#Solidarity Fail: Cops and Collaborators Conspire to Isolate Warriors at Vancouver Protest

By Zig Zag, Warrior Publications, Dec 6, 2013

"I'd like to thank the police... for punching me in the face" said no on ever; Mi'kmaq warriorPaul "Soda Pop" Francis assaulted by RCMP, Dec 2, 2013.

“I’d like to thank the police… for punching me in the face” said no one ever; Mi’kmaq warrior Paul “Soda Pop” Francis assaulted by RCMP, Dec 2, 2013.

FYI:  Here is a very recent and clear example of how police and Native collaborators work in undermining and dividing our movements, while attempting to isolate warriors and other radicals in our ranks.

On Dec 2, 2013, a national day of solidarity with the Mi’kmaq anti-fracking resistance was held (#Shutdown Canada).  In Vancouver, the day started at around 7AM with a one hour blockade of the main entrance to the Port of Vancouver.  It was a good start in manifesting solidarity for the Mi’kmaq and in the spirit of the call out. This action was carried out by social justice activists, anarchists, and a couple of Native warriors.

Later in the day, a solidarity rally was held in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. This rally was organized by an informal group of Natives. As the people were

Noel Abrahams during an Idle No Morerally in 2012.

Noel Abrahams during an Idle No More rally in 2012.  Photo by Flux Media.

gathering at Main and Hastings streets, an as of yet unidentified Vancouver police Sergeant approached the rally and was warmly greeted by Noel Abrahams, a local Haida and a common sight at Native rallies and events in the city (easily recognizable as he often wears a cedar top hat). Abrahams shook hands with the cop and they appeared to exchange greetings.

The cop then approached one of the main organizers, Shannon Hecker, and began to tell her that anarchists in a Black Bloc were gathering at the Vancouver Art Gallery to join the march, and that they should isolate anyone wearing masks during the rally. He also offered the services of the Vancouver police in removing these people from the rally should it be requested by the organizers.

VPD Sgt Ken Athan at Dec 2, 2013, "solidarity" rally in Vancouver.

Sgt Misinformation at Dec 2, 2013, “solidarity” rally in Vancouver; the cop who started the fear mongering about a Blac Bloc.  Photo by Flux Media.

At the start of the Dec 2 rally, the crowd of approximately 100 formed a circle around the intersection and blocked all traffic (a standard and routine practise in Vancouver). A few fireworks were set off to the apparent amusement of many in the crowd. Among the speeches and slogans chanted was “United we stand, divided we fall.”

After about 15 minutes, the rally began marching west down Hastings Street. Some more fireworks were set off, and some people called out “Frack the police” (again to the apparent amusement of some in the rally). After marching two blocks, another drum circle was established (at the intersection of Carrall and Hastings street).

At this point, Rhiannon Bennett, a woman from the Musqueam nation whose traditional territory encompasses part of Vancouver, began a speech which demanded that all those wearing masks leave the rally, that masks were not traditional, etc.  She also ordered that anyone swearing leave the rally (!), and stated that swearing was also not traditional.  She claimed that since we were on Musqueam territory, we all had to abide by her commands.

Rhiannon Bennett during the Dec 2, 2013, "solidarity" rally.

Rhiannon Bennett during the Dec 2, 2013, “solidarity” rally, wearing traditional Musqueam blue jeans and fleece top.  Photo by Flux Media.

The police sergeant who started the fear mongering was standing behind a few of the masked warriors at this point, grinning and obviously pleased with his work. He stated that they’d have to leave, that the Musqueam woman was in charge of the rally, and that they had to follow her orders. Instead, the masked warriors in the crowd challenged Bennett and demanded she stop trying to divide the group, reminding the crowd of the slogan they had just minutes ago chanted: “United we stand, divided we fall.”

Some people from within the rally approached Bennett, perhaps to tell her to stop, because at this time the march continued without further harassment. The masked warriors remained with the rally until it reached Waterfront Station, where it circled in the intersection before entering the complex itself (another now-routine action that began with the INM round dances in shopping malls).

At the ending of the event inside Waterfront Station, Noel Abrahams began a speech. He started by publicly thanking the Vancouver police for allowing the protest to march down Hastings Street. He then stated that a cop had requested a song for a Native man who had recently passed away, and invited the officer into the circle.

Here we have a solidarity rally with militant resistance being carried out by Mi’kmaq warriors, some of whom wear masks, that demands those in the rally wearing masks must leave. A solidarity rally with the Mi’kmaq, who are facing near daily violent assaults and arrests at the hands of police, that publicly thanks police and invites them into our circle.

At Waterfront Station, Noel Abrahams (with cedar top hat) welcomes Vancouver cop into circle, Dec 2, 2013.

At Waterfront Station, Noel Abrahams (with cedar top hat) welcomes Vancouver cop into circle, Dec 2, 2013.

This is a clear example of how police attempt to isolate warriors and their tactic of using Native collaborators (or dupes) from within our ranks to accomplish this task. It also brings up another issue however, and that is how do deal with Natives from the local traditional territory attempting to exert authority over public gatherings.

Protocol Power Trips & Community Collaborators

In Vancouver, it is common practise at the beginning of events or rallies to acknowledge the fact that we are on Coast Salish Territory, and to also have a representative from at least one of the three local communities on which Vancouver is situated (consisting of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tseil-watuth). This acknowledgement also serves to remind us of the history of colonization, and the reality that this land upon which Vancouver is built is occupied Native territory.

Yet, how are we to deal with an individual from the traditional territory who acts in such a manner? Each situation will be different, but to submit to such demands as a matter of practise is not an acceptable option.  Otherwise, cops will just find collaborators from the traditional territory and have them demand that we leave “their” rally or public event.  During this incident, warriors challenged this attempt and stayed. Bennett was unable to sway the crowd, and in the end it all came off as little more than an awkward performance from someone with control issues.  In truth, it is the work of a collaborator, doing the cop’s work for them and attempting to divide our people by isolating the warriors and radicals within our community.

