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Timely native land rights rally uses innovative techniques

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Message Virginia Simson
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This is a learning lesson for us all. All this OpEd is black and white, the experience I had today was in LIVING color.


Today, September 21st, more than 250 First Nation leaders, RAN activists and allies are at the Ontario legislature with an enormous banner reading "Native Land Rights Now!" This ran on a live video feed. I received an email to come watch and I jumped over to another browser frame and took part in seconds.


This is an amazing way to conduct a protest. I can smell the POTENTIAL that this has to truly change the way we organize and ensure that whole world watches as people make their stand about protecting the environment and focussing on corporate wrongdoers OR ..... well, even the sky is no limit.

With provincial elections just around the corner, it is definitely time for Ontario's political parties to stand up for Native land rights by halting the unrestrained logging and mining happening in the boreal forest. There have been ongoing actions to protect native land rights and the environment going on for months.

Recently, Canada rejected the UN Declaration on Indigenous Rights. They did this although the government worked hard on this -- as the frontrunner in organizing efforts for ten years. The Canadian government and the mainstream press has made many excuses saying that the language was too broad and could cause trouble in the future with land claims: this is a nonsense! The Declaration is not binding, and therefore could hinder nothing at all.

So the timing of today's action is fantastic.

The action today with use of television technology made it possible for the entire world to watch.

Native groups taking part in the action--including the Grassy Narrows, Ardoch and Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) First Nations are demanding a moratorium on industrial activities on their traditional territories that occur without their free, prior and informed consent. They've been given support by Greenpeace and the Christian Peacemaker Teams. They're are just beginning to garner world wide attention. This innovative idea to get attetion can only serve to help; it's a way YOU can get involved, too. Today the protesters filed a 1 billion dollar lawsuit against Ontario so, again, this is timely.

I logged on not knowing what to expect and was pleasantly surprised. There was a chatroom next to the screen and I was able to get an email address within just a few seconds (!!!!) so that I could email Ontario's premier. He had had so many emails already that the site normally used wasn't taking any more.

I went earlier this week to see the Premier debate on health and disability issues; not surprisingly he wasn't there, some other party politico stood in his stead, but I had so wished to confront him about the uranium poisoning issue, as it effects ALL of Ontario, not just poor disabled people he's been able to ignore his entire term. So you can imagine how getting an email to him today was a delight.

local peace and human rights workers.

To see the progress of this campaign . and what campaign it really is - just log on to this website. You should also go there to see just what this new technology might do for YOUR cause(s).

The future for this is bright.

I really want to make this into an ACTION ALERT!! so if you care to write to the media telling them you don't want uranium mining OR you want ALL land claims settled fairly OR think the US/Canada should sign the UN declaration perhaps you'll use OpEd's handy link. Otherwise,you can now write Ontario's Premier as I just did, thanks to today's well conceived plan.

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Virginia Simson is a blogger - as well as a blog on the uranium industry and hydraulic fracking at which anticipated the Japanese meltdowns. She has a large archive of material on (more...)
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