“There is no end to the stupidity bred by hunger strikes”
Christi Blatchford’s most recent article has become the standard in right wing attitudes towards first nations for years now. Blatchford is not only grossly uninformed but also it is glaringly obvious that she knows nothing about how to do research for if she did she probably wouldn’t have written an article that can only be described as a work of fiction. Comparing Chief Theresa Spense’s hunger strike to an act of terrorism only proves how desperate the right wing media has become in their attacks on the Idlenomore movement which was sparked in large in to outrage towards the omnibus bill c-45 which weakens treaty rights and environmental protections of a few thousand lakes and rivers. One of the many problems that I have with Blatchfords article is that uninformed idiots in this country are going to believe her, you see these idiots online all the time, you just have to read the comments section of the CBC website or any other news site for that matter. I used to read and respond to a lot of them but soon realized that I would need a full time staff to deal with the sheer load of crap that ends up on the sites furthermore I realized that there was no point.
Racism is alive and well in the great north but it’s racism that is selective for I rarely see someone make negative comments about Jews, Blacks or other ethinic groups because in some twisted sense of right and wrong that would be considered going to far. But not when it comes to first nations, my friend Ian recently pointed out to me that racism towards always seems to have that much more vitriol. And that’s because we’re not seen as people, we’ve never been seen people we’ve always been seen as savages, freeloaders, drunks and sex workers but never as people. This vitriol comes not just from the uninformed but from people who just want us to go away, let’s face it the government and it policies have been designed to slowly erase us from the Canadian consciousness and Bill C-45 is trying to do just that! That is why Chief Theresa Spense and the Idlenomore movement which is now gone international is so important!
Spense is heading into her 4th week of a hunger strike trying to draw attention to the issues in Attawapiskat and so many communities like them and has requested that Prime Minster Stephen Harper meet with her to create a dialogue between first nations and the government. Unlike any of the Conservatives I have actually been to Attawapiskat, seen the community and spoken with the people. An impoverished community in northern Ontario, Attawapiskat has suffered neglect because of the poor decisions made by a handful of people. I had never been to a northern community before and had only heard stories about how bad living conditions were up there. When I got there I discovered that it was much worse. There was housing so bad that it would never be tolerated in communities down south. With a large percentage of the community homeless, poor health conditions and a questionable water treatment problem it begs the question: Why? Why won’t Harper meet with Spense?
“Now that we are poor, we are free. No white man controls our footsteps. If we must die, we die defending our rights”.
There are many reasons why Harper won’t give in, the most common one is that he just doesn’t care, he doesn’t care that a woman is willing to starve to death for her people! Another reason is that Harper being a politician is still looking for the least politically damaging way to capitulate. Whatever happens, Harper actions have opened a Pandora’s box of 100’s of years of pent up first nations frustration with a government hell bent on erasing us from existence! What Canadians need to know is that the policies of the Harper government Bill C-45 for example violates the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous peoples as well treaties that stated that the government must include first nations leaders and communities.
I have a great deal of respect for Chief Spense and her hunger strike but what worries me and many others is what if Harper ignores calls to meet with Spense and she dies? It’s not a question I wanted to ask before but the fact that he (Harper) hasn’t met with Spense yet has made me ask. What’s happens if she dies and what effect will that have on Idlenomore? The quote below is from the film ThunderHeart and spoken by legendary AIM activist John Trudell
“Sometimes they have to kill us. They have to kill us, because they can’t break our Spirit. We choose the Right to be who we are. We know the difference between the reality of freedom and the illusion of freedom.” – James Looks Twice/ John Trudell
Chief Spense has said that she would be prepared to die for her people, I just hope that Stephen Harper comes to his senses before that happens because I can only imagine what will happen next and it isn’t pretty!