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Indigenous And Student Struggles Unite

Valerie Lannon

July 22, 2012

The Algonquin Nation at Barriere Lake (ABL), Quebec, has long defended its territory against clearcut logging by Resolute Forest Products (formerly known as Abitibi Bowater). Without consultation, Resolute sent loggers into the territory to begin clearcutting in early July.

ABL immediately set up a protest camp near the logging site and Quebec police have maintained a large presence there to escort loggers. The work is in violation of the Trilateral Agreement the Quebec government signed with ABL in 1991.

In solidarity with this struggle, hundreds organized a casseroles protest in Ottawa in front of the corporate office of Resolute and then marched to Premier Charest’s office.

Beatriz Munoz, a representative of the social struggle committee of the prominent student group CLASSE stated “Support for Indigenous rights is central to our broader struggle for the common good.”

Meanwhile back at the protest camp, 18-year old Algonquin student Tillis Wawatie cut out red squares for ABL campers. The Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa stated “It’s the same government which created Law 78 to silence the movement against tuition fee increases and austerity measures that has granted companies the right to exploit the ancestral land of Indigenous people.”

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