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Mohawk Nation News: Kanesatake Under Siege Again

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  • Ishgooda, Senior Staff
    From: Kahn-Tineta MORE WASTE OF TIME AND RESOURCES Kanesatake Under Siege Again Mohawk Nation News. Kahnawake. May 1, 2004. Left without a proper police
    Message 1 of 1 , May 1 8:03 PM
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      From: "Kahn-Tineta"

      MORE WASTE OF TIME AND RESOURCES

      Kanesatake Under Siege Again



      Mohawk Nation News. Kahnawake. May 1, 2004. Left without a proper
      police force, the Mohawks of Kanesatake have taken to guarding their
      community themselves. They keep watch at each entrance of their
      community and burn tobacco to remind people to stay calm. Meanwhile,
      the militia, set up by runaway chief, James Gabriel, is making
      provocative gestures on many roads into the community. They are
      speeding their trucks in reverse right up to checkpoints at both ends of
      the community. The 40 or so militia at the west end are equipped as a
      SWAT team - in riot gear, bullet proof vests, side arms, rifles,
      shields, tear gas and concussion grenades at the ready. The Mohawks are
      unarmed and everyone's nerves are on edge. When asked to intervene, the
      RCMP insisted everything was calm. They see no problem here. The
      people of Kanesatake do not agree.



      Presently, the schools are closed, services are shut down and the
      community is in trusteeship over Gabriel's gross mismanagement. He
      reportedly paid Richard Walsh $110,000 of the people's funds to find out
      whether Kanesatake residents have committed any crimes. According to
      the Kingston Whig Standard, this man is a convicted criminal wanted for
      defrauding several Ontario businesses. Instead of consulting the people
      to find out how to repair this mess, the Canadian government is paying
      top dollars to Dean Dussault from a Liberal Party public relations firm
      with Kanesatake land claims negotiations money to be Gabriel's
      mouthpiece and put a positive spin on this debacle.



      In January Canada promised $900,000 to Gabriel to fund what Jacques
      Chagnon, Quebec's Minister of Public Security, has described as a
      "militia". This militia was set up without the consent of the duly
      established Kanesatake police commission. Gabriel disbanded the
      commission and fired the policemen they had appointed. On January 12th
      2004 Gabriel sent in 67 outside uniformed and armed men to assert his
      rule. This resulted in the January 12th confrontation at the police
      station.



      Meanwhile, as reported in Le Soleil on Monday, April 30th, Quebec
      Minister of Public Security, Jacques Chagnon, visited Kanesatake last
      Monday, May 26th, and stated that James Gabriel, who tries to rule the
      people from a hotel in the city of Laval, has until Monday, May 3rd to
      execute 24 warrants against a wide array of quiet citizens resulting
      from the January 12th confrontation. Treated as guilty before trial,
      those who have responded have been ordered not to return to their homes
      or speak to their relatives in Kanesatake and several nearby towns.



      Gabriel has assured Chagnon that these 24 warrants would be executed by
      May 3rd which is when they have to appear in court. Chagnon is fed up
      with dealing with this issue, is getting a lot of pressure, but accepts
      Gabriel as the legal authority. This is despite the fact that Gabriel
      is a court appointed chief against the wishes of the people who forced
      him out for lack of confidence and gross mismanagement of their affairs.
      Chagnon has given him all the resources and still he cannot exert his
      leadership.



      Chagnon also criticizes the Canadian government for giving Gabriel
      $900,000 in the first place which allowed him "to bring in his militia".
      Chagnon complains that the federal government has turned a blind eye to
      the divisions within the community.



      The People of Kanesatake have continuously pressed for mediation. The
      three chiefs who remain on the territory with their people have accepted
      a mediation process with Ralph Brant from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory
      recommended by the Assembly of First Nations, a government sponsored
      national Indigenous organization of band councils which are set up under
      the Indian Act. But Gabriel refuses to mediate until what he calls "law
      and order" is in place. As one councilor said, "he puts a gun to our
      heads and then mediates". What he means by this is anyone's guess.
      Some of the militia members were also involved in the shooting and
      crippling of community member Joe David in 1999.



      The Mohawks of Kanesatake want to know why they are being attacked and
      misrepresented, why such heavy handed measures are being taken when all
      they want is a peaceful solution. People everywhere should be asking
      why so much resources are being thrown away on such reckless ventures.



      Any help, advice, insights or comments would be appreciated. Please
      send messages to <mailto:kanehsatake_indymedia@...>
      kanehsatake_indymedia@...



      MNN Mohawk Nation News

      Box 991 Kahnawake Mohawk Territory

      (Quebec) Canada J0L 1B0

      <mailto:Orakwa@...> Orakwa@...








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