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Algonquin of Barriere Lake Supporters Block Queen Street

Barriere Lake Supporters at Quebec Officesphoto credit: John BonnarTORONTO (Friday, 21 November 2008) - Some 40 supporters of the Barriere Lake Solidarity Committee in Toronto, blocked Queen Street West at noon today for nearly 30 minutes in an act of solidarity with the community of Barriere Lake in Quebec. During the blockade, leaflets were handed out explaining the current situation in the community. The action was held in front of the building that houses Quebec's representative office in Toronto, the "Bureau du Québec à Toronto."

After blocking the street for about 30 minutes, the supporters moved to deliver a letter to Paul-Arthur Huot, the head of the Quebec Office in Toronto. As Lawrence Angeconeb, a Barriere Lake Solidarity supporter explains: "We did this to raise awareness about the situation at Barriere Lake and to highlight how the people there are being repressed by the SQ. We are especially angered by the lack of response to the demands by the community that there be a government resolution to agreements already signed. We delivered a letter to the Quebec Office in Toronto in order to outline our disappointment with the way things have been handled. We want to keep pressure on the Quebec and Canadian governments to adhere to the agreements they've already signed."

Barriere Lake Supporters Block Queen StreetThe Barriere Lake Solidarity Committee is protesting the recent renewal of heavy-handed repression by the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) against the residents of Barriere Lake. Earlier this week the SQ deployed riot police to take down community barricades that had been established on Highway 117, using excessive force. The attacks were followed with the targeted arrest of Acting Chief Benjamin Nottaway and community youth spokesperson Marylynn Poucachiche, a mother of five and organizer of the community school, in addition to four other individuals (2 of whom still remain in detention).

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Call For Support

Dear Supporters,

As many of you already know, the Algonquins of Barriere Lake blockaded Highway 117 on Wednesday, November 19th in another attempt to capture Quebec and Canada's attention to demand that the governments honour signed resource co-management agreements and appoint an observer to witness a re-selection process for Chief and Council under their Customary Governance Code.

While the last blockade featured police tactics including tear gas and pain compliance, this time SQ and riot police targeted community leaders and spokespeople for arrest. Acting Chief Benjamin Nottaway was among the 5 community members arrested, as was Marylynn Poucachiche, youth spokesperson, mother of five, and organizer of the community school.

There is now an URGENT NEED FOR FINANCIAL SUPPOURT in the community for legal fees. In particular, a bail hearing next week may cost the community up to $1000 or more. In the coming months, the legal fees will continue to mount as politically targeted community members will incur long legal bills. Please donate through the supporter website ( or contact the Toronto support group through this email address to find out other ways to make donations.