An all-volunteer, Ontario-wide coalition of people who use nonviolent direct action in an attempt to confront institutional and personal violence, seeking a transformative solution which results not in winners versus losers, but in a society which becomes more equal and loving, more just and compassionate.
Sunday, July 28, 2019
Muskrat Falls Emergency Solidarity Chain Fast, August 7 to October 21, 2019
Poisoning and Drowning of Labrador’s Indigenous and non-Indigenous People at
A crime unfolding in
Labrador is set to escalate on August 7, when the wholly preventable
methylmercury poisoning of an Indigenous country food web that has existed
since time immemorial will begin downstream of Muskrat Falls.
Colonial powers have
always relied on the poisoning and destruction of Indigenous food supplies as
part of a genocidal agenda, and it is no different in Labrador, where the
Trudeau government has invested a whopping $9.2 billion into the lethal Muskrat
Despite pleas from the
United Nations and the Indigenous government of Nunatsiavut, as well as the
clear violation of Canada's legally binding commitments under the Minamata
Convention on Mercury, the provincial government of Dwight Ball and its federal
government backers are refusing to take any measures to stop the methylmercury
poisoning, forcing many to either go hungry or consume foods that contain a
neurotoxin that contributes to the deadly Minamata Disease, an affliction all
too familiar to the people of Grassy Narrows.
This dam, which will
produce "blood megawatts" for sales abroad, threatens an act of
cultural genocide via methylmercury poisoning and the additional risk of
catastrophic dam break. Indeed, mass casualty flash floods are a real
possibility since a significant portion of the dam reservoir is slated to be
held back by a natural formation known as the North Spur, composed of quick
clay (sand that liquefies and moves under pressure). No proper, independent
engineering study has been performed to confirm the stability of the North
Like any number of
megaprojects, all Indigenous people affected have not provided free, prior and
informed consent to be poisoned and drowned by this megadam. Non-Indigenous
residents also face similar threats from a project that could eventually cost
as much as $78 billion and bankrupt the province, forcing further austerity on
the most vulnerable of the province's residents.
Why We’re Fasting
During the period
leading up to and including the federal election, when all parties will put
forward "green plans," we will fast to continue raising awareness of
and building resistance to the dangerous Muskrat Falls project which, like all
megadams, is NOT green energy. The fast is also an opportunity to demand of
anyone who runs for public office that they must speak out against and discuss how
they will stop the poisoning of an Indigenous country food web that has existed
since time immemorial
We will fast for one or
more days during the months between August 7 – when the waters in the reservoir
will begin to rise and submerge uncleared vegetation, brush, trees, and soil,
thus kicking off the methylmercury bioaccumulation that threatens future
generations – and the expected date of the federal election, October 21.
This fast is in support
of the Labrador Land Protectors (some of whom still face court proceedings for
being on their own land), all those living at risk downstream of the Muskrat
Falls megadam, and the poorest and most vulnerable residents of Newfoundland
and Labrador, who will face severe cutbacks to desperately needed social
programs to pay for this disaster.
We fast because we
recognize that if Muskrat Falls goes online without any changes, the largely
Indigenous downstream population will be faced with either going hungry or
eating a country food web dangerously poisoned by the neurotoxin methylmercury.
We fast because we
recognize the hungering for justice of people who have never been properly
consulted about a project that threatens their lives.
We fast because we
recognize that all of us undertaking small sacrifices together can help awaken
the sleeping conscience of a country that has yet to take seriously the calls
to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the cornerstone
principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous
The fast will
continue from August 7 to October 21 with three demands:
1. An immediate
halt to impoundment of the Muskrat Falls reservoir, and immediate implementation of the original
recommendations from a joint 2011 provincial-federal environmental assessment
(seconded by a major 2016 Harvard University study and further echoed by an
Independent Experts Advisory Committee) for full clearance of brush, trees, and
topsoil, along with the capping of the wetlands, at the Muskrat Falls reservoir
to prevent the bioaccumulation of the neurotoxin methylmercury.
2.Immediate appointment of an independent inquiry into
the instability of the North Spur, because no study has proven that it is
secure enough to prevent a catastrophic dam break and mass drowning.
3.The federal government, provincial
government, and Nalcor (the crown corporation behind the dam) must halt all
work on the dam until they have received the free, prior and informed consent
of all Indigenous peoples affected by the dam, as well as that of
non-Indigenous downstream residents.
Failing all of these
demands, Muskrat Falls must be decommissioned and returned to its natural
participate in the Chain Fast
Pick a day (or a series
of days) to fast throughout the summer season and email your name and town
A list of open dates and names is below. More than one person can fast on the same date.
Fast according to your
preferred tradition (a full 24 hours, liquids only, sun up to sun down).
The fast is open to
anyone (you can join even if you are not living in the land known as Canada)
On the day
they fast we encourage you to:
a.take a selfie with a simple message (ie,
#ShutMuskratDown, Stop Poisoning Indigenous People in Labrador, Respect
Indigenous Rights, etc) and share that image via social media, explaining why
you are fasting on that day