“Statement of Apology” Removed from Facebook, No Response from DoL Organizing Committee

Two weeks ago a group of indigenous sisters published a critique of patriarchal and elitist practices of Defenders of the Land, a Native resistance, framed as a satirical letter written from an (imaginary) apologetic Organizing Committee of Defenders of the Land. One week ago today, and one week after the letter first came out, the authors of the statement, calling themselves only Indigenous Women of the Movement, put out a second letter explaining the reasons behind the first one.

Now, yet another week has gone by and it can be reported that not only has Defenders of the Land refused to stand up to these criticisms, but it has actually attempted to shut down these criticisms. As one comrade, a rep for the Indigenous Anti-Capitalist Movement, put it on Facebook this morning:

There has still been no public response to the satiric “statement of apology” of April 23rd, and yet twice now, private ‘reporting’ has caused the account to be disabled and/or censored, and now the original post and all the comments have been removed by Facebook. Rabble.ca, a leftist, independent media source, still refuses to publish it. We are still calling on the organizing committee to publicly respond to the women who have raised these concerns, so that we can all, despite our differences, stand strong together, two spirit peoples, men and womyn, in defense of the land and the water.

Also,  the statement has been taken down off of Facebook, and the account of this comrade has been disabled (though it was reactivated) following complaints from defenders of Defenders of the Land. What all of this goes to show is that Defenders of the Land is not interested in seriously engaging in self-criticism about its problems, but in shutting up those who would criticize them. However, try as they might, they won’t be able to keep our sisters down.

Below is a statement by the comrade who had his account disabled:

This “statement of apology” doesn’t just apply to Defenders of the Land Organizing Committee, but to the Chiefs of Ontario, the AFN, to band councils and the Four Host First Nations, and to all those we put our prayers toward who have believed the lie that they can change the system from within, or reform it.

“The atrocity of Auschwitz was not that the ovens were badly administrated, that the lines were too long, the conditions were poor, the water wasn’t properly treated or the ‘education system’ didn’t include a chapter on Jewish history. The atrocity of Auschwitz was that the entire intention, the entire purpose of the extermination project was the annihilation of people simply for being born inherently resistant to a colonial system. No Jew, and no Indigenous person, should confuse making their own lives (or deaths) more comfortable, with resisting genocide. To resist a violent extermination project is to abandon any hope of reforming, rewriting, or ‘feathering’ it. To attempt to ‘improve’ the very system which is bent on erasing you from the face of the earth is not just suicidal, it is murderous.

In our hearts, all native people know these truths, even as the suit is buttoned, even as the briefcase clicks, even as we mark the ballot. It is fear that causes us to believe more in our own powerlessness than in the power of our own children. It is our oppressor’s trembling fear of us that we carry on our own backs, and it paralyzes our power as Original people. We already carry 500 years of genocide, why should we also carry their fear of us? Give them back their fear. We have our own power, the land, the water, our ceremonies, our clans, our language, our teachings, our raging love. We will defend these against violence and exploitation as long as we have breath.

Give them back their methods, their ways, their government, their wars, their taxes, their police, their corporate logos, their ‘development’, their ‘progress’, their ’employment’. Their ways have meant death for us since 1492, the North American Holocaust never ended. The tar sands are still poisoning our people, the pipelines and hydro lines still stand, the logging, mining and construction still rapes the land, the jails are still full, pacifism and patriarchy still threaten our power from within, and the violence will continue tomorrow. No pacified request, reformation, appeal or petition ever stays the oppressor’s hand. Auschwitz written in Hebrew would still have been Auschwitz. It is not a matter of changing the system, it is a matter of abolishing it completely, before it abolishes us.”

all power to the people,

May 5th, 2011.

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Posted on May 5, 2011, in Imperialism & Colonialism, Indigenous Struggles, Women's Liberation and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on “Statement of Apology” Removed from Facebook, No Response from DoL Organizing Committee.

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