Justice for Frank Paul!
By Kerri Goodwin
On May 8, 2008 over 90 people joined the Indigenous Action Movement who organized a rally for the late Frank Paul at the Vancouver Detox center in the back ally where they found his lifeless frozen body. Frank Paul was a 47-year old Miqmac man from New Brunswick who was living on the streets of the Downtown Eastside. He was left to die in the alley by the hands Vancouver Police on cold winter of December 6, 1998
The event started with opening words and welcome from Kat Norris, who is a long time social justice activist and organizer with the Indigenous Action Movement in Vancouver MC’d the this powerful event.
The first to speak was the Grand Chief of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, Stewart Philip spoke generally about the issues that Indigenous nations face and that they are constantly under attack by the government of Canada.
The guest speaker Henry Augustine a Mikmaq elder from New Brunswick conducted the cross over ceremony started off with powerful drum song. He spoke fiercely towards the crowd about violence that is constantly underway and often even death. He instructed the crowd to place a yellow ribbon that represents the memory of a loved one, during this ceremony the beat of the drum filled the heart of the people as they tied their memory of their lost one. Henry shared heart filled stories about the man that he once knew. He said “Frank Paul was a man of dreams, he wanted to move to the west coast”, “I never thought he would end up like this.”
After Henry spoke more speakers from the Indigenous Community spoke after those powerful words. The rally ended by gathering at the downtown eastside women’s center where the Indigenous Rights and Action Movement served a delicious meal to the streets of the downtown east side.
The Indigenous Rights and Action Project (IRAP) and Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO) stands in solidarity for the fight for self-determination for Indigenous Nations and for justice for Frank Paul.
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