About the Grand River Country Documentary: A Case for Sovereignty

About the Grand River Country Documentary: Iroquois Wars of National Liberation

“National liberation movements are not the activities of small groups of isolated individuals, though state authorities opposed to them frequently describe them as such for propaganda purposes. They are the struggle of rebellious nations against foreign invaders .. To defend their nations from being annihilated, many peoples have taken up arms and engaged in wars of national liberation. To understand armed national liberation movements, it is necessary to strip away the camouflage terms and explanations that states use to hide their true nature… Instead of identifying them as patriots or freedom fighters battling oppression and injustice and seeking the liberation of their people, they usually refer to them as “terrorists.” Every nation people that has resisted state domination or invasion has been accused of being terrorists. But armed national self-preservation or self-defense is not “terrorism” or “banditry”. ” [Application of International Humanitarian Law to Wars of National Liberation – Noelle Higgins, April 2004]

What is sovereign independence?

Independence. A state of perfect irresponsibility to any superior. Independence may be divided into political and natural independence. By the former is to be understood that we have contracted no tie except those which flow from the three great natural rights of safety, liberty and property. The latter consists in the power of being able to enjoy a permanent well-being, whatever may be the disposition of those from whom we call ourselves independent. In that sense a nation may be independent with regard to most people, but nit independent of the whole world. Vide on of Independence.

SOVEREIGNTY. The union and exercise of all human power possessed in a state; it is a combination of all power; it is the power to do everything in a state without accountability; to make laws, to execute and to apply them: to impose and collect taxes, and, levy, contributions; to make war or peace; to form treaties of alliance or of commerce with foreign nations, and the like. Story on the Const. §207.

  1. Abstractedly, sovereignty resides in the body of the nation and belongs to the people. But these powers are generally exercised by delegation.
  2. When analyzed, sovereignty is naturally divided into three great powers; namely, the legislative, the executive, and the judiciary; the first is the power to make new laws, and to correct and repeal the old; the second is the power to execute the laws both at home and abroad; and the last is the power to apply the laws to particular facts; to judge the disputes which arise among the citizens, and to punish crimes.
  3. Strictly speaking, in our republican forms of government, the absolute sovereignty of the nation is in the people of the nation; (q. v.) and the residuary sovereignty of each state, not granted to any of its public functionaries, is in the people of the state. (q. v.) 2 Dall. 471; and vide, generally, 2 Dall. 433, 455; 3 Dall. 93; 1 Story, Const. §208; 1 Toull. n. 20 Merl. Reper. h. t.

The Doctrine of Micro Sovereignty

“Micro sovereignty is not ‘possessive individualism”. It exists for an individual or a consenting group of individuals to enable them to have a status separate and distinct from the majority state. The concept is not a chaotic autocracy. On the contrary, tranquillitas ordinis prevails as micro sovereignty is an internal legal order of a landlocked micro state in statu nascendi which is disjoined from the majority state. It is not an international proletariat or a government in exile. It is not Buntist, consociationalist, experimentalist, subvertist, fundamentalist, socialist, fascist, terrorist, communist, sub state nationalist libertarian or a radical anarchy. Nor is it satisfactory to ‘box’ micro sovereignism into an ejusden generis extension of anarchic, Marxist, exilarchic or libertarian thought. The doctrine of micro sovereignty entails a comprehensive and unilateral separation from a [collective] state in reliance on the jus cogens right to self-determination.”

“Micro sovereignty, I argue, is a transcendent, separate, unique and extant category of fractalist legal thought unto itself of a sui generis nature premised on isolationism, neutrality and the equanimity of temporal sovereignty. It is composed of seven elements. (i) Human Rights4 (ii) Right to self-determination, (iii) Sovereign rights (iiii) Territorial integrity of land on the earth’s surface acquired by devolution, secession, gift, long possession or preclusion, (v) equality (vi) jurisdiction (vii) international personality. Micro sovereignty is a doctrine5 for individuals and groups of individuals. Both rights of the human individual, (human rights) and the right to self-determination are the two basic components necessary to construct micro sovereignty from the said 7 elements that establish micro sovereignty proper.”

“Official position of the Sovereign Autonomy of the State of New Island whose creator was recognized as a sovereign head of state by a judgment of the Regional Court in Krakow on 28th December 2010 under ref: Ko 451/10 in relation to the issue of List Zelazny (iron letter) letter of safe conduct. That judgment was upheld by the Court of Appeal in Krakow on 14th April 2011 under ref: II AKz/110/11 where it was maintained in obiter that the author is a head of State.”

