June 2, 2009 – A great deal has happened since the initial post of this article. Most critically, the police blockade was lifted and the bridge has been re-opened to the community…
In addition to the links below, you may want to keep an eye on the Six Nations Reclamation forum for future updates.
June 1, 2009 – Reports are coming in that the Mohawk community of Akwesasne has been blocked off by American and Ontario Police forces on either sides of the border, due to Mohawk defiance of the order to permit the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) to carry lethal weapons on the border. The community sits between New York and Ontario, near the city of Cornwall.
For regular updates, visit http://nooneisillegal-montreal.blogspot.com. You can also contact Sandra Cuffe for updates and interviews from the community at: 514 583 6432 firstname.lastname@example.org
“(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 the 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 protests 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 this link. Read more below.
Update – 5:35am
Monday, June 1, 2009
— CBSA guards abandon posts
— Seaway International Bridge is blocked to vehicular traffic by police
— Protesters maintain presence at border crossing
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.
SELECTED NEWS & INFORMATION COMPILATION
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
May 3, 2009
Mohawk Nation News (MNN): Armed Border Guards at Akwesasne?