Believe What You Like But Know What You Must

People are free to be consumed with contemplating their existence, their origins, the origins of the universe, supreme beings, controllers of destiny or anything else. But solving "the Great Mystery" is neither a requirement of being Ohnkwe Ohnwe nor does it provide a path to righteousness. I maintain that spirituality does not require faith or the leaps that faith requires but rather awareness. If it helps to believe that "God has a plan" and we just must have faith that "He" knows what "He" is doing, then walk that path. My interest is in taking the mystery out of life by pointing to the obvious that is ignored everyday in the midst of fanatical ideology and the sometimes not too subtle influences of promoting beliefs over knowledge. I have said it before: “beliefs are what you are told, knowledge is what you experience”. I support a culture that prepares us to receive knowledge and to live a life with purpose. I am certainly not suggesting there is only one way to do that.

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Monday, June 1, 2009

Akwesasne Is On High Alert As The Bridges Are Closed And Canadians Borders Services Abandoned


Midnight, June 1, 2009: As the deadline for new compliance standards imposed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Border Patrol and the Canadian Border Services was reached, an all out military style blockade has been established on the U.S. and Canadian sides of the international bridges that use Akwesasne's Cornwall Island to connect them. June 1st was the date for the new Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) to come into effect. The standards called for stiffer identification requirements including U.S. or Canadian passports or new enhanced ID cards with scannable and trackable RFID chips embedded in them. The Canadian Border Service Agency (CBSA) also planned to used the deadline as the start of an upgraded arming and militarization of the customs and border facility located within the the territory of the Kanienkehaka, on Cornwall Island which is now eerily abandoned. These moves have been opposed by the Kanienkehaka with particular concern over weapons being brought into their community. Several demonstrations have occurred over the last several weeks specifically addressing the overwhelming opposition of the Kanienkehaka to the idea of a foreign armed force being based within their community.

No dialogue or communications of any kind has been offered up to explain the blockade. DHS, as recently as last week expressed in a conference call for all Native communities on the U.S.-Canadian border that a "relaxing of the requirements" would be in affect for an "undetermined transitional period". When asked specifically about the Massena crossing, they offered no insight to a closing or blockade.

The Kanienkehaka are presently asking everyone to use every means available to keep communications flowing and prepare to support this community as this apparent military action continues. Travel preparations from as many Native territories as possible on both sides of the "Imaginary Line" should be started as well as any actions that can be undertaken to show solidarity.

At the time of this posting there was still no press presence or any international observation. The hope is that efforts to bring as much attention to these actions as possible can reach the highest international levels. Contact with the people of Akwesasne is critically important at this point and the flow of information is one of the best weapons against any abuses that occur. All media contacts and organizations should be brought on line to monitor the situation.

Any developments will be posted as information is received.


View the photos and links on the side bar for updates on the situation.

3 comments:

ohnkwe ohnwe said...

The partnership between the United States and Canada continues efforts to roll over Native people. Since when does the US border service block people from leaving the US? Apparently job descriptions change when it comes to violating the rights of Native people. As the US pushes it's tougher identification standards including trying to dictate what is acceptable for Native ID's, Canada is pushing to militarize it's border stations. The problem is that in someone's infinite wisdom, Canada placed a border station on Mohawk land. Mohawks, perhaps more than any other, don't trust the US or Canada. Not only do Mohawks not trust them, but they are prepared to stand up to them. The people of Akwesasne have made it clear that they will not accept a permanent armed presence by a foreign occupation force in their community. Canada's response is to call its uncle Sam (or Tom) to help them barracade those menacing Mohawks. So as the Canadian forces close the bridge to Cornwall Island from the North, the US transforms its multi-million dollar, flagship border station/ Homeland Security Fort?/ customs booths, designed for the all new, high-tech entry system, into a Canadian border station/ concentration camp guard station/ bridge troll, now denying departures from the US rather than scrutinizing entries.

The blockade has all the feel of a set up. Not even a chicken shit country like Canada would abandon such an important border crossing. Certainly the US did not pour millions into its facility to play doorman for Canada. None of us believe that either the US or Canada will just try to wait out the Mohawks until they concede to an armed presence in their territory. These guys are setting our people up and they have help among us. We need to be wary of false prophets and leaders. We have been sold out too many times to let it happen again. The only thing worse that being sold out is being set up. Outside forces (and inside agents) will be pushing to create a reason for extreme actions. They are just waiting for the right time to act.

All Native people need to support the People of Akwesasne. Non-Native support is appreciated as well. While we are certainly not coalmine canaries; what ever diminishes our sovereignty will also strip away non-native liberties as well.

Anonymous said...

Who gives the orders and what is the chain of command for the New York State Police to deny departure from the US and in particular to Mohawks going to and from their homes. Not one interview or statement has come from the US side on this.

Anonymous said...

Good point. Denying Mohawks access to Mohawk lands is a Human Rights violation. Especially since we are not party to the US-Britain border treaty, administered by the US and Canada. Then again, USA can claim that the other crossings are still open(west and east of Cornwall) and canada was denying access to Mohawks on their end.