmonton, as many as 1,500 turned out, one of the largest. A reported 400 people attended in Calgary and Winnipeg, with anywhere from 100 to 300 participating in Toronto, Regina, Saskatoon, North Battleford, and Vancouver.
What is Bill C-45?
Bill C-45 is an omnibus bill meant to put into law parts of the Conservative Party budget introduced in early 2012. It is also known as the Jobs and Growth Act. Its full bureaucratic title is Bill C-45: A Second Act to Implement Certain Provisions of the Budget tabled in Parliament on March 29, 2012 and Other Measures.
As an omnibus bill it includes changes and revisions to a wide number of federal laws and regulations. These include the Fisheries Act, the Canada Grain Act, changes to MP’s pensions, the handling of hazardous materials, and a new bridge to Windsor, Ont., from Detroit, Michigan. One of the more controversial provisions are proposed changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act, which remove thousands of lakes and streams from federal protection under that law.
Some of the changes proposed under Bill C-45 have been criticized by environmentalists and Indigenous peoples resisting mining, oil & gas projects, as well as proposed pipelines:
“Together, the changes proposed in the omnibus bill would further weaken Canada’s environmental laws, remove critical federal safeguards, and reduce opportunities for the public to have their say about projects that could threaten the air, water, soil and ecosystems on which all Canadians, and our economy, depend.”
For Indigenous peoples in particular, along with the threats to land and water, are proposed changes to the Indian Act including an amendment to change the rules around what kind of meetings or referenda are required to lease reserve lands. The aboriginal affairs minister would also be given authority to call a band meeting or referendum for the purpose of considering an absolute surrender of the band’s territory.
According to Shari Narine of SAGE, “The amendment allows the federal government to call a band meeting or referendum in order for the band to decide on releasing reserve land. [Sylvia] McAdam sees the amendment as furthering the push to privatize reserve lands [McAdam is one of the organizers of INM].
“Bill C-45 also removes the protection of water, exempting major pipeline and interprovincial power line projects from proving they won’t damage navigable waterways.”
During the second reading of the bill, on Dec. 6, 2012, amendments proposed by opposition MPs were blocked by the Conservative Party majority. That afternoon, Indian Act chiefs made a public show of attempting to enter the House of Commons, for about 30 seconds. They were refused entry by security guards and the minor scuffle became headline news.
Once the bill receives a third reading in the Commons, it will move on to the Senate with the expectation that it will become law before the end of the year.
What is “Idle No More”?
Corporate media, as well as their Native counterparts, have painted INM as a truly grassroots movement, with some commentators even asserting it could be a sort of “Arab Spring” for Natives in Canada. According to a press release from INM on December 10, 2012,
“The movement, under the banner “Idle No More” (#IdleNoMore) emerged within the grassroots less than four weeks ago in Saskatchewan. It began as an effort to educate First Nations people on the multitude of legislation being put forward by the Harper government that they feel is a direct attack on the rights of First Nations. The organizers Sylvia McAdam, Jess Gordon, Nina Wilson and Sheelah Mclean began by organizing “teach-ins” to inform people.”
From these humble beginnings, #IdleNoMore proliferated through social media and in a short period of time helped mobilize several thousand Natives across the country.
But was it all grassroots? Indian Act chiefs and band councils, the Assembly of First Nations and its regional branches, Aboriginal service organizations, and organizations such as the Confederacy of Treaty 6 Chiefs, all contributed to the mobilization of Dec. 10. None of these entities can be considered grassroots as they all receive funding and support from the colonial state.
In fact, along with their power struggle for political control over Native peoples, the Indian Act Indians are angry that their government funding was recently cut.
On Sept. 4, 2012, the federal government announced that core funding for Aboriginal political organizations and tribal councils would be cut by 10 percent or see a $500,000 limit on funding. The Manitoba AFN for example, a provincial organization, will see its funding cut from $2.6 million annually to $500,000.
In addition, Aboriginal service organizations were also hit with cuts: “In September 2012, the federal government announced it was slashing the budgets of numerous aboriginal groups. For example, the Assembly of Manitoba’s funds were cut by 80%; the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations budget was reduced by 70%; and millions of dollars were additionally cut to regional tribal councils in aboriginal communities from coast to coast to coast.”
The cut backs and lack of consultation have angered the chiefs, including Shawn Atleo, head of the AFN. On Dec. 10, Atleo used threatening rhetoric in describing the government’s actions and the potential for Native unrest: “When our people see no movement from the government to work with us, when they see backsliding, undermining and continuing threats and pressures on an already burdened population, the flames only grow stronger,” Shawn Atleo, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations said last week. “Our people will not stand for it. Rightly so, there is growing anger and frustration.” (Quoted in the Canadian Press, Dec. 10, 2012)
There can be little doubt that the “Idle No More” protests were exploited by the chiefs to create greater political pressure on the federal government, using their standard tactic: raising the spectre of Indigenous revolt unless the government concedes to their demands.
