Archive | November, 2012

Incarcerated political prisoner Mandy Hiscocks Statement on her filing a human rights complaint against Vanier Corrections Centre

22 Nov

I’m filing a human rights application today against Vanier
Published by mandyon Thu, 2012-11-22 09:28mandy’s blog
classification, discrimination and human rights

here’s a Media Release and important Statements of Support from NOII and DAMN2025

today i’m filing a Human Rights application against the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services and Vanier Centre for Women. i hope to initiate some changes in their security classification system, which is opaque and discriminatory and contains no fair grievance process.

in previous posts i’ve tried to describe the difference between the maximum and medium security units but i probably haven’t done it justice. you’ll have to trust me on this: the freedoms i enjoy now may seem limited and the privileges minor, but they make a world of difference. so who gets to live in which world and what are those decisions based on?

in my case the decision seems to be political, although i can’t say for sure because nobody here has ever told me the reason. i was kept on maximum security (Unit 2) for seven and half months. i never had a misconduct, was never sent to the hole, was occasionally argumentative and sarcastic with guards but never violent or aggressive towards them, and i had no run ins with other inmates. i tried for months to find out why i wasn’t being given a chance on a medium security unit but my questions went unanswered by Classifications, the Superintendent and the Regional Director. eventually i was told that it might have been something i once said to a social worker – this shocked me, because during our one conversation i’d told her i was uncomfortable with her question and she’d gone to great lengths to assure me that everything was confidential. i’ve since learned that “don’t trust the social worker” is fairly common knowledge in here, but i didn’t know that then. in august i was told by the head of Social Work that she’d find out what it was that i’d allegedly said. to this day i haven’t heard back from her, but i was moved to medium security (Unit 4) about a week later. i don’t believe there ever was a good reason to have kept me on Unit 2 for so long. this process (or lack thereof) is unacceptable – there should have to be a clear reason and inmates should have the right to know it and grieve it under a fair process if we disagree. this is something i hope can be addressed at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

another concern that i hope will be addressed is the way the classification system discriminates against groups of people who are already marginalized in society. this happens in a few different ways: by refusing medium security eligibility to certain groups as opposed to evaluating individual circumstances and behaviour (this is true for people detained on an immigration hold), or simply because the institution is unable to accommodate inmates’ needs (for example, the medium security units are not wheelchair accessible). finally, the rating system used by provincial institutions to give inmates a security designation is stacked against certain groups: women, poor and indigenous people and people of colour to name a few. what it boils down to is that those who are privileged on the outside continue to be privileged on the inside. at Vanier, Unit 2 is full of migrants, people with disabilities, people of colour and the poor while Unit 4 is a predominantly white, younger, relatively better-off crowd.

i realize that this is merely one injustice among many, and that in a system that is fundamentally rotten it may not seem like the biggest deal. but it’s one injustice that i’m in a position to do something about. prisoners are deprived of liberty but shouldn’t also be denied basic human rights and equal treatment.

you can click here to see the full application and here to read the Toronto Star article. i’d like to encourage others to join me – if you feel like anything in this application applies to you (or someone you know) and you (or they) are interested in becoming a co-applicant or getting more information, please email vanierapplication@gmail.com.

CAM Mapuche Political Prisoners Initiate New Hunger Strike

22 Nov

CAM Mapuche Political Prisoners Initiate New Hunger Strike

November 14th, 2012

Public Communiqué

The CAM Mapuche Political Prisoners, Hector Llaitul Carrillanca and Ramon Llanquileo Pilquiman communicate the following to the Mapuche Nation, and general public opinion:

1.Beginning today, Wednesday November 14th, we once again have initiated a hunger strike to the final consequences if necessary, as a way to denounce and demand the following.
2.We have been persecuted and unjustly convicted of 8 and 15 years respectively through the application of the Antiterrorist Law, and use of “faceless witnesses” due to the ongoing conflict between our People and the Capitalist Chilean State.
3.Moreover, we have gone under double jeopardy by the courts, one civil and the other military, violating the judicial principle of “NOS BIS IN IDEM.” We had been convicted to 3 and 4 years by the Chilean Civil Court, when we had already been absolved for the same charges processed by Prosecutor Elgueta through the Military Court.
4.Therefore the demands of this mobilization are:
■Freedom for All Mapuche Political Prisoners in Chile.
■To adhere to the “NOS BIS IN IDEM” Principle, allowing our sentences to be lowered from 8 to 4 years (Llanquileo and Huillical) and 15 to 11 years (Llaitul).
■Right to prison benefits, and in the case of Ramon Llanquileo, and the right to political status as a Mapuche prisoner.
■Recognition as Mapuche Political Prisoners, and the right to dignified conditions, separate reclusion, a right to proper health service, and spaces to practice our culture and traditions.
FREEDOM FOR ALL MAPUCHE POLITICAL PRISONERS!!

