Filed under: Canadian Tire Fire, Featured
cover photo: @MrDeLaronde
Five people who pled guilty to charges in connection with last November’s raid on Coyote Camp have been sentenced, given either a $500 fine or 25 hours of community service. An additional 13 people have plead not guilty and are challenging the charges.
In other news this week, a new permanent injunction has been approved by an Ontario judge against Six Nations land defenders at 1492 Land Back Lane. Despite the injunction, land defenders have made it clear they will not leave. “Any disruption to peace here will be brought on by the courts, developers, and police, which we will absolutely defend ourselves from,” they have made clear in news releases. “We will be free on our land for however long it takes Canada to realize we are never going to leave and for generations after that.”
UPDATE: Ontario Justice grants developer a permanent injunction at 1492 Land Back Lane. This means that the developer can seek police enforcement to attempt to remove us from the land. We will never leave this land. pic.twitter.com/bOVBcdQiGB
— #1492LandBackLane (@1492LBL) December 14, 2022
Lastly, as 2022 comes to an end, a reminder to seek out or plan New Year’s Eve Noise demonstrations at prisons and jails in your area. This beautiful anarchist and abolitionist tradition shows those inside that they are not forgotten and that those on the outside will continue to fight for their freedom and the abolition of all prisons.
Now, on to our main stories for the week!
Montreal COP15 Resistance
The COP15, the United Nations’ conference on biodiversity, has been taking place in Montreal since December 6th. Bringing together government officials from around 200 countries to develop a deal to protect the planet’s dwindling biodiversity, the conference has also brought to town the full force of multiple police agencies as they work to ensure that the events are not interrupted. Many critics of the conference have pointed out the impossibility of an effective solution to the climate crisis emerging from a group of government officials who continue to push forward destructive policies and projects in their countries. Anti-capitalist and anti-colonial protestors have been clear that the only solution to the climate crisis lies in the destruction of the capitalist economic system and an end to colonialism.
Vraiment très, très, très clair ce lien…@RBCfr il est temps pour vous de vous défaire des hydrocarbures, sinon vos client.e.s partout vont associer votre banque à la terreur et la destruction. #AllEyesOnRBC #KillTheDrill#RBCisKillingMe https://t.co/jVHsNLOjt1 pic.twitter.com/onMNuTP9g6
— quit.RBC (@QuitRbc) December 16, 2022
A coalition calling themselves the the Anti-Capitalist and Ecologist Coalition against COP15 called for multiple demonstrations, and for the conference to be disrupted and prevented from occurring. In one of their press releases, they explain: “The masks must come off: the COPs aim to make us believe that our elected officials have their hands on the wheel, while they are not making any effort. Like the dinosaurs, we are on our way to extinction. However, our meteors do not come from the sky: they are capitalism, extractivism and colonialism. We cannot hope to move beyond this crisis without formally rejecting the systems responsible for it.” At fucklacop15.org you can see the wide range of events organized during the COP 15, ranging from demonstrations to film screenings, teach-ins and blockades.
Despite a large security presence, right from beginning the conference saw disruptions and protest. On December 6th, Indigenous protestors and allies interrupted Justin Trudeau’s speech, chanting and unfurling a banner that said “Indigenous Genocide = Ecocide. To Save Biodiversity Stop Invading Our Lands. Colonialism Can’t Save You.” Then, on December 7th, multiple demonstrations took place called by the anti-COP15 coalition. Large demonstrations were also called for December 9th, 10th, and 19th.
“The first step in the destruction of our Indigenous lands is to clear the land, to clear the old growth” Sleydo’ speaks outside of @RBC and #COP15 about the devastation of the #CGL fracked gas pipeline in Wet’suwet’en territory pic.twitter.com/Gw2xeZplje
— Tegan Hansen (@talltegan) December 16, 2022
On December 11th, a demo-action took place in the terrain vague (wasteland) in the east of Montreal. Work was temporarily blocked by protestors opposed to the destruction of the urban forest and its replacement by a new shipping yard. This same site and project was the target of a small sabotage action in the days before the COP15 as well.
Source: Divest McGill
According to an anonymous communique:
The excavator that arrived at the boisé steinberg was sabotaged. All possible cables were cut.
We will continue to fight the expansion of the port and its infrastructure. The people who plan the roads, the containers, the maritime strategy Advantage Saint Laurent and the innovation zones that are being set up along the river are working for projects that bring death. We are fighting for the living.
The planned destruction of the terrain vague will not go down without a fight! We have been fighting for a long time and we will keep fighting.
Also during the COP15, organizers with Divest McGill disrupted the McGill University Board of Governors meeting. They demanded “fossil fuel divestment and democratization, and decolonization of the university institution.”
