Tuesday, April 7, 2009

CN: Drop your Racist Lawsuit!

*Call-out for phone and fax campaign* - please forward to interested others.

CN: Drop your racist lawsuit!
Support the Mohawks of Tyendinaga

Call out for a month-long phone and fax campaign

Canadian National Railway is suing Shawn Brant, Jason Maracle, and Tara
Green as well as their families and community (Jane and John Doe, also named
in the suit). CN's lawsuit is a response to a blockade on CN tracks during
April 2007, and another lawsuit against Shawn Brant for a blockade on June
29, 2007. CN has not yet specified the amount in damages they are seeking.

Statements of defence and counterclaims have been filed against CN, claiming
that CN pollutes Tyendinaga lands, creates a nuisance by the noise their
operations cause, and scares away game. CN has filed a motion asking the
courts to strike much of these counterclaims.

That motion will be argued in open court on April 7.

Supporters of the ongoing resistance in Tyendinaga are being asked to
demonstrate their solidarity by faxing (preferable) or emailing letters to
CN during this critical court case. Below is background information and a
sample form letter that can be modified and emailed or faxed to CN

*We are holding the phone and fax campaign from April 1st to 31st.
*We are encouraging supporters to fax or phone because these are more
effective ways to pressure CN, but if you interested in sending an email
please also BCC indigenoussolidaritymontreal@gmail.com so we can track the

*There are two important dates we are asking supporters to focus their faxes
and phone calls around:*

The first is *April 7th*, the first day of court in the injunction process
mentioned above.

The second date is *April 21st*, date of CN's shareholder meeting in

We are also giving a workshop on the history of CN railway and the
resistance at Tyendinaga on April 6th, 2009 at the Carrefour d’Education
Populaire (2156 Centre St., Metro Charlevoix) at 6pm. The workshop is in
French, whisper translation is available. Printed letters will be available
to be signed, and we will fax these in following the presentation.

In solidarity,
The Montreal Tyendinaga Support Committee
a working group of QPIRG-Concordia.


Sample form letter

E. Hunter Harrison, President and CEO
CN Railway
935 De La Gauchetiere Street
16th floor Montreal, Quebec, H3B 2M9

March 31, 2009

Mr. Harrison,

I am writing to encourage you to drop CN’s lawsuits against three
activists, Shawn Brant, Jason Maracle and Tara Green, of the Tyendinaga
First Nation.

In April and in June of 2007, some of the Tyendinaga Mohawks blockaded a
CN rail line between Toronto and Montreal in protest against the injustices
suffered by their First Nation. Specific issues included their
impoverishment and the lack of action with respect to the pollution of their
water so that it is not fit to drink or even to bathe in and with respect to
the return of lands that were unlawfully taken from them. Shawn Brant has
spent months in jail as a result of his participation in those blockades.

It is my opinion that CN (and the previous railroad companies that
became part of CN) played a significant role in creating the impoverishment
of First Nations people, and that CN continues to unjustly profit from its
so called “rights of way” through First nations territories. I feel
that it
is completely inappropriate for CN to pursue these lawsuits in these

Your website claims that "CN seeks to promote a harmonious working
relationship with the many Aboriginal communities along its rights-of-way
across Canada... through a climate of mutual trust and understanding".

Your continuation of these lawsuits is not an act of mutual trust.

I understand that lawyers representing CN will be arguing in a Toronto
court on April 7, 2009 that much of the statements of defence and
counterclaims of the Defendants should be struck out. I urge you to
reconsider and to instruct your lawyers to simply drop the lawsuits.



*Please fax to: *514-399-5985

*Email **Robert Noorigan (Vice-President) or Janet Drysdale (Investor
Relations) from the link: **

Mail to:
*E. Hunter Harrison, President and CEO
CN Railway
935 De La Gauchetiere Street
16th floor Montreal, Quebec, H3B 2M9
Or call in your dissent at:
514-399-6450 *
(you will reach the office of Bryan Tucker, the Senior Manager of Public
Affairs and Media Relations)
*514-708-6450 *(Bryan Tucker's cell phone)

Tyendinaga is a Mohawk community located on the shore of the Bay of Quinte
between Toronto and Montreal, in eastern Ontario. The Mohawk Nation is one
of the five original nations of the Iroquois Confederacy.

As part of long-standing struggles for land and self-determination –
including unresolved land claims, poverty, suicides and polluted water --
members of the Tyendinaga Mohawk community have organized to defend their
territory. In particular, several actions, including blockades, have taken
place to expedite the slow negotiation process over the Culbertson Tract, a
piece of land the government has long acknowledged was taken illegally from
the Mohawks. A quarry on the land was reclaimed in March 2007, and Mohawks
have maintained a fulltime presence on-site ever since.

CN is seeking damages for lost revenue as a result of the blockades. Though
CN has not yet named the amount of money it will seek in the suit, we
understand this threatening process as a blatant form of financial
persecution against Jason Maracle, Tara Green and Shawn Brant as well as
their families and community (Jane and John Doe, also named in the suit).
We also see it as an attack on the struggles of Native peoples to obtain
justice in the face of ongoing neo-colonial attacks on their sovereignty and