Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Earth Justice Gathering

The crisis in Ontario's Boreal Forests is heating up. While much of the world is aware of the devastating destruction occurring in the Amazon rainforests, many people do not realize the other important remaining intact forest ecosystem left on earth is the Canadian Boreal forest. Not only is this vast mosaic of forests, river, wetlands and lakes a breeding ground for billions of birds and home to the endangered woodland caribou, but it stores more carbon than any other terrestrial ecosystem, making it one of our first lines of defense against global warming, and provides more freshwater than any other place on earth. The various provincial governments in Canada have already allocated most of the productive timber lands to logging companies and almost all logging is done through clear-cuts, some as large as 20 000 acres. Logging and mining are moving further north threatening this vital forest ecosystem and the traditional territory of many First Nations in Ontario.

On December 2, 2002, the indigenous youth of Grassy Narrows lay down in the path of industrial logging trucks, blocking access to their traditional lands and sparking what is now the longest standing indigenous blockade in Canada.

This summer, the Rainforest Action Network and Forest Ethics invite you to a week of workshops, trainings, stories, campfires, feasting, music, and action at the Grassy Narrows blockade. Join us, to support this visionary action, deepen our understanding of the issues, and build the bonds between indigenous land struggles and the environmental movement.Although the blockade still stands strong, logging companies (Weyerhaeuser and Abitibi) are still destroying parts of Grassy Narrows' traditional lands, and the McGuinty government refuses to address the growing crisis of unresolved native land rights conflicts and habitat destruction in the great northern Boreal forest.

We are working closely with community leaders from Grassy Narrows who have invited supporters of social, economic, and ecological justice to support their blockade and to bring the action into the stores that sell this wood, the legislatures that pass the laws, the boardrooms that make the decisions, and to broad public attention in the media. Let us answer their call.

Transportation is being arranged from key regions to Grassy Narrows (near Kenora Ontario, Canada). Gas subsidies will be provided to people who bring a full vehicle.

Please Contact:
Northern First Nations: Jocelyn Cheechoo -
Toronto and Southern Ontario: Kim Fry – kimf@forestethics.org/416-452-4199
Thunder Bay and Northern Ontario: Damien Lee - connectwithdamien@gmail.com
Winnipeg and Manitoba: Shelagh – cuban_cigarra@hotmail.com
Wisconsin and Minnesota: Bob Poeschl - carpepax@riseup.net

Unions, Student Unions, activist groups, etc. are encouraged to sponsor a vehicle or contribute to the cost of a bus. Contact Kim Fry at kimf@forestethics.org

Expected Workshops:
Nonviolent Direct Action

Native Land Rights
Activist Legal Defense
Traditional Stories
Boreal Ecology
Tree Climbing
Media Activism
Creative Resistance
Radical Cheerleading
Forest Defense Tactics and Strategies

Accommodation will be vehicle access tenting. Some meals will be communal. However, people are encouraged to be self-sufficient. More details to come.

For more information, logistical details and updates check out www.freegrassy.org and www.forestethics.ca

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