New Brunswick solidarity Dec 2 9

Port of Vancouver blockade, Dec 2, 2013.

Just to be clear, there was no Black Bloc at the Art Gallery waiting to intervene and “hijack” the rally. This was an outright lie that the sergeant cop used in his fear mongering and manipulation of a naive and inexperienced organizer (Hecker). More than likely, the cops were fearful that there would indeed be a militant vibe in the rally, considering the context (a solidarity rally with militant Mi’kmaq resistance following a blockade of the Port of Vancouver earlier in the day).

Here is how Hecker summarizes the rally:

“We were taking action–not everyone has to take the same level of action. We shut down the streets and made our point in a peaceful and respectable manner–just as we intended to do. Not gonna let people hijack the event and use it to promote their anti-police hate and anger. We are using positive energy to affect change not negative energy.”

(posting on Noel Abrahams FaceBook page, December 3, 2013)

No one was trying to “hijack” the rally, except the police, a ploy which Hecker and Bennet apparently accepted without question. If the setting off of a few fireworks and the heckling of cops poses such a threat to these two, perhaps they should stop participating in street protests (especially those through the Downtown Eastside, where fireworks are routinely set off and swearing is a commonly practised form of expression).

Masked Mi'kmaq warrior at tire fire blockade on Hwy 11, Dec 2, 2013.

Masked Mi’kmaq warrior at tire fire blockade on Hwy 11, Dec 2, 2013.

Hecker is clearly living in a fantasy world, perhaps the product of some New Age-hippie Native spirituality, because in the real world life is comprised of both positive and negative energy. There are no doubt many positive aspects of the Mi’kmaq resistance, as well as negative ones. Will she condemn the Mi’kmaq for using “negative energy,” such as perhaps burning cop cars and tires, in their struggle?

By portraying warriors and radicals as being motivated by some “irrational” hatred of cops and being possessed by “negative energy,” she only helps in the police strategy of demonizing and ultimately isolating them.

The sad scene in Waterfront Station, when Noel Abrahams publicly thanked the cops and invited one into our circle, is further proof of his questionable relationship with police (along with greeting the sergeant at the start of the rally, Abrahams was also seen several times during the march talking with him).

"I'd like to thank the Vancouver police..." Frank Paul, a Native left unconscious in an alley by Vancouver police who died of hypothermia in December, 1998.

“I’d like to thank the Vancouver police…” Frank Paul, a 48 year old Mi’kmaq,  left unconscious in an alley by Vancouver police and who subsequently died of hypothermia in December, 1998.

Here is how Abrahams summarized the rally on his FB page on Dec 3rd:

“Well, we went down to attend the Elsipogtog support rally last night… Some radicals attended setting off fireworks & saying they were gonna burn the Kanaduh [sic] flag … All my concern was for the elders & children… They had to be protected. We were there to show support & not take action. There was no respect for neither including the keepers of the land. Musqueam & Squamish were in attendance. Everything happened for a reason & my prayers were answered. My prayers continue… Xaaw7a’A Salaana … Aho.”

The “Kanaduh flag” was brought by a young Native, not wearing a mask, and who had intended to burn it. He was apparently intimidated by organizers, perhaps Abrahams, into not doing so. Abrahams backwards views are clear in his statement which implies that the radicals were a danger to the elders and children, who “had to be protected” because “We were there to show support and not take action.”

Vancouver police dragging an unconscious Frank Paul out of the lockup to deposit him in an alley.

Vancouver police dragging an unconscious Frank Paul out of the lockup to deposit him in an alley.

It’s difficult to say with certainty, but Abrahams appears to be a very colonized and confused man, despite his (ironic) appearance as a “Native radical” himself.  Based on his actions, it’s fair to say that his relationship with the police is one of collaboration. By publicly associating and thanking the police, he helps police infiltrate our community while at the same legitimizing their brutal and violent repression of our people (whether in the Downtown Eastside or in New Brunswick).

These types of collaborators are different from what we usually conceive a collaborator to be, i.e., the infiltrator secretly spying and passing on information to the cops (or the Indian Act band councils). Instead, they are community members who carry out their work in the most public manner, and in this way fulfil a very different role. Yet both are critical to the overall counter-insurgency strategy of the state and its agents of repression.

See also:

In Focus: Analysis of Indigenous resistance and counter-insurgency strategy

Posted on December 6, 2013, in Counter-Insurgency, State Security Forces, Warrior and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 52 Comments.

  1. Hereditary Chief Kahkakew Yawassanay

    No one should be surprised any person with armed or security forces would assault an indigenous person given any opportunity. They generally hate us. There is nothing lower than an indigenous cop or member of canadian or american armed and security services. They are sellouts enforcing non indigenous laws and values on indigenous. Metis and halfbreeds being mostly non indigenous are not an issue as they almost always side with their ties and relations in white society and only turn to their insignificant indigenous ties when it suits them. Perfect example is the last elected chief in one of the haida bands..a halfbreed, only status because of the Indian act, former RCMP well known for abusing trust and authority for his own gain regardless of ancestry or kinship, …this is one of thousands of stories of abuse by police and armed and other secuirty forces against indigenous peoples…which has always been part of the immigrant canadian agenda to resolve and eradicate our inherent rights , claims, treaties and issues with them regardless of the situation…let’s see if Atleo, Ed John or Stewart Phillips puts their necks on the frontline, two of them are self appointed grandcheifs(what an insult) and the latter with an oversized ego to match his overhyped position as AFN chief. He actually stated in 2011 that elected band councils authority superceded hereditary cheifs and clanmothers…he is like Nepinak a metis with status, just another elected/appointed chief looking out for themselves and sitting back as the grassroots people take on immigrant secuirty and armed forces…no wonder these contemporary warrior societies and self appointed war cheifs are crawling out of the woodwork..they like most of us are fed up with their rhetoric and hypocrisy… Even one of the INM founders, who like Nepinak is a lawyer(big surprise) has financially and professionally benefitted from the movement and hard work and efforts of the grassroots…it is far past time to reinstate our hereditary people who unlike the Ed Johns and Stewart Phillips (Bill C-31)of the world are authentic and have legitimate claims to hereditary titles. It starts in your own communities people.