STOP THE REPRSSION AGAINST THE MAPUCHE COMMUNITIES IN CONFLICT!!

TERRITORY AND AUTONOMY!!

WEUWAIÑ!!

From Angol Prison

Wichan Info al Día

Distributed by: The Women’s Coordinating Committee for a Free Wallmapu [Toronto]

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After 10 Years of Impunity, Alex Lemun Family Reaffirm Compromise for Territorial Struggle
Posted on November 14, 2012 by The Women’s Coordinating Committee For a Free Wallmapu [Toronto]
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After 10 Years of Impunity, Alex Lemun Family Reaffirm Compromise for Territorial Struggle

Nov 13th, 2012

Public Communique

On the 10th Anniversary of the murder of our son and Weichafe [Warrior] Alex Lemun Saavedra on November 12th, 2002, the family communicates the following to National and International Opinion:

We deeply lament and denounce that after 10 years of this deplorable crime, there has still been no justice for Alex’s murderer, Officer Marcos Aurelio Treuer of the Chilean National Police Force, whom remains free and carrying out his functions as an officer, demonstrating that crimes against humanity by the police force are still being carried out in Chile.

This Saturday and Sunday November 10th and 11th we will carry out a Guillatun [Ceremony] in his memory, with the communities of Malleco as well as other territories.

We reaffirm our compromise with the struggle for the rights of the Mapuche People, as with the restitution of all usurped territories.

We demand an end to the militarization and criminalization by the government in turn against our communities demanding our lands, in the same way that we demand the freedom of all Weichafe [Warriors] and Mapuche Political Prisoners that are held in the prisons of the Chilean State.

Lemun Saavedra Famil

Alex Lemun Communi

País Mapuche

Distributed by: The Women’s Coordinating Committee for a Free Wallmapu [Toronto]

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Posted in Indigenous | Tagged Mapuche land claims struggle, police brutality | Leave a reply
On the 10th Anniversary of his Murder: Alex Lemun Lives in Every Day of Mapuche Struggle
Posted on November 9, 2012 by The Women’s Coordinating Committee For a Free Wallmapu [Toronto]
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On the 10th Anniversary of his Murder: Alex Lemun Lives in Every Day of Mapuche Struggle

November 8th, 2012

In the next few days, it will be the 10th Anniversary since Chilean Police would murder the young Weichafe [Warrior] Alex Lemun Saavedra in the Area of Ercilla. As is the case every year, his brothers and sisters will remember him throughout all Wallmapu, continuing the struggle for which he gave his life.

On November 7th 2002 at around 6PM, the Montutui Mapu Community together with Mapuche from other communities in Wallmapu were working within the Santa Elisa estate in the township of Ercilla, then territory in conflict that was being collectively occupied through productive work. By the order of Mininco Forestry Inc, special militarized police forces proceeded to raid and remove the Mapuche from the site.

The defense of the communities would be able to contain the police fury for a brief while, when a contingent of three police officers shot live ammunition to a group of Mapuche.

Peñi [Brother] Alex Lemun Saavedra, was the fourth of nine brothers, and ever since his People began to mobilize, he would participate in every meeting, gathering and ceremony that the communities in the area would have, and would never hold himself back when entering and working in the occupied estates.

Alex received a gunshot to the head from a firearm of Major Marcos Aurelio Treuer Heyssen. The bullet ran through “10 centimetres in its trajectory, finally ending at the nape of the neck” as determined by medical specialists later on.

Alex was immediate helped by his people, being transferred in a wagon and then in an ambulance to Angol, later to Temuco, and finally in an effort to try discarding some responsibility, the Chilean government transferred him to the German Clinic of the city, where he remained resisting for 5 days connected to a mechanical respirator. The bullet could not be removed and had destroyed an important percentage of brain mass.

After 5 days of agony, on November 12th at 6:15 AM, Peñi [Brother] Alex Lemun leaves us.

The projectile was shot by Major Marcos Treuer of the Chilean National Police Force, with a Winchester rifle loaded with lead bullets and according to his version, was “used to repel an armed attack;” a vile lie that was immediately discarded, even by their Chilean Justice system.

No one could negate the crime, as even the repressive institution would recognize it. However despite the judicial trials, the international pressure, and the many demonstrations, a decade has now passed and there had been no justice.

Alex Lemun was 17 years old, son of Edmundo Lemun Nekul and Sonia Saavedra Horta, and resided in the Rekem Lemun Community of Ercilla, growing up surrounded by forestry plantations that pertain to the many large corporations and particulars.

He was characterized as being a very healthy, responsible and disciplined youth, which was stated by all who knew him. As he began acquiring conscience on the reality of the Mapuche People and of the communities that carried out productive reclamations, he gave himself to the struggle completely, supporting the mobilizations where his support was important, as was that November 7th, together with his Wetrukurawe.

