A MESSAGE FROM GANIENKEH
INDEPENDENT NORTH AMERICAN INDIAN STATE
NO. 35 JUNE, 1980
SHENANIGANS AT AKWESASNE
After six months of waiting for the garrison at Fort Kanaserakeh in Akwesasne to starve, New York State decided to continue the suspended negotiations. Last session, December 17, 1979. The date of June 2 was set for the meeting with the traditional Mohawk negotiators. The stragetics (new word meaning State planners) decided to soften up the Injuns first by flying helicopters over Fort Kanasaraken. The Injuns retaliated by refusing to meet Mr. Ray Hardin, State negotiator. This angered Mr. Hardin no end. Said it was an insult. Fort Kanasaraken said Mr. Hardin does the insulting. Won't listen to anything, they said. Only wants the indicted people to give themselves up and go to court. Even offered to send a bus to pick them up. "Out of the question" said the defenders of Fort Kanasaraken.
On Tuesday, June 10, Ray Hardin asked for a meeting with the Six Nations Confederacy Chiefs to resolve the crisis at Akwesasne. The Chiefs agreed and promised to contact Akwesasne. Onondaga Chiefs visit Akwesasne to arrange the meeting.
On Thursday, June 12, a meeting in Malone was held by the county legislature at 4:00 p.m. They want to invade Racquette Point, the site of Fort Kanasaraken. It was not revealed if the county legislature would lead the assault or if they were only generous with other people's blood.
Meanwhile, Major Schneeman, Commander of the State Troopers in the county was going from house to house in Akwesasne, inviting people to help the brutal Akwesasne police and the State Troopers to assault Racquette Point. A few days before, on the television, Major Schneeman had said that the State Troopers have to stay in Akwesasne to protect the Indian police "who would be found floating in the river" if the State Troopers left. This was the occasion of a meeting at the substation of the State Police in Messena with the women's cooperative group from Akwesasne who petitioned the State Troopers to get out of Akwesasne. The women were not traditionals but supporters of the puppet tribal council. They were pushed around by the State police with billy clubs pushed crosswise against their throats. Even arrested one of the women on a false charge. There was an altercation a week before and she wasn't even present. The supporters of the puppet council, the Indian police and the State police saw that the State police didn't discriminate. They beat up the traditionals and non-traditionals alike. As long as they're Indians. It didn't make any difference. Obviously, it didn't pay being a collaborationist. One gets the same beating.
While telling the TV audience that the State Troopers were protecting the traditional people from the Indian vigilantes, he was going around inciting the families of the Indian police to join the vigilantes and help attack Fort Kanasaraken. It would seem that there is a lack of communication between Ray Harding and the Governor's office in trying to get a meeting with the defenders of Fort Kanasaraken to resolve the Akwesasne crisis while Major Schneeman is trying to incite the non-traditional Mohawks to attack and wipe out their brothers and sisters in Racquette Point. His importunities must have been effective. The non-traditionals became anti-traditionals and formed themselves into a band of vigilantes.
Three days before the scheduled meeting of the Six Nations Chiefs with State negotiator Ray Hardin, of shenanigan Major Schneeman made his move. The Indian vigilantes closed the entrance to the Fore Kanasaraken area by closing a section of the Highway 37, stationing armed vigilantes on the highway thereby blocking the traffic to Racquette Point. Blocking the highway is supposed to be a legal offense. Their patrol cars were parked at the puppet council house parking lot where a big crowd of collaborationists had gathered. We got a report that the Injun police phoned in sick, all blessed man jack of them, and therefore can't take part in the shenanigans.
At the highway block, the vigilantes, about 60 strong, stood with green and yellow armbands and armed with police clubs. A long line of cars ware parked on the shoulder of the road and it must be assumed that more arms were stashed in said parked cars. It must be a special occasion for police to work with vigilantes. Perhaps only when suppressing Injuns.
