Oka - Iskra

In March 1990 at Kanesatake
An absence of justice for the Mohawk people
Forced the hand of a peaceful community
To raise their fists in angry defiance

plan for progress by the township of Oka
Its mayor and council approved destruction of first nation's land
A plot hatched in secret in the 1950's
and the area was taken without restitution

A barricade was raised on the roadway by the first nation's people of Kanesatake
To halt the construction crews who intended to destroy their sacred lands
For the expansion of an existing golf course reserved for the privileged
A grotesque misuse of illegally obtained land

There was no due process in negotiations
The community's pleas were ignored
An order to cease and desist blocking construction
Was met by their unified refusal

The businesses and politicians of Oka
Cried for police intervention
Racists across the country protested
and demanded police intervention

so the barricade was approached and watched by officers
Called from surrounding areas in Quebec
They blocked food and supplies to the entire town
But the people of Kanesatake had reinforcements of their own
Members of a militant resistance group called the Warriors joined their cause
And brought weapons, trained soldiers and fierce determination

The town's plight inspired cooperation
Food was smuggled to them by the Micmac
Solidarity with the first nations was evident across the country
500 protestors rallied at St. Paul in support
1000 people gathered at a park near Kanesatake to bolster morale
At the first sign of light on July 11th

The signal was sent and the police advanced
They fired weapons and launched smoke grenades
In a display of aggression to disband the resisters

4400 or more officers
2629 of them were troops
1144 military vehicles
Surrounded the community of Kahnasatake

On Sept. 1 without warning the police and military overran the barricade
The protestors mobilized to stop them and rioting ensued
Open fighting on the street with military, police and soldiers
Put an end to the barricade but far from ended this dispute

The remaining protestors retreated to a treatment center
Eventually the last protestors would be subdued
The Warriors escaped under radar in planes to fight another day
And so the military finally withdrew

But still many people were arrested in the aftermath We must not forget so their justice is served too

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