Direct action by land defenders in Labrador has made a breakthrough in mitigating the harm done by Muskrat Falls dam in Labrador. Completion of the project was set to raise the level of methylmercury in the wild food supply along the Lake Melville Estuary due to cutting corners in the multi-billion dollar project.
Several communities depend on that waterway for their food. Methylmercury is produced when a site isn’t properly prepared for flooding, and once it gets into the food supply it’s toxic.
Activists at the site occupied the site and halted the dangerous project. Jerry Kohlmeister, Delilah Saunders, and Billy Gauthier went on hunger strike to get the provincial and federal governments to require that the flooding be done in a safer way. The hunger strikers went to Ottawa October 23 and 24 to raise awareness and solidarity. CUPW members – who were in Ottawa for the Rise Up! Human rights conference – met them at a rally and offered support (pictured).
Yesterday, October 26, the activists and the Newfoundland and Labrador government reached a deal to mitigate the environmental contamination and protect the downstream food supply. It’s a success for direct action and for labour solidarity with the hunger strikers. But the story isn’t over.
You can follow the resolution on twitter using the hashtag #MakeMuskratRight and in the news. Please continue to support struggles to defend the land. This is just one example of how to resist ongoing Canadian colonialism, and to fight for respect for Indigenous peoples and due title to the lands.