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Help the Mohawks of Akwasasne Protect Themselves

By       Message Jennifer Hathaway     Permalink
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Today I received an email regarding a peace caravan to the Mohawks of Akwasasne. There will be speakers and socials on Cornwall Island today.

This is a peace protest to bring attention to the fact that the Canadian border patrol has begun carrying weapons inside the reservation- sovereign turf- and that following a series of violent attacks against indigenous people who live on the reservation [including women and children and even a baby in a stroller at one event], predator drones out of Fort Drum NY are being flown over the reservation. Yes, the same military weapons we are using to blow up tribal people in Afghanistan are now flying over sovereign native territory, treating Mohawks as "insurgents" because they refused to allow guns on their land.

In the beginning of May, Canada's border guards were authorized to carry 9 mm Berrettas. Some of these guards have been consistently assaulting, intimidating, and harassing Native people who are crossing from one side of their reservation to the other.  The Mohawks have been resisting the effort to have these guards armed, and have had little or no press on their behalf.

The email directed me to a blog on the subject, where I've been learning what I can on the situation.

On May 2, Kahentenitha wrote:

"We know we have to stop at the border. Kimberly Jacobs of Cornwall Island said, "Some of the border guards are respectful, while others are intimidating." Her friend, who crosses at least once a day, has been pulled over six times in the last month for random inspection. A woman was strip searched by border officers without a good reason.  Without guns they can already isolate us, lock us up, hold us for hours for no reason and almost kill us. They accuse us of just about everything including "suspecting" us of having drugs, guns, and whatever. It's scary when they take us to the back of the shed. With guns, these power-hungry anti-Mohawk lunatics will have unquestioned power to intimidate, strip search, and falsely charge us.  After investigations, most of the bogus CBSA complaints against us are dropped."

May 20th:

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"At Akwesasne there are escalating brutal attacks by the CBSA Canada Border Services Agents. These maniacs constantly racially profile and provoke us. We have to cross many times a day to carry on our normal lives. On June 1, 2009, these goons will try to carry 9mm Berretta guns. They could instigate violence and death. This border crossing must be removed. We object to putting deadly guns in the hands of these openly racist border guards.

June 1st:

"At 10 pm last night, May 31st, the chief was coming through Cornwall Island Canadian Customs. He was served with a letter from Peter Van Loan, Canada's Public Safety Minister, informing us that "There will be guns" on June 1st 2009.

The Canada Border Services Agents were to be armed at midnight last night. Instead they walked off. The two bridges to Cornwall Island have been closed. The north span by Cornwall police and the south span by New York State Police. There are native guards in the customs buildings. There has been an RCMP [Royal Canadian Mounted Police ~Jen] buildup in the area over the last few days.

The people met all day yesterday to get a peaceful resolution to all aspects of the issue. They selected four men to be peace keepers. Canada says they want to meet with the leaders. They were told the people are the leaders and will decide what to do.  So far no action is being taken. The Men will protect the people. They are at points on each bridge and adjacent to the customs.

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Canada is escalating the issue by blocking us in. We are now closed in and being held hostage.

The Mohawk Council of Akwasasne passed Resolution #318 on February 28, 2008 forbidding firearms to be carried by Canada Customs Border Agents in the Mohawk community. According to the will of the people based on the Great Law of Peace, our constitution, our position is against guns.

International law supports the Mohawks. It forbids unilateral impositions without full consultation and consent of the majority of people concerned. Canada must abide by our decisions according to the international conventions they've signed.

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Mother of two adult children, freelance artist with fine works in private collections in 20 US states, 7 European countries, Africa, China, and Japan, concerned citizen of the US. Overreaching corporate controls of food, housing, clothing, (more...)

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