    • I agree with much of what you say, but some of it is venturing into #solidarity fail territory IMHO. The Metis carried out some of the last anti-colonial armed resistance in Canada in the late 1800s, and also experience poverty, police violence, etc. Howard Adams, author of Prison of Grass and A Tortured People, was a Metis revolutionary who exposed and challenged the corrupt Metis leadership in the 1960s and ’70s. I highly recommend his books both for his analysis and also for his history of the Metis and their struggles.
      In many regions, many Natives are of mixed ancestry, predominantly Indigenous and European. They are members of their nations due to their ancestry and family lineage. We should avoid dividing our people’s movement based on such factors and instead seek to unify our many diverse communities (i.e., urban and rural, Native and Metis, radicals and liberals, etc.).

      • 130 years ago Metis were halfbreeds at best and were known as mixed bloods..many who followed their indigenous relations ways of life un tiul the 1960’s were referred to as non-status but that was a small number with the majority of them self proclaiming to be metis..todays descendants of metis are mostly white people with insignificant indigenous ancestry and are Aboriginal, not Indigenous…they have willingly become the immigrant governments wedge against indigenous peoples rights and land claims. They were never indigenous not matter how much government tries to normalize and ignore their obvious non-indigenous ancestries. They only pursue their own agendas in solidarity with indigenous when it suits their cause. Even the Haida who are Polynesian in ancestry have more in common with indigenous tribes here than the metis and any ideas, attitudes they are part of our people shows assimilative attitudes are alive and well in our communities

      • Well, Metis are primarily the descendents of Scottish or French settlers on the one hand, and Native nations on the prairie region. Non-status are Natives who did not get Indian Act status because their mother had married a non-Native (while the children of a Native man and non-Native women did get status). This was changed with Bill C-31 that meant that children of a Native woman and non-Native man did get status.
        Anyways, let’s not derail the comment thread with discussion about Metis and Polynesian Haidas lol, we’re trying to deal with Native community collaborators.

  2. A fine and necessary piece, particularly given the post-event discussion was put down the memory-hole.

    My personal feeling having been present at both the casseroles of June 27, 2012 and the Elsipogtog solidarity rally of Dec 2, 2013 is that Noel’s cop buddy and Sgt. Athans are not the same person. This changes none of the problematic aspects outlined in the piece. Athans did go to Montreal and has spread his tactical learning. As ever it’s more than a few bad apples – as though more examples of the systemic nature of the cops were needed.

    Thanks for all the continuing great work.

    • Damn I think you’re right, correction made. Thanks.
      For readers, the reference to Sgt Athan arises from a mis-identification of the VPD Sgt present on Dec 2.
      For those who don’t know, Cameron’s reference to the “post-event discussion” concerns the Facebook site set up by the organizers of “Downtown March in Solidarity with Elsipogtog.” After a lengthy thread had been established discussing the events of the rally and sharing information, Hecker deleted the thread. Eventually the entire page was taken down.

      • The page was set to closed because all the shit people were saying to put down “radicals” and people who choose to mask was triggering the shit out of a local native who is part of the Vancouver caravan to Rexton (where he is wearing a mask and standing on the front lines).

        That decision was made by the individual from Vancouver who is currently in NB, not Hecker.

  3. I was attending the Casseroles rallies briefly last summer before they began to become really hostile, in part due to opportunists whose sole purpose is to disrupt the safety of all concerned, but also in part due to police grabbing and yanking people into city hall, where they were then locked inside.

    We were doing no more than making noise with empty pots and cutlery.

    The very first Casseroles rally that followed that one saw several people arrested without cause. One man was thrown into a holding cell in handcuffs and held overnight without being afforded the opportunity to sleep (officers banged on the door every ten minutes through the entire night until he was released), or remain warm enough with his hands behind his back on the cold pavement. A woman of colour was stripped and gawked at by a line-up of male officers.

    The next rally saw even more arrests (that was the one being filmed where the woman with black hair is thrown to the ground). The same woman of colour was hurled up against a cement waste bin (thus knocking the wind out of her) and dog-piled by cops who dragged her in handcuffs into the very cop shop that Frank Paul had been thrown out of (condemning him to his demise). She was then grabbed by the neck by another officer inside, who yanked her into the building thusly. The woman with black hair broke sustained a fracture in her wrist from the cops that night. Another was brutalized and stripped, sustaining what is likely to be permanent injuries in her shoulders and hips.

    I can’t even gesture at how disgusting it felt to watch that video from waterfront station — to watch someone I consider a friend diminish his own culture and for what? But a cop of all people.

  4. Reblogged this on The Uncontrollable Ones.

  5. hoW dare you collebrate against women and childen yet you where the regalia .. your worst … i work in law … u dont deserve that if you speak and go against your own .. how dare u

  6. Disappointing to hear about organizers engaging with the police in this way, and denying the validity of “anti police hate and anger” as a real response to state violence, enacted through the police, whose role is not to protect people, but the interests of “private” (stolen) property holders and the rich. And this was a Elsipogtog solidarity rally??? Divided we fall indeed.

    • Well said. Too bad most of the ignorant ones who read this and the comments, aren’t going to bother to read up on systemic issues with the police, or the history of colonial oppression….

