Divide and rule: Algonquin leaders sentenced to 6 months for occupation

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Unionist
Divide and rule: Algonquin leaders sentenced to 6 months for occupation

 

Unionist

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/canada/ottawa/story/2008/02/15/ot-contempt-080215.html... leaders to serve time for contempt after uranium protest[/url]

quote:

Leaders of an eastern Ontario First Nation community have been sentenced to six months in jail for defying a court order and blocking a prospective uranium mining site last summer and fall.

Paula Sherman and Robert Lovelace, co-chiefs of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation, were sentenced by a Kingston, Ont., judge Friday after being found guilty of contempt of court. [...]

The Algonquin protesters have argued the site is on their land and they fear that uranium drilling could lead to environmental contamination.

They occupied the site from late June to mid-October last year despite a court injunction granted in response to requests from the company. The injunction ordered the Algonquins off the site and gave police the authority to arrest them.

The occupation ended after the Ontario government agreed to mediation talks, but began again this month after those talks failed.


But look at [url=http://www.cbc.ca/canada/ottawa/story/2008/02/13/ot-algonquin-080213.htm... story[/url] from two days ago:

quote:

Two eastern Ontario First Nations communities are no longer united in defying a court order concerning a prospective uranium mining site near Sharbot Lake.

Chief Doreen Davis and another senior official from the Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nation told an Ontario court Tuesday that they plan to honour the order, which gives the mining exploration company Frontenac Ventures Corp. unfettered access to the site about 60 kilometres north of Kingston, Ont. [...]

Neil Smitheman, a lawyer for Frontenac Ventures, hailed Davis's decision.

"We think it's an excellent opportunity for the healing to commence. The differences that may have existed in the past between the company and the Shabot, we're hoping that they can be mended and this is the first step," he said.


Does anyone know the full story here?

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

I have some insight,

Here's the official release from he Shabot Leadership:

[i]

[i]PRESS RELEASE

On February 12, 2008 the leadership of the Shabot Obaajiwan Algonquin First Nation appeared in a Kingston Ontario court to stand trial for their role in the ongoing struggle to stop a proposed 30,000-acre uranium mine on unceded Algonquin land just north of Sharbot Lake, Ontario.

In keeping with the spirit of goodwill and peace in which the Shabot Obaajiwan having been conducting themselves throughout this conflict, Chief Doreen Davis and War Chief Earl Badour Sr. have agreed to continue to abide by the terms of a court ordered injunction issued on September 27, 2007 with which they have complied since the blockade was dismantled on October 11, 2007. The Shabot leadership will ask their community to comply with this order and the “undertakings” negotiated by crown attorneys and Shabot defence lawyers until the case is reconvened for sentencing on March 17, 2008.

This trial is further illustration of the lack respect and indifference with which the Ontario government has consistently chosen to treat the concerns of First Nations people. Ontario has failed to abide by their own legally binding duty to consult Algonquin First Nations before initiating mining exploration on their lands. Instead the government has chosen to hide behind the courts. By attempting to bury this significant political and environmental issue in the mire of the legal system, they have clearly proven that their loyalties lie with industry rather than with people. Ontario has once again elected to promote the profit-seeking ventures of industry over Aboriginal rights and values. In spite of such bad faith on the part of Ontario, Shabot Obaajiwan leaders have consistently demonstrated their willingness to negotiate this issue through consultations with the government.

The Shabot Obaajiwan leadership remains committed to the opposition of the uranium mine, the disastrous effects of which would be felt for many hundreds of kilometres along the watershed and for many hundreds of years. They appeal to members of the Shabot Obaajiwan community as well as other communities of First Nations and settlers involved in the anti-uranium struggle to continue to conduct themselves in the spirit of peace.

We Live to Fight Another Day![/i]

The second media article you posted isn't quite correct in that the alliance is broken. It came out after the Shabot leadership was in court on Monday, they reached an agreement with the court and were taking a different strategy then what the Algonquin leadership did...in reference to the court injunctions.

Overall whats basically is happening is that the company through the courts has/is going after the leadership and playing hardball in order to shut down the protest. The Shabot leadership was under the same threats that the Ardoch's were sentenced to today. Whats missing from the article is that apparently approx 180,000 dollars each in fines was also part of the sentence which will likely include the seizure of property..ie their homes.

There are several non-native local residents who are considered 'the leaders" who have also been named and are set to go to court in the coming weeks. In this case it's not just a 'native' protest as the residents have been standing side by side since the beginning.

The whole thing is a mess imo...as what is largely a 'political' issue and should be solved through a political process is being forced through the courts with the OPP put in the position of being the enforcers. I can say from personal contact that even members of the OPP aren't happy about being put in that position either. A similar thing happened in Caledonia and we can see in hindsight how that all went.

In the courts the whole thing was framed as an issue of 'private property' rights as the main site itself is considered private land. However the overall land in question (where the actual drilling and mining is to occur) is a mixture of 'crown land' and private property, all of which is considered traditional Algonquin territory. It is also land that has been under claim, with negotiations occuring about it since the mid nineties.
What is missing from the framing is the whole issue of the Crown's obligation to consult, under the various supreme court rulings about the "Duty to Consult" about land use in areas where title is in question.

When the protest started and the property was blocked and the company went after the protest with numerous injunctions all framed under private property trespass laws. The Algonquins from the get go were asking for the question to be brought to the political realm. They managed to agree to and uneasy truce with both sides agreeing to government mediation. However this wasn't any sort of negotiation in any real sense as the government 'mediators' refused to even talk about the whole issue of 'consulting' and 'land rights.' This was one if not the main reason the mediation broke down. They also pretty much said that their hands were tied because of the overarching 'rules' and 'laws' contained in the 'Mining Act'. In a nutshell this act pretty much gives carte blanche to prospecting and mining companies to go into both 'crown' and private owned land and stake it out. In the case of private land they only have to give 24 hour notice or with what happened in this case they didn't give anything or tell anyone. The way that this whole big 'plan' was discovered was by accident when a non-native private owner happened to take a walk on his property and discovered that it had been staked for exploration. He then found out that there was absolutely nothing that he could do or say about it.

As soon as the talks broke the company went back to the courts to force the issue and all the injunctions that were put on hold for the mediation process came back into effect.

Today the court also apparently put into affect a bunch of 'jane and john doe' warrants so that basically anybody...no matter who they are can be arrested if they are on or near the actual site.

I'm also going to pass on some info that may give some insight into the type of people that both the Algonquins and local residents are dealing with here. It came to light the other day that 'someone' from the company itself had approached the military to ask for assistance, saying that they needed protection because a 'riot' had occured outside the entrance to the site. A big fat hairy lie.
It didn't go anywhere of course, but to me it's pretty telling as to some of the extent of the policking thats going on behind the scenes here.

Unionist

quote:


Originally posted by ElizaQ:
[b]
The second media article you posted isn't quite correct in that the alliance is broken. [/b]

How is it incorrect? Is the alliance still in place?