The murder was absolved and today his murderer continues carrying out his work as a police officer, having been promoted twice.

Chilean Justice does not recognize the murder of a Mapuche as being a crime, as it seems to be an achievement of their military and genocidal policies. We painfully proved this once again with the with new terrorist crimes against our People: the Weichafe [Warriors] Matias Catrileo and Jaime Mendoza Collio that were murdered with impunity by the oppressive Chilean State, as with the many Mapuche brothers and sisters that have murdered in one way or another by the institutional oppression that is spread over Wallmapu.

Today the communities affirm that only Mapuche justice – that which blossoms in daily struggle, in resisting and exerting political and territorial rights, with the strength of our ancestors and continuing on the path they defended with their lives – is the only way that our Weichafe [Warriors] will not have died in vain.

[ASIDE] The Murderous Offensive of the Chilean State

■The murder of Alex Lemun was initially called “Operation Patience,” a strategy of the Chilean State that articulated various intelligence services, police, Government, and with the approval of business sectors, which was destined to detain the process of Mapuche Community struggle in their territorial reclamations through repression, cooptation, divisions, as well as harassment, persecution, violence, judicial criminalization against communities.
■Marcos Treuer murdered Alex Lemun as a Major; today he is a commander, a Lieutenant Coronel. After his action on November 7th, 2002 he was transferred to Rancagua. Today it is unknown whether he continues in the force there or in another location. Treuer continues in impunity, as with the police special forces of the GOPE that murdered both Matias Catrileo and Jaime Mendoza Collio, and remain free to this day.
País Mapuche

Distributed by: The Women’s Coordinating Committee for a Free Wallmapu [Toronto]

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Lemun Renace

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Mapuche Resistance, the Mass Media (RE: “Informe Especial”) & the CAM National Liberation Project
Posted on November 8, 2012 by The Women’s Coordinating Committee For a Free Wallmapu [Toronto]
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Mapuche Resistance, the Mass Media (RE: “Informe Especial”) and the National Liberation Project of the CAM

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

The history of the Mapuche nation from the arrival of the Europeans till now has been set across annihilation, scorn towards our people due to the Winka [Settler] ethno-centrism and the construction of its ideal, the continuous desire to homogenize cultural expressions and forced assimilation disguised as philanthropy, good intentions and the undervaluation of the capacity of our People (tai ñ com pu che). From the permanent dichotomy of good and bad, the correct and right path to liberty and progress, examples of development portrayed in history books and economics, the venality of the Chilean who aspires to become an entrepreneur and become as successful and competitive as the country’s richest families, Matte or Edwards. The Mapuche are a despised, cornered and usurped nation by the immoral ambition of those who desire the administration of Mapuche Territory, through blood and fire, however with our memory and our own story, which in the last few years has learned from itself; we recognize and reconstruct ourselves politically and territorially. The Mapuche is no longer Chilean, feeling and seeing oneself as Mapuche, which is a cumulative step forward. We sincerely value who we are, what we defend, we reclaim what is ours from our own position, from rhetoric reconstructed through Oral history, respecting our ancient authorities, the Pewma, the Nutram, the Trawun, our ceremonies the Ngillatun, Llellipun in thinking of our ancestors, in the words of our Lonko [Chiefs]. From a militant position of dedication and sacrifice, we state that being Mapuche today is a crossroads, disjunctive, it is not easy. Even then, we must carry on the path and respect the kiñe rupu tai ñ che yem, where we walk and decisively continue to be tai ñ mapu, integral People of the land.

We understand and know that these steps are not well seen by the owners of the official version of history. Moreover, the priorities of government, business and transnational corporations lie in the extinguishment of any expression of emancipation and territorial, political and spiritual reclamation, ta iñ Weichafe, expressions as the defense and reclamation of Pilmaiquen and Panguipulli against the Hydroelectric centres, in Arauco against mining and forestry companies, in Quepe against the construction of the Airport, in San Juan de la Costa and Osorno for the preservation of sacred sites, the reclamation of ancient territory in Ercilla, etc. Their arms: the mass media, the application of the Antiterrorist Law, militarized police in the territory, intelligence services and the backing of authorities giving administrative concessions, special police procedures, which overlook the unmeasured repression and violation of fundamental human rights, international treaties, thereby continually expressing the doctrine of racism. A “Wild West” where a Mapuche can be murdered shot in the back without the person responsible being given an adequate sentence, while another Mapuche is convicted of a 10 year sentence for defending their family from a police raid. Self-defence as a crime and the murder of an “Indian” deemed as heroic. These are the paradoxes of the new Pacification of Araucanía.

