NCC Statement: Nunatukavut Calls for Immediate Release of Inuit Protesters

NCC Statement: Nunatukavut Calls for Immediate Release of Inuit Protesters

by pmnationtalk on July 24, 2017703 Views

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HAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY, LABRADOR, July 24, 2017 – NunatuKavut Community Council (NCC) President Todd Russell today issued the following statement condemning the recent arrest of Inuit protesters in Labrador:

“On July 21, three Inuit – Jim Learning, Eldred Davis and Marjorie Flowers – were taken into custody and jailed in Happy Valley-Goose Bay around their protest of the Muskrat Falls project. All three have strong convictions and have, for years, expressed their opposition to this project. Mr. Learning and Mr. Davis are NunatuKavut members and, while Mr. Learning is a NCC Councillor, NCC respects his rights as an individual to stand up for what he believes in and to act on those beliefs.

Inuit protesters have the rights of freedom of speech and freedom of peaceful assembly. Their incarceration demonstrates a clear flaw in our justice system. The provisions of the injunction are an unjust limitation on their Charter rights. To have these three people also taken from their community without notice to their family and friends is a travesty in itself. Why is it that, when Indigenous peoples are involved in protest, such extreme and unnecessary measures are taken by the justice system?

NCC calls for the immediate release of Jim, Eldred and Marjorie. We also demand that the Attorney General of Newfoundland and Labrador, who is responsible for the administration of justice in this province, do his job. We expect the administration of justice in this province to respect the nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous peoples and to live up to promises around reconciliation. It can, and must, do better.

I want Jim, Eldred and Marjorie to know that they are not alone. We will continue to fight for justice and for the right to peacefully assemble and protest.”

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For regular updates, please visit our website at www.nunatukavut.ca. Please also join in the conversation at facebook.com/nunatuKavut and Twitter @nunatuKavut.

Media Contact:

Kelly Broomfield, Director of Communications, NCC, 709-280-5965

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