Saturday, May 12, 2018

National Support for Labrador Land Protectors on May 7

On Monday, May 7, gatherings took place in Winnipeg, Ottawa, Mississauga, St. John's. Halifax and Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

One of the largest Labrador Land Protector solidarity gatherings ever to take place outside of the province was held at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Mississauga, Ontario. 

One inspiring teacher wrote of the over 200 grade 10 students who had researched and learned about the issue and made banners and placards for the Muskrat Falls National Day of Action: 

"These totally empowered young people rallied, spoke, chanted and really delivered a clear and powerful message to the school and those driving by with their cars. Carmel students held a very meaningful rally and die-in on the front steps of the school. Jodie Williams (an Ojibwe Indigenous consultant to the Dufferin Peel Catholic School Board) was there for both rallies and she said thank you to the students after their action. The banners, placards and speeches that were made throughout our walk with the megaphone were insightful and inspiring. I am truly proud of the students for their commitment, organization and participation. They delivered a powerful message of solidarity."

And so grows the movement to end the federal government's $9.2 billion investment in a project that will result in an act cultural genocide against the Inuit and Innu people and ruin the lives of all non-Indigenous downstream residents too through methylmercury poisoning and threat of mass drowning. #ShutMuskratDown!


In Halifax, Angela Giles reports that about 30 people gathered outside the office of Emera, Inc. (the Halifax-based power company and Muskrat Falls partner that will make a huge profit from the project). Billy Lewis (urban Indigenous Elder) welcomed the group to the unceded ancestral territory of the Mi'kmaq Nation and spoke about the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and connecting all of these megaprojects; Gretchen Fitzgerald (Sierra Club) spoke about the fight against Muskrat Falls, how long it's been going on, concerns around the North Spur and flooding, and this not being the type of renewable energy we want in Nova Scotia; Chris White (Solidarity Halifax) spoke about the connection with Emera and called on them to hold Nalcor to account on the Independent Experts Advisory Committee recommendations for clearance of trees, brush and topsoil in the Muskrat Falls reservoir area, as well as the connection to capitalism and unfettered growth at the expense of all else - the environment, Indigenous rights, peoples' lives, etc.

And in Winnipeg a gathering at Manitoba Hydro:

In St John's, Elise Thorburn reports: We gathered and catalogued all the things we'll lose if Muskrat Falls goes ahead - the land, water, human and non-human beings and cultures - and committed ourselves to decolonizing struggle together. 

In Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador Land Protectors gathered outside the office of local MP Yvonne Jones in solidarity with all actions taking place on May 7. 

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