So what that established in international law if it had not been established elsewhere, is that a micro sovereign state is actually existent under the general principals of natural law and the creator if the micro nations state is sovereign under that domain.

“Since contemporary understanding of self-determination revolves on cultural and political freedom, that freedom must inevitably include a right of disjunction, dissociation48 and dis-association by oppressed persons from the majority state. In that sense, micro sovereignty can be equated to a brand of devolutionary Zionism for it requires the realization of an independent, sovereign homeland for individuals in the post human era.”

International Law and Convention

Many Third World peoples found that after “independence” they had simply traded one set of oppressors (white) for another (brown and black). The result is that today many Third World states, most of them the direct or indirect result of national liberation wars themselves, are now fighting against national liberation movements within their borders. Good examples in this part of the world include Indonesia (fighting national liberation movements in East Timor, West Papua, and Aceh province) and Papua New Guinea (fighting a national liberation movement in Bougainville).

Imperialism and colonialism are not gone; similar processes are still going on today all over the world, particularly the Third World. “Neocolonialism”, Third World colonialism, and “internal colonialism” are the new forms of imperialism, domination, and exploitation characteristic of national politics and international relations. As anthropologist Kathleen Gough has pointed out Capitalist imperialism is still flourishing and “as bloody and cruel as it ever was” (Gough 1990:1707):

“It operates especially through the support, often covert, of governments which favour the interests of the US capitalist class, and through the extraction of economic surplus from the dominated countries by such means as withdrawal of profits, unequal trade, and especially recently, foreign debt” (Gough 1990:1705)

Similarly, Noam Chomsky (1993), in his history of colonialism and imperialism over the past five centuries, concludes that they are just as alive and well today in the so-called “New World Order” as they ever were in the past. For this reason, some argue that it is more accurate to refer to the post-World War Two period as the era of “recolonisation” rather than “decolonisation”.

Modern national liberation movements are basically the result of the spread of world capitalism, which has established a global pattern of social stratification between the “haves” and “have nots.” The spread of the capitalist market-place has created a world where the lives of uncounted millions of people are characterised by oppression, exploitation, violence, and injustice. The result of this is that many of these people have been forced to seek some form of defense against these experiences, and national liberation movements are one very important form of such defensive reaction.

They are born out of popular discontent, and emerge over long periods of time not only to combat oppressive conditions but simultaneously to express aspirations for a different and more just society. In general, national liberation movements seek self-determination. They want to control their own affairs and destiny – economically, politically, socially, and culturally. They seek this in the form of either greater regional autonomy from a strong central government, or outright secession and the establishment of their own new and independent state or country. Usually, they begin by seeking only greater autonomy, but are then driven into becoming full-scale independence movements by intransigent oppressive governments.

Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, World Conference on Human Rights 14-25 June 1993 (UN General Assembly) A/CONF.157/23 Art.2: “All people have a right to self-determination”.

Article 1, 3 and 4 inclusive with Preamble of the United Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous (UNGR) A/RES 61/295 2 October 2007 applies to all People not just indigenous people on the basis that indigenous people are equal to all other people.

Preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948: “Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.” Article 1 States that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” Article 15 States that “Everyone has the right to a nationality. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.”

UNGA Res 1514 (XV), Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and People: “…respect for the sovereign rights of all people and their territorial integrity. (1) The subjugation of peoples to alien subjugation domination and exploitation constitutes a denial of fundamental human rights, is contrary to the Charter of the UN and is an impediment to the promotion of World Peace and co-operation. […] The internal affairs of all peoples of all states and respect for the sovereign rights of all peoples and their territorial integrity.”

UNGA Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on the Report of the Third Committee (A/59/502). Universal Realization of the Right of the Peoples to Self Determination A/RES/59/180 of 20th December 2004 [Welcomes]: “…the progressive exercise of the right to self-determination by people under colonial, foreign or alien occupation and their emergence into sovereign statehood and independence.”

General Assembly, twenty fifth Session, Resolution 2625 (XXV), Declaration on the principal of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among states in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations 1970: “…the establishment of the sovereign and independent state, and the free association or integration with and independent state or the emergence onto and other political status freely determined by the people constitute modes of implementing the right of self-determination by that people.”

Un Doc A/Res/59/178, 74th plenary meeting, 20th December 2004: “…condemning any state permitted … fighting against national liberation movements.”

UNGA Res 3201 (XXIX) UN Year Book, 1974, 402: “No state may use or encourage the use of economic, political or any type of measure to coerce another state in order to obtain from it the subordination of the exercise of its sovereign rights”.

