March 1, 2018

Solidarity and justice for Colten Boushie and Tina Fontaine

Special to RY

We reproduce here a statement by the Central Executive Committee of the Young Communist League - Ligue de la jeunesse communiste Canada regarding the murders of Colten Boushie and Tina Fontaine and the incapacity of Canada's legal system to ensure justice for the victims of racism, genocide and oppression.

The Young Communist League of Canada (YCL-LJC) expresses outrage and anger at Robert Stanley's acquittal in the murder of Colten Boushie and in the outcome of the Tina Fontaine trial on February, 9th and 22nd respectively. We miss the words to denounce a legal system that allows a partial, all-white jury to clear an assassin of a 22-year-old Indigenous man and allows the murder of a 15-year-old Indigenous woman to be unpunished. While our first thoughts are with the victims families, we also stand in solidarity with all the individuals and groups who denounce these lawsuits, this judicial system, and who resist the oppression and genocide of Indigenous nations in Canada.

The signal given is clear: in Canada, in 2018, it is still possible to kill a young man and woman, then get away with it provided that they come from an Indigenous community. This is what both families have to endure.

In the case of Colten Boushie, not only were some of the evidence removed, but the Defense ensured there to be no Native jurors. More scandalous still, throughout this process, the authorities approached the family of the victim in a shaming tone, like if him and his relatives were potential thugs. The police and judicial system basically acted as if the version of the family of the victim weighed less than that of a murderer covered by white supremacists.

In the case of Tina Fontaine, justice has proven to be incapable of taking seriously this enquiry, cutting corners systematically in a shameful way that reveals a lot on how little the life of an Indigenous young woman is worth in a country built on the theft of Indigenous lands.
Indeed, that's what this case is about. The murder of Colten Boushie and of Tina Fontaine are deeply connected to the systemic racism suffered by indigenous peoples at the hands of a white supremacist state. Colten Boushie and Tina Fontaine are 2 lifes taken by the genocide of the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis in Canada. Along with them are the thousands of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls, women raped and abused by police in Val d'Or, Regina, and elsewhere in the country. Part of this genocide includes the much lower life expectancy at birth for Indigenous peoples, a higher infant mortality rate, and an incarceration rate at 20 times higher than the rest of the population of Canada.

For centuries, with colonialism and imperialism, First Nations, Inuit and Métis territories are still under the control of large corporations and mining, oil, gas and forest monopolies. They do not hesitate to use the most racist rhetoric to ensure their control over these territories and prevent lands from being claimed by Indigenous peoples. They continue to extract resources on Indigenous lands despite massive local resistance and public outcry.

The YCL-LJC stands in full solidarity with the indigenous resistance, that of Idle No More and the occupations of the branches of the Department of Indian Affairs in 2016; and in the continued defense of their lands against resource extraction companies, and that of the missing and murdered indigenous women who, since the 1980s, are demanding justice.

As young communists, we are not among those who are moved by the strategic tears shed by Justin Trudeau, while he continues to enact policies that further perpetuate colonialism and resource extraction on Indigenous lands. We will not believe in the sincerity of the Liberal Prime Minister when he has betrayed virtually all his promises made to Indigenous peoples, remained idle as Indigenous peoples continue to go without clean water, and dismissed sharp criticisms by Indigenous women's associations about the shortcomings of the inquiry Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls .

The Boushie and Fontaine affairs, like many others, once again prove that for Indigenous youth, systemic racism, national oppression, the legacy of genocidal and colonialist policies are not a thing of the past, but are ongoing to this day. As Young Communists, we believe that the struggles of Indigenous youth are part of larger struggles carried by young people in Canada and throughout the world against institutional racism. Institutionalized racism serves only the interests of the capitalist class of owners who use this division to better attack our environment, our resources and to prevent any form of united resistance. We are therefore fighting for the unity of the youth on the march to build a new world free of economic crises, wars and exploitation, a socialist world. This unity leading to socialism however will be possible when Indigenous people (First Nations, Inuit and Métis), along with the youth of other nations oppressed by Canada’s Constitution (Acadian and Québec youth), can freely determine their future. We continue to mobilize to ensure that we can resist big corporations and big oil and gas monopolies that perpetuate colonialist structures, for all young people in Canada and across the world.

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