Settler-Colonialism Cannot Be Reformed: on the injustice for Tina Fontaine

The following is a statement from party forces in Manitoba…

Over a week has passed since the trial of Raymond Cormier for the murder of Tina Fontaine. The outcome of the trial was one that brought us deep sadness and rage, but unfortunately it was no surprise. In the week that has passed lots has gone on. Marches were hosted across the country in protest, camps were set up to generate further action, and the masses have been in dialogue voicing their frustrations with everything from the media, to Child and Family Services, to the legal system. This trial occurred shortly after Gerald Stanley was cleared of charges in his murder of Colten Boushie.

The realization is clear in all of our minds that the systems which rule Canada, which create the state of Canada, has no regard for the lives of Indigenous people. We see these rulings as the result of the state’s blatant racism, and settler-colonialism. In Tina Fontaine’s murderer’s trial, this was not simply a failure on the part of the jury. The lack of investigation, lack of evidence presented, the framing of issues in a manner to blame the victim, and all aspects of the trial worked together to allow another Indigenous girl to be murdered with no consequences.

We cannot and will not see these murders as the “failures” of systems. The Canadian legal system, the police force, the courts and laws, CFS, the popular media, all of these systems are working together as planned. They are working to displace Indigenous people, to steal land, destroy culture, and murder. They work to serve systems of colonialism and capitalism, which in turn serve a ruling class. These systems have existed for hundreds of years, and have been resisted for hundreds of years. As their power and violence only continue to grow, so must our resistance.

We must take some conclusions from these recent events:

• The courts and legal systems work against Indigenous people as well as the masses in general. We cannot be deceived into thinking our participation and legitimizing of these states will help us. We must aim to destroy the tools of this old capitalist colonial society, and build our new society.

• Similarly, we cannot aim to reconcile with pigs – the police force. They are the armed wing of the legal system, which means they are the armed wing of the ruling class. Trying to reconcile with their brutality is to try to get along with a system that legalizes the murder of Indigenous people, and makes the existence of Indigenous people and Indigenous self-determination illegal.

• We must conclude that colonialism is alive and well today, and that it is inherent to this capitalist state. The displacement, stealing of children, and murder has not stopped. We will never be able to tame colonialism, or reform it away within the colonial system itself. We must smash the system, and to do this we must smash the state.

• We must build a united front of revolutionaries from all exploited and oppressed aspects of society, and this must be an anti-colonial front as well. Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike can work together to tear down the old society and build alternatives.

We take these conclusions so that we can put an end injustices faced by those like Tina Fontaine, Colten Boushie, and so many others. We build the revolution so that this may never happen again.