Friday, December 5, 2014

Nourish The Nation- Wage Solidarity

There are so many worthy causes to donate to today in the midst of this modern hail storm of internet crowd funding campaigns. It is so overwhelming that it almost seems unfair to pick just one cause to donate to.

I think all causes are worthy, but some certainly make more efficient use of funds than others. NGO’s (Non Government Organizations) are important, but at the end of they day they are large bureaucratic structures that have bills to pay and tend to create an industrial complexes in themselves. People make their living off of working for companies like Green Peace and WWF. NGO’s are essential for influencing public opinion and garnering much needed publicity, but wining any battle requires employing a diversity of tactics. When it comes time to put boots on the ground and physically stop companies like Kinder Morgan, Chevron, Enbridge, and TransCanada from destroying the planet, it is ALWAYS indigenous grass roots groups that answer the call.

NGO’s can lobby the public all they want, they can endorse green washed products, and can get celebrities to tow the line, and I don’t want to undermine the importance of any of that, but that is only one part of a much larger battle against climate change. No amount of letter writing is going to scare a multinational corporation away from a project that they have already millions in, however an occupation of hundreds of indigenous that have a constitutionally inherent right to jurisdiction over the land quite possibly will.

Donating money straight to camps blocking pipelines like Unist’to’ten is a great start, but once they spend that money it’s gone. Hopefully the funds make their way into the local economy and continue to spur autonomous growth in the area but once it’s gone, it’s gone.

One thing is for sure, food always needed. Food has the power to unite, motivate, and empower. As indigenous land defender Wolverine puts it, “You need two hands to fight the system. You can not have one hand asking for something and the other closed. You have to be able to fight with both hands”

You probably haven’t heard of Wolverine before, but the man is nothing short of a legend in a very dark and underreported nook of Canada's colonial history.

In 1995 Wolverine helped lead a 31 day stand off on unceded Secwepemc territory between Ts'peten Land Defenders and The RCMP with military support. The event is known as the Gustafsen Lake Standoff.  According to wikipedia no one was killed, but police fired 7, 000 rounds of ammunition, shot one woman, killed a dog, and detonated a road side bomb in what became the largest ever police operation on “Canadian” soil. Not only did Wolverine survive all that, but he was awarded with a medal and a tobacco pouch from the RCMP for bravery under fire.

Today, Wolverine is still very much on the front lines of land defence. At 84 years old, Wolverine now tends to an 8 acre plot of land everyday in which he grows organic food for protest camps, thus maintaining his support for the movement in the only way he can.

At the moment, Wolverine is trying to raise 30, 000 dollars to afford a new tractor, expand his irrigation, and hire a few helping hands so he can continue to feed camps that are blocking tar sands pipelines. This is the kind of brilliant solidarity that is desperately needed to empower indigenous communities, communities that are truly the last line of defence against a "dig, burn, and dump" economy.

Watch the video here

“It’s not just food that I’m giving them, but also life, also survival” Wolverine explains after showing off his open pollinated seeds. “When big seed companies buy up the little ones, they will be able to control people by the belly….people can not feed them selves. (They’ve) become dependant on multinationals”

This is so much more than supporting a farmer. This is food sovereignty. This is tar sands resistance. This is empowering indigenous autonomy. This brilliant form of solidarity is extremely effective at resisting neocolonialism at every level. This is a cause worthy of a couple bucks.

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