Mar 3/98: Onondaga people resist violence


The Onondaga People
Tuesday March 3, 1998

On March 2, 1998 at 11:00 AM a mob of people arrived at the Onondaga Nation People's businesses and demanded they close. After being refused, Chief Vincent Johnson signaled a bulldozer to proceed to destroy the buildings. People were still inside as this occurred, a few barely escaped as the structures collapsed. Outside the frenzied mob severely beat some of the people who had been inside. The remains of the bulldozed businesses, as well as thousands of dollars worth of tobacco products were set afire. The Onondaga People's monthly disbursements were stolen.

In the Haudenosaunee Gayanerekowa (The Great Law) the rights and duties of the chiefs are described as follows:

"The Chiefs of the Confederacy of the Five Nations shall be mentors for the people for all time. Their hearts shall be full of peace and good will and their minds filled with the yearning for the welfare of the people of the Confederacy. Neither anger nor fury shall find lodging in their minds, and all their words shall be marked by calm deliberation." (Gayanerekowa, Article 24)

The actions displayed yesterday were in violation of our People's law as well as a violation of basic civil rights.

March 2nd was an encore performance of the event that took place in 1994 - the burning of businesses led by mob rule. This time the Onondaga County Sheriffs stood by as they witnessed malicious destruction of property, attempted homicide, theft and arson of several Onondaga People's businesses. All this was done in the name of recognizing internal sovereignty. In this particular instance our right to settle our disputes required whatever means were necessary. As stated to the media by Sheriff Kevin Walsh on March 2, "The Chief's Council were merely taking care of business."

The fundamental question that any civilized people must ask themselves: in the heart of democracy, where can criminal acts of arson, attempted homicide and sheer terror go unchallenged in full view of state and local police agencies? Why are the country officials selectively enforcing who will and who will not be protected and prosecuted?

The truth here is that the Onondaga People will never submit to the acts of extortion and betrayal of the Great Law. There shall be no taxes or jurisdiction placed on the Haudenosaunee. Although this act of violence was discouraging, it will not quell the spirit of the knowledge of our rights as Onondaga People.

The Onondaga People
315-638-4355 (ext.235) Eloise
315-638-8421 (Fax)

Note: "They may have burnt our buildings and our merchandise, and beat us up. But they have not dampened our spirits. We are opening our businesses again tomorrow, right next to the People's Fire off Route 81 (near Syracuse New York), the scene of a vicious attack on the People by the New York State Troopers on May 18th 1997.

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