The shortcomings of being idle
By definition, to be idle is to be not working, to be ineffective, useless, and without purpose. As a precursor to an Indigenous “resurgence,” the title “Idle No More” is itself an ironic statement, especially for Indigenous grassroots people who have been fighting for many years against land theft, destruction of their territories, missing and murdered women, etc.
Have the Mohawks at Tyendinaga or Kanehsatake been “idle”? What about the people at Six Nations? The thousands who have mobilized against proposed pipelines and oil tankers in BC over the last few years? Were the Tahltan “idle” as they blocked mining and gas corporations, or the Secwepmec and St’at’imc resisting ski resorts?
Perhaps it can be said that our Brothers and Sisters on the prairies of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba have been a little more “idle” than Natives in the rest of the country. If so, then it is an appropriate title for that region, but hardly for Indigenous people in Canada as a whole. Overall, in fact, INM was largely based in the prairie region. This is where it originated and where the largest numbers participated. It also explains the emphasis on treaty rights in INM organizing (just so you know, most indigenous nations in occupied BC don’t have treaties).
Comparisons of INM to the “Arab Spring” reminds me of its bastard child, the Occupy movement. Like Occupy, INM has mobilized a significant number of people who have little experience in social movements and resistance in general. Looking at the Facebook sites where much of the rallies were organized, it is evident that many participants thought that a few thousand Natives protesting would “make history.”
And here was the first reality check: peaceful parades do not in and of themselves have a significant impact. They are in fact routine and serve to reinforce the illusion of democratic rights. What does impact the state and corporations is economic disruption, actions that stop the flow of capital and industry. But it is highly unlikely the Indian Act Indians will promote such a strategy as it would be political suicide on their part (aside from a few public relations stunts).
Like Occupy, there is also a sprinkling of new activists who think pacifist methods are the only acceptable forms of protest, and that it is of paramount importance to get positive media coverage. One of the organizers for Winnipeg’s rally, Jerry Daniels, was quoted as saying “They are trying to make us look like radicals but that’s not what we stand for.” Really? You don’t want to see radical change to an oppressive and genocidal system?
Prominent in the call outs for INM rallies on Dec. 10 was the imposing of pacifist doctrine under the slogan “peaceful rally.” But here INM organizers went a step further, using spiritual ceremonies as a club to pacify the protests by claiming that whenever a sacred pipe was present, people had to be peaceful.
Sylvia McAda, one of the original organizers of INM, posted an article on the group’s website the night before the planned rallies outlining the “traditional rules” people were expected to follow:
“Pipes will be lifted for the Idle No More gathering; this will signify peace between two Nations and with the Creator. The presence of a pipe at any event is followed by the pipe laws of gentleness, compassion and mutual respect.
“As well, the ladies attending are “encouraged” to honor the Ancient Indigenous Women’s Sacred Teachings of honoring woman’s empowering gift of creation by wearing a dress to the length of their ankles” (“Sacred Protocol is Invoked,” Amendment: Sunday, December 9th, 2012, www.idlenomore.ca).
Here in the Pacific Northwest Coast we had neither pipe ceremonies nor women’s dresses down to the ankles. This use of ceremony and spirituality to control people’s behaviour will be an ongoing obstacle to effective Indigenous organizing in the future, and one that will need to be overcome by genuine grassroots movements. A public protest, an occupation, or a blockade, for example, are not ceremonies. They are actions taken to defend people and territory. Nor is a social movement a church in which religious codes can be imposed upon participants.
Another person, going by the name “Harmony King,” posted on multiple INM Facebook sites a Youtube video showing a Native male shaking the hands of a cop in Saskatoon, portraying it as an example of respectfu
l protesting. Like numerous Occupiers, there is a pro-cop sentiment that arises from naivety and ignorance as to the actual role of police in oppressing and controlling indigenous peoples.
Just as in Occupy, there are numerous contradictory images and slogans arising from INM. One graphic, with a raised fist holding a feather in front of a Canadian flag proclaims “Indigenous Rights Revolution.” Another shows a picket sign with “Indigenous sovereignty in action” written on it, held up in front of the Parliament buildings in Ottawa. These graphics imply militancy but are bound up in colonial imagery and confuses a struggle for human or treaty rights with revolutionary change.
While the Indian Act Indians are undoubtedly pleased with the INM rallies, since it serves their interests, this does not discount it as a whole. In fact, the significant mobilization of Natives in the prairie region is perhaps the most inspiring aspect of INM, and hopefully a precursor to even greater acts of defiance and resistance to come. Ultimately, however, mobilizations that spring largely from disaffected Indian Act chiefs, their political organizations, and service agencies, does not a grassroots movement make.