Jun 6: International Day of Action for Ts'peten Defenders


June 3, 1997


On Friday, June 6th at 10am the Gustafsen Lake defenders will go before Judge Bruce Josephson for sentencing. The judge has been consistently hostile towards those accused who stood on international and constitutional law regarding unceded Indian land during the ten-month trial.

Wolverine and James 'OJ' Pitawanakwat are still being denied bail and held as political prisoners in Surrey Pretrial Centre for refusing to attourn to his jurisdiction. Given this hostility - and the fact that the judge instructed the jury to convict - there is serious concern about the sentencing; Josephson has been given a 'blank cheque' by the jurors.

People and organisations across the world who support the Ts'Peten defenders are asked to protest on June 6th at Canadian embassies, band councils, parliament buildings etc.

Flood the offices of the Chief Justice of BC, Judge Josephson, Surrey Provincial Courthouse and the politicians with phone calls and faxes (see http://kafka.uvic.ca/~vipirg/SISIS/support.html for fax/phone numbers and addresses). Let the illegitimate colonial authorities know that we will not allow them to criminalize traditional people and their supporters for defending themselves while standing on their own land!

Supporters in the Vancouver area are asked to come to the Surrey Provincial Courthouse on the day of sentencing. Skytrain to Surrey Central, catch the White Rock Centre 321 bus to the corner of King George and Highway 10.

We plan to flood the lawn and cry out against the gross injustices against those falsely charged for defending their rights and land on June 6, 1997, at 9:00 a.m., at the B.C. Supreme Court facility at the Surrey Municipal Centre, 14340 57th Avenue, Surrey, "British Columbia", "Canada".

For more information or to help,
please phone (604) 322-7934!
or email demery@alternatives.com

You are urged to come to the:

at the Courthouse in Surrey, B.C.
at 9:00 a.m.
on June 6th and 10th, 1997

In the summer of 1995, a group of native and non-native people came together to protect the Sundance grounds at Ts'peten (Gustafsen Lake) and were met with massive state force -- including 77,000 rounds of ammunition, land mines, Bison APCs, and a police and media smear and disinformation campaign.

The Sundance site is unceded Indian land, territory of the Secwepemc (Shuswap) people. The federal and provincial governments of Canada continue to attempt to bury the land issue and its messengers. The defenders have been criminalized for standing on International and Constitutional laws concerning native jurisdiction and land rights, and defending themselves against assaults by ranchers, police and military.

The judicial system has once again refused to address the law. Judge Josephson prevented the jury from considering key evidence, testimony and legal arguments. After a ten month trial, the defenders have been convicted of various "mischief" charges to "private property" on land the Crown never legally obtained by treaty or purchase.

The defenders will be sentenced June 6th and 10th. Wolverine -- a Shuswap elder and organic farmer who has been held as a political prisoner for almost two years without bail -- and three others face life imprisonment. James 'OJ' Pitawanakwat is also being held as a prisoner in the Surrey Pre-trial Centre. Twelve defenders face ten year prison terms. This injustice must not be the last word on their stand for aboriginal rights.

We want to flood the lawn at the Surrey Municipal Centre with native and non-native people! This is a call to all womens' groups, human rights groups, justice groups, anti-racism groups anti-hate groups, environmentalists, anarchists, sovereignty groups, indigenous rights groups...

We are crying out against the injustices committed against people who are defending their inherent rights, legal rights and human rights and resisting removal from their sacred ceremonial grounds.

Demand an independent third party tribunal into land and jurisdiction issues in British Columbia and a full public inquiry into this genocidal assault by the RCMP, military, media, and judiciary. Demand that Wolverine and OJ be released immediately!

To get to the Surrey Provincial Courthouse: On foot from the Vancouver area, take Skytrain to Surrey Central, then catch a White Rock 321 or 390 bus south to the corner of King George and Highway 10.

To drive from Vancouver, take Clark Dr. south over the Knight St. bridge, take the Hwy 91 east exit to N. Delta and take Hwy 91 south over the Alex Fraser bridge, then exit east on Hwy 10 to the Surrey Municipal Centre at 14340-57th Ave. (one block east of King George). If you have a vehicle, organize a car pool! See you there...

For more information or to help, please phone: (604) 322-7934, email: demery@alternatives.com

For car pooling info, phone: (604) 251-3048, email: vvanclieaf@alternatives.com

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