Ercilla, the New Threshold

Today we can see then mass media and the interests of Chilean institutionalism, especially the Executive Power, have demonstrated unusual concern over certain sectors of Mapuche Territory. The government in turn has permanently insisted in carrying out formulas to develop a strategy in the short and long run to demobilize the communities in resistance and territorial reclamation, generating a clear atmosphere of stigmatization and repression on the one hand and spaces for investment through the Indigenous Development Agency (ADI) as well as the development with friendly communities (first within Arauco Province and currently within Malleco), which enables the idea of progress through entrepreneurship and casting out expressions of autonomy and territorial control; thereby considering these proposals as terrorist or at least criminal. In the end the stigmatization of our expression as a Nation persists, the need to develop our ways and values (ad mapu-ad mongen) negates this so-called neo-liberal individualistic and market-dependant development, therefore we are deemed to be enemies of progress and of a national project. We are the internal enemy of the Chilean State that must be combated with any means possible and at any price.

Ercilla is a difficult threshold to ignore by the Piñera and Hinzpeter government, as they have transformed it into the thesis and antithesis of Mapuche resistance; staging development as the carrot and stick in its maximum expression, divide and conquer and other lessons learned at the School of the Americas.

In this context, “Plan Araucania” and the Security Summit are indivisible, as they are the carrot and stick: assimilation, cooptation and a deepening of institutional dependency, which absolutely in no way formulates or constructs an autonomous project. It is simply the continuation of paternalistic, assistance based policies on behalf of the government. The strategies promoted by the Chilean State are very far from the ad mongen ka ad mapu meu. They have only fomented division and violence. It is the predecessor to transnational investment, and therefore the definitive plunder of Mapuche Territory, Kimun and Rakizuam.

Meanwhile, the Security Summit means more repression directed to the territories in resistance and reclamation, where greater resources are allocated to increase and consolidate the militarization, intelligence and promotion of criminalization in perfecting the judicialization of just ancestral demands.

In this way the detailed preparation to cautiously stage repression is exerted with justification. Let the expressions of real national Mapuche liberation be imprisoned and persecuted; a situation that in Ercilla, and Temucuicui in particular, advances daily towards an autonomous process.

It is in this sense the CAM proposes a program based on three premises by promoting autonomy, territorial control and national reconstruction:

1.1. RECLAMATION OF MAPUCHE ANCIENT TERRITORY: That is, not limited to the land claims as dictated by the Chilean State through the CONADI. Ideally through “active” reclamations, and NOT through institutions (through buying land for example).
2. TERRITORIAL CONTROL IN THE COMMUNITY AND THE LOF: This is initiated through productive and permanent occupations of land, but demands qualitative aspects such as the transformation of economic and productive control of resources from a capitalist perspective, to the rupture of these ways and with the global system more generally. That is, we do not want lands in order to continue planting Pine and Eucalyptus trees, selling them to the forestry industry, handing these over to the system. Rather, Territorial Control as political management and cultural/religious reactivation of our worldview.

3.THE REGENERATION OF COMMUNTIES AND TERRITORIAL CONTROL OF THE FUTALMAPU: The regeneration of communities is necessary through their ancestral Lof and territorial identities. That is to say, the regeneration of these should create a process of accumulation of forces sufficient for Territorial Control of increasingly vast areas that re-establish the ancient Lof and Futalmapu.

This is the program given as a means for Mapuche national liberation and reconstruction. Moreover, the development of the Territorial Resistance Groups (ORT) in “defend[ing] the processes of territorial reclamation, carrying out territorial control, and on the other hand, visualizing the capitalist attack by large investments sponsored by the State; staling the advancement of transnational forestry/hydroelectric companies, investors and estate owners, etc.”

The State emphasizes their so-called law and order and their concept of an undivided and indivisible nation over the ancestral rights over our territory and autonomy. We understand that if we do not advance towards greater political and territorial rights, we are destined to disappear. Therefore our posture has always been clear, tai ñ kiñe rüpu, our unbreakable morale with an ethic of Weichan [War] from the communities that constitute their own expression to self defence and territorial reclamation, processes that should increase and that principally seek to detain the progression of investment and usurpation by transnational corporations, while at the same time exerting territorial control, reconstructing and recreating our lives as Mapuche.

Lie, Lie Through your Teeth

Two weeks ago, the transmission TVN Chilean National Television’s “Special Report” [Informe Especial] aired a report called “Red Zone,” by Santiago Pavlovic and produced by Sergio Ramirez.

This report aspired nothing other than to delegitimize the political/territorial reclamation of the Mapuche Nation and portray the State policies of investment and securitization (specifically the Indigenous Development Agency) with ridiculous comparisons, unfounded affirmations and tendentious guesswork. They begin by stating a “Red Zone” (territory understood as the area between Ercilla, Collipulli and Angol) while alleging ethnic cleansing on the part of more radicalized communities, where reclaimed territories are abandoned and without production, at the same time there exists a lands claims process given by the State benefiting many communities. Of course the first two points are assumed from a neo-liberal capitalist perspective regarding production, thereby de-contextualizing our relation to the territory, even going as far as alleging favoritism with Judges of the Court, stated by the regional prosecutor Francisco Ljubetic. Moreover, they describe a series of events, suggestively linked without any proof relating to the Mapuche cause, such as the arson of a school in Chequenco, theft of cattle, assaults to acquire weapons and money from poor peasants of the area as well as the arson of their homes, permanent harassment to small farmers, the death of GOPE Sergeant Hugo Albornoz and farmer Hector Gallardo, the arson of the home of Lonko [Cheif] Curinao, etc. They finally conclude with the statement that we are all Chilean and the debate should be on constitutional recognition and the possibility of having Mapuche members of parliaments.

