June 23, 2009

US continues to blockade Akwesasne from the south; Canada from the north

The Mohawks are demanding that Canadian Border Guards not be allowed to carry weapons on their land. In response, the Canadians have blockaded the bridge to Mohawk land and the US has supported them by closing their side.
[An irony is that the truck plaza for the proposed new Peace Bridge was going to be on the Canadian side in Fort Erie. Canadians wouldn't allow US border guards to carry weapons on Canadian land or to fingerprint people since that is a violation of their constitution. Now they are planning to tear down an entire historic neighborhood so they can put the truck stop on the Buffalo side, thus allowing US border guards to have their guns. (The West Side neighborhood has some of the highest respiratory illness among the children living there with the current set up. It would only increase with the planned truck plaza. There has been a lot of opposition and it may never happen.) The arming of the Canadian border guards went into effect on June 1, 2009]
The Mohawks have been harassed and abused by the Canadian border guards for years and are concerned about the attempt to arm the guards. Many believe it is to elicit a reaction from the Mohawks so they can move in forcibly and confiscate their valuable land.

Perhaps the Canadians have been studying the tactics used by the Israelis to control and confiscate Palestinian land.

Monday, June 22, 2009
22 Days into June and Still the US is Denying Mohawks Access to their Own Community
Before a June 1st deadline filled with threats of armed border guards and tougher scrutiny for those that dare enter the American dreamland could come to pass, the US and Canadian shut down the Three Nations Bridge, connecting the two through the most unlikely and unwilling partner; the Mohawk Nation.

It is amazing that the blockade of a small Native community by two of the largest countries in the world could continue this long with little to no outrage, media or even comment. No Obama, not even a tap dance around the subject. No Clinton, no Napolitano. The few comments offered by US politicians, like Schumer, Gillibrand and McHugh, suggested this was a quarrel that had to be worked out between Canada and the Mohawks, accepting no responsibility or even acknowledging the actions on the US side of this issue.

The two issues that simply do not square is why the Mohawk opposition to allowing the Canadian Border Service Agency to establish an armed presence in the heart of a Mohawk village should result in the US blocking access to that portion of the community. As mentioned in previous posts; all the 911 hysteria that has allowed unprecedented incursions into civil rights and has literally allowed both the US and Canada to get away with murder (sometimes even against each other), proves once again to be only a tool to be picked up and used when convenient, not necessarily an evenly applied policy or standard.

The US / Canadian border became a spotlight issue after 9/11. Millions spent on high-tech border stations, passport requirements and higher identification standards, travel and tourism studies, trade and commerce studies; all smoke and mirrors.

The US right now is not only forcing a so-called breach in their "border security" at a spot that they have bitched about ever since they scribed a line on a map of our territory, but they are now completely turning a blind eye to it. With the New York State Police denying us access to our own community by bridge, we are forced to once again go back to days of old and use the river for our transportation. This traffic has increased to the point that many passenger and even a vehicle ferry is now in operation granting access to the Cornwall Island from the southern portions of our community. In spite of this "breach" or the hazards of water travel, no one from the US side has even attempted a conversation with the Mohawk people. To be honest, most of us are OK with the bridge being closed, for now. But the first accident on the river or the first attempt by anyone trying to close this access will certainly cause the stakes to be raised.

The Obama administration has prided itself on the diversity of their appointments. So my question is when do these people move beyond gesture made by their appointments and really do something. Larry Echohawk, Jodi Gillette and Kimberly Teehee; the Mohawk lines are now open. It must have been pretty uncomfortable coming to our Western Door in Seneca Territory for NCAI unprepared to address the issues of our Eastern Door. The Seneca People too are waiting to see how you conduct yourselves regarding the assault on their commerce as well.
We don't need anymore apologies from US and Canadian officials or agencies. We don't need new policies unless the new policy is removing the old ones. Stop the assault on our sovereignty.

-thanks to ohnkwe ohnwe at Native Pride

1 comment:

Cris McConkey said...


In regard to your question "How come nobody is covering Akwesasne? Is there something I don't know about?" I decided it would be worthconducting some searches myself.

Gannett hasn't covered it --at least what I've read in the Ithaca Journal. Since they reconfigured their site, it is unclear how the search function works, or what actually is archived. Gannett doesn't seem to own a north country newspaper. This would likely have been an AP story.

I found a site for AP news searches and searched for "Cornwall Island", "mohawk bridge"and "mohawk" and nothing came up. I did an archive search for "mohawk border" and only two AP article came up which were dated. However,there were other media in the search results, including one story on CTV. (AP provides a transcript) --CTC is Canadian TV.)

I though North Country Public Radio would have coverage. I did a search on their web site for "Cornwall Island". Hereare the results.

I am a bit confused how Time Warner operates their news division. They have four regions: Central New York; Rome/Mohawk Valley;Tompkins/Cortland; Watertown/North Country. The news articles are allsearchable from http://www.news10now.com/. I searched for "Cornwall Island". The results were all old andunrelated stories. Then I search for "bridge mohawk" and found onestory.

Of course, if you want to find the news, a Googlenews search is the way to go. That brought up an article intoday's Watertown Daily Times,
Business,tribal leaders seek end to bridge closing. Also an article in Indian Country Today from June 20, Avoice from the Akwesasne border standoff: ‘Start listening to Mohawkpeople’ (which you already found and posted on adoptresistance). If you want the Indian perspective on this, Indian Country Today is agood source.

And significantly, there is this article from CBC USlaunches another drone plane to patrol Canadian border from June22, which of course is relevant to our specific interest in dronesurveillance/warfare.

Overall, there seems to be a paucity of news coverage here in the U.S.and New York State. Part of this I think is that it may be treated asa local or regional story, when in fact it is really international. Another is what I call 'flash in the pan' journalism. It seems rarethese days the the news media rally follows developing stories,building the foundation for the reader's, listener's, or viewer'sunderstanding as the story unfolds and develops.

In that regard, I wondered if the BBC had any coverage. So I went to http://search.bbc.co.uk/. Even as broad as search as "Mohawk" gave no current results. Is there something I missed?