Thursday, June 4, 2009
OK U.S. Customs; What's Your Excuse?
We understand the Canadian Border Service Agency's position in this stand-off. We don't agree with it nor will we concede our position over refusing to allow a permanent armed foreign presence on our land. The question is: why are the New York State Police preventing access to a part of Mohawk land that is clearly not in their jurisdiction. To have State or federal authorities turn around travellers expecting to cross into Canada, in light of the stand-off, is one thing, but to deny anyone access to part of our territory, especially to Native people in general and specifically Mohawk people is an absolute violation of our sovereignty and human freedom. There are perfectly legitimate reasons for that access, none of which needs to be justified to those denying it. This action on the U.S. side of their imaginary line begs the questions; Why? And who is being served by this action and what compels the U.S. interest in doing so? While all the attention is focused on the conflict between Mohawks and Canadian forces, the actions of U.S. interests are ignored.
So how how are people accessing the Cornwall Island portion of Akwesasne from the South? By river. Are these passenger vessels that are being used for the commute? No! And the first injury or worse that occurs as a result of this being the only way to get across the river from the South, will be on the heads of U.S. Customs or who ever is calling the shots for the actions of the New York State Police. We will never know how many times a U.S. or Canadian official smiled or said "good for them" when lives were lost transporting cigarettes or tobacco across to the Island. My question is: how many will continue to smile over the loss of life for those simply trying to go home or check on a loved one. Like your mother always said, "it all fun and games till someone gets hurt". This cannot be blamed on those "lawless Indians". This is not about violence or smuggling or any of the normal charges thrown at us. The Mohawk people are taking a stand against guns and only those who believe we should be under the gun disagree with us.
So Canada, have at it. Stare us down till you choke off the City of Cornwall and crush their already struggling economy. You have been destroying ours forever. We have very little to lose economically in this battle, but make no mistakes about it; we will not let your guns place our people in harms way.
U.S.; drop the act. Stop pretending to be innocent in all this. Your actions demonstrate your own desire to keep our people under the gun. There is no way that the State Police or any federal agency is under some obligation to assist Canada in this stand-off. There is no "international protocol" that requires the U.S. to bar access to our land. Turn your people around if you must but stop interfering with our right to travel freely within our community.