Today I received an email regarding a peace caravan to the
Mohawks of Akwasasne. There will be speakers and socials on CornwallIsland 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 CornwallIsland 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."
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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.
night, May 31st, the chief was coming through Cornwall Island
Canadian Customs. He was served with a letter from Peter Van
Public Safety Minister, informing us that "There will be guns" on June 1st 2009.
The Canada Border Services Agents were to be armed at last night. Instead they walked off.
The two bridges to CornwallIsland
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
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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is escalating the issue by blocking us in. We are now closed in and being held
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
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...)