Terrance Nelson: Warrior Societies are Prepared
To: Jason Bowman
(Special Assistant) Ka-nyen-geh-ha-kah of Grand River
Thanks for your email.
Back in 1990 after the “Oka” Crisis, Mark Maracle and other Mohawks met with us in Roseau River to discuss how we reacted to the crisis. We agreed that we were not as organized as we needed to be, that Warrior Societies needed to be more prepared for the eventual conflict with government.
Conservatives in 1990 under Brian Mulroney had no respect for our people and Harper is much the same way. The difference is in how prepared we as Warrior Societies are twenty-three years later.
The Treaty 1-11 meeting in Onion Lake, Saskatchewan July 14 to 18 will be a chance for the people themselves to plan and carry out action to meet the current crisis in Canada. AFN will have their own meeting the same time. There is a break taking place between AFN and those First Nations that are tired of AFN. Only the Chiefs are allowed to speak at AFN summits.
I told Mark that the biggest event in the 1990 Oka Crisis was the railway blockades that took place in Ontario. Two First Nations blocked railway lines. This was the biggest economic impact of the Oka Crisis. Mulroney gave the people in the Treatment Center 48 hours to surrender or he would send in the Army and take them out regardless of the lives that might be lost. We in Manitoba reacted to the Mulroney threat. I stood up on the legislative grounds steps and announced that if Mohawks were killed, we would target Ford, GM, Chrysler, Alcan and of course we were talking blockades of railway lines. The Canadian army was setting up to kill our people. Of course, we would have reacted, but the trouble is that we were severely unprepared in 1990. Today, we are much better prepared.
Treaty 1-11 is not government funded but AFN is and AFN has always been used by Government to keep our people in line. Watch AFN come out from their summit with messages of caution and calls for calm. Watch Government offer appeasements of cash to the Chiefs. The time for the people to have a say in this is now and Onion Lake maybe the place to do that. We will see.
The Train Derailment is being hushed up. It is not front page news because as Douglas Bland warned, the railway lines cannot be protected and the oil pipelines are all in Treaty 1-11 territories.
Thanks again for your continued efforts to keep people informed.
“This is an enormous area, 30 buildings just completely destroyed, for all intents and purposes incinerated. There isn’t a family that is not affected by this.” – PM Harper
Learn about PM Harper’s visit to the affected area on Sunday 7/7/2013, where he stated that an “unbelievable disaster” had befallen Lac-Megantic, which is around 250km (155 miles) east of Montreal. He was referring to Saturday’s pre-dawn explosion when runaway crude tankers sent fireballs and black smoke into the air, killing many, and forcing the evacuation of 2,000 people as the area became instantly polluted.
We understand that according to the corporation responsible, the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic train had been parked in the village of Nantes – about 7km (4 miles) from Lac-Megantic – during an overnight driver shift-change. However, its 73 cars carrying pressurized crude oil tankers somehow became uncoupled from five locomotive engines, gathering speed as they rolled downhill before derailing in the heart of the town of Lac-Megantic.
The train had been travelling from the Bakken Field in North Dakota to a refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick. Montreal, Maine & Atlantic owns more than 800km (500 miles) of track serving Maine, Vermont, Quebec and New Brunswick. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-23221939
As leaking crude from the Lac-Mégantic disaster continues to affect nearby towns and water systems, growing numbers are demanding to know why trains carry crude and other toxic hazards through populated areas?
We understand that in 1864, a group of businessmen from Bangor obtained a charter from the State of Maine to construct a railroad from Bangor to Moosehead Lake. The first president of the line was Hannibal Hamlin. In 1868, the State of Maine granted 75,000 acres to the company for the construction of the railroad. In 1891, the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad (BAR) was incorporated combining the Bangor and Piscataquis and Bangor and Katahdin Railroads. In 1893, a BAR train operated to Houlton. One year later, the main line reached Caribou and the branch to Fort Fairfield was completed. By 1905, connections were made to Patten, Limestone, Ashland, and Van Buren. Also in that year, the railroad reached to the deep water port of Searsport.
We understand that initially, the pulp and paper industry constituted the primary source of traffic for the BAR. Subsequent major sources of traffic expand beyond forest products to include toxic chemicals and most significant presently, petroleum products such as crude oil. In 1995, Iron Road Railways bought the Bangor & Aroostook. In January 2003, the BAR assets were acquired by Rail World, Inc. and the name was changed to the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway which currently owns 510 route miles of track in Maine, Vermont and Quebec and employs approximately 170 people. The MMA operates about 15 trains daily with a fleet of 26 locomotives. Main-line operations are conducted regularly between Millinocket and Searsport, Maine, and from Brownville Junction, Maine to Montreal, Quebec. Service is also provided between Farnham, Quebec and Newport, Vermont to connect with the Northeastern U.S. Westbound trains to Montreal are pre blocked for Canadian Pacific destinations in the U.S. and Western Canada.
MMA connects with seven Class I, regional and local railroads and provides the shortest, most-direct rail link between Northern Maine, Saint John, New Brunswick and Montreal. In addition, MMA offers access to port facilities on the Atlantic at Saint John, New Brunswick and Searsport, Maine.
We understand that the Prime Minister of Canada visited Lac-Megantic yesterday, and described the “unbelievable disaster” which had befallen the people now living 250km east of Montreal in the Saturday’s pre-dawn runaway MMA crude oil tanker train wreck explosion. The Prime minister’s statements reflect the gravity of this issue:
“This is an enormous area, 30 buildings just completely destroyed, for all intents and purposes incinerated. There isn’t a family that is not affected by this. There’ll be investigations to ascertain what’s occurred and make sure it can’t happen again.”
We understand that the company has admitted that Montreal, Maine & Atlantic-operated train equipment including 73 railcars containing pressurized crude oil from Baaken North Dakota and five locomotive engines had been abandoned stationed in the village of Nantes – about 7km uphill from Lac-Megantic – during an overnight driver shift-change.
The Sunday Telegraph reported that Bernard Demers, who runs a restaurant near the blast site in Lac-Megantic centre-ville, said the fireball that followed the derailment at around 01:00 (05:00 GMT) on Saturday was “like an atomic bomb”.
We understand that earlier, the train had been travelling from the Bakken Field in North Dakota to a refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick, travelling on portions of track operated by Montreal, Maine & Atlantic whose 800+km rail service extends from Maine, to Vermont, to Quebec to New Brunswick.
As oil leaking from a derailed train in Lac-Mégantic, Que., travels downstream, many are asking why dangerous cargo was being routed directly through a populated riverside town centre – and why would 77 railway tankers filled with crude oil be abandoned / unattended and ‘parked’ several miles uphill from this town? It’s hard for anyone to imagine any ‘emergency break’ system which could hold such immense weight from eventually rolling if sitting on a hill.
Elder (80) Lac-Mégantic Resident Claude Bedard described the scenario as “dreadful”, and stated:
“They should never allow trains carrying that much oil to pass through towns – it makes absolutely no sense – and it makes me angry”
About 80 kilometres downriver from the town of Lac-Mégantic is the community of Saint-Georges, a town that draws its drinking water from the same river that passes by the site of the deadly explosions. Since the explosion, the crude oil being carried by the train has leaked into the nearby waterways, travelling downstream to Saint-Georges.