GUSTAFSEN SEIGE UPDATE Sept. 12
uc389 at freenet.victoria.bc.ca
Wed Sep 13 00:16:31 MDT 1995
Please forward, cross-post, etc.
UPDATE - TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 - NOON
GUSTAFSEN LAKE - POLICE TERRORISM ESCALATES TENSIONS ONCE AGAIN
Details of what occurred Monday afternoon are not yet verifiable due to a
complete monopoly of info by Canadian state authorities, but it appears
that ever-increasing support from the indigenous grassroots resulted in a
pre-emptive strike to return the Gustafsen Lake crisis to an "emergency"
situation justifying an end to negotiations and an assault upon the
Early Monday, an emergency meeting of Department of Indian Affairs (DIA)
chiefs from across BC, held in Merritt BC, was addressed by 2 Shuswap
supporters - elders Bill Lightbawn, founder of United Native Nations, and
Lavina White, both active sovereigntists.
Lavina White (Thow Hagwelth Edinsoo/Sound of Many Copper Shields-So Be
It-Their Word Is Law) of the hereditary High Chieftain Family of the
Haida Nation - Raven Clan - and Lightbawn called for and received
unanimous support for two resolutions:
1) Deadly military force never be the final option to resolve these
human rights issues
2) An international impartial UN mediator independent of the issues be
According to the "Vancouver Sun" Sep 12 p. A2, "what came out of the
conference was some tough talk and a warning of possible further violence
from Upper Nicola band chief Scotty Holmes. Holmes insisted the
conference wanted to see a peaceful solution, but contrary to what the
provincial government believed, 'the people at Gustafsen Lake do have our
support. God, if someone came to your house with weapons, would you stand
there with your finger up your ass? No goddamn way! You'd shoot back.
We're not advocating violence. No way. That's the last of our options.
But let's not forget, if you're forced by aggression, there's no way you
can stand by and watch it. Our people have been patient for a long, long
According to CBC TV news (Monday 6 pm), "earlier today before the gunfire
at Gustafsen the natives there received a boost of support at an
emergency meeting of chiefs from around the province. They got together
in Merritt to encourage a peaceful settlement. But in an unexpected move
the chiefs threw their support behind the militants - and are now calling
for a U.N. mediator to be brought in to settle the dispute...their crisis
bulletin offered unanimous support."
Saul Terry: British Columbia remains unceded lands - which needs
to be resolved between Canada and our Indian Nations. This has not
been done and there's been all kinds of avoidance, denial and
Bill Lightbawn: It's support for those people and it's also a demand
- that the police back off and let the proper resolution process
take place so that everybody can live. We're just as concerned
about those RCMP people as well as people in the camp. We don't
want anyone murdered and it's absolutely unnecessary for anyone
"The native leaders said they will continue to meet across the province
to show support for those involved in the standoff and try and find a
peaceful solution." - Alan Edwards, CBC News, Merritt
No mention was made by the assembly, however, "of the rebels' core
demands - that the Queen and British Privy Council review the
traditionalists' claim to the site because they don't recognize the
jurisdiction of Canadian governments and courts." (Victoria
Times-Colonist, Sep 12, A1)
At 2:00 PM PST Monday, as a negotiating committee from the Shuswap
Liaison Group approached the RCMP's final checkpoint into the camp
(approx. 2-3 km from the camp), a red pick-up truck from the camp
proceeded to meet the delegation. According to Gordon Sebastian, one of
the liaison team: "the RCMP were well aware that these people come out of
the camp, come up to the road and await the arrival of the delegation."
(Canadian Press, Sep 12)
The Defenders' red vehicle then apparently "drove over an 'Early Warning
Device' police had put on a logging road", RCMP Sgt. Peter Montague said
(Cdn Press). Police confirmed this device was an explosive, i.e. a land mine.
According to Montague, "yesterday the occupants had been advised to stay
within a confined area and that area was well described to them. The RCMP
had tightened their security net, and they were well aware of that."
(Vancouver Sun, Sept 12)
We think it highly unlikely that the Defenders would have knowingly
driven over a land mine!
But it is known that complaints and requests concerning lack of access to
firewood and water were made by the camp and were to be the subject of
discussions with the Shuswap Liaison Team.
According to Gordon Sebastian, native liaison member: "'when the Shuswap
elders reached the meeting point, no-one was there'. Shortly after,
'there was a large discharge and we felt the wind on our faces and
clothes,' Sebastian said. 'And then there was small calibre fire - about
11 or 12 shots.' At 2:15 PM PST the liaison group heard 'at the most 60
rounds...'" (Vancouver Sun) Sebastian disputed RCMP estimates of
thousands of rounds being fired.
According to RCMP, a firefight with a Bison heavy armored vehicle ensued.
This vehicle suffered "mechanical difficulties" as a result of (return)
fire from the red truck's occupants, three of whom were reportedly shot.
According to the "Vancouver Sun", "after the gunfight...RCMP contacted
the camp and spoke to Jonesy Ignace who goes by the name of Wolverine.