We do not believe in the suggestions and affirmations of Mr. Pavlovic. On the contrary, we propose the debate should be centred around ideas such as: nation, autonomy, territorial control, reconstruction and national liberation; there is no instance where these topics leads to forced integration, much less promote forms of development that are foreign to our principles as a People. We must debate from our knowledge and propose autonomous alternatives of reconstruction of Mapuche ways, territorial and spiritual space, which is essential, then debate over its forms and further its meaning and development.

Over an hour of programming was dedicated to nothing more than the continuation of media campaigns that seek to invent contexts, prepare scenarios and generate conditions necessary to maintain the status quo, justifying repressive and judicial attacks by the Chilean State.

The mass media in its various forms (noting that there exists a high quantity of these in Chile) permanently advocate images that portray us as violent, without a national project, without values, background or history. On the other hand, they have always been considered an instrument of domination, in this case forging a story and generating the imaginary through omission, distortion, criminalization and censorship with the objective of misinforming, confusing and harassing communities, seeking to create an environment of terror and persecution that isolate the communities that tread the path of national reconstruction, placing an emphasis on violence to delegitimize this course. This “journalist piece” is no exception; it does not open the debate nor does it contribute, it simply deepens the stigmatization, prejudice and banality.

In conclusion, this program did not touch on the historical demands of territory and spirituality, of our project of national liberation, the processes of reclamation and territorial control in a serious and focused manner, the current situation, the [recent] hunger strike of our Peñi in Angol, which outline a path of decision to re-establish dignity and justice; extreme decisions that call to sacrifice and use the body as an instrument for the continuation of struggle.

The Mapuche Nation has initiated their path to liberation and it is urgent to debate over the notion of autonomy and national liberation. We will continue the restitution of territorial balance with strong conviction, advancing in territorial and spiritual reclamation, preparing ourselves politically, taking on the challenges and costs of our struggle with dignity. Whether the defenders of capitalism like it or not, we will carry it forward.

Wewaiñ, Petu Mogelaiñ!

MARRICHIWEU!

Wichan Info al Día

Distributed by: The Women’s Coordinating Committee for a Free Wallmapu [Toronto]

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Two Mapuche that underwent Hunger Strike Released
Posted on November 6, 2012 by The Women’s Coordinating Committee For a Free Wallmapu [Toronto]
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Two Mapuche that underwent Hunger Strike Released

November 3rd, 2012

The Temuco Court of Appeals revoked the pre-emptive custody that maintained Eric Montoya and Rodrigo Montoya in prison, two of the Wente Winkul Mapu Community members that held a two month hunger strike.

The judicial resolution considered there was insufficient evidence in the process against the two youth, switching remanded custody for house arrest during the Trial investigation period.

The Mapuche community members are being accused of Prosecutor Chamorro and police intelligence for mischief and possession of a fire arm, in the case of Eric Montoya, and possession of a hunting rifle in the case of Rodrigo.

Of the four Mapuche youth that were on hunger strike, only Daniel Levinao remains in Angol prison awaiting his re-trial as determined by the Chilean Supreme Court, set for December 17 of this year. Meanwhile, Paulino Levipan was released a week ago due to a reduction of his sentence.

The Violent Occupation of Juan de Dios Fuentes

What is ironic in this case is that landed estate owner Juan de Dios Fuentes could not present the deed that would certify the alleged infractions on his estate. This would be impossible, since he only is certified for 100 out of the 200 hectares of Mapuche Territory he currently occupies.

Nonetheless, the Chilean State through its militarized forces guard all 200 hectares, in this way illegally (even under Chilean Law) repressing Mapuche land claims.

País Mapuche

Distributed by: Women’s Coordinating Committee for a Free Wallmapu [Toronto]

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The Daily Police Harassment in Wente Winkul Mapu
Posted on October 30, 2012 by The Women’s Coordinating Committee For a Free Wallmapu [Toronto]
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The Daily Police Harassment in Wente Winkul Mapu

October 26th, 2012

After the favourable decision by the Chilean Justice System on the Mapuche Political Prisoners and latter end of the hunger strike, the Wente Winkul Mapu Community was returning to their homes when they were detained by police.

