A rally calling for the immediate release of imprisoned Inuk Labrador Land Protectors, Eldred Davis, Marjorie Flowers, and Jim Learning will take place at the Colonial Building in St. John’s on Sunday July 30th at 1:30pm.
Organizers have this to say about the rally, “Labrador Land Protectors, their supporters, Muskrat Falls opponents, Nalcor audit advocates, human rights activists, anti-colonial agitators and people who just want democracy and freedom to be respected in Newfoundland and Labrador will come together in St. John’s to ‘Free The Labrador Three.’”
The three Labrador Land Protectors were incarcerated for refusing to promise a Supreme Court Judge that they would stay away from the Muskrat Falls Site.
Their arrests sparked outrage across the province.
Along with consistent support from Land Protectors in Labrador, concerned citizens have been gathering daily outside Her Majesty’s Penitentiary in St. John’s demanding the release of the imprisoned Land Protectors.
Leader of the NL NDP Earle McCurdy released a statement saying the imprisonment of the three elders “did not need to happen.” He goes on to say the Labrador Land Protectors’ demands are clear, reasonable and should be addressed immediately.
“These three people are not dangerous criminals. They are Inuit elders who believe so strongly in protecting the environment and public safety in the land they call home that they were willing to go to jail to do so,” McCurdy wrote.
“…The elders deserve the support of all citizens of our province, and they deserve the immediate attention of the provincial government to their eminently reasonable demands.”
The Nunatsiavut Government published a letter to Dwight Ball from Johannes Lampe, President of the Nunatsiavut Government, condemning the incarceration of Marjorie Flowers in her Majesty’s Penitentiary.
“Ms. Flowers is not a violent offender and is being branded a criminal by the justice system simply because she is refusing to obey an injunction against protesting near the Muskrat Falls site. As an Indigenous person, and as a Canadian citizen, she maintains that she is not breaking any laws, but merely taking a stand against a project she feels will have devastating impacts on her culture, health and way of life,” Lampe’s letter states.
The NunatuKavut Community Council(NCC) released a statement calling for the immediate release of Davis, Flowers and Learning. The statement said the Council expects the administration of justice in Newfoundland and Labrador to respect the nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous people and to honour promises around reconciliation.
“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 … Why is it that, when Indigenous peoples are involved in protest, such extreme and unnecessary measures are taken by the justice system?” Wrote NCC President Todd Russell.
A petition calling for the release of the three Labrador Land Protectors has already accumulated over 2,500 signatures. You can find the petition here.