Meaning, Force and violence cannot be used to subjugate a free people declaring Independence by asserting their so called authority.

United Nations declarations on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples A/RES/61/295 [2007] (not “more equal to”, “less” equal to [or] “than all” but “equal [within the definition of equivalent] to all other peoples.”

Meaning there is no get out clause every type of people or peoples is covered by this this. This is not a granting of rights to Indigenous people, this is recognition of those rights. Because these rights arise from natural law, not the positive law of mankind.

Objective of Uti Possidetis in Roman law was to preclude disturbing an existing state of possession of immovable property in a dispute over possession between two individuals. Whilst the maxim affirmed the right of the possessor to remain in possession, that right was only temporary and provisional and thus uti possidetis did not confer permanent rights to the occupier. Thereby comporting the doctrine into International law also introduces non permanence.

The crime of “genocide” defined in International law

Article II:  In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: (a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Article III:  The following acts shall be punishable: (a) Genocide; (b) Conspiracy to commit genocide; (c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide; (d) Attempt to commit genocide; (e) Complicity in genocide.

It is a crime to plan or incite genocide, even before killing starts, and to aid or abet genocide: Criminal acts include conspiracy, direct and public incitement, attempts to commit genocide, and complicity in genocide.

Punishable Acts The following are genocidal acts when committed as part of a policy to destroy a group’s existence:

The law protects four groups – national, ethnical, racial or religious groups.

  1. A national group means a set of individuals whose identity is defined by a common country of nationality or national origin.
  2. An ethnical group is a set of individuals whose identity is defined by common cultural traditions, language or heritage.
  3. A racial group means a set of individuals whose identity is defined by physical characteristics.
  4. A religious group is a set of individuals whose identity is defined by common religious creeds, beliefs, doctrines, practices, or rituals.

Key Terms

The crime of genocide has two elements: intent and action. “Intentional” means purposeful. Intent can be proven directly from statements or orders. But more often, it must be inferred from a systematic pattern of coordinated acts.

Intent is different from motive. Whatever may be the motive for the crime (land expropriation, national security, territorrial integrity, etc.), if the perpetrators commit acts intended to destroy a group, even part of a group, it is genocide.

The phrase “in whole or in part” is important. Perpetrators need not intend to destroy the entire group. Destruction of only part of a group (such as its educated members, or members living in one region) is also genocide. Most authorities require intent to destroy a substantial number of group members – mass murder. But an individual criminal may be guilty of genocide even if he kills only one person, so long as he knew he was participating in a larger plan to destroy the group.

Universal Jurisdiction for Genocide

Article 15 Part II (Succession in Respect of Part of Part of territory) Vienna Convention on Succession of States in respect of Treaties 1978. (also see Art. 35 of the same) The Convention does not distinguish cases of separation, devolution, secession, outright gift of land, right to buy an Island, transfer of territory or dissolution. Devolution being ‘by agreement of’ as a form of consent whereas secession is contentious.

Spinoza, Benedict de – A Theologico – Political Treatise, The Chief Works of Benedict De Spinoza 200 (R. Elwes trans. 1887) “It follows that every individual has sovereign right to do all that he can; in other words, the rights of an individual extend to the uttermost limits of his power”.

The doctrine of Common law gives one rights in the land of another [Jus in terra aliena]. It is no different from a right in the property of another [Jus in re aliena] because long possession creates rights [Longa possession parit jus] and long possession produces the right of possession and takes away from the true owner his action [Longa possession parit jus Possidendi, et tollit actionem vero domino]. This is further reinforced by the notation of Johannes Faber, a French jurist in the early fourteenth century who noted in Breviarium in Codicem C.I.1.1, No.2 that: “…Whoever possessed a limited territory for a long time (‘ab antiquo’) was established there by right and possessed the same powers as the emperor.”

The Development of the Medieval Idea of Sovereignty, Walter Ullmann, The English Historical Review, Vol. 64, No. 250 (Jan. 1949) pp 1-33, Oxford University Press. (Also see Crawford Creation of States in International law (Oxford) 2006 p.266 “it is true, the word ‘occupation’ was used in a non-technical sense denoting simply acquisition of sovereignty’.”

“The United Kingdom has accepted legal obligations it has under Article 1 of the ICCPR to protect the right of Self-determination, both in its dependent territories and within its own borders”. Robert McCorquodale, the Right of Self Determination in David Harris and Sarah Joseph (Ed) The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and United Kingdom law, Clarendon Press, Oxford 1995 pp 91-119

Today, most books about global conflicts and the media in general use the terms state, nation, and nation-state interchangeably, and this has confused the issue greatly. Nations are geographically bounded territories of a common people. A nation is a self-defined group who see themselves as “one people” on the basis of common ancestry, history, society, institutions, ideology, language, territory, and (often) religion.

