A MESSAGE FROM GANIENKEH
INDEPENDENT NORTH AMERICAN INDIAN STATE
NO. 29 DECEMBER, 1979
THIS ONE FOR YOU AND THIS ONE FOR ME
There was once an Injun in Akwesasne who had the quaint habit of knocking on people's doors in the middle of the night Just to speak to them, you see. Meant no harm. Just friendly from the brimming cup that cheers. One night he knocked on the wrong door. He knocked on a white man's door, off the reservation. White man answered the knock on his door with a shot gun in his hands. Shoots the happy Injun dead. Tells the police and newspapers that he was defending his property. No official bother or fuse. No charges.
There was the Injun in Akwesasne who defended his property. Chased off some people who were cutting down his trees. He was arrested, beaten up by the puppet Indian police backed up by four State Troopers. He was indicted for several counts of robbery and conspiracy. He was arrested for stealing his own property. How did he do that? By confiscating the tools of the people cutting down his trees. For defending his property, he was charged with conspiracy. He didn't shot down the intruders but there's an impressive array of gun toting white and Indian police, not to mention the goon squad waiting for his appearance outside of his fort. Only the white man has the right to defend his property even if it's on stolen Indian land. The law enforcement minions of the raging, wild and howling civilization are charged to see to it that the native Injun shall not defend his home and property.
Over in Caughnawaga, that's in Canada you know, near Montreal, about 75 miles east of Akwesasne, a young Injun got chased by the Quebec Provincial police. That is, he saw them and sped away. He had been badly beaten up by them before and it was a painful memory. They gang up on a poor Injun you know and overpower him by numbers. He was a bloody wreck and had no wishes for a return engagement. They chased him right into his own yard. Now, according to Canada's own law the province has no jurisdiction on Indian reservations. Just the same, the Provincial police chased and caught up with him in his own yard. One of the police shot him three times. Told the newspapers and investigators that his life was in danger from the Indian who had picked up a small stick and so shot him dead. At this point in time, no charges has been laid for this wanton murder.
As an aftermath, three Indian girls were accused of trying to lure the Quebec Provincial police into Caughnawaga "where six men with high powered rifles were waiting", by driving around in a stolen taxi. The taxi driver was beaten up and later died. According to the reports, one of the girls received a sentence of 25 years. The others await trial. It's debatable if the girls thought they were killing the taxi driver. It was probably a shock to them that he died. The Provincial cop who shot the Indian knew he was killing him, but he gets away with it. There are two kinds of justice. One for the "civilized" and one for the native Americans.
A group of us attended the funeral of the murdered Indian. Caughnawaga very agitated. When we left about 8:30 p. m. to come home, one of the spies called up the New York State Troopers that one of the Indians who was in Akwesasne when the community building was occupied for several hours, was leaving with us. A trooper in Malone did say that they received a call from Caughnawaga and so about a mile down our gate we drove into an ambush prepared for our reception. It must have been flattering to the fellow they wanted to have six patrol cars with two men in each, with a backup of Altona citizens armed with shaking shotguns formed into a posse to help the State troopers arrest an unarmed Indian. One moment there was an empty road and also no houses around thank you and the next, all these cars and guns.
They didn't come near the car at first. They just yelled at us in a most obscene language to get out of the car. The driver first. We were ringed by fire and steel as they say in history books. Not one of us had even a tooth pick to defend ourselves with. The shotguns pointed at us were shaking so badly we thought they must have left a drug party to arrest us. The leader came up with a pistol in his hand, yelling an screeching in a most abominable language imaginable. He looked demented. Pointing the gun at my head, he tried to keep it still by holding it with both hands. He yelled at me: "One move and I'll blow your fucking head off!" The gun was shaking so badly I was tempted to say, "Hey man, if that gun goes off you gonna miss me!" But the man was in such an obvious psychotic state that he may pull the trigger at that particular moment when the gun is pointed straight at me instead of all over creation. The results would have been disastrous for mama's favorite boy so I desisted. Not wise to fool around with anyone who is so obviously out of self control. Jesse James would have laughed to see a six foot four or five inch copy holding a .38 revolver with two hands. He used a .45 in each hand and placed his shots between the eyes.
I was amazed at the foulness of the language used against us. Aristotle would have considered them an inferior people born to serve the better people as slaves. Sig Freud would have been delighted. He would have a category. The foul speakers took us to the State police station in Sciota. In there, they turned polite. In the presence of their superiors. One of our names was on the teletype. Took that one to Malone where he was later released on $15,000 bail. He was at Akwesasne when 3 Ibs of hamburgers were stolen (three counts of robbery). When the puppets regained their building, they held a party and ate the hamburgers. Reported it stolen. The remaining three of us had to wait over an hour for a puppet from Akwesasne to arrive and identify us which he couldn't do, never having seen us. They released us just as one of our chaps started to hum "Release Me, darling, let me go ...I don't love you anymore..." (Frustrated comedian ... guess who...)
From Buffalo, New York LEAH SMOKE REPORTS:
My heart is very sad at this time. So many negative happenings going on. so many Indian people are being killed lately and it makes me very upset. A young guy in Rochester was shot to death by the Police last month. Shot four times. It is happening all over. Akwesasne, Caughnawaga, Rochester, etc. It is not surprising to know that they are looking for any little excuse to kill our people....
Dedication goes to all the unborn generations of Native North American Indian Children who will struggle to survive - through all this Genocide.
Dedication goes to all the Aboriginal People in the struggle to be free and the struggle for survival.
Thank you Leah. The foregoing verses show the awareness of the political climate on the part of young people. When this scribe was young and fresh, the young people were not interested in politics. That was a pastime for old fogies. Up to a few years ago, the average Native American was convinced his case was hopeless. That he can never regain his human rights, his own nationhood, sovereignty and national independence. He was so long oppressed that he thought it was a way of life. Then some dozen years ago some Indians started to take physical, political action. There was the occupation of Alcatraz led by a Mohawk, Richard Oakes, who was subsequently murdered. The Stanley Island and Loon Island were occupied by the Mohawks of Akwesasne. The Caughnawaga riots and siege of the Long House in 1973. Wounded Knee. The Moss Lake occupation in 1974. The Alexandrian Monastery occupation and in other places by strong militant native Americans.
The Warrior Women were much in evidence at these confrontations. They were ready to fight alongside of the men. The female of the species, it is said, is more dangerous than the male. There are many Indian males who have been too brainwashed to be of any use in the struggle for survival. They walk in fear and trepidation. They are casualties of the psychological warfare waged on the Indians from the start of European occupation in America. Nature has come to the rescue. The Warrior Women are filling up positions which should be man's preserve had they been there to psychologically fill it. The future belongs to the young. That's where the fighting spirit is. Among the young. The older folks have the privilege of helping out with needed information and encouragement.
Below: selected text from a poster:
THE FIRST CHRISTMAS
In the year 342 A.D. the Christian Church held a Church Council which decided that Jesus Christ was born on December 25. The writer of the story of Jesus and the Apostles, a saint named Apolonius, neglected to provide the date of the birth of the central figure of his story. A Church Council decided the date. It took another two centuries and another pontiff to decide the year of the birth of Christ. Christians waited many long years to get their first Christmas.
Apolonius, by the way, was canonized twice. One as St. Paul and another time as St. Apolonius. They thought he was two different saints. He surely must be the greatest saint in the paleface heaven. He wrote the story that changed the course of history. It caused many wars, including eleven Crusades which took the lives of an estimated 300 million people not including 12 million native Americans slaughtered in the first 20 years of the Holy Spanish Crusade in America.
MESSAGE FROM GANIENKEH