A Call To Action for Akwesasne, onward to Quebec



 

Traditional Mohawks call for "Day of Rage" April 19th and pledge to open border, welcoming activists.

Written By World War Three, Target & Warcry

This April the heads of State of every country in the Western hemisphere except Cuba will be meeting in Quebec city Canada to sign a trade deal that undermines the rights of working people, environmental protections and human rights. They are very afraid that people will come to Quebec City and ruin their party. So afraid that protesters are being refused entry at the Canadian border. But there's good news. There is an important chance to build solidarity between activists and indigenous people.

The Mohawk territory of Akwesasne straddles both sides of the Canadian border. The Mohawk people view that border as illegitimate. On April 19th,a group of Mohawks from the Traditional contingent of the Mohawk people will open the bridge at Cornwall to activists wishing to go to Quebec City. They are billing this as a "Day of Rage" in solidarity with the Palestinian people. Canadian radicals and trade unionists are supporting this action on the Canadian side while several different mobilization groups from the U.S. are planning a caravan from the Burlington Convergence to Quebec City through the Mohawk reservation. This is not a blockade. In solidarity with the Mohawk nation’s grievances towards the Canadian and U.S. governments and their action upon that day, the caravan hopes to travel without harassment and unfettered to Quebec City.

The Mohawk people consider the bridge and border an abomination forced on them by the U.S. and Canadian governments. The bridge is controlled by customs 364 days of the year but one day of every year Mohawk people take over the bridge to assert their sovereignty over their land. They have never given up their lands to these tyrannical nations.

This is a chance to build an alliance between Anarchists and indigenous people. There is a lot we can learn from the Mohawk people, who have struggled for centuries against all forms of oppression at the hands of the capitalist system and the governments of both Canada and the U.S. They have never conceded their land. They have never accepted the U.S. or Canadian government as legitimate. They have responded to oppression with armed resistance. The powerful spirit of insurgency has been very effective in the recent past as well. The federal governments have amassed to strike with horrendous force only to back off when it became apparent what they were up against: a people committed to sovereignty at all costs. As Anarchists we aspire to be as strong and defiant as the Mohawk Traditionalists already are.

This group of Mohawk Traditionalists - along with the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (An organization of poor people fighting to bring power back into poor communities, OCAP) and the Kingston People’s Community Union (An organization of community members, PCU) - are using this as a chance to build coalition and organize towards a larger campaign to unseat their rightwing asshole premier of Ontario, Mike Harris. This will be a day of solidarity between radical Mohawks, Canadian Trade Unions, the poor of Ontario (Through OCAP), several radical activist groups in the U.S. and Canada, independent Anarchists, and the Anti-Globalization movement worldwide. A few of the U.S. groups currently involved are NYC DAN, NYC YaBasta! Collective, IMC-NYC, Philly Direct Action Group. The Canadian Guelph Direct Action Group is also down. The border crossing also has the endorsement of the Cornwall Labor Council, the radical Canadian Postal Union and possibly a Canadian AutoWorkers Union. Once over the border the U.S. caravan will be free to join the Canadians for a large-scale caravan to Quebec City. Canadians are still discussing plans to shut down the locks on the Saint Lawrence Seaway if necessary. The Burlington Convergence (Starting possibly the 14th of April. www.vermontactionnetwork.org, vermont.indymedia.org) is being used as the jump off point and it is strongly advised that those interested be at the convergence by the 17th for training, or by the 18th spokes council meeting at the very latest. This convergence will have teach-ins, workshops, bands, protests and much more. If you can’t make it to Cornwall or Quebec you have to come to the convergence.

Some realities about working with the Mohawks: Mohawk society, like most societies, is not politically homogeneous. There are Mohawk freedom fighters, but there are also Mohawk police, Mohawk venture capitalists, Mohawk reactionaries and Mohawks working with the Canadian Government. Just as there are Anarchists, Republicans and all kinds of people in U.S. society. This action is being called by a group of Mohawk Traditionalists with radical politics. (So understandably, they have welcomed the U.S. Anarchists to cross their land.) It is possible that we will come into contact with some Mohawks who don’t support the action. We may in fact be confronting Mohawk police officers. If this happens we should deal with this in a principled way and stand up to them as police – and not fall into raising racial issues. When possible, we will take the lead from our Traditionalist allies on how to deal with these situations. Considering that the blood of 20 million Indigenous people has been spilled since imperialists first set foot on this country, and considering how fiercely these warriors have always resisted oppression, we consider it an honor to work with these uncompromisingly brave people.

They are opening their land for us to reach Quebec City; we should open our hearts and raise our fists.