[url=http://www.thewhig.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=900600]Here [/url] is a more detailed account. You're right, ElizaQ, it seems there are other people charged as well:

quote:

Meanwhile, contempt charges against private landowner Frank Morrison, who had his land surreptitiously staked, and Christian Peacemaker David Milne have been put over to March for separate hearings.

It really looks as if they did a private deal with the Shabot - the Ardoch weren't even involved in the negotiations:

quote:

Late yesterday afternoon, following extended private discussions between lawyer Stephen Reynolds, representing the Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nations, and Neal J. Smitheman, on behalf of Frontenac Ventures, a negotiated resolution was reached and read into the court record.

what I don't understand is what the Shabot achieved from the settlement, other than having the charges against them stayed.

[ 15 February 2008: Message edited by: unionist ]

Le T Le T's picture

quote:


However this wasn't any sort of negotiation in any real sense as the government 'mediators' refused to even talk about the whole issue of 'consulting' and 'land rights.' This was one if not the main reason the mediation broke down.

And then there was the "bait and switch" on the part of the province. In Lovelace's own words...

"The failure to reach a resolution rests squarely on the shoulders of the
province and not with the Algonquin people who participated in the process.
While we entered into the negotiations in good faith, with the understanding
that our concerns would be addressed and discussed, Ontario entered into it
with a predetermined mandate and understanding with Frontenac that they would
be allowed to drill, no matter the outcome. This became very obvious to us on
the last day of negotiations when MMND representative Cam Clark admitted that
Ontario's position was that drilling would have to occur alongside any actual
consultation process that was started between the parties. For Ardoch Algonquin First Nation, pre-determined drilling was a non-starter which left us with no choice but to withdraw from the process. As a result of our refusal to
continue in a process that has a pre-determined mandate to allow drilling, we are once
again being constructed as criminals and villains by Frontenac Ventures and the Ontario court system."

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

quote:


Originally posted by unionist:
[b]

what I don't understand is what the Shabot achieved from the settlement, other than having the charges against them stayed.

[ 15 February 2008: Message edited by: unionist ][/b]


What I mean about the alliance not broken is that the people themselves and the community are still together in opposing the mining. What the courts are doing is trying to divide them.

Both sets of leadership choose to take different strategies in dealing with the actual court proceedings which was their perogative. No one from either community is happy with whats going on and are trying to figure out how to proceed now.

The charges against the Shabot leaders haven't been stayed entirely as they have to go in for sentencing next month. In terms of what they achieved was in essence more time to try and deal with it.

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

Latest Update:

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/canada/ottawa/story/2008/02/15/ot-contempt-080215.html... Leader Agrees to Suspend Protest[/url]

[i]An aboriginal leader sentenced to time behind bars for defying two court orders and blocking a prospective uranium mining site has agreed to stop participating in protests so she can avoid going to jail.

Ardoch co-chief Paula Sherman, shown in a photo from last September, will avoid jail time but still must pay a $15,000 fine.Ardoch co-chief Paula Sherman, shown in a photo from last September, will avoid jail time but still must pay a $15,000 fine. [/i]

Unionist

Wow, two down and one to go. I guess "divide and rule" pretty well summed it up, didn't it?

This is really outrageous. It's not enough to criminalize a struggle of the people against the corporations, but they have to terrorize them, divide them, humiliate them, so that (contrary to the Shabot statement) they will [i]not[/i] live to fight another day.

This is a colonial regime at its worst. I hope the bands and the local population can find a way to re-establish their unity in the face of this attack.

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

Just further wanted to add to the whole issue of 'dividing' and 'conquering' which I think speaks to how some in the courts and the powers that be are thinking.

One of stipulations of the court ruling is that the individuals named will not solicit any third party help, that would include any and all FN's, with Six Nations and Tyendinaga specifically named, other settler groups, including CCAMU and other any other environmental groups.

CCAMU : Community Coalition Against Uranium Mining is the specific non-native group that has been supporting the Algonquins.
[url=http://www.ccamu.ca]www.ccamu.ca[/url]

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

"We think it's an excellent opportunity for the healing to commence."

Through the dispossession of indigenous peoples and the raping of the earth. [i]Civilization[/i] marches onward. So what has changed in 500 years? First Nations people are pushed from their land and killed or imprisoned if they resist. Just like in the good old days.

ETA: And keep in mind this is a Liberal government acting in all our names.

[ 15 February 2008: Message edited by: Frustrated Mess ]

Hawk

After reading the thread I knew I should post my thoughts.

Tears at Sharbot Lake

So nothing in 500 years has changed... the government and those who want to rape and destroy our lands have won.
Through the courts they have again put our people off our land to make a dollar.
This started out an environment issue, maybe thats were we went wrong. Because the government turn this into a native issue against a small community and they beat them into submission, with court rulings.
It's a sad day and many who were there and fought the fight have tears in there eyes this day.
Native and settlers alike were threatened with everything the court could throw at us. Yes even the military if 6 nations or any other FN were to stand up and help us, we would go to jail and the military would take care of any Nation who stood up to help.
This wasn't six nations were there were thousands to back them it was a small community of a few hundred. The courts and the mining company knew this. They knew we didn't have the man power nor the funds to win.
I was naive in the thought we could win. Hell why should I even have thought that right was right and wrong is wrong. Lets let the government pollute our lakes and streams kill our children to come. And yet again take our land to do as they please. Hell what was I thinking.
I will tell you... I was thinking that we could win and I still think that way. But I am just one person, but those that know me know I will if called would stand in front of the military and the police and do what I must. But who would then take my place? To be imprisoned, push from the land, or even killed.
For all of our People gone before us it's just like the good old days.
For all those to come after us there will be no future. For the governments must make that dollar.

Unionist

quote:


Originally posted by Hawk:
[b] Hell what was I thinking.
I will tell you... I was thinking that we could win and I still think that way.[/b]

I think so too. And thank you for that.

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

I just want to correct the info about the use of the military. Sadly the initial info I got was incorrect.
The crown apparently did ask for the military to be put on standby and the judge agreed to this request.

Imo, I think this is very troubling...for all people who are standing up for their rights and injustice. It's troubling enough for me that this threatening tactic is being used against FN's AGAIN and people should be questioning it, in this case there's an added dimension as this action includes the local non-native residents as well.

I'm boggled thinking about the ramifications of what this action is saying for all people in this country.

blake 3:17

This is just disgusting. Thanks ElizaQ for the CCAMU link.

saga saga's picture

It is very disturbing that some **** justice of the peace (appointed by the feds?) can call out the army.

This needs to go to the Supreme Court where cases like this have been addressed properly. I sure hope they can manage that financially.
It is clear that the federal government and their federally appointed Superior Court of Ontario Justices of the Peace do not acknowledge the law as defined by recent multiple Supreme Court rulings on this exact topic. That is because the governments themselves cannot/will not fight the powerful mining and logging industries.

By this court ruling, the so-called 'judge' is announcing his belief that the Mining Act supersedes the Constitution of Canada. Only in his pockets is that true!

