Thursday, June 30, 2011

To Read - Every Mohawk is a Suspect: Police Raids

In this article Dan David writes about the impact of police raids on Quebec Indigenous communities, stating, "To them [the police], this is a problem community that they wish would just go away. As a result, they don’t get involved in working with the community toward long-term solutions, and instead use short-term thinking and flashy, expensive, and ultimately useless raids over and over again. It’s progress in reverse."
David highlights the obvious strategic differences used when carrying out police raids in Indigenous and non-Indigenous areas (high-volume police takeover of an entire community versus carefully planned and executed raid on a few key houses).  He also discusses the stonewalling Mohawk people experience when trying to work with the Band Council and Police.  "The massive raids are merely a symptom of more fundamental problems that don’t or shouldn’t involve the police except as a partner with Mohawks in the community. Policing that doesn’t involve the community, that doesn’t reflect the will of the majority of people, just won’t work. It never has and never will—anywhere."   
I found this article on Jessica Yee's Facebook page.  Right now I am reading her book, Feminism For Real: Deconstructing the Academic Industrial Complex of Feminism.  David (and Yee, I think) is writing about a very important phenomenon - US (read: White, middle and upper-class folk) speaking for and about Indigenous people in this country (and others).  What Yee's book and David's article are saying is that Indigenous people need to speak for themselves, as they have being doing for generations and generations before we came around to mess things up.  This systemic practice has real consequences, like needless police raids that only help to disrupt and further stereotype communities.  David writes, "Federal and provincial officials have attended community meetings where speaker after speaker demanded to know why their governments were prepared to spend millions treating them like criminals but nothing to identify and address the root issues that provide the perfect environment for such behaviour."  
In essence - quit reading what I have to say and check out David's article here!

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