This kind of police brutality can be seen daily in the communities that can be seen in this video. It was in the railroad crossing in Pidima, where GOPE riot and Special Force police interrupted the flow of traffic with the excuse of “vehicle control,” demanding identification.

In the end, the documents that they asked for had no importance, and let people through because they had already managed to implement yet another act of harassment.

País Mapuche

Distributed: The Women’s Coordinating Committee for a Free Wallmapu [Toronto]

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Mapuche Political Prisoners Drop Hunger Strike in Angol
Posted on October 27, 2012 by The Women’s Coordinating Committee For a Free Wallmapu [Toronto]
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Mapuche Political Prisoners Drop Hunger Strike in Angol

Oct 25th, 2012

After the favourable sentence given by the Supreme Court, the Wente Winkul Mapu Community confirmed that the four Mapuche community members in Angol prison have ended their hunger strike carried out throughout the last two months.

In this way, Eric Montoya together with Paulino Levipan end the action after 60 days, accusing officials of irregularities in their processes.

Levipan and Levinao were initially convicted for attempted homicide to police and illegal weapons possession.

The end of the mobilization was made known from Angol prison by leaders of the Wente Winkul Mapu Community, along with representatives of different territories from across Wallmapu and social organizations that were also present.

País Mapuche

Distributed by: The Women’s Coordinating Committee for a Free Wallmapu [Toronto]

Ann Hansens Statement on her recent illegal imprisonment

21 Nov

Ann Hansen is a former member of Direct Action, an underground anarchist group active in the 1980s, who presently lives as a writer, farmer and public speaker in the Kingston area. On August 3, 2012, Ann was arrested and had her parole suspended for ‘unauthorized associations and political activity’ in the context of growing anti-prison organizing in Kingston, Canada’s prison capital. Ann, with the advice of her lawyer, chose to not publicize her arrest until after her parole hearing. On October 30, the Parole Board canceled her parole suspension and released her on stricter conditions. This is her first public statement regarding her arrest and imprisonment.

—-

On August 3, I was at my home near Kingston, Ontario, sitting in a lawn chair after supper when out of the corner of my eye I saw a line of black SUVs speeding towards our driveway. With a sinking feeling, I realized one of my reoccurring fears as a parolee was becoming a reality. Four SUVs turned into our driveway, slammed on their brakes and out hopped about six to eight cops from the Ontario Provincial Police dressed in full Darth Vader gear with a couple of them brandishing automatic weapons for full dramatic effect. As I struggled to stay calm, I noticed the acronym ROPE (Re-Offenders and Parole Enforcement Squad) in bright yellow blazoned across their bullet proof vests.

They parked askew all over the driveway, and while a couple of them with their fully automatic rifles took positions at the top of our property, the rest walked rapidly up to where I was and handcuffed me without saying a word. I asked the one female cop what this was all about and she said my parole was being suspended.

I spent a few days at the local remand center, Quinte Detention Centre, before a new parole officer (my regular parole officer was suddenly replaced) and a Security Intelligence Officer (SIO) from Correctional Service Canada (CSC) came to see me for a post suspension interview. They spent an hour and a half interrogating me and trying to intimidate me into giving them the names of anyone involved in EPIC (End the Prison Industrial Complex) or any other anti-prison activists, as well as information about any possible “bombings and arsons” which the SIO warned me I would be responsible for “if it all went sideways.” Needless to say, they were not satisfied when I told them I didn’t have names for them. The interview would have made a hilarious Monty Python script with the SIO comparing me at times to Ghandi and then in the next breath to James Holmes, the “joker” who killed twelve people during the Batman film in Colorado. The outcome of the interview wasn’t quite so hilarious.

On August 13, I was transferred to the maximum security unit at Grand Valley Prison for Women in Kitchener. Ten days earlier I had been lounging in my slippers in a lawn chair after supper, and here I was suddenly transformed into a high security federal prisoner who had to be put in leg irons and handcuffs just to be led from the admitting area into one of the pods of the maximum security unit. It was so funny, I felt like crying.

A few weeks later I received parole papers stating that the CSC parole office was “strongly recommending” that my parole be revoked with a long list of reasons why. As I suspected, the library was the scene of the ‘crime;’ I was not charged with any actual crime. The ROPE squad had arrived the day after I had screened a film about Prisoners’ Justice Day (PJD) at the Kingston Public Library. The film was followed by a ‘direct action workshop’ conducted by a lawyer who explained what to expect at a blockade/picket, which was to be held at the entrance to Collins Bay Penitentiary on PJD. These ‘direct action workshops’ have become commonplace globally as training workshops for large scale demonstrations or civil disobedience actions in order to familiarize people with the legality of different kinds of activities. They also teach people how to participate in large consensus decision-making processes, how to interact with the media, what to do if one is arrested and other skills necessary for protests.

