Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Double-teaming the Injuns

Once again, mining giant Platinex is descending upon the people of the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation in northern Ontario.

The last time this corporate rapist ventured onto KI land, protesters learned anew what white man's justice is all about. Six non-violent protesters were jailed.
And these aboriginals are being sued by Platinex for $10 billion (yes, you read that right) for daring to defend their traditional territory.

Opposing big mining interests, in fact, has its consequences in the province of Ontario. As I noted back in March, 2008, no nonsense from Native people will be tolerated by Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty. It's prison if you dare to protest, as First Nations people opposed to uranium mining in southern Ontario discovered last year. (The judge handing down the draconian sentences was a certain Judge Douglas Cunningham. Name ring a bell?)

Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug leaders also faced judicial assault. As I noted at the time:

Justice Patrick Smith sent six band members to jail, including Chief Donny Morris and Deputy Chief Jack MacKay. Two others, Enus McKay and Evelyn Quequish, were given suspended sentences after they agreed to stop protesting.

The judge cited [Justice Cunningham's] decision as a precedent for the jail terms, and stated that he could not impose fines in any case because the defendants would be unable to pay them. One member "purged his contempt" by agreeing to stop protesting. Indian land is now safe for Platinex Inc. to commence its drilling operations.

The short message is this: if you are Native, forget about protesting peacefully in Ontario. Miners can come on to your land with impunity, and dig it up at their whim. You have no recourse. If you stand up, white judges will lock you down. The justice system stands with the mining companies, and the McGuinty government, including the feckless Aboriginal Affairs minister Michael Bryant, stands with the justice system.

This time Platinex is bringing along the Fifth Cavalry Ontario Provincial Police as backup. Premier McGuinty is about to give them redskins what-fer, by golly.

Stay tuned. This won't be pretty.

[H/t Cam Holmstrom]

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