Our Freedom

Honour Anna Mae Pictou Aquash and Harriet Nahanee / Free John Graham and Leonard Peltier

John Graham Faces Extradition, FBI Frame Up November 27, 2007

Filed under: John Graham — ourfreedom @ 10:58 pm

JOHN GRAHAM FACES EXTRADITION, BC COURT OF APPEAL BOWS DOWN TO FBI FRAME UP

Story by Frank Larue
First Nations Drum [News From Canada’s Native Communities]
August 2007

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‘’I fear that John will not receive a fair trial in the US any more than I did. I must remind you, it is court record that the FBI lied to extradite me back to the US.’’ – Leonard Peltier

The fate of John Graham accused of the murder of Anna Mae Pictou-Aquash was in the hands of B.C. Court of Appeal until July 26 when Graham’s extradition to North Dakota to face trial for murder was approved. Considering the fashion Leonard Pelletier’s trial was conducted, Graham can look forward to a kangaroo court that will put him in jail the rest of his life.
John Graham is a member of -AIM- (American Indian Movement), which has been at war with the FBI for more than forty years. The Bureau will never forget nor forgive the death of their two agents in a shootout in Pine Ridge South Dakota in1975 for which Leonard Peltier is now serving a life sentence. Since the tragic showdown the FBI have done everything in it’s power to bring AIM to it’s knees.

The great American lawmen have made a mockery of the word justice in their pursuit to suppress the movement. A prime example, the extradition of Leonard Peltier from Canada was done with the pressured testimony of Mytle Poorbear who had severe mental problems. The testimony was never questioned by Canada’s judicial system and Leonard Peltier was dispatched south. Under Canadian law, U.S government authorities can request extradition using flimsy or hearsay evidence before Canadian courts. A Canadian judge need simply believe that arguments presented by U.S. authorities provide a ‘reasonable expectation’ of conviction of the accused.

The evidence against John Graham is provided by Arlo Looking Cloud a homeless alcoholic for the last twenty years who was convicted in 2004 for his role in Anna May’s murder. Arlo’s video recorded testimony states that John Graham was the one who pulled the trigger. Later, Arlo told Lakota human rights representative David Seals. ‘’It was a set-up. I was drunk, they were giving me drugs and alcohol.’’ The tape itself according to Seals ‘’Was almost incoherent, and the police were asking a lot of leading questions.’’

The BC Court of Appeal considering the FBI’s tainted past should have given the video to the RCMP to verify it’s authenticity. This of course was never done because Canadian judges can’t bend over quick enough when US authorities are involved. The reason the FBI want Graham convicted so badly, to cover their own tracks, because it is one of their own agents who killed Anna Mae.

FBI agent David Price arrested Anna Mae Pictou-Aquash after the two FBI agents were killed at Pine Ridge and before Leonard Peltier was extradited. Price warned Anna Mae that if she didn’t cooperate ‘’ You won’t live out the year.’’ His warning was prophetic, Anna Mae died that year. It was Price who extracted the false confession from Myrtle Poor Bear, his method to convince Myrtle she should co-operate was showing her pictures of Anna Mae’s body, the consequences if she didn’t cooperate. In Myrtle’s own words ‘’ He showed me pictures of the body and said that if I don’t cooperate this is what may happen to me.’’

John Graham is the fall guy while the FBI can claim yet one more victory, another AIM’ member out of the way. Thanks to the BC Court of Appeal, Canada is guilty one more time of complicity, this time a judge not a politician. In 1992 fifty five Canadian MP’s filed a brief to a U.S. court affirming that Canada had been duped in the Peltier extradition. The trial will only compound the fact that any native resistance against the U.S will be crushed and justice will be trampled on by the same people who are in charge of administering it. Leonard Peltier in a letter of support said

‘’When we talk of sovereignty, we must be willing to solve our own problems and not go running to the oppressor for relief… We have been and still are at odds with the most dangerous, well-funded, strongest military and political organization in the history of the world. The U.S government.’’

