Mar 4/98: NY refuses to acknowledge human rights violations


New York State Does Not Acknowledge

Mohawk Nation Office - Kahnawake Branch
Wednesday, March 4, 1998

Currently the Chiefs, clanmothers and their supporters are using bulldozers to eliminate any evidence of the destruction of the smokeshops owned by the People of Onondaga that occurred on Monday March 2, 1998, "they want to hide the mess that they've done then they want to tear up the trailer here at the Sacred Fire." This trailer is not a smokeshop, it is just a trailer on private property.

As of today at 11:00 a.m. the Onondaga Reservation was closed off to any incoming or outgoing traffic and the heavy equipment located at the Onondaga Firehall was started up. Currently the machines are being used to clean up the evidence of the destruction of the smokeshops. They are purported to be heading up to the Sacred Fire which has been burning since May 1997, and intend to destroy the fire itself and any surrounding buildings. On Monday the business people who owned the People's Owned Smokeshops were threatened with two weeks to get off the territory. This warning has been recanted and they are purported to be going next on a house to house destruction rampage where the homes of those who owned the smokeshops and the homes of their supporters will be destroyed regardless of whether or not there are individuals inside. The people intend to meet this invasion with resistance.

The New York State Police, when questioned about what they can do in a situation where the human rights of an individual or individuals is being violated replied that they could not go onto the Onondaga Territory without permission from the Chiefs. They said that they were respecting the sovereignty of the Onondaga Nation. When asked what they would do if they witnessed the violation of fundamental human rights such as the right to live, replied at first that they could not do anything without the permission of the chiefs, then recanted and said that they didn't know exactly what they could do.

How is it that the New York State Police and Governor Pataki can stand by and throw sovereignty in the face of the individuals whose human rights are being violated? New York State is using sovereignty as an excuse not to do anything about human rights violations on the Onondaga Territory. The State of New York and the Onondaga Council of Chiefs headed by Oren Lyons is playing a political wargame with Onondaga Nation Citizens as their pawns.

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