Seeds of Fire: A People’s Chronology

Recalling events that happened on this day in history.
Memories of struggle, resistance and persistence.

Compiled by Ulli Diemer

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July 11, 1968  
The American Indian Movement (AIM) is founded in Minneapolis to organize against widespread and persistent poverty among native Americans, and unjust treatment from all levels of government.
July 11, 1969  
A U.S. appeal court overturns the convictions of Dr. Benjamin Spock and Michael Ferber, originally found guilty of conspiring to counsel evasion of the military draft in 1968. The judges rule that the defendants’ activities opposing the Vietnam War are covered by the First Amendment right to free speech.
Related Topics: Anti-War MovementFree SpeechVietnam War
July 11, 1990
The Oka crisis begins. The crisis develops from a local dispute between the town of Oka and the Mohawk community of Kanesatake. The town of Oka was developing plans to expand a golf course and residential development onto land which had traditionally been used by the Mohawk. It includes pineland and a burial ground, marked by standing tombstones.
To protest against a court decision to allow the golf course construction to proceed, some members of the Mohawk community erect a barricade blocking access to the area.
On July 11, the mayor asks the Surete du Quebec (SQ), Quebec’s provincial police force, to intervene against the Mohawk protest. A police emergency response team swiftly attacks the barricade by deploying tear gas canisters and flash bang grenades in an attempt to create confusion in the Mohawk ranks. It is unclear whether the police or Mohawks open fire first, but after a 15-minute gun battle, the police fall back, abandoning six cruisers and a bulldozer. One of the attacking police officers is killed. Subsequently the Canadian army is called in to police the barricades. The blockade and crisis continue until September 26, when the protesters dismantle their barricades after the town cancels the golf course expansion.
July 11, 2000  
Canadian gynecologist Dr. Garson Romalis is stabbed by an anti-abortion terrorist in the lobby of his clinic in Vancouver.
Related Topics: Anti-Abortion Violence

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