We have received the following appeal for assistance and are posting it so that others may be aware of this controversy. We have deleted some sections of the letter that repeat accusations of misconduct and criminal activity that are currently the subject of a lawsuit against Kevin Annett and others. For further details, contact Kevin Annett directly at the e-mail address at the end of this message.
An Appeal from A Soon-To-Be Prisoner of Conscience ??????????? in British Columbia, Canada
"I am writing this personal appeal to the world because by August, I may be incarcerated in prison for having exercised my God-given and constitutionally protected freedom of speech in Canada.
In my work as an advocate and fighter for the rights of aboriginal people, I have discovered that an American conglomerate known as NAWAPA - The North American Water and Power Alliance - is coveting the lands of native people in central British Columbia, with the assistance of corrupt and violent native politicians and the government of Canada.
NAWAPA plans to dam and divert three major river systems in our province into the United States through a massive water reservoir known as the Rocky Mountain Trench. (see website: http://www.sd83.bc.ca/vanj-home.html) ?As a result, the lands of thousands of indigenous people in north-central British Columbia will be flooded and their way of life destroyed forever.
Some of the most powerful native politicians in this region are dispossessing their own people from their lands to pave the way for the NAWAPA project...."
"One of the accused chiefs [name witheld] BR>commenced a lawsuit against [two native activists], myself, and other critics, to permanently silence and incarcerate us if we persist in our investigation of crimes against aboriginal people in his territory...."
"There can be no clearer case than this one of a modern state employing puppet indigenous leaders to dispossess entire peoples in the interests of foreign multinational corporations. Nor can there be a more obvious example of a government attacking and silencing dissidents than what myself and native activists [...]are presently up against.
Besides this lawsuit, we are experiencing regular death threats, physical assaults, and other harrassment designed to isolate and break us.
We need all persons of conscience to rally now to our defense, and to the aboriginal people of central British Columbia."
Annett then suggest that people
1. Contact Amnesty International and other human rights groups and adopt Annett and the other two defendants as prisoners of conscience,
2. Write the government of Canada and prime minister and demand that harassment of the defendants end;
3. Contact the legal firm prosecuting the case against Annett and demand that they halt their lawsuit and harrassment (contact Annett for details);
4. Acquaint themselves with the past and present legal Genocide of native peoples in our country by accessing and sharing the documented proof of these crimes at the website of the Truth Commission:
5. Contribute to a Legal Defense Fund which is being established through the Truth Commission into Genocide in Canada and other agencies.
6. Contact Kevin Annett directly at the e-mail below for further ideas and assistance.
"I wish to thank you for your consideration, and ask for your prayers; not only for myself and my family, but for all of the aboriginal people of our land who face overwhelming odds in defense of their land, culture and very lives.
May the Creator and Great Mystery allow us Justice in our time,
Rev. Kevin D. Annett 4 July, 2002 Vancouver, BC, Canada