  7. Bennett is Musqueum and well known for all her work at the Marpole Midden protest…a peaceful protest that worked. Her and Abramam’s decisions were in keeping with Mussquem protocol. It was announced at the beginning that we were on unceded Coast Salish Territory, which included Musqueum. To call off fireworks was legite: the elders and children do need protection and fireworks could be construed as a harmful, inviting gesture by the police – not everyone lives in DTES and knows that they are supposedly a ‘regular’ thing.

    Bennett’s call to remove masks was also warranted. Peace. Peaceful action. While Harper’s law against masks is bogus it is law and besides which, almost everyone I saw wearing a mask was an ally, not First Nations. If allies can’t comply with protocol then please don’t join our rallies. We have enough white privilege to contend with.

    Abrahams inviting a cop into the circle: big deal. A soul needs prayers, he/she receives prayers despite race or profession. This is the way. The cop was well identified as a cop and not an invisible plant…what’s the fear?

    There is too much supposition, speculation and finger pointing in this article which is , in and of itself, divisive. The “I am more radical than you” approach does nothing but serve ego. Remove this is you’re afraid of critism and truth. People all have differing philosophies and Bennett and Abrhams stuck to theirs….Bennett is far from a control freak; she is an assertive young woman who works hard for the cause and follows her people’s ways and the ways of Idle No More, which stipulates to come from love.

    If you want a hard core protest, organize one yourself. Otherwise, Hiy Hiy to the organizers and speakers.

    Please don’t pretend this rally was anything more than what it was or what you think it should have been.

    • The Musqueam’s Marpole midden was a “peaceful protest that worked” because in the end they bought their own land back. Just because someone wears a mask doesn’t mean they’re gonna go all buck wild at a rally; at the vast majority of rallies some people wear masks and nothing occurs. You’re ill informed about the new anti-masking law: it is only applicable when a public gathering has been declared an “unlawful assembly” or a “riot.” Check your facts. Some people wearing masks were allies, some were Natives.
      If Abrahams wants to pray for a cop, he should do this on his own time, not by hijacking a solidarity rally with the Mi’kmaq resistance. As for division, perhaps you should re-read the article to learn who it was that was trying to divide us that night.
      Hardcore protest? Ya we do organize our own, like the Port of Vancouver blockade earlier in the day. We attended the night time rally in solidarity with both the organizers and Mi’kmaq; no one had any intention of making their “walk around the block” anything more than it was.

    • thank you for your balanced view 🙂 I think its great that he invited a cop in, because its not about them or us, its about everyone, once we divide ourselves as humans, we are done…..

      • In case you didn’t notice, we are already divided: between those above and those below. And the job of the police, at the end of the day, is to protect those above and their interests. Is this not clear enough in the example of the recent Mi’kmaq struggle? What part of this whole resistance “stuff” do you not grasp?

  8. This is why I say the uncle tom is the #1 threat to anti-kkkolonial struggle, NOT the invaders themselves.

  9. wow, really people? Are we not all human with hearts? You really think the RCMP, every single cop out there hates all Natives? Really? Well, perhaps you would prefer it that way then you can say you are oppressed and can play the victim card and rationalize your stupid violent behaviour…..what does it mean to stand together as one? It means all beings, not just ones who are not in uniform-have the police in Vancouver every interfered with the protests? I call BULLSHIT ON THIS ARTICLE JUST MORE FEAR MONGERING

    • Cops are human beings, no one denies that. Adolf Hitler was a human being too. Whether or not every cop out there hates Natives is not the point, surely some are sympathetic. But the fact is they are a paramilitary organization in which individual cops must obey orders.
      We are in a struggle to defend our people, land and water. There are opposing sides in this conflict, otherwise there wouldn’t be a conflict and we’d all be one big happy rainbow tribe, but we’re not. There is an oppressive institution known as the state which works in the interests of the corporate elite, and the police are their enforcers of this system of oppression. Yes, Vancouver cops have interfered with numerous protests and assaulted many people over the years. I call bullshit on your weak effort to say otherwise.

    • I call out your bullshit marginalization of this article. No one said all cops hete natives, but you really need to do some research into the SYSTEMIC ISSUES OF THE PIG PEN! Also, you really should research what violent behaviour is, because the last time I checked, WEARING A FUCKING MASK IS NOT FUCKING VIOLENT!

  10. I actually live in a small town in BC and see the RCMP do a lot of good work with First Nations every day, they have a RCMP truck with Native art all over it and the First Nations bands love them because they respect their traditions and everyone is amicable, the RCMP are there to help and protect the safety of everyone…..just because you hear one story doesn’t mean its true for all, this is like racism for RCMP….not all whites love money and shiny things, not all Natives are lazy and depressed or alcoholics, not every asian is a bad driver! get outside the box and think for yourself!

    • The police are not a neutral organization, they are a paramilitary force deployed by the government to maintain social control and squash resistance movements when necessary. They will use many means to portray themselves as “protectors” of the people. In regards to Natives they also have many means of integrating themselves into our communities and forming collaborative relationships: canoe journeys, Aboriginal liaison officers, and yes Native art on their vehicles. The Vancouver police have a thunderbird design on their cars designed by Susan Point. Because of these superficial attempts to “honour” Native culture we’re supposed to be so naive as to forgive and forget all their violent acts and brutality? What small town in BC do you live in? I doubt all the First Nations bands “love them” unless you’re referring to just the Indian Act band councillors.

      • Concerned Mestizo

        Only thing police will protect ever is their own JOB. They do not work for people…their boss hires them to oppress.

