OTTAWA – New Democrat MP Charlie Angus, who represents the James Bay Timmins Riding in Northern Ontario has issued a statement on the situation in Standing Rock:
As spokesman for the New Democratic Party on Indigenous rights, I am growing increasingly concerned about the escalation of state violence against the protesters at Standing Rock. I urge federal, state and industry officials to pull back rather than risk people being seriously hurt.
The right of Indigenous people to be at the table when decisions are being made that affect their lands must be a cornerstone principle of development in the 21st century. As a legislator I feel compelled as the right to peaceful protest is a cornerstone principle of democracy.
Today the world is watching the people holding firm at Standing Rock. I urge the protesters to stay strong in a spirit of peaceful resistance. Through-out history whether the women’s movement, the Civil Rights movement or the LGBTQ movement, progress has been driven by people, especially youth, willing to face arrest in the non-violent pursuit of positive change.
I am calling on the Liberal government to share their concerns with the United States government and with industry and ask them to ensure the peaceful right to protest is protected.