This is a similar case, also in the news this week:

Ottawa abandons appeal in court fight against Ka'agee Tu First Nation

Wed Feb 13, 6:55 PM

The legal battle between the federal government and the Ka'agee Tu First Nation over development in the Northwest Territories seems to have calmed for now, as lawyers for the government dropped an appeal of a Federal Court ruling siding with the First Nation.

The July, 2007 ruling said the government violated the band's right to meaningful consultation in 2005, when it approved Paramount Resources' application to drill several new oil wells in the Cameron Hills area.

[url=http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/cbc/080213/canada/north_nwt_appeal_2]http://c...

[b]"We won all our court cases against them,[/b] I think there was about five of them all in total. None of them have been appealed as of last Friday, that I know of. [b]They have to sit down and consult with us and accommodate us where possible."[/b]

The Federal Court's decision stated that the Ka'agee Tu must be consulted about development throughout every step of the regulatory process.

Landry says consultation has moved ahead between Paramount, the federal government and the First Nation. They are starting to negotiate compensation for the Ka'agee Tu, he added.

[ 18 February 2008: Message edited by: saga ]

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

Here's a copy of a backgrounder that was given to various media outlets when the convictions came down.
It was written by local residents involved in the protest. Though brief it gets into more detail then the media stories do.

[i]
The story behind the draconian February 15th sentencing of a First Nation leader began in the spring of 2007 when the Ardoch and Shabot Obaadjiwan Algonquin communities found out that their land was threatened by a proposed uranium mine. The Ontario government had given a permit to "Frontenac Ventures" corporation to drill for uranium on a 30,000 acre tract of wilderness in northern Frontenac County, 100 kms upstream from Ottawa. Some of the land staked is private property, but most is unceded Algonquin territory, claimed as "Crown land" by the provincial government.

Like the whole of the Ottawa River watershed, this "Frontenac Tract" is traditional Algonquin territory. It has never been ceded to the Crown, and since the early 1990s it has been the subject of Comprehensive Land Claim negotiations with Ontario and Canada. By issuing exploration permits on this disputed land, Ontario has made a mockery of its own negotiations and ignored Supreme Court rulings that require meaningful consultation with First Nations before allowing development in their territories.

Frontenac Ventures took advantage of this government travesty. In the spring of 2007 it set up a uranium exploration camp at Robertsville, 90 kms north of Kingston, and prepared to drill. Meanwhile, concern was building among local residents over the dangers uranium poses to human health and the environment. Meetings took place between Algonquins and their "settler" neighbours, research was done, letters written, questions raised. But as more alarming facts emerged about the risks of exploring and mining this radioactive mineral, it became clear that the company was going ahead regardless.

At the end of June, the Ardoch Algonquins and Shabot Obaadjiwan peacefully occupied the site at Robertsville, the only feasible entry point for the 30,000-acre tract. They were supported by hundreds of non-Algonquins from the local area and beyond, who brought food and supplies, raised money, and organized a communications and quick response network. The comprehensive website (www.ccamu.ca) and email newsletter, "Uranium News" are the work of the Community Coalition Against Mining Uranium.

From the start, the entire protest was determinedly non-violent. Mindful of the lessons from Ipperwash, the Ontario Provincial Police helped maintain good communications and prevent crises. The Algonquins, working from an office in a donated trailer behind the gate, continued to press the government for consultation. Frustrated, Frontenac Ventures launched a $77-million lawsuit against the protesters and got an interim injunction ordering everyone away from the Site.

In response, settler support mushroomed, and an entire tent village went up outside the gate. The Algonquins insisted they would only leave if true consultation began, with a guarantee of no drilling for the duration of the process. Apparently outraged by their stubborn determination, Judge Cunningham of the Ontario Superior Court issued a follow-up "interlocutory" injunction on September 27th, and charged the protesters with contempt of court for defying the earlier order. With evidence implicating at least 50 people, both settlers and Algonquins, lawyers negotiated the number down to eight, among them the five First Nations leaders who bravely volunteered to take the rap for everyone

Finally in October the government agreed to mediated talks, and the Algonquins moved their peaceful protest out from behind the gate to the road allowance nearby. As the cold set in, the protesters maintained a watchful presence in the relocated trailer and a cabin they built in three days. Donna Dillman’s hunger strike was based there until she took it to Toronto at the end of November. Frontenac Ventures came and went, doing "non-intrusive" preparatory work under the terms of the mediation.

But tensions began to mount soon after New Years, as the end of the twelve-week mediation period approached. An innovative Algonquin proposal for a consultation "pilot project" was on the table when the Ontario government pulled the rug out from under the whole thing by insisting that drilling must go ahead no matter what. Ardoch and Shabot rejected that condition and resumed their non-violent protest. That was how things stood on February 12th when the trials on the contempt charges began, leading to the rigid conditions, massive fines and jail time imposed by Judge Cunningham.[/i]

saga saga's picture

quote:


Originally posted by ElizaQ:
[b]Apparently outraged by their stubborn determination, Judge Cunningham of the Ontario Superior Court issued a follow-up "interlocutory" injunction on September 27th, and charged the protesters with contempt of court for defying the earlier order.[/i][/b]

Cripes! Cunningham sounds just like Judge Marshall in Haldimand. I wonder if Cunningham also has a 'conflict of interest' ... [img]rolleyes.gif" border="0[/img]

blake 3:17

Group slams fining, jailing of protester

The Kingston Whig-Standard
Posted 7 hours ago
Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Amnesty International condemned the sentencing and $25,000 fine of a
member
of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation for his role in the Algonquins'
protest
and occupation over uranium mining on disputed land near Sharbot Lake.

The group said the blame for the situation rests with the provincial
government.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

from [url=http://www.amnesty.ca/resource_centre/news/view.php?load=arcview&article... International[/url]:

quote:

“The situation defies justice,” says Craig Benjamin, Amnesty International Canada’s Campaigner for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples. “Indigenous leaders and their supporters are facing stiff punishments for doing what they feel is necessary to protect rights that may one day be upheld in court or in the land claims process. Meanwhile the provincial government is ignoring its own legal obligations without any accountability.”

Canadian courts have clearly established that whenever the rights of Indigenous peoples may be affected, governments have a legal duty to ensure that there must always be meaningful consultation to identify and accommodate Indigenous concerns. Depending on the potential impacts, courts have found that this legal duty may include other more stringent measures “to avoid irreparable harm”, including in some cases agreeing to proceed only with the consent of the affected peoples.

Shortly before the blockade began last summer, a high level provincial inquiry into Indigenous land rights disputes in Ontario concluded that “the single biggest source of frustration, distrust, and ill-feeling among Aboriginal people in Ontario is our failure to deal in a just and expeditious way with breaches of treaty and other legal obligations to First Nations.” The Ipperwash Inquiry report went on to recommend that provincial laws, policies and practices must be reformed to ensure that they are consistent with the government’s legal obligations toward Indigenous peoples, including the duty of consultation, accommodation and consent.

