Parliament Hill Direct Action: Hear The Voices of Muskrat Falls
Monday, May 7, Parliament Hill: Rally and Nonviolent Civil Resistance (aka civil disobedience)
(Details on getting involved and how you can support at bottom of post)
"Help us stop an act of cultural genocide and prevent a potentially catastrophic dam break that could drown up to a thousand people downstream from Muskrat Falls in Labrador (traditional, unceded lands of the Innu and Inuit). This battle for our very lives can no longer be waged alone. Most of us in Labrador cannot go to Ottawa. We need your voices to help expose the major tragedy unfolding that there is still time to stop. Ensure the federal government sees our faces, hears our voices, and acts on our demands." – Labrador Land Protectors and Grand Riverkeeper Labrador, February 21, 2018 (full callout statement at http://homesnotbombs.blogspot.ca/2018/02/labrador-land-protectors-and-grand.html)
The Muskrat Falls Megadam in Labrador threatens Indigenous people and settlers alike with methylmercury poisoning and mass drowning via catastrophic dam break. Their lives and their lands and waters, as well as all life forms in the area, have been turned into a national sacrifice zone that the Trudeau government is backing to the tune of $9.2 billion.
On Monday, May 7, the Ontario-Muskrat Solidarity Coalition and Direct Action Muskrat (DAM) will hold a rally on Parliament Hill (traditional, unceded Algonquin territory) and an act of civil resistance (aka civil disobedience) from which individuals trained in nonviolence will nonviolently enter the Parliament building and place the names and faces and words of all those whose lives are at risk at Muskrat Falls on the desks of MPs in the House of Commons. These will be representative of the people from whom the government has failed to seek and obtain free, prior, and informed consent (as required by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, UNDRIP). MPs who say they support UNDRIP must be confronted daily with the human face of an easily prevented act of cultural genocide that is sure to occur via methylmercury poisoning at the Muskrat Falls megadam.
The lines between the rally and those who may be at risk of arrest will be very clearly drawn. The action will, at the request of the Labrador Land Protectors, be rooted in a nonviolent approach described here: https://www.facebook.com/labradorlandprotectors/posts/384632645232387:0
Those attending the action are invited to take part in our Solidarity Connections Campaign, in which you will make the acquaintance via email and phone and learn first hand from a Labrador Land Protector what is happening on the ground in Labrador, so that this commitment is not just for one day, but an ongoing relationship that grows in strength as we get to know one another and move forward. To sign up for the Connections Campaign, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
ALSO, If you plan to be one of those who may be in a situation of facing potential arrest, please contact us as soon as possible at email@example.com
This is an urgent act given that failure to stop this megadam comes with lethal consequences. It is also fitting because all other channels have been exhausted, from meetings with bureaucrats and Ministers to years of lobbying, petitioning, demonstrating, and civil disobedience in Labrador. After all this, the government still refuses to listen and act on the wishes of Labrador residents.
“People, law-abiding citizens, are being thrown in jail, incarcerated for no reason other than trying to protect our land, and the peoples, and the wildlife and the fish of the land." – NunatuKavut Elder Eldred Davis, from his maximum security penitentiary cell, St. John's, NL, Summer, 2017
"They are trying to make criminals out of people who are trying to defend themselves from methylmercury poisoning of a thousands of year food supply that we’ve always relied on at a time when the rest of Canada is looking for food security. his government has decided that we don’t deserve that.” – NunatuKavut Elder James Learning, 79, from his maximum security penitentiary cell, St. John's, NL, Summer, 2017
"If one part of our culture is being threatened, and our lives are being threatened, how does one back down from that? I don’t know how we can. This fight has to stay ongoing. We have to encourage other land protectors now to step up to the plate, to start with their initial arrests... and just continue through this process – keep moving people through that court system, keep the light on this issue. That’s the only way we’re going to do it.” – Inuk Land Protector Marjorie Flowers, from her maximum security penitentiary cell, St. John's, NL, Summer, 2017
1. Attend the Ottawa rally. Let us know if you can make it and if you need a place to stay on the Sunday evening, May 6.
2. If you plan on being in a situation where you might be willing to risk arrest, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know so we can discuss guidelines, training, etc.
3. Endorse this action by sending the name of your organization to email@example.com
4. Join the Solidarity Connections Campaign and twin with a Labrador Land Protector.
5. Contribute to the costs of this action: Cheques can be made out to Homes not Bombs and mailed to PO Box 2121, 57 Foster Street, Perth, ON K7H 1R0, and etransfers at firstname.lastname@example.org can be accepted
6. Organize something in your own community that links to what is going on at Muskrat Falls. TD Bank is one of the biggest financial players supporting the project, so an information picket at a local branch, or at a federal government building, would be perfect. We can help you with ideas, handouts, etc.