At 11:30 a.m., the vigilantes sent in a demand to the indicted people in the fort to give themselves up or there'll be an assault in two hours. Meanwhile some supporters for the besieged began to trickle in. They had to go in by way of the river. There were boats which started ramming outboards and row boats trying to reach the defenders. One boat was sunk and everybody got wet. One helicopter flew low over the river and ordered by amplifier all boats to get out of the river. The fort's radio told the helicopter to get the hell out of the area or get shot down. Helicopter was quick to get out. After a while, an additional hundred warriors found their way into the fort. Must have been quite a show on that river. The two hours came along and there was no assault.
At 4:00 p.m. another ultimatum was received by the fort. This time it was from the State police. They demanded the surrender of all the indicted people, the traditionals to disarm themselves and for all non-Mohawks to leave or there shall be an assault at 5:30 p.m. by the State police and the Injun police and Injun vigilantes. The defenders told them to go to heaven. While the State troopers and their Injun allies were girding their loins, a diversion was created by a dog who rambled into the fields and outer defenses of the fort. Stepped on a land mind and blew himself to pieces. That gave the Injun vigilantes pause for reflection. The State police were to go by the road and they were to go through the fields and woods. In brief, they were being sent through the fields of land mines like the army used to send hogs to trigger off explosives. "Oh, no, you don't!" they howled to the State Troopers, "you go through the fields and woods!" They suddenly realized they were being used and half of them took French leave. At 6:00 p.m. the Governor Carey issued a statement that there will be no assault on Racquette Point as there shall be a meeting by State representatives Ray Harding and the traditionals representing the besieged. To resolve the crisis.
The date set for the session of negotiations was June 16 at Flanders Inn in Messena, NY. As befits officials of State, Ray Hardin and company were late. Governor Carey's lawyer told us that the road block had been removed the day before, which was a surprise to us, because on our way to the negotiations, we were stopped at the same road block by State troopers and at gun point told to get out of the car. They use their old, wornout excuse that our car was reported stolen. They pointed shotguns at us as if we were criminals. Even the women negotiator with us got the gangster treatment. Kept us covered for about half an hour or so while they searched us and the car for weapons. It looked to us like they wanted to create an incident to start a war of extermination. They had a look of longing in their faces to shoot us down. Even had an Akwesasne police car on the side with an Injun sitting there with a machine gun in his hand ready to shoot down his own people. The Mohawks have come to a pretty pass. Of course, all this didn't happen as the State's representative said the road block has been removed. We are to suppose that we were hallucinating. Naturally, when the State negotiators were told this, they said nary a word. On our way back home, we were again stopped at the same road block by a different shift of the State's forest, though this time we weren't searched nor were we required to get out.Francis Boot, Akwesasne traditional, performed the Thanksgiving Opening Ritual in the Mohawk language. The meeting began under the chairmanship of Howard Rawley, noted mediator and expertly brought the negotiation through difficult spots. He mentioned carious plans designed to remove the tensions and troubles at Akwesasne. One was the dropping of charges against traditional Chief Loran Thompson and Joe Swamp on the condition that the confiscated tools of the YACC be returned. Lieutenant Lee Hunt of the State troopers added the condition of returning the weapons seized from the Indian police during the seizure and occupation of the puppet council building. Called it a package deal. Our side wanted to be sure that no tricks be pulled such as returning the items on our side and no dropping of charges on the other side. This is the offer on the part of the New York State law enforcement, with the State government officials present who were keeping their mouths shut in the matter of the offer. Ray Hardin finally observed that the State had nothing, to do with the courts and justice, so does not make the package deal. We countered by saying that there are twenty-one other indicted people and that all charges against them be likewise dropped. We do now demand that those other charges be dropped also. Since Chief Thompson and Joe Swamp had nothing to do with the seized weapons which happened about a week after they had seized the YACC tools, then the said weapons would be returned, (on the condition that they be buried with both sides present so they'll not be used against the Indian people again) when the charges against the other twenty-one Indictees are dropped. We would go back to our people with the State's offer while they would go back to their superiors with our demand. Our people would have to consider the offer and deliberate on it. Next session on June 20, maybe.
MESSAGE FROM GANIENKEH