[b]The fact that provincial mining laws and policies are out of step with the constitutional duty of meaningful consultation is acknowledged in a January 2007 discussion paper issued by the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines.[/b] Despite this, the province continues to allow companies to stake claims and initiate exploration with little or no consideration of Indigenous interests.

In addition to the conflict over uranium mining in eastern Ontario, leaders from the Kitchenuhmaykoosib First Nation in northern Ontario are awaiting sentencing for contempt of court after continuing to oppose drilling activities in the face of an injunction. In the initial ruling in that case, [b]the court sharply criticized the Ontario government for not having “heard or comprehended” repeated court affirmation of the duty of meaningful consultation and accommodation.[/b]

Amnesty International is calling on the province to work with Indigenous peoples to undertake immediate reform of provincial laws and policies that fail to respect and uphold the duty of meaningful consultation, accommodation and consent.

The province must also take urgent measures to address conflicts arising from its past failures to uphold that duty including by:

• committing to a negotiated resolution of the dispute;

• entering those negotiations in good faith without prejudging or limiting in advance the form and extent of accommodation required to respect and protect the rights of the Algonquin people; and

• taking measures in collaboration with the Algonquin people to ensure that their rights are not harmed while such negotiations are under way.

In the event of an appeal, Amnesty International urges the province to ensure the court is made fully aware of the underlying rights issues at stake, including the province's constitutional duty of consultation, accommodation and consent.


saga saga's picture

And here is the "Crown's Duty to Consult" in a nutshell:

[i]Recent case law from the Supreme Court of Canada (Haida and Taku) has confirmed that the Crown has a duty to consult, and if necessary, accommodate Aboriginal interests when it has knowledge, real or constructive, of the potential existence of an Aboriginal right or title and contemplates conduct that might adversely affect it.[/i]

It is confirmed in other Supreme Court rulings that the province and the feds both have this "duty". It is also confirmed that this duty is a matter of upholding the honour of the Crown.

Seems to me the honour of the Crown is pretty battered.

That is a nice way of saying our government are friggen criminals! [img]mad.gif" border="0[/img]

Their strategy is now apparent to me, though. Throw everything you can at them to scare them off in provincial court, even call out the army, because they will win in the Supreme Court.

What does that say about the 'judicial independence' of provincial court judges?
The truth, perhaps?

Michelle

So, maybe I missed this, but I assume they're going to appeal these sentences? I just skimmed the thread again and didn't see any mention, but again, I might have just missed it.

saga saga's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Michelle:
[b]So, maybe I missed this, but I assume they're going to appeal these sentences? I just skimmed the thread again and didn't see any mention, but again, I might have just missed it.[/b]

I hope so, but there are i$$ues with that. I think there was mention of fundraising somewhere.

It may be worth it though, so I hope they can.

[ 19 February 2008: Message edited by: saga ]

saga saga's picture

Email update...

*A fundraising meeting is planned for this Thursday evening, 8pm at 99 York
Street* Kingston

*Sent:* Sunday, February 17, 2008 12:16 PM
*Subject:* Preventing Uranium Mining ... Please take action

Dear Friends,
I'm guessing you've heard by now the outcome of last week's court case
regarding the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation's efforts to protect 30,000
acres of land north of Sharbot Lake from an open pit uranium mine. Bob
Lovelace has been incarcerated and hefty fines were laid against the
Ardoch
Algonquin First Nation and their co-chief, Paula Sherman. I was in court all
day Tues, Thurs & Fri and I can tell you that this judge's harsh decision
was egregiously misinformed. Justice was not served.

For now, a few things are happening:

1) I'm taking orders for NO URANIUM T-shirts as a fundraiser - cost is a $12
- $15 donation - email back with a size and whether you want white or yellow

2) A demonstration in support of the political prisoner Bob Lovelace is
planned for Saturday, Feb 23 at 11am at the Quinte Detention Centre
(Napanee) - email back if you can attend and have room in your car for
others

3) Get yourself on the Uranium News list to keep up to date - email
uraniumnews@mail.ccamu.ca and ask to join the list

4) Visit [url=http://www.ccamu.ca]www.ccamu.ca[/url] and become informed about the history of this issue
and the dangers of mining uranium

5) Letter writing campaigns to papers and politicians have started - email
back if you want samples of letters

6) Bob's students at Queen's have set up a Facebook page (the group is
called "Free Bob Lovelace") and are writing letters to Karen Hitchthingy in
order to get the university to put out a statement condemning the judge's
decision and to support the moratorium on uranium mining - if you are
connected to Queen's please support these actions

7) A second round of contempt charges will proceed against Bob as well as
Frank Morrison (the private landowner who first asked for the Ardoch's
assistance) and David Gill (a Christian Peacemaker) and John Hudson
beginning March 18th in Kingston (Court St) so please show up at court for
at least one hour to show the court that this is of interest to a broad
spectrum of the community.

8) A Citizen's Inquiry into the Uranium Cycle is planned for April 8-10th in
Kingston at Queen Street United Church (corner of Queen & Clergy) - we need
people to make submissions (written and if you wish a 10 minute oral
submission) on various aspects of the social, environmental, political,
etc,
implications of uranium - email back for the information package and
submission guidelines or if you can volunteer to help out.

9) The drill will be going in to the Robertsville site to begin drilling but
we don't know when. Let me know if you are willing to be available as an
observer should we need to assemble in order to peacefully and
nonviolently
witness and contest the arrival of the drill. Please read the following
statement issued to us from the OPP so that you are informed. We don't
want
more people risking contempt charges:
*STATEMENT FROM OPP, FEB 15, 2008: "Pursuant to the court order, anyone
within 200m of the gate, or any Frontenac Ventures employee at the site,
can
be arrested and charged with criminal contempt. As well, anyone
obstructing
Frontenac Venture employees or equipment can be arrested and charged with
criminal contempt. Buildings and/or structures may not be within 500m of
the gate on Roberstville Road or Hwy 509."*

10) A fundraising meeting is planned for this Thursday evening, 8pm at 99
York Street... please contact Susan Delisle at sdelisle@kingston.net if
you
plan to attend.

Please take action on at least one of these items above and please forward
this email widely to your contacts. This is a crisis that involves the
intersection of social justice issues, environmental issues, First Nations
issues, and Human Rights issues... it matters to all of us.
Many thanks,

contact via mohawksupport@riseup.net

[ 19 February 2008: Message edited by: saga ]

Hawk

Originally posted by Michelle:
So, maybe I missed this, but I assume they're going to appeal these sentences? I just skimmed the thread again and didn't see any mention, but again, I might have just missed it.

I hope so, but there are i$$ues with that. I think there was mention of fundraising somewhere.

It may be worth it though, so I hope they can.

[ 19 February 2008: Message edited by: saga ]

Hi folks,
I have talk to Chief Doreen Davis and the War Chief of the Sharbot Lake community several times since their court decision was pasted down.
They are in the process of gathering legal advice in order to fight the judges orders in this matter.
And yes there are money issues. They have just about exhausted their resources to fight.

