Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mohawks: Assaults at border ignored by mainstream media


Another assault at border - Important trial ignored by mainstream media
Mohawk Nation News

Sep. 17, 2008. “Harassment at the Canada-US border is an every day occurrence”, said Ia:hawi, a 44-year old mother of seven. On December 18, 2006, she went to the Canada Customs House on Cornwall Island to deliver a notice for a friend who had been falsely pulled over and accused of running the port. He told the agents to “F--k off” and then left. He’s lived there all his life and his id showed he was “Indian”.

The purported U.S.-Canada border cuts right through the middle of the Akwesasne “Indian” community. There are 5 colonial jurisdictions – U.S. , Canada , New York State , Ontario and Quebec . The situation is hell for the community members. They have to cross several times a day and go through almost daily brutality by the Canada Border Services Agents CBSA.

About 3 years ago Ia:hawi was 7 months pregnant. She was pulled over for a “routine check” and held in the holding cell. She had nothing to eat, got stressed out and started going into labor. She called for help. They told her to sit there and wait. All she could do was lay on her back on the bench with her feet on the wall to prevent her baby from coming prematurely. Eventually they deported her to the U.S. and ordered not to return to Canada . CBSA separated her from her family for a whole year.

On December 18, 2006, she went to the border office to serve the said notice. She told Andre Rouleau, the supervisor with the beard and gray hair, and Leon, “Unless you can produce signed valid agreements that we Kanion’ke:haka have relinquished our land to immigrants, you have no authority or jurisdiction over my friend. She said, “Unless you show respect for us on our land, there’s going to be trouble”. They spoke for about 30 minutes.

When she walked out of the building, she saw her friend underneath the canopy. She asked him, “What’s up?” He said, “Same old, same old. Get searched. Get harassed. Get racial slurs thrown at me.” They talked for about 5 minutes. Ia:hawi was in a hurry. She had to pick up her children from school.

Suddenly somebody came at her from behind a pillar. It was Corey Gauthier, a CBSA officer. He stood near her and started to come on to her. He did not identify himself. She asked several times, “Who are you?” He grabbed her arm and said, “You’re coming back with me”. She pushed him away and continued walking. He blocked her path. He stayed next to her and told her, “I’m going to search you”.
Ia:hawi asked, “How and for what?” That’s when he said, “I’m going to remove your pants and search you myself”. She told him he had no authority or jurisdiction to do anything. Then he said, “I’m taking authority and jurisdiction over you”. All she was carrying was a card, a watch, some loose change and used tissue.

Corey Gauthier pinned her between himself and a sports car that was parked next to a van. She was getting scared, “This man is going to rape me”. She looked around and couldn’t find anyone to help her. He insisted, “Come with me” and that he was going to search her. He put his hands on her. She told him, “You are in my personal space. I want nothing to do with you”.

He leaned towards her. Her legs were pinned against the car. He pushed her so forcefully that she flew in the air and landed on the car hood. Then he jumped on top of her. He yelled into his radio, “Everyone out here. Officer has been assaulted”. Almost immediately 5 guys were on top of her. She couldn’t breathe or move.

They were grabbing her legs and pulling them apart. She was trying to move so that her back wouldn’t break. Then she felt hands groping her vagina and breasts. “Keep your hands to yourself”, she yelled. They were joined in the attempted “gang rape” by Richard “ Oka Dick” Jacobs, who works as security at the border. His job is to protect the community members who are going through this dangerous border.

One of them yelled at her, “Shut the fuck up and stop resisting”. They put cuffs on her real tight and tried to drag her into the building. She pleaded, “I can walk, I’m not resisting”. They finally let her walk. They informed her she was under arrest for assaulting an officer. Leon came out. The mob back off and stood in line. She saw Andre Rouleau, the supervisor she had just met, coming out the door. She told him, “Hey, this guy just assaulted me. Do something”. He didn’t even look at her. He just walked past her to talk her assailant. It looks like someone at a high level has given the CBSA the authority and protection to carry out these atrocities on us.

