Radical media, politics and culture.

Canadian Police to Investigate Anarchist Links to Native Fishermen

Lon Cayeway writes: "Date: Wed, 03 Oct 2001 21:34:52 -0000

Subject: Mi'kmaq Issues Appeal on Internet

Mi'kmaq Issues Appeal on Internet

FISHING: Burnt Church activist seeks cash, support in battle with


An urgent Internet appeal for cash and resistance support at
Burnt Church First Nation suggests a growing native defiance in
the treaty conflict with Ottawa and links Mi'kmaq activists on the
reserve to an international collective of revolutionary anarchists.

With nearly three weeks remaining in the controversial native fall
lobster fishery, a letter written by outspoken Mi'kmaq warrior
James Ward - and submitted through the anarchist news service
A-Infos - calls on the assistance of "brother and sister nations
and any social-conscience individuals" to help navigate a "dark
time for my people."

A-Infos is a Web project co-ordinated by self-proclaimed
anti-authoritarian, anti-capitalist activists who believe that "a
revolution is necessary" to bring about the new class-less social

"These are people who conceive themselves as revolutionary
class-struggle social anarchists, libertarian communists,
syndicalists and others who hold similar opinions but use other
labels," the Web site states. "We do not support the kind of
anarchism proposed by some pseudo-modernists and
pseudo-'revolutionaries' who regard symbolic activity as
substitute to mass struggle."

Mr. Ward's appeal, posted on Sunday, seeks financial
contributions to the Burnt Church Treaty Defence Fund and
requests, among other things, donations of boats, food, medical
equipment, night-vision gear, global positioning systems,
camping supplies and cigarettes.

"We clearly understand the magnitude of this fight," writes Mr.
Ward, identifying himself as commander of the East Coast
Warrior Society. "It has national consequences and impacts all
native nations.

"We are going to fight for our children, and we will win. But in
order to be successful, we need . . help," he writes. "When we
win, this will set a precedent for native nations reasserting
control over stolen natural resources and demonstrate a right to
manage these resources, for the betterment of our futures,
without the influence or control of the Canadian government."

The Burnt Church reserve of about 1,400 people has rejected
any fisheries agreement with Ottawa, insisting upon
centuries-old treaty rights that permit the reserve to fish under its
own management plan.

The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans has issued a
food fishery licence to Burnt Church, allowing for an unlimited
number of traps within a narrowly defined zone close to the
shoreline. However, Mi'kmaq fishermen are refusing to
recognize the licence or the permitted zone.

Mr. Ward wasn't immediately available for comment Tuesday on
the nature of links to the extremist A-Infos project.

New Brunswick RCMP Sgt. Francois Bidal refused to attach any
more or less importance to the Burnt Church situation in light of
who the Mi'kmaq might be asking for support.

"Specifically, it's not a new concern because . . . our preparations
for dealing with the situation this year, in the past and in the
future include all eventualities," Sgt. Bidal said. "If we uncovered
[radical anarchist involvement] through our gathering of
intelligence, we would certainly follow it up to ensure . . . that it
doesn't present a new threat that we're not aware of."

He wouldn't confirm or deny whether police are investigating any
such activity as they monitor ongoing conflict on Miramichi Bay.

The waters off the northeastern New Brunswick reserve have
been relatively calm since Sept. 16, when violence erupted in a
flurry of gunfire as native and non-native fishermen confronted
each other on the bay. Police still haven't laid charges in the
incident, which marks the only major clash in the dispute this