Very little of the funds raised for the site during the occupation were made available to them by the Ardock group who has control of all donations.
The Chief/OPP officer Randy Cota (of Ardock) at the time, used or he made the comment that he would use the donations for his community center.
They (Ardock) were sure at the time they would not need the donations for the site.

Before anyone blows a gasket I was there when that statement was made as were 20 or so others.
When asked for an accounting of donations and were they went Chief/OPP officer Randy Cota refused to comply.

A small fraction of the many donations were given to the Sharbot Lake people to help them as they were the one's who were on the site in force
from the start.

So yes there are money issues now for the Sharbot Lake people who are fighting the system of the courts to continue their court battle.
I for one have been a supporter for the Sharbot Lake group in this matter and will continue to do so. I sincerely hope that we all can help in the continue struggle they face.

saga saga's picture

Thanks for posting hawk. I hope you can appeal. I cannot believe that these rulings will stand. All the best!

Hawk

Thank you Saga,
But the appeal is not for me. As stated in the previous post I am a supporter for Sharbot Lake and those that were there.
And they as well as many others find that the judges rulings for both Sharbot Lake and Ardock people were unreasonable and against Canadian Law.

Hawk

[url=http://www.cnw.ca/fr/releases/archive/February2008/20/c4323.html]http://...

NAN demands Ontario settles Ardoch land dispute
THUNDER BAY, ON, Feb. 20 /CNW/ - Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Stan Beardy demands the Premier of Ontario negotiate a settlement regarding the ongoing land dispute on traditional Ardoch Algonquin First Nation (AAFN) territory, rather than using the courts to delay a political solution.

"The solution to unsettled land claims is not jail time or fines," said
NAN Grand Chief Stan Beardy. "We're in a situation where First Nation people are being criminalized for practising constitutionally protected Aboriginal and treaty rights - our way of life on the land. These extreme positions by Ontario to support court proceedings rather than negotiating settlements could seriously jeopardize new meaningful relationships not only in Algonquin territory, but across the province."

Beardy's comments come after AAFN negotiator Robert Lovelace was
yesterday sentenced six months in jail and fined $25,000 for his participation in a peaceful protest over uranium exploration on Algonquin traditional territory (eastern Ontario).

The actions leading to yesterday's sentencing of the AAFN member are
comparable to James Bay Treaty 9 community Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) and its litigation between mining exploration company Platinex Inc. and the Government of Ontario - a story that's made national news since the northern First Nation community approx. 600 km north of Thunder Bay was hit with a $10 billion lawsuit in February 2006 after requesting Platinex Inc. remove drilling equipment from their traditional territory. Similar to the situation in eastern Ontario, KI leadership currently awaits an expected April 2008 sentencing for a December 2007 contempt charge as they fulfill their sacred responsibility to the land.

"What the Government of Ontario and general public need to realize is
that our people have a sacred responsibility to the land. It's not that we
operate outside of Canadian law, however the laws of our lands come first," said Beardy, adding that injustice at Ardoch and with KI is a threat to justice for First Nations not only within Ontario, but across Canada. "The court decisions coming out of Ardoch and KI affect all First
Nations," said Beardy. "What kind of message is the Government of Ontario sending when it consistently ignores Supreme Court of Canada rulings to consult and accommodate First Nations prior to development?"

Nishnawbe Aski Nation is a political territorial organization representing 49 First Nation communities part of James Bay Treaty 9 and Ontario portions of Treaty 5.

Hawk

Protesters' trial a travesty of law and moral responsibility
Posted 1 hour ago

I know too little about First Nations' roles in this country historically and currently, but I do know that First Nations principles, historically and culturally, are based on respect for the land, which translates into environmentalism. I know a little about residential schools-based genocide and related forms of genocide as well. But I think I learned all one really needs to know last week at the Frontenac County Court House, where Justice Douglas Cunningham concluded that Robert Lovelace and Paula Sherman, leaders of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation, should be sentenced to six months in prison and fined more than $35,000 for trying to protect their (and our) land from environmental disaster.

Those two, as well as Chief Doreen Davis of the Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nation and a considerable number of stakeholders in the area, have worked for months to see that Ontario's legal duty to consult with First Nations about mining activity - in this case, uranium mining activity - takes place before allowing mining that would turn the subject lands north of Sharbot Lake into a toxic ruin.

Justice Cunningham ignored Ontario's failure to consult, ignored the Canadian right to non-violent protest, ignored the Crown's refusal to acknowledge environmental challenges to the dangerously outdated Canada Mining Act and ignored implied threats by Frontenac Ventures to enlist armed (and therefore potentially violent) security to deal with First Nations peoples and their supporters.

Worst of all, he ignored Algonquin law, which has enacted a moratorium on uranium mining, and thus he ignored the right of First Nations people to obey their laws.

Anyone is welcome to read the transcripts of this hearing, but having witnessed this travesty of law and moral responsibility, I can only say that Justice Cunningham's apparent indifference to Ontario's failure to consult taught me everything I need to know about colonization, land genocide and the iniquity of white corporate power.

Valerie Ashford

Kingston

Hawk

Provincial Crowns have a duty to consult and accommodate.

Justice Cunningham ignored Ontario's failure to consult, ignored the Canadian right to non-violent protest, ignored the Crown's refusal to acknowledge environmental challenges to the dangerously outdated Canada Mining Act and ignored implied threats by Frontenac Ventures to enlist armed (and therefore potentially violent) security to deal with First Nations peoples and their supporters.

So in retrospect this means that we can expect a Justice Cunningham type decision to come to a court near you.

I would like to also add this type of decision making is not limited to just Haudenoshonee but to all people.
When the rights of one person is squashed in the legal system all rights have been for all people violated.

But then this is IMO

saga saga's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Hawk:
[b]Provincial Crowns have a duty to consult and accommodate.

Justice Cunningham ignored Ontario's failure to consult, ignored the Canadian right to non-violent protest, ignored the Crown's refusal to acknowledge environmental challenges to the dangerously outdated Canada Mining Act and ignored implied threats by Frontenac Ventures to enlist armed (and therefore potentially violent) security to deal with First Nations peoples and their supporters.

So in retrospect this means that we can expect a Justice Cunningham type decision to come to a court near you.

I would like to also add this type of decision making is not limited to just Haudenoshonee but to all people.
When the rights of one person is squashed in the legal system all rights have been for all people violated.

But then this is IMO[/b]


Absolutely. This is about the rights of all people in the area that will be affected by a uranium mine.

The Judge sounds like a rerun of Haldimand County's Judge Marshall. Just ignore the real law and do whatever you can get away with temporarily.

There should be a halt on drilling until an appeal is heard.

Hawk

Conservative MP Chris Reid and Conservative MPP Randy Hiller speak out about the decision in Sharbot Lake and send support for Bob Lovelace.

[url=http://www.youshare.com/view.php?file=Hillier_Reid_21Feb08.pdf]http://ww...

