Shawn Brant: Another case of Canada's political persecution of indigenous people
Another case of Canada's political persecution of indigenous people
by Justin Podur
September 19, 2007
On August 30, about two weeks before Canada became one of only four countries to vote against a UN declaration on indigenous rights, Tyendinaga Mohawk father and activist, Shawn Brant was released from Quinte Detention Centre on bail. Bail had been denied him twice before, when he first turned himself in on July 5th and again after a bail-review hearing on August 10th. The conditions of his bail were restrictive. $50,000 cash bond with another $50,000 surety, 30-day house arrest, curfew, no protests, and above all, no returning to the struggle for the Mohawk territory the government hoped to disrupt by putting him in jail in the first place. His trial will take place some time in 2008. He is to stand trial on 9 charges having to do with two blockades, one that occurred in April 2007 and the other in June 2007, including 6 charges of indictable mischief (for which the maximum penalty is 10 years in prison), and 3 charges of breach of bail. His actual crime, for which he is being persecuted, is being an articulate and militant spokesperson for his community and indigenous struggles in Canada more generally.