The existence of nations is ancient – that is, there have always been “nations” for as long as there have been human beings – and today there are somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 nations or distinct peoples or cultures in the world (Nietschmann 1987:1). As opposed to nations, states are relatively knew in human history. They are centralized political systems recognised by other states, that use a civilian and military bureaucracy to enforce one set of institutions, laws and sometimes culture (e.g. language and religion) within their claimed boundaries.

The thousands of nation peoples of the world are organized into the fewer than 180 states or countries represented in the United Nations. More than 95% of these states are multinational – that is, composed of many nations or distinct peoples, many of whom do not consent to being absorbed and governed by an imposed central government in the hands of a different people. That this is so, and how it came about historically, goes a long way to explain the phenomenon of national liberation movements.

No directory, atlas or encyclopedia lists or describes all or even most of the peoples of the world, and almost no state refers to them as nations; they prefer to call them “ethnic groups”, “minorities”, or “tribals.” These terms substitute state-related, non-people identification for the actual names that nation peoples call themselves and their territories (Nietschmann 1987). This is because nations are “candidates for statehood” – that is, each of them could, theoretically and by right, seek independence and become their own independent state.

No nation people has ever voluntarily given up their national identity and national territory, and both the states we know today and those that preceded them are and were all created by war and conquest in the history of empires. One of the most important geopolitical facts of our times is that many hundreds of distinct peoples or nations in the world today live in states they do not consent to be part of because they are oppressed, exploited and treated unjustly in these states. Nonetheless, governments invariably assert that their state is made up of one common people. This is frequently a political myth. As Benedict Anderson (1991) has shown, multi-national states are in fact “imagined communities.” The true “nation-state” – that is, a state that represents one single nation or people is, in fact, a distinct rarity.

All national liberation movements start out by seeking to achieve change peacefully through dialogue and persuasion. Almost without exception they find that this rout is foreclosed to them by those in power. When they turn to peaceful protest, it is often forcefully suppressed and they are jailed, tortured, and not infrequently massacred. They then take stock, and some begin to conclude that the only road to liberation, an end to their oppression, or any improvement in their situation, is armed struggle. Is isn’t that armed national liberation movements reject dialogue. Rather, they have found that it is only through armed struggle that one day real dialogue with the oppressor will be possible.

As long as the regime isn’t totally intransigent and there is the faintest real hope of progress – even very slow progress – through peaceful means, national liberation movements generally remain non-violent. But when the regime proves to be intransigent and oppressed people believe they have no effective peaceful means of achieving reforms or progress, then the stage is set for the emergence of armed struggle. The escalation to violence is therefore usually caused by unyielding regimes, and almost always it is the regime that strikes the first violent blow.

In 1984, the World Council of Indigenous Peoples issued the following statement on armed struggle:

Where there is no justice, there will be violence. We decry the need to resort to violence7. Those responsible for violence are not those who must resort to it as a last resort. The responsibility of violence rests upon the souls of those who deny justice. The resort to arms is justified, but only as a last resort, only after an appeal to reason is no longer available. But when a resort to arms becomes necessary, it should be done with pride and not with shame; it should be used with compassion and not with uncontrolled hate; it must be taken up always with a clear understanding that it is justified only for the sake of liberation of our people and not for the purpose of revenge or suppression of another person’s right to life and liberty and self-determination (cited in Burger 1987:59. Emphasis in original).

Liberation movements become militarized when they discover that all roads to peaceful progress towards either reform or independence are blocked, and particularly when the regime reacts to their demands, protests and demonstrations with physical repression. After that, armed struggle is almost inevitable. And given the relative forces on the two sides, armed struggle means a guerrilla or “peoples” war. Guerrilla warfare is the means by which a militarily weaker force can defeat a strong enemy (e.g. the Vietnam War).

Where can Independence be Declared?

UNGA Res 1514 (XV), Declaration of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, 947th plenary meeting, 12 December 1960: “Recognizing that the peoples of the world ardently desire the end of colonialism in all its manifestations [and…] The necessity of bringing to a speedy and unconditional end [to] colonialism in all its forms and manifestations.”

Adong bin Kuwau v kerajaan Negeri Johor [1997] 1 M1J 418, [1998] 2 MLJ 158 in the High Court of Malaysia, recognized that indigenous peoples have specific rights to their land and affirmed that:  ‘native title’ is the right of the natives to live on their land.

