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Report on the Winnipeg demonstration in solidarity with Six Nations

Daniel Thau-Eleff
Friday, April 28, 2006

Between 7:00 and 7:30am, 35 demonstrators (around half Native, half non-Native) gathered at the park at the corner of River and Donald. Several police cars arrived earlier than 7:00. Demonstrators wrote down the vehicle numbers of the police cars. At 7:30 there was a brief sunrise ceremony, including smudging and an opening song. Sakoieta' Widrick made opening remarks thanking everyone for being there and gave background on the pact between the Mohawk people and the Anishinabe people to support each other. Chief Terrance Nelson of Roseau River First Nation made additional remarks, stating that he has informed Ontario Police that if they murder any demonstrators at Six Nations, Aboriginal people will respond by blockading roads across the country.

During the sunrise ceremony, demonstrators hung a banner reading "Hands off Six Nations" off the roof of the "Winter Club" building.

At around 7:45, the group moved closer to the Winter Club, holding placards and distributing pamphlets to  people in their cars when they stopped at red lights. Some demonstrators stayed in the park drumming throughout.

As the group began to move, more police cars gathered.

The group moved north on Donald onto the bridge, where the demonstrators blocked northbound traffic, distributing pamphlets, allowing only one car at a time to pass.

8-10 police officers approached and physically removed the demonstrators from the street. Police were not excessively violent and generally spoke politely. The blockade lasted approximately 10 minutes.

After this, demonstrators continued to distribute pamphlets to cars when they stopped at red lights.

Around 8:30 - 8:45, demonstrators returned to the park and gathered around the drum for closing remarks.

Representatives from CBC, CKY, City TV, Global and the Wpg Free Press arrived around this time. All were able to take a few pictures and get an interview or two.

Everyone please keep us/each other posted if you see media coverage. Thanks everyone who planned this event and who made it a success. Please be prepared for further action as events in Six Nations unfold.


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