    • People who live in small towns are protected by the fact that everyone knows everybody and where everybody lives, including where the RCMP live with their families. The RCMP are often nosey in these communities, friendly and go out of their way to chat people up, they have their reasons for being as such. Once one was attempting this with me so I said to the officer. ‘Everyone knows where you live here right, must make it hard for you to do your job. You sure can’t piss people off when they all know where you live.’ The RCMP officer replied, ‘Yes it sure does, it is kind of scary.’ They behave better for their own good in small communities, like most people do. The math is simple, predators and violent people know how to get away with what they do, people, police included will change their tactics in a heart beat if the situation changes and they are given the opportunity to harm someone. Jails give them that opportunity, just as dark alley ways do too, best to avoid both if you want to remain safe. Children who come from the safe communities to pursue their educations are at the greatest risk because they haven’t grown up in the cities and have not been prepared for what really goes on in them.

      In the cities so the scenario is much different, predators benefit from the masses and the ability to remain concealed with those masses, this includes the police, who if you are even half witted and have spent time or lived in any city you are aware of the potential danger. I have spoken with many people, not just natives, who live in the cities, they don’t call the cops on natives because they know the police will harm the natives. Doctors in the city who work in the ER have told me that they are sick and disgusted of the police brutality, because they have to treat the people after the police have had a go at them, it is and has been described to me as particularly more common and brutal when the person who has been assaulted is a native. This information was always volunteered to me during the course of other completely unrelated conversations.

      You continue to love and trust them all you like, that is your right however I will exercise my right to avoid them being it is in my best interest to do so. Also racism is the oppression of people due to their race or skin colour, penalization for who they are through no fault of their own, it is barbaric. Becoming a police officer is not the same thing, they chose to take on that profession, they have the opportunity to research and discover that you will not be well loved if you sign up, especially the RCMP with their infraction record. Also people are quite capable of changing their careers if they are unhappy, skin colour not so much. But you are already aware of this being such a great thinker and all.

  11. The real dividers are the ones who are making such a big fn deal of all this. Disrespecting the people like that, when I see you guys at a rally I will just go home.

  12. Those who chose to adopt the lhém-néxw, forgive and forget attitude, are only thinking of themselves, they don’t seem to care about the great shame they are casting onto their families and ancestors, they do not care about the harm they are doing to those yet to come.

    Noel Abrahams and Rhiannon Bennett stood on the graves of MY ANCESTORS and shamed them, Noel Abrahams and Rhiannon Bennett stood on the graves of MY ANCESTORS and put our children at risk by attempting to perpetuate the myth that the cops are good guys and that was a deplorable unforgivable thing to do.

    We all know the cops are not good guys, they have proven time and again that they are untrustworthy, manipulative, violent, racist, sexist and an extremely harmful element that we would all be better off without. Noel Abrahams and Rhiannon Bennett stood on MY TERRITORY, a place in which countless native people have been beaten, raped and slaughtered, vilely and violently by the police or the countless predatory twisted human beings who hunt natives because they know they will not be held to account or suffer any infractions for gaining their sick pleasures from destroying human beings and helped enable that process to continue, they put others at risk and that is simply not acceptable for any reason.

    Rhiannon Bennett had a lot of nerve speaking about tradition, need I remind everyone traditionally we do not put ourselves and our petty needs ahead of the needs of our people, other people or our territories and the life that our territories sustains. Traditionally we put ourselves in the shoes of the people, of the elders, of the children, of Frank Paul, of Serena Abbotsway and Kimberly Gallup. Need I remind everyone that in a Matriarch society, we are not suppose to behave like white men. We do not command and order people around, we are not oppressors and rulers, we are not assholes! Matriarchs are suppose to implement respectful wisdom, not domination, matriarchs are not rulers. There are no rulers in our traditional societies, we are suppose to be a collective of human beings who are aware of our responsibilities. Matriarchs are suppose to listen carefully and considerately, they are suppose consider the problem, cautiously and with wisdom, consider all the possible outcomes, to offer their advice and engage in a conversation with the seeker or community but then stand back and allow the process to move forward because true democracy has not set dictators, it is the actions of the collective, we are all in this together.

    Narcissism has not place in any culture, at any event or any where else beyond the narcissist’s looking glass. There are a lot of them around, not only native, it is a personality disorder which is encouraged within capitalistic societies, because it aids corporate profit mandate. People are trying to buy themselves cool, buy themselves special, to gain ego fulfilment through shallow means. They exist, their ugly ego filled heads are appearing everywhere, when they do turn your backs on these people, starve them out and remove their power because they clearly do not comprehend their responsibilities and no one who can wrap their heads around that should be allowed to act for anyone beyond themselves.

    Fluffy, hippy love does not belong on the front lines for obvious reasons, if you are the type of person who has a lot of hugs, support and nurturing to offer there is a place for you but the front lines is not that place. Despite your hippy beliefs and wish to spread the love around in a positive way, the enemy is not nice, they are ruthless and pretending that we are living in a healthy society and ensuring people that it is safe is a cruel and unsound act. You may as well be doing the harming yourself if you are encouraging this illusion in others. I have spoken with many good hearted, hippy, environmental types and informed them frankly that failing to understand the root of the problem is something they have to get over, that the fact that their society and economy is based upon occupation, racism and genocide needs to be understood even if it does upset your sensitive, sensibilities and feelings. Know your opponent and be aware of what they are capable of, there is no other way to keep yourself safe than making yourself fully aware of the reality if you chose to be a warrior. I won’t perpetuate myths, you are not doing anyone any favours by not revealing the truth, disillusionment and unpleasant reality can be gotten over a lot easier than assault and ptsd, and death is, last time I checked, still incurable.

