MNN. Apr. 11, 2013. Nothing happens without a reason. Our situation today is the result of policies which serve interests of someone else.
There are ways to prevent corporations from getting away with the theft of Indigenous resources? A boycott is not using a product, refusing to buy or deal with a person, organization or country as a protest against social and political oppression. The strategy depends on the kind of company we’re dealing with and the resources we have.
First, many of our communities are isolated. We should share our experiences. Make a connection between all people in urban centers and those with Indigenous land rights issues in remote areas. We are connected and this is their fight too. People in Toronto are paying attention to the rights of people living thousands of miles away.
Second, although our enemies are enormously powerful, every organization is vulnerable. They rely on outsiders. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, like a corporation relying on outside suppliers, buyers, or consumers. This is divide and conquer in reverse by using their own tactics back on them.
Third, strategies are containable. Our adversaries learned from the Mohawk Oka Crisis of 1990 and Gustafsen Lake in 1995 to contain the issue immediately, to block us in, cut off communication and starve us. If they can contain a conflict behind barricades and isolate it, they can win. But a boycott can’t be surrounded with tanks and barbed wire. The courts can outlaw a boycott, but boycotts can start in other places. Sometimes we just have to make a stand in one place, as we did in Caledonia.
Finally, be persistent, even without time and money. Although we are small in numbers, we are persistent. A boycott will grow. Even the simplest, smallest tactics can be effective if we are persistent. Let them know we are never going away. Nothing happens without a reason. Strategic persistent action which affects their interests makes the other side respect Indigenous rights. Action doesn’t need tons of experience, money or people. It requires commitment, patience and strategic thinking. As Thahoketoteh sings; “The power is the people, not the money or the war. Let’s raise our voices so they hear us, let them roar”
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