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NOII-Mtl: Akwesasne Update - Mohawks vow to resist armed border guards

June 1, 2009

NOII-Mtl: Akwesasne Update - Mohawks vow to resist armed border guards


From: No One Is Illegal Montreal

[English below]

[Une delegation des militantes de Montréal – incluant une membre de Personne n’est illégal-Montréal -- est présentement à Akwesasne (territoire Mohawk, à la frontière de l'Ontario, New York et Québec) comme témoins de la résistance communautaire contre les douaniers armés. Quelques articles expliquant la situation, principalement en anglais, mais aussi en français, sont ci-dessous. Il y aura des mises à jour de la situation à Akwesasne sur le blogue de Personne n’est illégal ici]


“[The Canadian Border Service Agency] is a foreign oppressive force who occupies our sovereign community and territory. (They are) unwelcome, uninvited and now carrying firearms. For lack of a different description, that is considered by some an act of war.” – Larry King, member of the Akwesasne Mohawk Territory (quoted in Ottawa Citizen, May 29, 2009)

[A delegation of three non-native Montreal activists, including a member of No One Is Illegal-Montreal, is currently at the site of protesters at the Kawehnoke Port of Entry (Cornwall Island) on the Mohawk Territory of Akwesasne. Native protesters at Akwesasne are welcoming allies to stand in solidarity, and to witness their efforts to resist the imposition of armed guards on Mohawk territory.

The No One Is Illegal-Montreal website will have updates directly from Akwesasne, as well as maintain a mainstream and alternative news compilation, at the following link]

-- CBSA guards abandon posts
-- Seaway International Bridge is blocked to vehicular traffic by police
-- Protesters maintain presence at border crossing

Update – 5:35am
Monday, June 1, 2009

Dawn is breaking on the Mohawk Territory of Akwesasne, where local residents have protested for months to oppose the arming of Canadian Borders Services Agency (CBSA) guards on their territory. More than 50 protesters are maintaining a presence near the Canadian customs building on Cornwall Island. There are at least five fires burning to keep demonstrators warm. Many more residents and supporters are expected to be on-site as the morning progresses.

According to residents of Akwesasne (as well as mainstream media reports), CBSA border agents abandoned their posts just before midnight, out of fear of reprisals from the community. CBSA agents were due to be armed at the Port of Cornwall crossing on June 1, a policy universally opposed and condemned by the Akwesasne Mohawk Community.

Vehicular traffic onto the Seaway International Bridge has been shut down by police on both sides of the border, although pedestrians are still being allowed to access the bridge.

The Mohawk territory of Akwesasne straddles the jurisdictions of Ontario, Quebec and New York State, and is a major international border crossing between Canada and the United States. CBSA guards began arming in 2007, and there are currently more than 800 armed CBSA guards across Canada. The entire CBSA aims to be armed, in stages, by 2016. The CBSA announced that their agents at the Port of Cornwall would be armed by June 1 of this year.


June 1, 2009

Cornwall Standard-Freeholder: U.S.-Canada border closed by Akwesasne protest of guns at crossing; Border guards leave posts for U.S.

Ottawa Citizen: Armed border guards abandon posts on First Nation

Radio-Canada: Les Mohawks ne décolèrent pas

May 30, 2009

Mohawk Nation News (MNN): Akwesasne Unity March

May 29, 2009

Ottawa Citizen: Plan to arm borders guards an “act of war”

Mohawk Nation News (MNN): UN asked to stop guns at Akwesasne border

May 28, 2009

Mohawk Nation News (MNN): There will be no guns! “You are on Indian Land”

19 mai, 2009

Radio-Canada: Forte opposition aux douaniers armés

May 12, 2009

Mohawk Nation News (MNN): 41-year legacy of Mohawk resistance at Akwesasne border

May 9, 2009

Canadian Border Services Agency: CBSA officers will begin carrying duty firearms on June 1, 2009, at the Port of Cornwall

9 mai 2009

Agence des services frontaliers du Canada: Les agents de l'ASFC du poste frontalier de Cornwall seront dotés d'armes à feu de service à compter du 1er juin 2009

May 3, 2009

Mohawk Nation News (MNN): Armed Border Guards at Akwesasne?

Own your media. Support the Dominion. Join the Media Co-op today.

for more info

to follow events in Akwesasne, stay tuned to:

[by Monday, June 8th, I will have a new blog up and running with postings from outside supporters, media coverage, Council updates, Longhouse updates & repostings of Akwesasne residents' coverage... http://akwesasnecounterspin.wordpress.com/]

* No One is Illegal - Montreal: http://nooneisillegal-montreal.blogspot.com/

* Mohawk Council of Akwesasne: http://akwesasne.ca/

* Akwesasne Community Forum (local residents will be posting their own video/audio/written coverage): http://myakwesasne.com/

* Sandra's flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lavagabunda/

* and, of course, the DominionPaper.ca and MediaCoop.ca

Update: Non-residents denied entry; RCMP & OPP; media lies

As of 5pm on June 1, police partially opened access on the Cornwall side of the bridge(s) & are now allowing local traffic to enter and leave Kawenoke ("Cornwall Island"). However, police are checking all drivers and passengers for proof of Akwesasne residence & are reportedly especially on the lookout for media and non-native supporters. Police are also applying this new rule to those walking over the bridge & some folks from Montreal were turned away last night. Supporters are encouraged to contact people (community/supporters) to analyze the situation before attempting to enter the community.

After initial media reports that the Akwesasne police force blockaded the bridge & after a couple first days of visible Cornwall police & Akwesasne police presence, today the RCMP and OPP were also present on the Cornwall side at the entrance to the bridge. When asked, a Cornwall police officer told the Dominion that the RCMP "and others" had been involved since the very beginning and that all forces are coordinating everything together. Presumably, this includes the New York State Troopers on the US side as well as the OPP, whose involvement was also confirmed.

Elected Council Chiefs expressed dismay that one of the Council Chiefs was misquoted in the mainstream media as having said that outside support was not wanted in Akwesasne. All three Councils as well as both Longhouses have been quite clear that outside support in many forms is wanted: help with supplies (food, firewood, donations), good media coverage, the presence of outside supporters... Official statements by Council Chiefs to counter the misrepresentation in the media will be published later this week.

A blog dedicated to news, updates, interviews, photos, etc regarding the global struggle in Akwesasne will be up very soon...

- Sandra Cuffe

alert: border reopening announced for 5pm

stay tuned...

Akwesasne photos posted on flickr


will be updating w/ descriptions & new photos... please credit: Sandra Cuffe.