The planned Prisoners’ Justice Day blockade/picket of Collins Bay was the most obvious reason why my parole was suspended, but there were many other ‘reasons’ listed based on paranoid suspicions that are not worth the time and effort of explaining. It is worth noting, however, the political context in Ontario, which provides the most logical reasons for my parole suspension. I believe that the reasons for my parole suspension are similar to the G20 Main Conspiracy Group prosecution; that is, ‘preventative security measures’ aimed at arresting people before any ‘illegal act’ is even committed. These kinds of measures are used not only to disrupt political actions but also to have a chilling effect on political resistance in general. They put us on the defensive and force us to fight for our basic rights, which are supposedly entrenched in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

It could be viewed as a sad day indeed when we are reduced to fight for our basic human rights, but I think it is actually a sign of the strength of our resistance. In the minds of the authorities, they are so threatened by the potential of our movements that they are reduced to trying to pre-empt our organizing efforts by arresting us for going to meetings, speaking out, and demonstrating, which are supposed to be legal activities even in a capitalist society.

I think the back story to the latest rounds of preemptive arrests in Ontario begins in the year leading up to the Toronto G20 Summit in 2010 when undercover cops were embedded in the Guelph and Kitchener/Waterloo anarchist communities. Billions of dollars were spent on police security and intelligence gathering in the year leading up to and including the actual days of demonstrations against the G20 Summit. We see similar police preparations occurring now to counter organizing against the Alberta tar sands and the line nine pipeline reversal in Ontario.

In Kingston, local police forces were no doubt taken by surprise by the sudden emergence of a relatively large and diverse movement to stop the closure of the prison farms in 2009. Prison abolitionists saw this as an opening move to free up land and money at Collins Bay Penitentiary to construct a regional superprison, as outlined in the government’s “Roadmap to Strengthening Public Safety.” In August 2010, hundreds of people in Kingston participated in a two-day blockade of the entrance to Collins Bay and Frontenac Institutions to prevent the removal of the prison farm cattle herd. The local cops were not prepared for the size of the movement and had to call in provincial police reinforcements on the second day. There were twenty-four arrests. Local prison abolitionists had also begun organizing against the plans for a massive prison expansion, which by 2012 has translated into the construction of six new prison units in the Kingston area alone.

In the months leading up to August 10, 2012, local prison abolitionists and some people involved in the prison farms campaign worked to organize for Prisoners’ Justice Day. Across the city, posters invited people to participate in an early morning blockade/picket of Collins Bay to halt construction on the new prisons as an act of solidarity with the prisoners fasting and refusing to work inside the walls. In the minds of the cops and CSC, visions of hordes of anarchists and outraged locals danced in their heads. Based on the ludicrous expectations for PJD expressed by the CSC during my Quinte interrogation, I don’t think it would have surprised them if ‘what to their wondering eyes should appear, but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.’

For three months I waited for my revocation hearing with the Parole Board. It’s hard to be optimistic inside the maximum security unit where Ashley Smith died, and Nyki Kish waits for her appeal after being convicted of a murder she did not commit. It’s always easier to do time when you have nothing to lose, but in my case I live with two others on a small self-sufficient farm and work with a great community of comrades locally, so I have a lot to lose. In the end the Parole Board released me with stricter conditions on October 30, 2012.

There is no doubt in my mind that I would have spent many more years in prison without the tireless support of a network of friends, family, anarchist allies and a good lawyer. It becomes clear in prison, that all the efforts of the CSC are directed towards isolating the prisoner from their networks of support both inside and outside the walls. I owe my ‘freedom’ to all those who supported me throughout this episode of my life, and I just hope I can reciprocate through my solidarity and by continuing the joyous lifestyle of resistance!!

1547 words

Topics: Police/Prisons

TRIAL SET FOR SEPT 30TH, COURT IS FULL OF SHIT!!!!!!!

20 Nov

On Friday and Today I was in court to prepare for trial and argue out what the trial would look like. From the begining Crown Miller made it clear that he has no respect for my arguements saying I am wasting the courts time. The judge ruled that the first two days of the trial I would be allowed to present to the Judge alone (jury excluded) my arguements about how the courts are being used as a political tool to silence dissent. It was clear that if I present arguements of a political nature to the jury I will face contempt charges. I stated that I may want to have a amicus of my choice to assist me with some of the arguements and the judge agreed. Court was moved to today to set a date for trial as well as a readyness date so that we can all see when everyone is available and check the downtown court docket.