"Although we cannot be present today in Napanee, we want to make it clear that as your elected representatives in federal and provincial parliaments, we find the decision handed down on February 15 by Justice Doug Cunningham to be a grave injustice."

.......................................

"...it is our view that the combination of fines and imprisonment imposed by the judge is grossly disproportionate to Mr. Lovelace's act of civil disobedience, and therefore violates his right under section 12 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, "not be subjected to any cruel and unusual punishment."

The Ontario Government has failed in it's obligations to update the Mining Act to reflect legitimate property right concerns, aboriginal concerns, and environmental concerns. Justice Cunninghams decision
compounds these problems, and serves to bring the administration of justice into disrepute. We will continue to to voice our opposition until these wrongs are set right."

Hawk

[url=http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/industries/industrials/article/drilli... edited to fix sidescroll[/url]

Drilling suspended on Minago Nickel Project of Victory Nickel Inc.

CNW Group
Comtex

NORWAY HOUSE CREE NATION, MB, Feb. 22, 2008 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) -- Today, the Norway House Cree Nation ("Norway House") announced that they were pleased with the Manitoba Government's decision to suspend a drilling permit it issued to Victory Nickel Inc. for the Minago Project. The decision came after the Manitoba Director of Mines acknowledged the absence of notice or consultation with Norway House prior to issuing the approval.

On February 21st, the Chief and Council of Norway House, met with representatives from Manitoba's Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mines and learned that three permits had been issued to Victory Nickel without any prior notice or consultation. Most notably, one of the permits was a borehole licence which is required to conduct exploration drilling planned for early 2008.

Chief Marcel Balfour pointed out that Norway House took issue with the issuance of these permits since under section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, governments are required to consult First Nations when they are contemplating conduct that may adversely impact aboriginal or treaty rights. Chief Balfour stated, "We made it clear to the representatives from Manitoba that they had broken the law by issuing those permits without properly consulting us. We are very pleased that Manitoba has suspended the drilling as this is a good first step towards developing our relationship with the Crown on mining issues."

Further discussions are planned between Norway House Cree Nation and Manitoba towards development of an appropriate consultation and accommodation process on mining in the First Nation's traditional lands. However, talks with Victory Nickel remain at a standstill. "They still refuse to engage with us on a without prejudice basis so we will simply focus our concerns on dialogue with Crown," said Chief Balfour.

Norway House Cree Nation is located at the northern side of Lake Winnipeg in the province of Manitoba with a membership of over five thousand. It is a signatory to Treaty 5 with the federal government and has had its treaty rights confirmed by Canada and Manitoba in the 1977 Northern Flood Agreement and in the 1997 Master Implementation Agreement.

Victory Nickel Inc. (TSX:Ni) is a Toronto-based publicly traded mineral exploration company that wishes to develop the Minago Project, a nickel deposit located in the traditional territory of the Norway House Cree Nation.

If the consultation and accommodation laws have to be taken in to consideration in other provinces,why does Ontario refuse to do the same???

[ 22 March 2008: Message edited by: Makwa ]

Hawk

[url=http://www.intelligencer.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=913913]http://www.inte...

Protesters had no other option
Posted -50 sec ago
I am writing after hearing the news of the sentencing of the protesters at Robertsville, near Sharbot Lake, for contempt of court after they went against a court injunction. All involved understood that contempt of court was a serious offence but from what I have been reading on the government websites and the website of Frontenac Ventures Corporation (FVC) themselves, this was a situation where the people only had one course of action and that was to protest.

The judge was unfairly harsh in his sentencing, especially when you consider that a man who was convicted of hit and run causing death in the past year or so received only a six-month sentence for his crime in Ontario.

Not only jail time and hefty fines attached but the judge has declared that he will not accept the mining act defence in which there must be consultation with the aboriginal people when mining claims are on unsettled Crown land. This is not justice.

His actions take us right back to the beginning of human rights when people had to fight to have their rights recognized differently than "normal" Canadian people and also wipes all the work done for aboriginal people's fight for self government.

There are a few other things that your readers may not be aware of: 1) Under the Mining Act, the company that buys the mining rights is also able to buy the rights to private properties. This means as a land owner you own just that, the companies purchase the rights to look for minerals in your land, they can go in and dig it up and tear up whatever is in their way. They are still required to get permission from the land owners but refusal is limited and this did not happen in the case of the home owners in Robertsville. The company violated the law and the only ones being held accountable are the protesters.

2) Also under the Mining Act, these companies not only get the rights to the land but they get the rights to the land under the water, so they can dig up the waterfront too. Uranium is the worst as it is radioactive and once disturbed stays active for many years. Every citizen of every city should be concerned about this and should contact their city and government officials and ask them to place a moratorium on uranium mining. Not for a year or two, but for as long as humanly possible.

Also, send "shame" to the judge in Kingston for his biased sentencing of protesters who did try to work things out legally, and his failure to punish FVC for its actions.

Peter Vance

Trenton

Hawk

Please forward widely!

Dear Friends and Comrades,

Please visit the following website to find out more about the role of the Shabot Obaajiwan First Nation in the struggle to stop the proposed 30,000 acre uranium mine just north of Sharbot Lake:

[url=http://www.shabotisstillhere.com]www.shabotisstillhere.com[/url]

Unionist

I obviously don't understand all the politics involved, but why can't they (Shabot and Ardoch) raise money jointly, instead of [url=http://www.shabotisstillhere.com/help.html]separately[/url]?

I opened this thread to ask about "divide and rule" tactics, and I'm wondering whether anyone has insight as to how to overcome these - especially now that appeals for support are being made more broadly to potential allies for funding etc.

saga saga's picture

[i]Retired chief stoic behind bars

After serving more than a week of a 6-month sentence, Robert Lovelace stands firm in his opposition to a proposed uranium mine in Sharbot Lake, Geoff Nixon writes.

Geoff Nixon, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Saturday, February 23, 2008

NAPANEE - Robert Lovelace holds a dignified presence even when he is dressed in an orange, correctional service centre jumpsuit.
[url=http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=0490ba02-0085-48b... a5e-3f01d9bb424c&k=53599[/url]
...
The way Mr. Lovelace sees it, his conviction is the result of "the court being used as a political tool by the corporation," and "archaic" legislation -- the Ontario Mining Act -- which leaves him fighting for the underdog, or the people living in the Sharbot Lake area.

"It's an act that basically gives advantages to a privileged class of people," Mr. Lovelace said. Specifically, he says the act supports businesses such as Frontenac Ventures, or those with the "money to explore, spend and create an open-pit mine more than 30,000 acres in size."
...
When asked what he thinks people would want to know about his story, Mr. Lovelace said the people in the Ottawa Valley need to think about the future of their land, to oppose any measures they see as being unfit for it and "to love it well."
- - -
Hours after Mr. Lovelace spoke to the Citizen on Thursday, he was moved to the Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay -- for reasons a Quinte Detention Centre staff member described as "standard procedure."

Mr. Lovelace's lawyer, Chris Reid, said yesterday afternoon he had not been informed his client would be moving facilities.