The Mohawk man she had been talking to witnessed the whole incident. She was charged with assault of a police officer and obstruction of an officer. Not one of the officers identified themselves. We now know they were Corey Gauthier CBSA, Asha Pritchard CBSA, Steven Christopher Roy CBSA, Joseph Thompson, CBSA, David Eddie Thompson, Akwesasne Mohawk Police, Lee-Ann O’Brien Akwesasne Mohawk Police and Richard “Oka Dick” Jacobs CBSA.

In the building Ia:hawi asked to call her husband, Rori’wi:io, to tell him of her whereabouts and to pick up the kids from school. “What’s the name of your lawyer?” they asked. She answered, “I don’t have one”. They told her, “You can only call your lawyer”. She told them to call her council and gave them her husband’s number. Stephen Roy made the call. He was mad when he found he had reached her husband. She was happy that her husband knew where she was. CBSA tries to keep us incommunicado so they “disappear” us.

Eddy Thompson of the Akwesasne Mohawk Police was told to drive her over to the St. Regis jail through the U.S. Under the ‘Man Act’ it is illegal to take a person across a border without the necessary ‘extradition orders’. This constitutes kidnapping. They took her without an agreement between Canada , the US and the “Indians” at St. Regis to transport us into different countries. He broke the law and took her there anyway.

Now the trial charging her with assault of her assailants is taking place in Cornwall Ontario . Ia:hawi is defending herself. The CBSA video of the incident is heavily edited. It does show all five CBSA officers on top of her on the car. Her next court date is September 30th, 2008, 10:00 am in courtroom No. 7, at 29 2nd Street West, Cornwall, Ontario. Case # 07-C26. The video of the incident will be shown at that time before Judge Adams.

Today, her husband, Rori’wi:io, was arrested and taken to Valleyfield . He was supposed to go before the judge for bail and release. He told them he was an “Indian”, that the Quebec Police SQ had abducted him and stolen his property. He was dragged by his arms into a holding room for a video appearance with the judge for bail. A third officer grabbed him by the neck threw him to the floor out of the camera’s range. He was beaten and heard screaming, “Stop! You’re hurting me!” The judge has ordered him to be detained until Monday so the bruising can fade away and denying him a bail appearance for 4 days. They don’t have the jurisdiction or authority over “Indian” members. The court has been constantly asked to show us the proof of their authority. Their answer, “We do not recognize “Indians” in this court”.

MNN Mohawk Nation News
Ia:hawi needs your support.
Note: These border challenges cost money. Your financial help is needed. Please send donations to PayPal at, or by check or money order to “MNN Mohawk Nation News”, Box 991 , Kahnawake [ Quebec , Canada ] J0L 1B0. Nia:wen thank you very much.

SUPPORTERS TAKE NOTE: Phil Fontaine of the AFN is a partner in CBSA’s Sustainable Development Strategy 2007-9, See Appendix 4 for external stakeholders; Chris Kealey, Canada Customs Excise, Immigration Taxation Board, CBSA Media Relations 613-991-5197; President CBSA 613-952-3200, 613-957-0612,; National Aboriginal Initiative CHRC 204-983-2189 1-866-772-4880; Canada Customs Port of Entry at Cornwall Island Ontario; Gaetan Cousineau, Quebec Human Rights; Akwesasne Mohawk Police 613-575-2250 ex 2400; Mohawk Security at the border 613-932-5183, 613-575-2340; Lance Markel, District Director CBSA 613-930-3234, 613-991-1214; Brent Lefebvre, Investigator CBSA; Susan St. Clair, Canadian Human Rights Commission, 344 Slater, Ottawa 613-995-1151, 1-888-214-1090, 613-943-5188; CBSA National Spokesperson 613-957-6500; Quebec Media Relations CBSA 514-350-6130; Chief Mohawk Council Akwesasne 613-575-2250; Minister Stockwell Day, Ottawa 613-995-4432; Melissa Leclair Communications Pub. Safety 613-991-2863.

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