GRASSY NARROWS FIRST NATION: Standing Their Ground

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CPTnet

December 4, 2002

GRASSY NARROWS FIRST NATION: Standing Their Ground

Dozens of local high school students bearing signs that read “You are on

First Nations land” and “I believe in the Treaty” turned back a logging

truck

from traditional Grassy Narrows First Nation territory Tuesday morning,

December 3.

At eleven o’clock, on a road used to transport forest resources from Grassy

Narrows traditional land use area to the pulp mill of Abitibi Consolidated,

community leaders and youth explained to truck drivers and Ontario

Provincial Police (OPP) that they have a right to the trees as well, and

that the trees must remain standing.

Accused by a cutting contractor of causing trouble, organizer J.B. Fobister

replied, “What you are doing here is illegal.” Onlookers cried out to

loggers, “Why can’t you go somewhere else? Time to move on!”

Sgt. Bob Neil of the OPP declared, “These people have a right under the

Charter to peaceful protest and the

OPP will not get involved here.”

Over sixty community members are camped at an access road into the Whiskey

Jack Forest and plan to continue their action until Canada, Ontario and

Abitibi include their nation in discussions about how resources will be

extracted from Treatied lands.

Loggers may leave the area but unarmed Grassy Narrows residents are blocking

re-entering vehicles with their bodies.

CPT member Matt Schaaf (Winnipeg) and CPT Manitoba volunteers are

accompanying the peaceful action.

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