A message left for Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services spokesman Stuart McGetrick was not immediately returned.
[/i]
© The Ottawa Citizen 2008

_____________________

unionist,

Who doesn't have politics. However, it is clear to me that Bob Lovelace needs to appeal his conviction. The Ontario Court of Appeal [b]will [/b] consider Constitutional issues, where the lower courts seem so inept.

[ 24 February 2008: Message edited by: saga ]

Le T Le T's picture

quote:


Retired chief stoic behind bars

Puke!

saga saga's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Le Tйlйspectateur:
[b]

Puke![/b]


I agree ... It is a crappy stereotyped headline.
The MSM sucks.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Robert Lovelace ought to be viewed for what he is: a political prisoner. His imprisonment and the rape of First Nations land by white owned resource industries ought to stand as testament to the false democracy that is our political system.

Every Canadian who believes in justice, freedom, and the ... [i]oh! oh! American Idol is on![/i]

saga saga's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Frustrated Mess:
[b]Robert Lovelace ought to be viewed for what he is: a political prisoner. His imprisonment and the rape of First Nations land by white owned resource industries ought to stand as testament to the false democracy that is our political system.

Every Canadian who believes in justice, freedom, and the ... [i]oh! oh! American Idol is on![/i][/b]


[img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img] Well said! [img]frown.gif" border="0[/img]

[ 26 February 2008: Message edited by: saga ]

Hawk

"Guess who came to our jail this week?'
Posted 40 mins ago

Having grown up in Kingston Ontario, I am familiar with the vista of prisons dotting my hometown landscape. That is why now, being a fairly new Lindsayite I can say having a maximum-security prison in my backyard did not bother me in the least. Until now. After moving here two summers ago, I was hired at Fleetwood Canada and began my factory career at Plant #2 on Hwy #36, a hop, skip and a jump from the front door of the Central East Correctional Center (The Lindsay Pen). I remember sitting outside the factory doors having my lunch in the sun and gazing over at the sprawling grey buildings and wondering what people did to get themselves thrown into a place like that. Violent crimes came to mind, of course. Criminals incarcerated for crimes like rape, robbery, murder surely.

This last Saturday, I discovered something that shocked and saddened me greatly. I attended a rally in Napanee, Ontario for a man named Robert Lovelace. He is a leader of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nations people near the Sharbot Lake area north of Kingston, Ontario. Professionally, he is a well-respected and admired professor at Queen's University, Fleming College and Trent University. He has, for the last year, with his people, along with many community based "settlers" been trying to stop an Oakville-based company, Frontenac Ventures Corporation, from exploring a 5,000-hectare site near Clarendon Station, to see if mining for uranium will be possible and profitable. A prominent use of uranium from mining is as fuel for nuclear power plants. These mines threaten people and the environment due to their release of radon gas and seepage water containing radioactive and toxic materials that have been proven to be cancer-causing and environmentally devastating. The waterways that would be affected are not only the local lakes and rivers but also lead into the St. Lawrence and Mississippi Rivers. The laws that dictate these mining procedures are antiquated to put it mildly (literally from the 1800's) and do not take into account any of the issues that now face our ever increasingly desperate, dying environment.

Mr. Lovelace, 59, was found guilty of being in contempt of court and sentenced to six months in jail, as well as staggering fines (potentially up to $450,000 for he and his tribe) because he defied a court order by staging peaceful protests at the potential uranium mining site during the fall and late summer of last year all in accordance with Native law. He and his people are being punished for standing up for their rights and laws. Originally being held at the Quinte Detention Centre in Napanee, where the rally to protest this outrageous sentence was held, the powers that be decided to move the "political prisoner" (others include such men as Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela), to a more "secure" location deciding that Ontario's newest, maximum-security prison would be just the ticket to hold such a "dangerous" criminal. Having now set the court precedent, members of the KI tribe north of Thunder Bay, dealing with the same situation, must wait patiently for their sentencing on these same issues, and not much hope is left that they will escape a similar fate. The chief has been quoted in saying that he will "lay down my life for my land if necessary, because without my land there is nothing worth living for."

My adolescent thoughts about dangerous criminals behind bars have been irreparably shattered as well as my na‹ve confidence in my Ontario government who have not only stood back and done nothing to stop this potentially devastating atrocity from occurring but rather have already agreed to let Frontenac Ventures explore for the toxic substance on this unceded land. So, as Bob Lovelace, a kind, concerned and peaceful professor, who cares so much for our land and humanity, sits in his dingy cell surrounded by cold steel bars, I sit in my living room on my comfy leather couch looking out at my little patch of greenery in my backyard and wonder what I would do if one of my neighbours started digging it up and dumping his toxic waste on MY land.

To Bob, thank you for looking out for us!!

To Dalton McGuinty, I am going to hold you to your election promise of "clean air and water for all Ontario people!" For more information on this issue go to [url=http://www.uraniumnews@mail.ccamu.ca.]www.uraniumnews@mail.ccamu.ca.[/url]

Genevieve Comolli

Regent Street

Hawk

[url=http://www.cnw.ca/fr/releases/archive/February2008/28/c7170.html]http://...

Attention News Editors:

Strange New Twist in Legal Battle Over Mining on First Nations' Land
Platinex Denies Asking Court to Jail First Nation's Leaders

THUNDER BAY, ON, Feb. 28 /CNW/ - Chief Donnie Morris and five other
leaders of the were recently held in contempt of a court injunction which
prohibits them from interfering with a mineral exploration program by Platinex Inc. on KI's territory.

In a strange development, Platinex released a statement on February 26 in which they deny seeking the incarceration of KI leaders:
"Platinex wishes to publicly confirm that Platinex, through its legal
counsel's oral submissions, did not seek incarceration of the KI contemnors. Certain media reports, some of which appear on the KI website, have erroneously stated that Platinex requested the contemnors' incarceration. Indeed, the contemnors' counsel proposed incarceration, instead of monetary penalties, as the appropriate sentence for the contempt."

This claim is very odd since the court record clearly shows that lawyers
for Platinex urged the court to jail KI's leaders. Here are excerpts from the
transcript of the sentencing hearing on January 25 in Thunder Bay:

MR. SMITHEMAN (counsel for Platinex): .... These actions cry out for
stiff sanctions by this court. These are serious, flagrant transgressions
of the law by persons, from what I can see, who have shown no remorse. By their actions the contemnors deserve no quarter, no sympathy from this court.
....

We need a remedy. The easy remedy in this situation is an order for incarceration, and indeed an order for incarceration until the contemnors undertake to comply with this court order.
....

THE COURT: Well, thank you. Let me just ask you one question: you've made a reference to an order of incarceration to continue until such time as the contemnor has purged their contempt or at least indicated that they will comply with the order of the court.

MR. SMITHEMAN: Yes.

THE COURT: So are you looking at a range of six to nine months for
everyone other than Enus McKay and Evelyn Quequish?

MR. SMITHEMAN: Yes.
>>

The full transcript can be found at:
[url=http://www.kitchenuhmaykoosib.com/id34.html]http://www.kitchenuhmaykoosi...

