May 20/97: CASNP response to Gustafsen verdicts


Canadian Alliance in Solidarity with the Native Peoples - CASNP
Tel: 416-972-1573 Fax: 416-972-6232

CASNP. 20-May-97. After a year long trial, the Patriots of Gustafsen Lake, who made a similar stand to Geronimo and Crazy Horse, are the 20th Century Louis Riel. Or is this the Canadian Leonard Peltier situation? They fought for their land. The question is why are the people of Chechnya and other places who defended their lands not prosecuted? When Indigenous people stand up, the police bring their bullets, illegal judicial system and unjust laws. This is an unjust and illegal decision to find these prisoners of war guilty when they have no right to try them in the first place according to the "rule of law", their own legal principles.

When the decision came down finding most of them guilty, the native head of the jury held a feather in his hand and cried. Judge Josephson who was instructed by the Canadian government to steer the jury to find them guilty, found they had no way out. Judge Josephson told the jury to discount the "colour of right", self-defence and jurisdiction arguments. All that was left was to find them guilty. Dr. Bruce Clark, the Aboriginal's lawyer, told them they did not have to be complicit in genocide by withdrawing from the case, not making a decision and recommending this issue be turned over to an impartial third party tribunal at the international level. Wolverine was found guilty of mischief endangering life which is a life sentence. The attempted murder charge was dropped. Will a political decision be made to deny him bail and to keep him in jail? As seen throughout this case the B.C. courts make up the rules as they go along.

This unlawful decision of the newcomers demonstrates again that they have imposed their unjust laws on native people without their consent on unpurchased Indian land without without their consent on unpurchased Indian land without a right to defend themselves. They were defending themselves on their unceded land when they were attacked by heavily armed RCMP and the Canadian army.

Shouldn't there be equal justice under the law? This means Ontario Provincial Police officer, Kenneth Deane, who was found guilty of gunning down Dudley George of Stoney Point, should get life in jail for murder. This decision is consistent with 139 years of fraud, treason and genocide. It urges us to continue and go forward. The British Columbia Court's grotesque lawless actions in this case supports everything the defendants have continually asked for - and independent third party tribunal to investigate the crimes in progress against Aboriginal people in British Columbia.

There has to be an inquiry into police wrongdoing as well as wrongdoing into the highest levels of the British Columbia and Canadian governments. Many questions have to be answered.

Contact: 604-543-9661; 416-972-1573; 604-251-4949

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