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10 years on: solidarity with Grassy Narrows

By: 
Faline Bobier

December 14, 2012

On December 2, 2002 Grassy Narrows Anishnabe Community Members mobilized in a powerful direct action to stop the destruction of their way of life and habitat by stopping logging trucks from entering their territory. Many supporters have joined them in this fight.

 

Since the early 1950s, industrial logging was destroying their way of life as massive hectares of forest were cut against their will. The community’s economic self sufficiency was dealt another big blow in the 1970's when mercury was dumped into the English Wabigoon River system (flows directly into Grassy Narrows First Nation and Whitedog) by a paper mill, and the river became poisoned with this mercury. To this day, that poison is still in the river system and new mercury is added from the logging that takes place all over the forest.

 

Since December 2002, Grassy Narrows Anishnabe community members have taken on this big logging industry. They succeeded in kicking out the world's largest paper company – Abitibi – and they are still fighting against companies like Weyerhaeuser who are trying to regain access to their forest. Last summer there were actions at Queen's Park, including a fish-fry with mercury tainted fish, and a River Run rally and march.

 

On the 10th anniversary of the first mobilization there were numerous community screenings of the documentary As long as the Rivers flow: the Grassy Narrows blockade story to commemorate 10 years of Grassy Narrows’ resistance, their sovereignty, and their action in defence of the earth. The 2010 documentary highlights the role of community members, and especially young aboriginal students, who spearheaded and participated in the blockade from its beginnings.

 

Copies of the documentary can be ordered from here. For more information visit FreeGrassy.org

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