Solidarity Ottawa applauds the courage and leadership of the Indigenous youth-led Reoccupation of Parliament Hill, which began Wednesday night. We also denounce the police aggression and arrests that the Bawating Water Protectors and allies were faced with. The Liberal government claims it supports Truth and Reconciliation, but when Indigenous peoples assert their rights it’s colonialism as usual.
Solidarity Ottawa stands in solidarity with the Reoccupation, with the Bawating Water Protectors, and with the Unsettling Canada 150 national call to action, and urges members and supporters to participate. Show up, donate, and share your support on social media.
As we say in our Basis of Unity, “At the heart of developing a force for transcending capitalism is building a culture of solidarity. This can only be done through actively opposing all forms of oppression locally and globally, and developing a broad understanding of the need to combat the pressing threats to the sustainability of our natural environment. Reflecting this understanding, we acknowledge that we in Ottawa live and work on unceded and unsurrendered Algonquin territory. We are committed to uprooting colonialism, as an integral aspect of the fight against capitalism.” And we are committed to working with and supporting Indigenous peoples and grassroots leadership in this struggle.
Indigenous peoples have been demanding justice for hundreds of years, only to have new injustices heaped on top of the old ones like salt on open wounds. 150 years of colonialism is nothing to celebrate.
Despite promising “Real Change”, the Trudeau Liberal government continues fostering a very real, present day colonialism. Trudeau claims to support the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), while his government tramples it by continuing to ignore the need for free, prior, informed consent of Indigenous peoples when it comes to policies and projects that impact them.
Enough is enough.
It’s time to stop the attacks on Indigenous rights. It’s time to honour the treaties and respect Indigenous territories. At a bare minimum, that respect must start with the Government of Canada fully recognizing its legal obligations under UNDRIP and the rights established by Article 35 of the Constitution Act. This must include immediately ending what the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal deemed to be illegally discriminatory underfunding of child and family services for First Nations children.
Solidarity Ottawa is a local, grassroots, democratic, membership-based, anti-capitalist organization. As an organization whose membership is predominantly non-Indigenous we recognize and take very seriously our responsibilities as treaty people.
We believe a world beyond capitalism and colonialism is both possible and necessary. The grassroots leadership shown by organizers of events like Reoccupation and non-Indigenous solidarity with these important struggles for self-determination is a key part of how we get there.
To the Bawating Water Protectors, we say this: your struggle is our struggle.