    The fact is the land that the colonial occupiers have built Vancouver on is my territory too. My lineage is Sḵwx̱wú7mes and you all have my permission to wear masks, swear and even fart if you like on my territory. All I ask is that every person who chooses to stand against the pipelines, colonial oppression or any of the other numerous injustices that effects everyone of us do please consider the situation and the enemy carefully, form good allies, do not put yourself at unnecessary risk or encourage anyone else to either. If people are arrested those who do not chose to stand the lines or are not arrested should reform the lines outside the jail and demand the fair treatment and release of those who were arrested. There is power and protection in numbers, form groups and join in where ever and however you think you can best help. Stand with courage, wisdom and in solidarity, be brave but not foolish. This is not an ego game, ego weakens the warrior, don’t go in expecting to perform heroic acts and be lauded as a hero, go in as a human being among equal comrades and stand for what you believe in and what you believe can happen if we stand together.

    My own fairly recent arrest illustrated a lot to me, it did not escape my notice that the RCMP were and are trying to infiltrate and manipulate us and are having some success at manipulating others. They are cautiously playing the spin and excluding the press, so be very aware and don’t become fooled, do not be naive and realize what it is you are fighting against and for. I am not fear mongering, that is not my intention, however it would be immoral and wrong for anyone to encourage natives or settler allies to take a stand against this oppression yet keep them unaware of the reality and potential dangers of they could be facing as peaceful warriors on the front lines for Mother Earth.

    Finally for those of you who were at this rally, ?úl-nú-msh-chálap you make my spirit sing and have all earned my reverence and respect. I am very proud of what you did that day, oh yes and if you are still inspired to take another stand against this oppression despite the unfortunate behaviour of a few individuals you are all welcome and also if anyone attempts to dictate to you as free people the terms under which your help will be allowed you have my permission to tell them to FUCK OFF.

  13. This is an opinion piece and as such, is quite divisive. Suggestions and constructive critisim would serve better rather than judgement and condemnation. Unite.

    • Division is what this article is addressing, a division in which police appear to have played a role in instigating. So please don’t say this article is “quite divisive” as if it is now the cause of division. Calls for unity are meaningless if we don’t acknowledge that there are some basic conditions upon which unity are based. In a resistance struggle, uniting with those that collaborate with the police would be illogical in that it is the police who are used as a primary means of defeating that struggle.

    • That’s what I think too Mummy Wummy. This issue is being blown way out of proportion…who are the ones instigating this and are the provocateurs? I doubt very much they are the ‘core’…First Nations have been at this fight since day 1 and have given all including life, children, land etc…taking off a mask is the least of First Nation’s worries.

      • If you read the article you’d learn who the ones are that are instigating this. If taking off a mask is the “least of First Nation’s worries,” then why do fools make such a big issue about some fools wearing a mask at a rally?

  14. Here is a useful quote that describes exactly what occurred at this rally. It is the counter-insurgency strategy advised by Stratfor for corporations in dealing with activists:
    “Stratfor labels activist into four categories – (1) Radical (2) Realists (3) Idealist (4) Opportunists, in order to determine strategies against each of them.
    “Warrior societies fit into category 1, the radicals. Radicals are those individuals that will stand up for what they believe in and will not compromise. These are dangerous individuals to a corporation as they won’t sell out or be swayed by corporate propaganda.
    “Stratfor’s strategy for dealing with radicals is to isolate them from the rest of the movement. They want to remove the core of the resistance by removing or alienating the radical from the majority of movement members. It’s about creating the divisions needed in a divide and conquer strategy. The radicals get isolated by propaganda, agents of influence, psychological actions (Psy Acts) until divisions are created and nurtured to the point that the radicals are vulnerable to actions from the government, such as a raid or arrest. Is this starting to sound familiar now?”
    “In Focus: Analysis of Indigenous resistance and counter-insurgency strategy” by Sakej Ward (Mi’kmaq), Warrior Publications, Nov 3, 2013.

  15. Comdenation is divisive and this is what this is all about. Mummy is right when she says to use suggestions and helpful critism instead of condemnation so I can’t put much faith in what your saying. You have certinly turned me off and if you had the wherewithall to organize your own rally i doubt I would go, but I don’t think you’ve ever orangized one so what the heck are you talking about? Easy to be an armchair warrior.

    • Yes, condemnation is divisive, why don’t you tell that to Bennett for condemning and attempting to isolate radicals? And of course I have helped organize dozens of rallies, starting from 1987, and participated in numerous occupations, blockades, and other direct actions. “Easy to be an armchair warrior” sais the fool from their keyboard. Perhaps you’d like to share with us your own “warrior” resume?

  16. How can you be a part of the movement and not apart from the movement? This ‘article’ is lateral violence, how could you have better voiced your concerns? Would it have been possible to make suggestions to Rhiannon and Noel yourself, in a positive way? Are you warrior enough to re-write this and do it in a non-harmful way or remove it? Are you warrior enough to talk or pm with Rhiannon and Noel? We need unification not diviseness, are you prepared to unify by warrioring up, like Ta’a says, and approach this from a view that is against colonists and not against organizers? What would it take for you to truly unite?

    • Uh, listen “Mummy,” what you don’t seem to comprehend is that what occurred at the rally on Dec 2 is your “lateral violence.” This article is addressing that, so don’t try to claim this article is the source of “lateral violence.” We did discuss this shit with these fools on the FB site for the rally, before Hecker deleted the entire thread. And we continued discussing it with them on that site, including Noel, who’s response was basically “do you know me?” and “lol.” Why don’t you call out these fools and say they should’ve come and talked to us during the rally instead of allying themselves with the police and working against their own people? We need unification but not with collaborators and those who do the work of the cops in dividing our movement. What part of this do you have trouble understanding?

  17. NO solitude for those who meant harm. It’s usually the ones that force themselves against protestants that start violence,

  18. I understand perfectly well the premise of infiltration, isolation etc.. What I don’t understand is your approach, which remains divisive. If you speak like you write then it’s no wonder you couldn’t get anywhere with Bennett or Abrahams….or perhaps anyone else. Honey catches more flies and if we are to bond in a stronger way then articles like this remain just what they are: lateral violence. As you begin to reveal yourself more, as in the snippet of your ‘warrior’s resume’, perhaps you won’t hide so much behind your computer, because I don’t recall anyone named ZigZag organizing an Idle No More event. So again, what changes can YOU make that would be more in keeping with unity and how can you deliver that message that won’t turn off people or even hurt people? How can you make this possible?

