"Shame Train" Disrupted in Montreal - No Olympics on Stolen Land!

Shame Train ends in Montreal with successful disruption

October 20, 2008 -- Over 100 protesters gathered in Montreal's Old Port this past Saturday to disrupt the CP Spirit Train's final stop. After successful protests and disruptions throughout it's route from the West Coast to Montreal, the Spirit Train – dubbed the "Shame Train" -- was again met with protesters, and had to cancel or alter large parts of their Montreal program.

-> Photos from the Montreal CP Spirit Train disruption are linked here: http://www.mediacoop.ca/photo/138

Among the protesters from the "Shame Train Welcoming Committee" was a large delegation from the Kahnawake Mohawk community, including Stuart Myiow Senior from the Mohawk Traditional Council, and Carol McGregor who spoke about continued resistance to the Highway 30 expansion south of Montreal [A protest report from a resident of Kahnawake is included below].

Protesters were also joined by Norman Matchewan of the Lac Barrière Algonquin Community who addressed the crowd about the current struggle at Lac Barrière, four hours north of Montreal (more information about the struggle at Lac Barrière linked here: www.solidaritelacbarriere.blogspot.com ). Demonstrators also denounced the recent racist comments by Richard Pound, Canada's representative on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Chancellor of McGill University, who referred to 17th century Canada as "a land of savages".

The Shame Train Welcoming Committee – accompanied by a portable sound system, the Chaotic Insurrection Ensemble (Montreal's Anarchist Marching Band) and various noisemakers -- was easily able to access the main Spirit Train site. CP Rail Police, Montreal Police and security staff of the Spirit Train made feeble attempts to block access for the protesters, but the demonstrators manouvered their way around the "security". For a large part of the day the protesters outnumbered actual Spirit Train participants. None of the scheduled speakers or Olympic athletes took the stage, and both the CP Spirit Train Band and the "Québecois de service" band Bottine Souriante were disrupted (or had their tunes turned into anti-Olympics chants). The Olympic mascots systematically were escorted away each time protesters approached. The live media broadcasts by Spirit Train corporate media sponsors – including Q92 and Team990 – were also disrupted.

At least a thousand "No Olympics on Stolen Land" stickers were plastered all over the CP Spirit Train site, and hundreds of flyers outlining "10 Reasons to Oppose the 2010 Olympics" were distributed (but mainly to passers-by, since so few people actually attended the Spirit Train event itself).

In a Canadian Press report, CP claimed that 1500 people attended the Spirit Train event in Montreal, and 35,000 people attended in total at all the stops across the country; but it's evident that those numbers are wildly exagerrated. In fact, the whole Spirit Train spectacle was a grand failure, from the moment the opening ceremony was disrupted in Port Moody, BC, to activists courageously blockading the rail lines in Southern Ontario,to scheduling a Mississauga stop on Thanksgiving Monday (which resulted in a dismally low turnout) right through to the disruption at the last stop in Montreal. All-in-all, networks of grassroots indigenous solidarity activists across the country were able to effectively disrupt and expose the shame of the Spirit Train.

This weekend's Spirit Train mobilization builds on recent awareness raising events in Montreal about anti-Olympics resistance:

-> A video (in five-parts) from the visit of anti-Olympics Indigenous organizers Gord Hill and Angela Sterritt (May 2008) is linked here: http://www.isuma.tv/?site/displayFilm/id/521/webcam//thumbpage/1
-> A photo-report from the visit of anti-Olympics Indigenous organizers Kanahus Pellkey and Dustin Johnson (January 2008) is linked here: http://photos.cmaq.net/v/no2010/
-> Audio and news reports from Kanahus and Dustin's visit are linked here: http://nooneisillegal-montreal.blogspot.com/2008/02/2010media.html
-> Previous reports and information in French are linked here: http://contrelesolympiquesde2010.anarkhia.org/
-> The 10 Reasons to Oppose the 2010 Olympics are linked here: http://www.amp-montreal.net/?q=fr/node/28 (click on page 54 of the Montreal PGA-Bloc Zine)

Indigenous solidarity activists in Montreal, working with their Indigenous allies, will continue to raise awareness about resistance to the 2010 Olympics as part of "Resistance 2010".

-- Report by members of the Shame Train Welcoming Committee.
indigenoussolidaritymontreal@gmail.com - www.amp-montreal.net - 514-848-7583
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Report from a resident of Kahnawake at the Shame Train Protest:

From: hillofpeace@hotmail.com
Date: Sun, 19 Oct 2008 08:52:04 -0600

Kwé, Gway, Salut, Hello!

Anti 2010 (no2010.com) Vancouver Olympic protesters including Mohawk Traditional Council of Kahnawake elder Stuart Myiow Sr and woman speaker Carol Mc Gregor made their opposition known yesterday as the train was parked in Old Montreal. It was an animated but very peaceful demonstration gathering 150 protesters whereas very few visitors to Old Montreal - Old Port were interested in the Spirit of Olympic Train, PR kiosks, rock bands, etc.. Stuart Sr spoke of the tradition of peaceful protest and dialog always displayed by the people of the Longhouse and Great Peace even though the Canadian government and politico-economic system has always provoked, stolen and trampled on on native lands and rights. He mentioned how a couple of hundred years ago chiefs travelling to this site in Montreal (Bonsecour Market) for a negociation with colonial peoples had been betrayed and torn apart by oxen. He called for all peoples to oppose the current politico-economic system and unite in coalitions respecting peaceful, non destructive developments and inter-people dialog.

Carol McGregor spoke of the womens´right and responsibility to protect the earth from destruction in all situations for the planet is a living mother for all peoples. Both she and Myiow said that development projects like the Vancouver Olympics or the Montreal area Highway 30 south (sud est) extension project are destroying living space for ordinary folk and important agricultural - natural habitat areas. Highway 30 is being pushed quickly through the traditional Mohawk land claim area of Seigneurie Salut St. Louis by Transport Québec without all the necessary expropriation or archaelogical works completed. Very many non native people and communities such as Candiac, groups from St. Constant, etc. are very disturbed by a southern, agricultural route for Highway 30 because for decades they have been told the exisiting urban 30 route would be upgraded and made safer. The Mohawk community of Kahnawake is very opposed to its development even though its band council is neither publicly speaking clearly for or against. Mc Gregor called on the women especially to keep all men on the good track of peace and sustainable development for only the women have the ability and true power to do so. In the traditional Mohawk clan system it is them who name and can also depose the chiefs. For further info please consult via Google (My Space and Mohawk Traditional Council), www.anti2010.cpm, www.sos30.com.

Nia:wen, Merci, Thanks! In Peace and Friendship,
Stone Iwaasa