In addition, lawyers for Platinex filed written submissions to the court
in which they asked the court to jail KI's leaders. The Notice of Motion of
Platinex can be found at: [url=http://www.kitchenuhmaykoosib.com/id36.html.]http://www.kitchenuhmaykoos... The factum (written argument) of Platinex can be found at:
[url=http://www.kitchenuhmaykoosib.com/id37.html]http://www.kitchenuhmaykoosi...
As recently as February 21 the lawyers for Platinex wrote to Justice
Smith to provide him with precedents for jailing KI's leaders until they agree to end their opposition to Plantinex's exploration program. A copy of the February 21 letter can be seen at: [url=http://www.kitchenuhmaykoosib.com/id38.html]http://www.kitchenuhmaykoosi...
Chief Morris said: "We have no idea why Platinex is now denying that they
want us in jail. We have read their submissions to the court and heard their lawyers in court on several occasions. Maybe they have a public relations problem, but they won't fix that by trying to mislead people about what they are doing. They need to learn to be honest. Maybe they should come and spend some time with us."
Chief Donnie Morris and five other members of the community will learn
their fate on March 17. KI is located 600 km north of Thunder Bay.

The March 17 court proceeding will be at the Superior Court of Justice,
277 Camelot Street in Thunder Bay at 10:00 a.m.

Links: Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug Web Site: ttp://www.kitchenuhmaykoosib.com
_________________

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

Shabot Obaajiwan Press Release

February 29, 2008

Shabot Obaajiwan War Chief announces renewed resolve in the wake of Lovelace's Sentencing

Earl Badour, condoned war chief of the Shabot Obaajiwan First Nation, announced his solidarity today with Robert Lovelace, former co-chief of Shabot's sister community, the Ardoch Algonquin. Lovelace was sentenced to six months in jail and fined $27,000 for his role in the ongoing protest against the proposed uranium mine just north of Sharbot Lake. Five other leaders from both the Ardoch and Shabot Obaajiwan First Nations accepted a series of "undertakings" in the hopes that their sentencing would be more lenient. Badour, who has been fighting the uranium mine since the initial mine site occupation last June, will face sentencing on March 18th for the same civil contempt charges that put Lovelace behind bars.

Badour is outraged by the extreme sentence levied on Lovelace: "The judgement was very harsh for a man that took a principled position on Native rights, for a man who is simply trying to fulfill his obligation as a Native person under Algonquin law to protect mother earth and the life forms that inhabit the earth."

"This fight is far from over," says Badour, who remains committed to ensuring that Algonquin lands remain free of uranium mining. "We will fight the next phase of this battle at the political level," says Badour, who will be spearheading the Shabot Obaajiwan campaign to further publicize both the government's failure to fulfill its duty to consult and accommodate and the environmental impact of uranium mining at the top of the Ottawa Valley watershed. "This is first and foremost an environmental issue. Uranium mining is one of the most environmentally devastating forms of mining there is."

For the Shabot Obaajiwan the prospecting, exploration, and drilling sequence of Frontenac Ventures Corporation on the Frontenac track represents a clear violation of their rights. The Shabot maintain that under section 35 of the constitution the government has a legally binding duty to consult and accommodate First Nations people before issuing land use permits on their lands. The Shabot Obaajiwan have consistently demonstrated their willingness to engage in discussion with the government. In fact, Shabot leaders agreed in October 2007 to end the blockade in order to engage in mediation with both the government and the exploration company. However, after a number of meetings, the government made clear that drilling would occur on the Frontenac Track regardless of First Nations concerns. This illustration of bad faith on the part of the government was a direct indication of its lack of respect for First Nations rights, values, and concerns.

As the Shabot Obaajiwan people have made clear, there is one thing that the government, private corporations, and Justice Cunningham don't understand: When the future of our children is directly threatened, we have no choice but to fight back.

For more information on the Shabot Obaajiwan fight against the uranium mine please visit [url=http://www.shabotisstillhere.com]www.shabotisstillhere.com[/url]

livewire

quote:


Originally posted by unionist:
[b]I obviously don't understand all the politics involved, but why can't they (Shabot and Ardoch) raise money jointly, instead of [url=http://www.shabotisstillhere.com/help.html]separately[/url]?[/b]

They are both committed to fighting the mine but they are two seperate and distinct communities. The Shabot have seperate lawyers from Ardoch and are also taking a different legal direction than Ardoch is. If they were to raise money than it would be hard to say who should get what - 50/50 or whoever spent more gets more if so how much more if one side didn't agree with the other side about a particular issue within their legal direction is that part of the issue not paid for with money supplied to both?? - Complicated

[ 01 March 2008: Message edited by: livewire ]

[ 01 March 2008: Message edited by: livewire ]

Unionist

Hence my choice of thread title.

livewire

Well, I don't know if I agree about divide. They ( and the Settlers ) are united on fighting the uranium mine, if they take different approaches it does not mean that they are divided. In fact as long as they remain committed to fighting the mine more than one approach can only help.

When they fight they ask others to stand beside them and help them to fight not to walk in front of them, behind them or be them so if they are all standing shoulder to shoulder in their aim to fight the mine they are not divided but together they are one in their fight. We all walk with a different gait but it is the walking together that is important.

livewire

PS I do realize the government is trying this tactic in the hope that it works but I question whether of not it will actually work. Not if they recieve support and stay united in their goal to keep the mine from happening.

Unionist

Maybe I'm applying my union experience in a context I don't know well enough.

In my world, if there's a court injunction against a picket or strike or overtime ban etc., and one group of leaders goes to jail for defying it, while another signs a separate deal with the authorities specifically to avoid going to jail - it looks pretty crappy and makes it hard to say "we're still united in the same cause, just using different tactics".

That's what disturbed me here and led me to open this thread.

I hope you're correct in your perspective on this.

livewire

Well, I definitely see your point and I thought that when I first heard the news that the Shabot had conceded to the undertakings.

Here is where my lack of knowledge on unions come into play. Is there a constituational basis for unions being able to fight injunctions in the court system?

Unionist

quote:


Originally posted by livewire:
[b]Here is where my lack of knowledge on unions come into play. Is there a constituational basis for unions being able to fight injunctions in the court system?[/b]

Nope - in the sense that once the court rules, you obey or face contempt (as with the Ardoch). But we try to comply or defy [i]together[/i].

livewire

quote:


From the Shabot Obaajiwan Press Release Feb 29 2008
[b]

The Shabot maintain that under section 35 of the constitution the government has a legally binding duty to consult and accommodate First Nations people before issuing land use permits on their lands. .[/b]


I don't want to take away from Bob Lovelace's choice to fight the contempt charges as an effective and brave way to deal with this. At the same time I do hope that I am correct in my perspective that ignoring the constitutional issues would be a huge mistake. And I hope that I am not naive in my belief that both groups standing up working towards the goal of stopping the uranium mine shows that they are united or walking shoulder to shoulder in the fight.

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