    • My approach is this: I wrote an article:
      1) exposing backwards and incorrect practises within our movement (i.e. working with cops against our own people),
      2) warning other like-minded individuals of how this type of cop initiated, community collaborator attempt to isolate radicals in our ranks can play out and how to counter it, and
      3) exposing those individuals in our community that work with cops.
      Bennett or Abrahams never spoke to me prior to the public denunciation that was made. Attempts to discuss this with the organizers and other participants was squashed when Hecker deleted the initial thread on their FB site.
      Your efforts to label this article as “lateral violence” is like blaming the target of an attack for defending them self and then claiming it’s “lateral violence.” Why don’t you call out Bennett and Hecker for their acts of “lateral violence” that started this entire discussion?
      I am not interested in catching flies, but thanks for the tip.
      As for Idle No More, I never participated in Idle No More because I saw collaborators leading half the rallies and marches (including those that promoted the 2010 Olympics), and becuz to me it was nothing more than hype with very little substance, which I believe history has proven to be true.
      If Idle No More is your only reference to Native struggles, well good for you, but you are aware that long before that flash-in-the-pan there was a real grassroots movement existing, right? I have been involved in Leonard Peltier defence organizing (early ’90s), the 500 Years of Resistance campaign in 1992, Zapatista solidarity rallies in 1994, Ts’Peten/Gustafsen Lake 1995 solidarity rallies and events, Native Youth Movement from 1997-2000 (including occupations of the BC Treaty Commission offices here in Vancouver in ’97 and ’98, the occupation of the West Bank First Nation band office in ’98, Cheam 1999), Sutikalh (including a 2001 blockade), Skwekwekwelt (Sun Peaks), anti-Olympic organizing (2007-2010), etc, etc. If you don’t know what these all refer to, then I would suggest you learn some history, google these terms, or search this website.
      As for unity, again, a hollow and empty word if we don’t have some basic common points of unity around which to unify. As I have stated previously, we cannot have unity with those who work with the police in attempting to divide our movement and isolate radicals. This is because the police are the primary means of squashing our movement, and their main tools to do this (aside from direct repression) is by using collaborators and informants. But you insist that we must unify with these people who have already betrayed our trust and allied themselves with our common enemy. Your logic makes no sense.
      If you are truly serious and committed to your concept of unity, why don’t you contact those named in this article and tell them to stop trying to divide our movement and exposing radicals to greater police repression?

  19. What I have see now is what I have seen before and that is the ‘movement’ joiners have assumed the right again and again taken the privilege upon themselves again of interfering with indigenous people. This could be seen, and is by me, as a continuation of the problem as the people behaving like this have not bothered to educate themselves yet still assume the right to dictate and put conditions upon us yet again. It strikes me as more of the passive racism that is still so strong in Canadian culture.

    The fact that many people who are by their posts are completely unaware of a great deal yet despite their ignorance are attempting to insist this person, this Kwakwaka’wakw Warrior submit to their privileged ideals and opinions, I will tell you right now you have no right to do such a thing.

    Most people come on to this independent Warriors private yet freely shared website is because they want to keep abreast of what is going on, are hoping to educate themselves because this Warrior is an intelligent, experienced, educated person who’s expertise I very much appreciate and who I commend for so freely sharing to other people so they too will be properly prepared for what could and likely will take place on the lines. and not to come barrelling in with your arrogant assumptions, blaming, bickering and obnoxious behaviour because you think in some deluded way that you are helping you are not! We do not come on here to read petty pouting and watch joiners posturing and derailing people’s efforts, you are wasting everyone’s, go do it on your own website if that is what floats your boat.

    You have no right, to demand anything from anyone, especially that this Warrior remove his post because it offends any of you personally because you rather like one of the people he has pointed out to those of us who need to know, as a cop collaborator. The protection of people from violent assault trumps hurt feelings by a great deal. Do you want us all to assimilate into polite little rug sweepers like yourselves so you won’t have to endure seeing and having to be aware of what has built up under those rugs since the illegal occupation and genocide have begun? It is not a pretty sight, I could tell you stories that would keep you up for many a night. And frankly we culturally cannot do that, we cannot put your feelings about our reality ahead of the safety and well being of our families and the Mother.

    This Warrior is not a movement, this is not a stitch and bitch, this is not a lets sell cookies so we can save the seals campaign, this is not a game. We are not a movement, we are native people, diverse and independent, we are not one in the same, we are from a warrior cultures, but even those are not all one and the same. We aren’t really Indians you know, he is from a different nation but lives upon one of my two ancestral territories, and I for one very much appreciate him being their and doing what he is doing because I am not able to because I am fighting elsewhere on another territory and when I am done here I will move on to another territory and help my people and friends there, these things I work on I have been doing since long before any movement you joined began either. I will fight until I join the ancestors, he likely will too, and the fight will be continued by the young people who I do speak and work with, they are not movement joiners either, this is who we are, we are not movements. He has my permission to be there and continue his work. He does not need to join your movement, or have your permission to continue, his material is his and he does not have to submit to your demands on how he expresses the information he freely shares, he does not have to prove or justify his existence to you, none of us do, and he does not need the police or any other assumed authorities permission either, our laws and culture predate yours by a substantial amount and the territory he is on is not ceded, it is Skwxwú7mesh territory, it is still ours by birth right and I repeat he has my permission to be there and do what he is doing! This is many of our lives, we work, take care of our families and friends and we are fight for our survival, for our rights, for our culture and for the rights of the children in the future, it is not a movement ‘we the collection of Native people’ suddenly decided to join. Mighty Canadian of you to make that assumption, and ignorantly barge in with your demands and conditions don’t you think?

