|By Tony Hall, Ph.D.|
were the guinea pigs in a horrific biological science experiment on human
subjects, the likes of which have not been seen in Canada or the United
States since the era of the U.S. government's assassination of Kent State
From 5,000 to 10,000 cannisters of chemicals -- involving CS gasses among other toxins, nerve agents and cancer-causing (cell mutation) ingredients -- were directed at us at the Summit Meeting in Quebec City last April. Due process issues should also be the basis of a co-ordinated legal campaign that gets beyond individual cases to identify systematic patterns of violation of the rule of law.
The rule of law in North America was, in my view, the great victim of the Second Battle of the Plains of Abraham. (The first happened in 1759, when New France fell before the conquest of the British empire, preparing the ground for the American Revolution and the birth of the USA as the main inheritor of the Columbian conquests and the most aggressive perpetrator of the continuing "ethnic cleansing" directed at the Western hemisphere's Indigenous peoples.)
I was arrested at about 4 p.m. Friday, April 20. I was far behind police lines, a half mile beyond the fence. Ville deQuebec police delivered me to my Orsanville Penitentiary where I was incarcerated for about 13 hours. As far as I know, I face no charges at this moment.
My union, the Canadian Association of University Teachers, is beginning a lawyer's notice on my behalf. It may lead to a defamation suit against the Lethbridge Herald. We are demanding a retraction of the newspaper's smear job in describing the reasons for my arrest. The Ottawa-based lawyer is Rosemary Morgan. She has an office in CAUT's Ottawa headquarters: email@example.com
My local faculty association is also, if all goes well, initiating a grievance against the administration of the University of Lethbridge for its failure to protect the academic freedom of a faculty member, namely me, from interference from the invasive investigative procedures of the RCMP.
On March 29, my office was visited by Sgt. Grant Cramer of the National Security Investigation Section. Sgt. Cramer interrogated me on the planning of Americana Indigenismo. This converence took place on April 19 as part of the People's Summit.
I would like to see the possible action against the Lethbridge Herald become part of a wider legal campaign directed at the professional negligence entailed in the systematic reporting, lack of balance and continuing cover-up of some corporate media.
CAUT has already taken a strong stand against police interference in the professorial work of Canadian academics and has demanded an inquiry into the issue by Canada's Solicitor General, Lawrence MacAulay.
In my view, Big Labour (CAW, CUPE, AFL-CIO, etc.), in both Canada and the USA, should come up with the money for such needed legal actions -- as part of the necessary reparations for abandoning about 20,000 of us at the fence. As a result of organised Labour's unconscionable abandonment of the main picket line, the violence of the police was far more severe than it would otherwise have been. Big Labour, as opposed to some courageous but dissident trade unionists, should have been at our side.
The brunt of the violence was taken by post-secondary students -- that is to say, the flower of Quebecois and other Canadian youth.
The federal NDP needs to quickly chastise and discipline Alexa for her intellectual hooliganism on this issue. The NDP needs to begin pressing questions in the House of Commons. I look to Libby Davies of Vancouver East as an ally who can help lead the NDP back to where it needs to be to avoid the oblivion it deserves if it cannot rise to the challenge of this moment and this national crisis under the iron hand rule of what appears to be a senile and increasingly dangerous prime minister.
What role did the Bush administration ultimately play in coordinating the counterinsurgency tactics visited on us, minus the outright state murders that invariably accompany such citizens' demonstrations against the comprador, U.S. puppet regimes in Central and South America?
To what extent is Canada taking on the characteristics of a subarctic banana republic in the American empire?
Was the U.S. government the ultimate source of the decision to make a fence the central point of contention in the fight between our peoples' freedom of movement and the rough police actions, representing the privatization of everything as the basis of global corporate rule?
Did the violent police reaction against the defencing of Wall Street in Quebec represent a renewal of the form of ecocidal and genocidal globalization which began with the Columbian conquests in 1492 and continues yet?
As the Zapatistas say in their embrace of Mother Earth, cultural pluralism and biodiversity. As the Zapatistas say in their opposition to the continuing Columbian conquests embodied in neo-liberal globalization: "Basta! Enough is enough!
|Dr. Hall is an Associate Professor of Native American Studies at the University of Lethbridge in Lethbridge, AB.|