3281 (XXIX) Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States, UN General Assembly – Twenty ninth Session: “Economics as well as political and other relations among States shall be governed, inter alia, by the following principals: (a) Sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of states; (b) Sovereign equality of all States; (c) Non-aggression; (d) Non-intervention; € Mutual and equitable benefit; (f) Peaceful coexistence; (g) Equal rights and self-determination of peoples; (h) Peaceful settlements of disputes; (i) Remedying of injustices which have been brought about by force and which deprive a nation of natural means necessary for its normal development; (j) Fulfilment in good faith of international obligations; (k) Respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms;  (l) No attempt to seek hegemony and spheres of influence; (m) Promotion of international social justice; (n) International co-operation for development; (o) Free access to and from the sea by land-locked countries within the framework to the above principals.”

Universal jurisdiction is the principle that certain crimes abhorrent are so heinous that every state is obliged to take legal proceedings without regard to where and when the crime was committed or the nationality of the perpetrators and victims. It applies to the most serious crimes under international law. Slavery is listed as one of several jus cogens crimes. It necessarily follows that colonialism which facilitated slavery demands to be put on par with Slavery and Piracy for it was ipso facto a method of state sponsored global robbery.

Principle 2 of the Princeton Principles on Universal Jurisdiction (2001) lists 7 crimes of universal jurisdiction of which No. 4 is “crimes against peace” and principle 6 of the Princeton Principles being: “there should be no Statute of Limitations on the prosecution of these crimes”. Crimes against Peace can be constructed to include Colonialism on the grounds that subjugation attracts resistance and domination is the nirvana of revolution.

When is Sovereign Independence Declared?

“Danish law explicitly recognized the right to self-determination and legitimate resistance against oppressive regimes under international law” p.54, Gavin Sullivan and Ben Hayes; Blacklisted: targeted Sanctions, preemptive Security and Fundamental Rights ECCHR, Published by European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights.

UNGA Res 1514 (XV) Declaration on the Granting of Independence to colonial countries and Peoples, para 3: “Inadequacy of political, economic, social or educational preparedness should never serve as a pretext for delaying independence”.

Who can Declare Sovereign Independence?

United Nations Declaration on the rights of Self Determinations.

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Six Nations of the Grand River Declare Independence

In November 1969, the Confederacy issued a proclamation once again asserting their sovereignty in a document entitled, the “Iroquois Declaration of Independence.”

In response to the White Paper, the Chiefs issued a proclamation on November 10, 1969 an ‘Iroquois Declaration of Independence’ proclaiming Six Nations sovereignty, a claim immediately refuted by the Minister of DIAND. Chrétien argued the position of the Six Nations Confederacy was “invalid” and the sovereignty of Canada precluded any concept of a nation within a nation. “Our nation is Canada and the Indian people of Canada are Canadians.” Chrétien’s position was simply stated: “By definition, the sovereignty of Canada precludes the sovereignty of the Iroquois Confederacy.” This statement was anathema to the Confederacy Chiefs who responded in kind: “By definition, we challenge the sovereignty of Canada. It is logical that a country under the act of a foreign nation (British North America Act) and subject still to Westminster is NOT YET [Emphasis drawn from the text] a sovereign nation in the fullest extent of the meaning.” The chiefs found Chrétien to be “presumptuous and arrogant” in ascribing “…what we are, what he wants us to do and what he thinks of us to be an intolerable offense against our definition of honor, justice and human dignity.”

Chief Joseph Logan, Verna Logan, Emerson Hill and Mrs. Garnett Thomas, the Secretary of the Six Nations Confederacy signed the Declaration of Independence. A public petition had been presented to the Chiefs seeking their help. This is a key point in understanding how the Confederacy works for the people must seek help from the chiefs who respond to the consensus of the people. In direct response to the petition, the chiefs passed the proclamation in Council during September. In a stinging rebuke to the Minister of Indian Affairs, the Confederacy Proclamation disputed the attempt of Indian Affairs “to swallow us up.” In a direct assault on Canadian “legislation of assimilation and genocide” the Confederacy’s Proclamation declared: “Whether Jean Chretien likes it or not, we are here and we are sovereign…”

Important Events to Consider Pre-Colonial Contact.

Only three of the original clauses in Magna Carta are still law. One defends the freedom and rights of the English church, another confirms the liberties and customs of London and other towns, but the third is the most famous:

No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, nor will we proceed with force against him, except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land. To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice.

Post-Colonial Contact to Colonial Civil Wars of 1812

Historical Timeline of Six Nations of the Grand River Movements of National Liberation.