portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting global

indigenous issues

Free John Graham!

"Why don't they like us" the colonials whine
March 26 - Free John Graham!

Check out Free John Graham image by Angela Sterritt, Gitxsan Nation at:

In honour of Anna Mae's birthday (March 27, 1945) and part of a
series of events to commemorate March 21 International Day for the
Elimination of Racism...

A public forum on the extradition of John Graham and the struggle for
indigenous self determination against colonization, corporate control, and
state repression...

Wednesday March 26 @ 7 pm
Room 7000, SFU Harbour Centre
515 West Hastings (Waterfront Skytrain Station)
Vancouver, B.C. Canada

BY DONATION. Suggested Donation $5-20 (no one turned away).
All proceeds go to John Graham Legal Defence Fund as there are significant
upcoming legal costs.

Hosted and Opening talk by REX WEYLER: Rex Weyler is a highly
acclaimed journalist, writer, and ecologist.

He cofounded Greenpeace International and co-founded Hollyhock Educational
Centre. His 1997 book "Blood of the Land: Government and Corporate War
Against First Nations" chronicles Indigenous history and received a
Pulitzer-prize nomination. He also authored "Greenpeace: The Inside
Story" and "Song of the Whale". His photographs and essays have appeared
in numerous publications including the New York Times.

CHUSIA AND NANEEK GRAHAM: John Graham's daughters who are leading the campaign for truth and justice for their father.

They will be speaking about how this struggle has personally affected
their lives and their commitment to follow in their father's footsteps for
political, economic, and social justice.

MIKE GIFFORD (supporter of John Graham and independent researcher) on
uranium mining and resource extraction and its impact on indigenous

John Graham was involved in struggles against uranium mining both in the
US and Canada. These struggles continue today, most recently with
imprisonment of retired Chief Robert Lovelace of the Ardoch Algonquins,
who along with the Sharbot Obaadjiwan, have been blocking Frontenac
Ventures from uranium exploratory drilling. In unceded British Columbia-
eighth highest mineral potential in the world- mining and resort
development (particularly leading upto 2010 Olympics) are continuing at an
alarming rate; yet indigenous communities are taking courageous stands
against ongoing colonial exploitation and corporate devastation to protect
the land.

BILLIE PIERRE (Nlaka'Pamux/Saulteaux, documentary film-maker,
researcher/writer, and Native Youth Movement activist since 1995) on the
history of the American Indian Movement and state repression against AIM.

For example, between 1973-75, an estimated 67 AIM members were killed in
South Dakota by Bureau of Indian Affairs police and a paramilitary squad.
The FBI also targeted AIM with a counter-intelligence campaign
COINTEL-PRO, aimed at disrupting dissident political organizations and
also targeted the Black Panther Party, Martin Luther King, socialist
groups, and the anti-Vietnam War movement. Despite FBI claims that it no
longer undertakes COINTELPRO activities (after a major official
investigation); COINTEL-PRO-type activities continue today including
through Anti-Terror legislation and diverse security and surveillance

LYN HIGHWAY (Anishnabe Nation) on supporting John Graham as a
political prisoner/prisoner of war.

John Graham's case is being portrayed as 'an individual criminal act', yet
it operates within a larger context of political repression. Similar to
cases such as Leonard Peltier and other political prisoners around the
world, the criminalization and demonization of John Graham is an attempt
to deny the fundamentally political nature of the imprisonment and obscure
the social and political movements that political prisoners represent.

AND.... reading of a recent letter from Leonard Peltier on his
imprisonment and the case of John Graham by DR. JENNIFER WADE: retired UBC Professor, founder of Vancouver branch of Amnesty International, and
long-time support of Peltier and Graham.

John Graham is a Southern Tutchone from the Yukon Territory. He is
currently imprisoned at the Pennington County Jail in Rapid City, South
Dakota, and his trial date has been set for June 17, 2008. John Graham was
arrested in Vancouver in December 2003, and after a prolonged legal battle
including leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, he was
extradited to South Dakota in December 2007. The allegations against John
are of murdering fellow AIM member and Nova Scotia Mikmaq Anna Mae Pictou in 1975. John Graham denies he killed Anna Mae.

In the mid-1970s, AIM was carrying out armed stand-offs in defense of the
land including the 1973 standoff at Wounded Knee in South Dakota. As a
result, AIM was the one of the primary targets of the COINTELPRO
counter-intelligence program aimed to weaken, confuse, and arouse
suspicion amongst AIM members. At different times, Anna Mae Pictou Aquash,Leonard Peltier and John Graham all said they were offered their freedom if they collaborated with the FBI against other AIM members; they all
refused. On the killing of Anna Mae, former FBI regional director Norm
Zagrossi has himself stated it "looked like a cover-up". Ellen Klaver, a
journalist in Colorado who has followed the story for three decades, has
observed that, "Whoever was involved, the FBI was the
architect"; Both the B.C. Supreme Court extradition judge and the B.C.
appeal court ruled there were deficiencies in the record of the case given
to the courts by U.S. officials.

However the 1999 Extradition Treaty between the United States and Canada
lowers the burden of proof to include hearsay evidence, which would not be
admitted in a Canadian criminal court. Graham and his lawyers have stated
they would welcome a trial in Canada, where the fake evidence could be
exposed. A key witness Arlo-Looking Cloud recanted his testimony stating
that he was coerced and under the influence of alcohol. Another
prosecution witness Kamook Banks admitted she was paid $43,000 to
cooperate with the FBI.

Graham has received support from a wide range of organizations including
Canadian Labour Congress, Native Youth Movement, Chief Capilano of the
Squamish Nation, BC Teachers for Peace and Global Education, BC Hospital
Employees Union, Stopwar.ca, Council of Yukon First Nations, BC Federation
of Labour. Amnesty International has also stated their concern about the
lack of a fair trial, given the clear parallels to Leonard Peltier.
Peltier was extradited from Vancouver in 1976; now widely known on false
evidence. In 1979 former US solicitor general Warren Allmand acknowledged
this and formally "apologized", yet he remains behind bars as one of the
most well-known political prisoners of our time.

The US government, with Canadian government complicity and cooperation, is
intent on repressing the last remnants of AIM. Graham's current legal
struggle reflects the political repression faced by Indigenous people who
struggle against state and corporate control over Native lands and
resources and reflects the ongoing reality of the Indian Wars.

Organized by John Graham Support. For more information contact
 grahamdefense@hotmail.com or call 604 418 0279


Trailer of Documentary "Our Sacred History and White Man Lies":

Interview with John Graham:

Vancouver Sun: Who killed Anna Mae?

COINTELPRO's long shadow- The importance of the John Graham case:

The Anna Mae Pictou-Aquash Story:

The Case of John Graham:

Canadian Dimension: The Hauntings of Colonialism:

The Tyee: Delivering Framed John Graham

Common Ground: BC Supreme Court set to decide Graham's extradition
fate  http://commonground.ca/iss/0709194/cg194_graham.shtml

Georgia Straight Article:
 link to www.straight.com

Aboriginal Title and International Law: The Occupation of BC, Iraq, the
West Bank, and the Extradition Cases of Sittting Bull, Leonard Peltier,
James Pitawanakwat, and John Graham by Anthony Hall, University of