 

Shawn Brant, Harriet Nahanee, John Graham November 24, 2007

Filed under: Gitxsan Nation — ourfreedom @ 9:41 pm

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Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, June 29, 2007

HONOR THE DEAD, FIGHT FOR THE LIVING, HARRIET NAHANEE AND SHAWN BRANT

This was presented by Ange Sterritt [Gitxsan Nation] on November 15 ’07 [in Coast Salish Territory, Vancouver], as part of a West Coast speaking tour to support the TYENDINAGA Mohawks.

I would like to thank Sue Collis for coming here today to talk to us about Shawn Brant as well as express my gratitude and honor for those like Shawn Brant whom have risked their freedom and lives for the freedom and lives of others and for the future generations. I also want to acknowledge that what happened to Shawn Brant, Harriet Nahanee, John Graham and others is not only a terrible abomination and explication of the tyrannical nature of the justice system but representative of the refusal of the Klanadian government to remove itself from its perpetuation and implication in the occupation and theft of Indigenous lands. I say “Klan”adian to reflect the white supremist nature in which the illegal nation we live under the burden of operates.

As the Olympics 2010 draws closer, we are seeing an acceleration of this repression and criminal behavior from all levels of government.

In the same way that Mohawks have opposed corporate invasion and governmental terrorism in Tyendinaga, there has been resistance in the occupied Indigenous territories of BC from many Indigenous nations. The Olympics, whose budget is close to 30 billion dollars for a 2 week spectacle, acts as a microcosm for the way in which Klananda has oppressed Indigenous people in order to gain access to rights and title to Indigenous lands. But it also asserts itself as a real threat to Indigenous people and our lands, and likewise sees Indigenous people as a real threat to its existence.

On December 3, 1998, The Canadian Olympic Association chose Vancouver as its candidate city. Vancouver was posited as the “security and safety” candidate – ironic and insulting since most people know by now the large number of Indigenous people imprisoned and killed by police not to mention the reality that over 60 women, many Indigenous, were taken from the downtown eastside, murdered or never to be seen again.

As well how secure do Indigenous people feel now that over 30 Indigenous women and girls have gone missing or been murdered along the Highway of Tears in northern British Columbia. It is often the case that the justice system has protected the predators and killers of these women and girls, while Indigenous women have been ignored and over policed. It’s also insulting to promote Vancouver as the security candidate given the ‘insecure’ and uncertain nature of Indigenous lands and resources targeted by corporations to be privatized and exploited. The justice system has since its inception of settler/colonial society used police forces, courts and racist civil society to undermine and outlaw our Original sacred systems and laws. It continues to imprison and kill our people to gain access to our lands.

Indigenous Resistance to the Olympic hegemony has been greatly criminalized, in hopes to reassure the hungry visitors, or the tourists that their stay will be safe. The attempts to silence us in jails and through our death sentence are cross-country efforts.

Like Shawn, Harriet Nahanee stood up against the theft of the land and was punished greatly.

Harriet was a Pedechat Elder who had married into the Squamish Nation and was protesting an infamous Olympic development – the so called Achilles heal of the 2010 Olympics – the Sea to Sky Highway. She was sentenced to a provincial jail for criminal contempt of court for her part in the Sea-to-Sky Highway-expansion protest at Eagleridge Bluffs. She died of pneumonia and complications at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver on February 24, just one month after her original sentencing. Nahanee had been weak from the flu and asthma in January, and it was widely suspected that Nahanee’s condition worsened during her incarceration at the Surrey Pre-Trial Centre, a facility set up predominantly for housing male criminals. An independent public inquiry into her passing was called for in the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia on March 5. Solicitor-General John Les said the provincial government expressed “regret” for the passing but denied any government responsibility and refused opposition requests for an inquiry.

The expose of Harriet’s plight helped to catapult many Indigenous people in the city to act to oppose Olympic atrocities against our people and compelled us to organize, educate and mobilize each other. One of the more significant Indigenous struggles people in the city have been working in solidarity with is the plight of the Secwepemc and St’at’imc people to resist the expansion of ski- resorts on their lands.