    The behaviour that some people are exhibiting here on this private web page are not isolated, I have encountered it as well, as you are now you are doing a great deal of harm and wasting a great deal of our energy en-mass, to the point that someone took the time to put together a document for those of you who are joining movements and wanting to help. Unless of course the point of all of your joining in on a native people’s movement was so you could provoke anger, frustrate and insult native people I strongly suggest to all of you take the time to read and follow the instructions on this document rather than continuing to harass this independent Warrior.


  20. Blah, blah, blah. And i have worked with Kahentinetha Horn since the 90s, so, yes, I am by all means aware of what you speak of. If Idle No More is of no interest to you then why report on it? Too much contradiction there. Bennett and Abrahams made some calls and got raked over the coals for it….condemned, and yet they are young and learning…there in lies the misconceptions you paint of them. And therein lies the lateral violence, but you don’t seem to understand that.

    A warrior should also be wise, so I’m going to have to assume you are not true warrior society. A true warrior would not have painted this picture with such words. A true warrior would reflect some and take many things into account.

    This is a public site. I have every right to come here and place my opinion. I am First Nations and old, older than you. I won’t list my resume, that to me would be bragging. But it is of interest to note what you have fought at and how INM is not radical enough for you….fair enough, but is it fair to put it down because it does not suit YOUR ideals? INM will morph as things get more heated. That’s the evolution of the revolution. People learn as they go along, that’s life. But they don’t learn by having someone yip like a coyote in their ears. Take that as a lesson if you’re truly interested in having people learn about how to deal with cops and insurgents.

    Are you truly interested? You are in a positition now to teach, not preach. Please teach well.

    • I never said INM was of “no interest” to me. In fact, it was of great interest to me which is why this site reported on it and also offered analysis and critiques of it. Bennett and Abraham’s public actions are what is discussed here, and there are no misconceptions about those as they are clear as day. If they are “young and learning” then let them learn from their mistakes and correct themselves. I personally do not think they are so naive but rather knew full well the role they played at the rally. Either way, when you work with cops against your own people you should know there will be consequences.
      As for my experiences listed, you’re the one that was attempting to slander me as some kind of “armchair warrior” when in fact I’ve participated in many organizing activities and direct action. So in response to your slander I shared some of my experiences, which in turn you label as “bragging.” You continue your efforts to slander me by now claiming to know what a “true warrior” is. You need to check your own arrogance and contradictions.
      As for criticizing INM, well we’re all entitled to an opinion and if we can’t debate these issues then we’ll never “evolve” or learn.
      If you are an elder, who are supposed to be wise from their many years of experience, then perhaps you should stop “preaching” your defense of collaborators on this site, contact those named in the article, and “teach” them what solidarity means.

  21. I have spoken. Your ears and eyes are painted, there’s nothing I can do about that. Use your knowledge wisely and teach don’t preach, and help guide people like Abrahams and Bennett instead of condemning and shaming them. That is not our way. A Ho!

    • You have indeed spoken, over and over again, basically repeating the same thing: we should be nice and polite to collaborators and coddle them in the belief that that will somehow change their ways. I do not agree.
      You have stated that you know about the work of collaborators in undermining our movement. If this is true, and if you are such a “wise” elder, and you appear to know the people named in this article, I once again suggest you communicate with them and “teach” them that our ways do not include betraying your people to work for the oppressor.
      It’s ironic that you use the terms “condemning and shaming,” as a means of attacking this article, when that is exactly what Abraham and Bennett attempted to do in the most public of ways. This is similar to your accusations of “lateral violence”: when those that are attacked with “lateral violence” defend themselves and expose those perpetuating it, you label them as engaging in “lateral violence.” Do you not see the contradiction and hypocrisy of this, or are you too wrapped up in defending your friend’s reputations? You should go and reflect on this like a “wise” elder would do, and stop filling up my comments inbox with your convoluted and contradictory statements. Gilakas’la!

    • Shame on Bennett and her need to divide as well as work with the colonial police force.

  22. Warriors fight against the oppressor. Burning tires, wearing camouflage, and posting your pictures on Facebook is not fighting. Do you want to be taken seriously? Look to your “brothers & sisters” in Syria, Palestine, Chechnya, Iraq, and freedom fighters in Iran. Look to the real warriors of the Mohawk people and their real fight in Oka. Your true nature is starting to show as well; you are even scared to post my words. Fear is not a trait of a real warrior.

    • Not sure where you’re coming from with this. This isn’t the Middle East, the social conditions and level of conflict are very different. Oka was unique in that it arose from communities that have some capability for engaging in armed resistance, but that is not the norm here in Canada. The Mi’kmaq resistance is inspiring for those very reasons: they have demonstrated that a community can resist corporation invasion and RCMP assaults using low-level conflict, which is far more likely to be replicated than armed standoffs. Also, fighters in the Middle East, Chechnya etc also wear camouflage, burn tires and post their pictures on FB, so what’s your problem? No one is “afraid” to post your comment, if you’ve submitted a comment previously and it was offensive or off-point then that’s why it wasn’t posted. And I would disagree about fear; warriors feel fear but they overcome it in order to carry out their role of defending territory and people.

  23. How does wearing a mask advance the agenda of indigenous rights?

    • Masks represent the warrior spirit of resistance our people need, and also serve to protect warriors against the surveillance state should it be necessary for them to act in defence of the people or territory. Some people wear masks to protect their identity from bosses and landlords, while others have legal issues for which attending a rally or public action could mean their arrest.

  24. You mentioned that perfectly!

  25. Reblogged this on thawVictoria and commented:
    Well written article, thnx ZIg Zag!

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