Anonymous submission to North Shore
Last Sunday (on August 23rd), I showed up at a public demo in support of the 1492 Landback Lane reclamation site on Six Nations of the Grand River territory. I saw the event page on Facebook and was really glad for an opportunity to support the land defenders out there. It is absolutely disgusting that the OPP decided to raid the camp and kick Haudenosaunee people off of their own land, and to use such force to boot.
The rally was pretty well attended (at least during COVID times), there were about 50 people there. It was opened up with a traditional address by a community member, then the MC came on to talk about how the violence of colonialism is tied to the violence of anti-blackness through the police state. I didn’t realize it from the event page, but it seemed the demonstration was a collaboration between the Black liberation youth organizers who have been fighting to defund the Hamilton Police and local Indigenous organizers. Just another example of killer Black and Indigenous solidarity, a really beautiful thing.
Then three people from Six Nations who are associated with the land reclamation site got up and told the story of how the re-occupation started, why they are going to fight to remain, and what happened during the violent police attack on their people. The occupation is really a grassroots community effort and people spoke of how good they feel there, how they feel so blessed by the unity they see, and how it is a real way to regain autonomy and uplift their traditional governance structures. They talked about how the Haudenosaunee way is participatory democracy and not representative and how, even though the Band Council approved the project, less than 5% of people voted to elect those Band chiefs because there is no faith in that system.
We started to march down Cannon and a really really cool radical marching band kept up the music and the mood for us. We marched down James and turned right on King, then ducked under Summers Line and stopped infront of City Hall. Two Black youth gave speeches about the work they have been doing to fight for Black lives and dignity, including the fight to defund and abolish the police. They talked about the ways anti-blackness and colonialism intersect and about how they hoped to be able to support each other in their struggles going forward. The speeches they gave were in the exact place that they had done a big action a few weeks earlier, painting “defund the police” in big letters on the street. The cops took it off right away, always trying to hide their violence and the lack of public support for them.
We kept going and ended the march in Gore Park. It was really dope to be back out on the streets, marching for something so important. They urged everyone to go up to the camp and visit, bring supplies, and build relationships. I hope to get up there soon and you should too. Thanks to the organizers and the people out on the land defending it!