Just last week The Austrian ski team arrived on Secwepemc lands to train for the 2010 games. They will be the first to train on the new 3 million dollar Nancy Greene International Race Centre at Sun Peaks built this summer. Phase 1 has recently been completed and once phase 2 and 3 are completed Sun Peaks will be able to boast a new dedicated lift and an additional snow making capacity. The fake snow is made with reused sewage water that pollutes Skelkwek’welt (Secwepemc territory) waters and depletes underground Aquifers. Sun Peaks corporate mega-development development also continues to destroy Secwepemc Land by clear-cutting whole mountainsides and valuable hunting grounds, berry picking and medicine harvesting areas.

Now the Austrian ski team is at Sun Peaks promoting Secwepemc land to the world and training for the 2010 Winter Games!

Not only does this kind of destruction of the land destroy Indigenous cultures and relationships to the land by displacing Indigenous people, it also has an impact on our identity as Indigenous people. The Olympikkks like the Klanadian government uses Indigenous identities for their expediency. They want the public to “imagine” a bourgeoisie’s playground. They use and abuse our cultures for entertainment, but our sovereignty (which is often delineated though our songs and dances) is simply an annoyance.

Ironically a walk known as the “Reconciliation Walk” (http://www.peopletogether.ca/), which was ceremonial blessed earlier this month will showcase Aboriginal people walking across the Burrard Bridge in September 2008 to show off our “First Nations, Métis and Inuit” “color, culture, and vibrancy” under the umbrella of “reconciliation” as a lead up to the 2010 Olympics. This is the same bridge that two Indigenous men were taken down on in 2005 when it was discovered they were carrying legal hunting rifles for an Indigenous youth traditional skills camp. Knowing that cultural genocide, land theft, criminalization and murder of our people happens daily at the hands of Klananda, it is far fetched to think that reconciliation is possible at this point. This kind of tactic of assimilation, with the use of culture as a cover, is text book collaboration and utilized in an attempt to demand the “undivided attention” of ALL [“cultures”] to the 2010 games whereas the reality is they simply divide oppressed communities more by tokenizing some voices (they want to hear) and by silencing others (they don’t want to hear).

Optics and imagery are also used in other communities, namely poor and marginalized women’s. The Olympic City Brothel was proposed as a co-op brothel under the guise of making it safe for sex workers working in Vancouver in 2010. When I first saw this I thought of predatory capitalism. The trafficking of women, in which Indigenous women and migrant women are overrepresented, is a key feature of the Olympics as it is one of the easiest illegal “commodities” to move. It also helps to accommodate Olympic investors, businessmen and tourists who will come to the Games to spend and “experience”.

An estimated 10,000 sex workers plied their trade during the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, many imported from abroad. More than 40,000 women and girls were brought to Athens for the 2004 Summer Games. For the 2006 World Cup in Germany, more than 20,000 women were imported. Investors and businessmen who come to the 2010 games are inevitability on the look out for cheap lands, resources and women.

Some may defend the sex trade saying it’s the oldest profession, but like many parts of colonization and capitalism it presents itself as the oldest oppression and one that needs to be ended, along with poverty, greed, hatred and suffering.

These are some of the issues Indigenous Anti-Olympic Organizers have been working on in the city for years and some of the ways in which we have shaped our actions and campaigns. We urge you to learn more and take actions.

The Olympics destroys Native lands, Indigenous women, Indigenous communities, and human dignity. The Olympics creates homelessness, abject poverty, further violence and racism.

End the Olympikkk Oppression Now!

 

 

Free John Graham graffiti November 18, 2007

Filed under: Graffiti,John Graham — ourfreedom @ 10:17 pm

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Photo by No One is Illegal-Vancouver, taken November 4, 2007

Hastings Street, Vancouver, Coast Salish Territory

 

John Graham Defense Committee Benefit Concert November 13, 2007

Filed under: Events — ourfreedom @ 9:49 pm

Coast Salish Territory, Vancouver, BC, Canada

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