Today in Court the trial readiness date was set for Aug 12th and the 6 day trial by jury was set for Sept 30th. The Judge today when I stated that I may choose to have an amicus made it clear that the amicus will be there to assist him not me and it wont be one of my choice. In his own words the amicus is my friend not yours. Given Millers comments on contempt if I accept a court appointed amicus , the trial can continue even if I am removed from the room, something that they may do regardless. If i dont have amicus the court may still chose to appoint one, or I may be left to myself to make complicated legal arguements. It is obvious from millers comments that he wants no politics in front of the jury, and will attack me if I continue. Well if he wants to treat me like Ulricke Mienhof, I have no choice but to act accordingly.(in terms of court decorum)

KW OCCUPY LOCKS DOWN TD BANK TO PROTEST DRUMMOND REPORT

20 Nov

Today members of kw occupy went to TD to protest the economic cuts which are a direct result of the drummond report put together by TD FINANCIER DRUMMOND, as well the fact that during the last bank action the manager chased people down queen st demanding they have a permit to find that the police have locked all the enterances except one forcing people to show id and bank card to enter.

protestors were obviously denied entery and stood outside handing flyers explaining why we were there. Police and bank managers banned two protestors from all TD LOCATIONS permentaly, meaning we have to take our banking somewhere else…lol.

PASSERBYERS WHO WERE SUPPORTIVE WERE ALSO DENIED ENTRY AS WELL AS PEOPLE WHO LOOKED LIKE PROTESTORS (EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE NOT WITH US).

we continued this political disruption until the bank closed, demonstrating that with the intensification on the attacks on the poor our resistance will intensify and institutions that implement austerity are legitamite targets.

To those who sit on the sidelines and critisize, I wont sit by silently and Do nothing!!!

19 Nov

in the last little bit quite a few people whom i associate with in my day to day life have been very critical of the fact that I am still organizing political events and actions while i am up on charges. Some of the critisms that the bring up may be things that I am already aware of and think about all the time, the mane one being that I am putting myself needlessly in danger, despite the fact that for the most part I follow the law to the letter.

It may be true that recently I have taken some unpopular stands, which I have lost support for and have participated in actions that have escalated beyond what I was prepared for, yet I chose not to leave.

When you are outside of the movement it is easy to point out what is good and what is bad, and after the fact everyone is an expert on what should or could have been done better, mistakes are made sometimes, and there are things you can learn from any action, still the point is that by engaging and organizing you learn, not by reading books and critisizing.

Yesterday as I was walking in my neighbourhood, seeing all the factories closed, people whom i grew up with who use to work in these factories, sleeping on the street I had time to think about this idea of neadlessly putting myself at risk. i have a roof over my head or can always find a friends couch to crash on, im not selling my body to pay rent, and im not as vulnerable as paul croutch who was murder by the Queens own Rifles simply because he was sleeping in a park.

I have access to media and people will listen to me more then them. Given all of this, i have a duty to speak out and do something as the social saftey net is being dismantled, as the david street homes are torn down to make room for condos and more and more people are under economic attack.

people talk about my saftey but forget to talk about the saftey of those people in Gaza who are being murdered in the hundreds while i am quitely sitting at my computer smoking a marlboro ciggerrete. Nor are these people talking about the saftey of the disapeared indigenous women in Vancouver who are being murdered everday because of who they are and the lack of importance they have in the eyes of the settler state.

As we speak outside my door a heroine epedemic is raging that has already taken countless lives, while the police turn a blind eye to those scum that poison the most vulnerable members of our society (I guess they have better things to do like spend mad money trying to throw me in jail for blogging).

Che Guevara talks about how socialism cant just be another economic system because then the same problems in capitalism will simply repeat themselves, to build a just society we need to create a new person free from selfish and bourgoise sentimintalism, where they put the needs of the whole community first. This new socialist person recognizes that they are part of something bigger then themselves and as such will put the welfare of the whole community before there own petty well being. I am not this new person, because i am still influenced by this consumer society we live in, but I try to take his word to heart and live by his principles.

When i see my nieghbourhood being dismantled to make way for the rich, when i see my community flooded with drugs, while social programs to deal with this are clsoing and when i see my friends attacked by police, even if i tell myself before that I will not engage, I cant. Because i have the priveledge and duty to do something, yes i am up on charges and have court tommorrow which sucks, but as long as I am out and other comrades are locked I have a duty to fight because I can.

Im not saying i will do this stupidly and court disaster, what i am saying is I will try to live up to the slogan that children in Cuba say every morning “I Want To Be Like Che” and not sit quitly aside as my community is destroyed, my friends are in jail and people are dieng for the sake of profit. If this makes me an extremist i will just remember the words of Marylin Buck in the poem below and refuse to be intimidated into silence by words.

Poem By Marilyn Buck

19 Nov

For Fear Of
Being Called

In Peru a demonstration
against a rise in bread prices
is stopped
because of threats to renounce
those who demand bread
…as terrorists

we fear language
an electric cattle prod
to drive us into corners
where we cower
for fear of being called
terrorists or communists or
criminals

why do we allow
capitalists and congressmen

to rob us of our language
to intimidate us into cutting out
our tongues
to paralyze our movements?

why are we more afraid
to be called terrorists
than to die in the dark
leaving no one to speak for us?

Marilyn Buck (Out of Control 1998)