Source: No Borders Media
On December 14th, a temporary blockade of the Port of Montreal took place, in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en and their resistance to Coastal Gaslink. According to the communique:
While COP15 is taking place in the streets of Montreal and the Canadian government is doing its greenwashing dance for the world, construction of the Coastal Gaslink pipeline on Wet’suwet’en territory continues against the will of the nation, whose guardians have opposed oil drilling for years. This ecocidal project threatens the Wedzin Kwa River and the wildlife of the Yintah; while Canada pays lip service to biodiversity at COP15, CGL blasts dynamite and lays pipe through Wet’suwet’en waters*, threatening already endangered salmon, eel, and other non-human life.
Every day, the port of Montreal sees products from all over the world circulate in ever greater quantities. Yet our living conditions are declining, ecosystems are collapsing, and Indigenous peoples are still the targets of repressive and genocidal policies. The economic system that runs the Port of Montreal is leading us to our collective doom. It demands more oil, more raw materials, more mega-infrastructure, and more land for its mines, pipelines, and container storage. Today we shut it down!
After successfully blocking the port of Montreal and part of Notre-Dame Est, despite a huge and violent police presence the group of activists walked towards downtown to meet the protest in front of RBC called by Sleydo and other Wet’suwet’en land defenders.
Winnipeg Landfill Blockaded for #MMIWG
In Winnipeg, family and community members of four murdered Indigenous women have been fighting for all levels of government to search for their loved ones’ remains. In June 2022, the partial remains of 24 year old Rebecaa Contois, a member of the O-Chi-Chak-Ko-Sipi First Nation, were found in the Brady Road Landfill in Winnipeg. A Winnipeg man, who had previously posted violent misogynistic and white supremacist sentiments online, was charged with her murder. In early December, police announced the same person had been charged with three more murders, including those of Marcedes Myran and Morgan Harris, both members of the Long Plain First Nation. The third woman, who is being referred to a Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe, or Buffalo Woman, has yet to be identified. Police said they believed the two identified women’s remains may be located in the Prairie Green Landfill north of Winnipeg, but that it would not be possible to search the site.
First Nation Indigenous Warriors at the Brady landfill again here in Winnipeg demanding justice for the families of Morgan Harris, Marcedes Myran, Rebecca Contois and Mashkode Bizhiki'ikwe, (Buffalo Woman) #NoMoreStolenSisters #MMIWG #NoJusticeNoPeace pic.twitter.com/qcJ8Hlw6R3
— Vern DeLaronde (@MrDeLaronde) December 14, 2022
This announcement led to vehement calls from the community to search the site. Experts pointed out that while a search would be difficult, it was not impossible. The decision not to search the landfill has led to calls for Winnipeg’s police chief to resign, including from the daughters of Morgan Harris. It also prompted actions at both landfills – beginning December 11, dozens of people blocked the road to the Brady Road landfill, demanding a search for the women. At the Prairie Green landfill, others held ceremony and put down tobacco for their murdered kin. Protests continued into the week.
Solidarity actions have taken place in other cities including Vancouver and Montreal. On December 15th, the federal government confirmed it would pay for a study to investigate the feasibility of searching the landfill.
Drag Event Community Defense
At least three times in the past few weeks, folks showed up to defend queer events across Ontario. In Hamilton, a crew showed up to counter bigots protesting a drag brunch event at a restaurant.
Convoy and regressive bigots are drawing closer to counter protesters as police watch. Shouting at counter protesters now as police setup a line between them. pic.twitter.com/nomjd6OlLB
— Karl Andrus (@karl_andrus) December 11, 2022
On December 18th, a large group of supporters came out to shut down haters at another drag brunch in Welland, ON.
On December 17th, crews from around eastern Ontario came together to support a drag story time event at a library in Brockville. A report-back states:
Once again, while some crews joined from Ottawa and other neighboring cities, the heart of our side was in the small-town community members themselves. Echoing some of our reflections from last time, one local commented (about the convoy creeps) that they were sick of these out-of-towners coming here to tell them what to do. As one staff member said to a news station, for every protestor they get, the library resolves to hold another drag storytime.
…Banners, flags, umbrellas, and signs are some of the best ways to block bad actors from filming. A big, solid banner in the hands of just two or three practiced anti-fascists can physically control a good amount of space by limiting where their side can wander. If you’re short on hands, a pride flag lets you do the same on your own. Having people with both might give you a nice, strong line to hold down and the maneuverability to chase down fash who manage to skirt around it. We also want to give a special shout-out to the baby black hole that some people brought with them. Theirs was a large black fabric held up between two tall, lightweight metal poles, smaller but inspired by the original that Pride Defenders in Hamilton used in 2019.
Check out the rest of the report-back for more discussion of tactics and reflections!