Ignace told the RCMP that 3 people were injured, including an unarmed
woman. 'You murdered one of our women, you bastards.'" (The woman is
reportedly wounded in the arm and has refused to leave the camp.)
"Later Percy Rosette, Shuswap Faithkeeper and Pipe Carrier - one of the
spiritual leaders in the camp - accused police of 'double-crossing' the
campers. 'Everything went wrong with your people. It was a bomb,' he
said. 'You people started firing first again. Your people sent bombs.' He
said no-one would come out because they believed people would kill them."
(Vancouver Sun, Sept 12)
As of Sept 10, the RCMP's public position was that:
* The talks are proceeding well and the RCMP is still cautiously
optimistic with respect to a peaceful conclusion of this situation.
* As a result of the talks this morning, the delegation has again been
permitted access to the armed camp to pursue their dialogue with the
occupants. (from media release, RCMP Public Relations, Sept 10 12:30 pm)
At 6:00 PM with various reports unconfirmed of death and/or injuries, the
RCMP's previous declaration of support and optimism regarding native
mediation had suddenly and dramatically changed. "'There's a criminal
agenda which is continually being advanced by the criminal element in
that community,' [Montague] said of the rebel campers...'They have
usurped any legitimate goal and objectives of the local people with their
own self-serving criminal agenda.'" (Vancouver Province, Sep 12)
According to the native mediation team, composed of Jeanette Armstrong,
Don Ryan (Gitksan negotiator, BC Treaty Commission) and others, the
RCMP's public posturing about a peaceful solution is contradicted by all
the RCMP's actions.
Penticton Indian Act Band Councillor Stewart Philip said, "The RCMP are
preventing the public from learning what's really going on inside the
camp by keeping the media far away from site...They're able to carry on
their own agenda and present to the public what they feel will find
acceptable. By isolating the camp, there's no way of confirming or
refuting it." (Vancouver Sun)
According to Philip, Montague's vicious tirade of demonization against
the Sundance Defenders was "unglued": "He seemed to be really nervous. He
didn't seem sure of what he was saying. I kind of get the impression they
messed up big-time and the whole thing was going to blow up in his face."
The RCMP "just want to go in there and bash heads in," said Don Ryan.
"They're all set to kill people." (Vancouver Sun)
BC Attorney General Ujjal Dosanjh responded by saying "the police have
conducted themselves admirably...obviously the chances of a peaceful
solution are dimming day by day....They are bent upon coming out of that
camp in body bags." (Vancouver Sun)
At approx. 10:30 PM PST Monday, UTV News (Vancouver) reported that 2 male
native youths had been escorted out of the camp by a native liaison
member - these youths were handcuffed and taken to the 100 Mile House
RCMP Detachment, where they were to be taken before a magistrate today.
There is still an unconfirmed report that one individual - possibly
wounded - is missing.
Lost in the shuffle is the Defenders' impregnable legal position which
renders all non-native jurisdiction on unceded sovereign territories
demonstrably fraudulent, treasonable and genocidal. In the Supreme Court
of Canada today, Chief Justice Antonio Lamer insulted Defenders' counsel
Dr. Bruce Clark as "a disgrace to the bar" (CBC TV Newsworld, 10 am) and
refused to grant an injunction restraining RCMP actions, pending a ruling
on the Shuswap's unextinguished, unsurrendered, constitutionally
protected sovereignty and jurisdiction.
According to one source, 10 Bison armored vehicles left the Canadian
Forces Base at Comox, Vancouver Island, heading for Gustafsen Lake. RCMP
would neither confirm nor deny that reinforcements were being considered,
including armed forces personnel and/or vehicles.
The vicious tone of Montague's press statement suggests that once again
an invasion is impending.
Once again we are totally dependent upon RCMP spokespeople as to what
happens behind their steadily tightening "ring of fire". Media continues
to report RCMP statements as fact.
In conclusion, Canada is acting like the murderous settler state it is -
international outrage and public condemnation of this reign of terror
towards sovereign indigenous nations by federal/provincial fascistic
regimes and their police must bring this offensive to an end before more
Dudley Georges are murdered by Canadian colonialism.
Let us come together in solidarity, resistance and
HONOUR: Healing Our Nations Of United Resistance.
Yesterday, Nuxalk hereditary chiefs burned a BC Supreme Court injunction,
as their nation and non-native allies continue to blockade International
Forest Products near Bella Coola. An ancient old-growth temperate
rainforest 3 times the size of the Clayoquot Sound area is involved.
Interfor is represented by international law partnership
Osler-Renault-Ladner; ex-Prime Minister Brian Mulroney is a senior partner.
NUXALK STRONG! NUXALK FOREVER!
House of Smayusta: (604) 799-5376
posted by S.I.S.I.S. Settlers In Support of Indigenous Sovereignty
PO Box 8673
Canada V8X 3S2
<uc389 at freenet.victoria.bc.ca>
NEW WEB SITE ON GUSTAFSEN LAKE!
--- from list marxism at lists.village.virginia.edu ---
More information about the Marxism