Canada

ONTARIO: Government consultant supports concerns of Grassy Narrows community

 The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) has recently released the results of an independent audit of the Whiskey Jack Forest, identifying numerous areas of concern in the forest's management. The audit is part of a regular monitoring process that tracks how logging companies are abiding by regulations and produces action plans to rectify bad practices and poor results. The Ministry of Natural Resources is engaged in land-use negotiations with Grassy Narrows First Nation (GNFN), whose traditional territory largely coincides with the Whiskey Jack Forest.

 The report reiterates many of GNFN's concerns over the destruction of their territory.  Since 2002, the community has blockaded a road used by logging trucks. CPT was invited to accompany the blockade, which supports a moratorium on clear-cut logging on traditional territory. The report, which covers much of the negotiation period, finds 'significant issues with management of the Whiskey Jack Forest, both in planning and in on-the-ground implementation of the plan' (page ii).  Its primary message is that the MNR has not done enough to repair the damage caused by industrial logging or to help the forest heal.

U.S./CANADA: The CPT Boutique awaits your tax-deductible valuables!


An antique sapphire and diamond pin brought in $150.  Brass pineapple candleholders brought in $18.  A childā€™s Ethiopian dress brought in $40.  A 1927 edition of Winnie the Pooh brought in $35.  A Paragon bone china cup and saucer from the 1940s brought in $20.  Some 1854 stamps from India brought in $60.

All of these items were donated by CPT supporters over the last year to the CPT Boutiqueā€”one less material thing in their lives meant a little more money to support CPTā€™s work in the Middle East and the Americas.

CANADA: CPT supports de-listing of Abousfian Abdelrazik from U.N. Sanctions Committee list

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is joining a delegation of Canadian civil society representatives travelling to the United Nations on 15 June 2011 to ask for the de-listing from a U.N. sanctions committee of a Canadian citizen named Abousfian Abdelrazik. Mr. Abdelrazik was put on a UN Security Council sanctions list in 2006 without charge, seeing the evidence against him, or right of appeal.ā€¦

CPT reservist James Loney will be representing CPT on the delegation. Please click on this link for photos of past support actions.

Video of Mr. Abdelrazikā€™s 2009 return to Canada is available here. 

ABORIGINAL JUSTICE: CPTers JuliĆ”n GutiĆ©rrez CastaƱo and Peter Haresnape join Six Nations in response to ā€œLies and Violenceā€ rally

 On 27 February 2011, Christian Peacemaker Teams, a member of the Six Nations Solidarity Network participated in the Caledonia rally supporting the people of Six Nations against Gary McHaleā€™s so-called ā€œTruth and Reconciliationā€ Rally.ā€¦

The recent rally appropriated the name ā€œTruth and Reconciliationā€ which in Canada commonly refers to the process of healing from the government and church-run residential schools designed to destroy Indigenous identity and families.  For McHale, the white community's suffering is apparently comparable.  The rally was to feature the placement of a monument on the reclamation site that would feature apologies from the OPP, province, and the Six Nations.

Gary McHale also issued a call for Christian Leaders to be active in their commitment to justice and to support his rally.  In response to McHaleā€™s letter, JuliĆ”n GutiĆ©rrez CastaƱo and Peter Haresnape had the following to say at the counter rally supporting the Six Nations.

(For more information, see https://6nsolidarity.wordpress.com/2011/03/03/christians-supporting-six-nations-struggles-for-peace-and-justice/)

ABORIGINAL JUSTICE: Justified use of force, part II--justified by fear

Helen Proulx and Byron Desbassige were both shot by police.  Byron died from his injuries, Proulx suffered from a shattered pelvis.  None of the police involved suffered from any injuries but the police charged Proulx, who had been trying to commit suicide, with assault.  All of the police officers were considered justified in their actions and not charged by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU).  * (See ABORIGINAL JUSTICE: Justified use of force, part I)

ABORIGINAL JUSTICE REFLECTION: Justified use of force, part I

ā€œAuthority to use force separates law enforcement officials from other members of society...ā€  (ā€œCanadaā€™s National Use-of-Force Framework for Police Officersā€ The Police Chief magazine August 2010)

Kenora resident Helen Proulx was trying to slit her wrists with a small knife when a neighbour called the police on 7 June 2010.  The lone responding officer commanded Proulx to drop her weapon.  She started to walk towards the officer and the officer fired two shots, wounding Proulx in the arm and shattering her pelvis.  The neighbour saw Proulx fall face first onto the sidewalk.  Police charged Proulx with assault.  Two years earlier, on 16 February 2008, Toronto resident Byron Debassige had been singing and asking for change when the police arrived.  He had stolen three lemons and then pulled out his pocketknife when the shop clerk chased him onto the street.  Two constables confronted him on the path at Oriole Park.  When they commanded him to put down his juice bottle, he tucked it under his arm and pulled the knife out of his pocket.  The officers drew their guns and shouted at him to stop and drop his knife, but Debassige kept walking toward them.  They fired four shots, hitting him twice in the torso.  He died from his injuries.  In both cases, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU)* found the shootings, ā€œjustified.ā€

ABORIGINAL JUSTICE: Algonquin men attempt to block clear-cutting of Beaver Pond Forest by chaining themselves to trees.

On 1 February 2011, two Algonquin men, Robert Lovelace and Daniel Bernard, chained themselves to trees in the Beaver Pond Forest near Kanata, Ontario, to block a second day of clear-cut logging from destroying a forest considered sacred by Algonquin First Nations.

TORONTO: Vigiling against Islamophobia

 ā€œWe donā€™t refer to the Ulster Unionists as Protestant terrorists, nor the Irish Republican Army as Catholic Terrorists, but the media is full of reference to ā€œIslamic terrorists. This rhetoric incites prejudice and violence against Muslims and must stop!ā€  With these words, Annie Hyder, Muslim student at Ryerson University addressed an interfaith candlelight vigil in Toronto, provided as an alternative voice to a nearby support rally for the English Defense League (EDL)ā€” a British right-wing group responsible for a wave of violent anti-Islamic/anti-Muslim street protests in the United Kingdom since 2009. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Defence_League.)  The EDL support rally, believed to be the first in Canada, was organized by the Jewish Defence League (JDL), on the evening of 11 January 2011 at the Toronto Zionist Centre.

 

No! To violence against Muslims

ABORIGINAL JUSTICE URGENT ACTION: Prayers needed Sunday. Contact Canadian legislators by 31 January to help save sacred old-growth forest on Algonquin traditional lands

On Sunday, 30 January 2011, people from all faiths will join Algonquin First Nations and gather at Beaver Pond Forest, twenty minutes from downtown Ottawa, to pray for the land.  If you or your faith group plan to pray Sunday in solidarity with the Algonquins and others gathered, let us know and we will pass your messages on.  If you are able to attend the gathering at Beaver Pond Forest, please do so.  The details are available at this link: http://the5thc.blogspot.com/2011/01/pray-for-land.html.

LONDON,ON: CPTers join public witness for the silenced children of Gaza

 Over 150 individuals participated in a silent protest during the presentation of an Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) soldier at the University of Western Ontario campus in London, Ontario on 19 January 2011. Three CPTers were part of a nonviolent direct action, standing in solidarity with the Palestinian people, silenced by the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank and the assault on Gaza two years ago.