Indigenous delegates to the border on Tohono O'odham Nation land were outraged by the federal agents, hovering customs helicopter, profiteering contractors, federal spy tower, federal "cage" detention center and watching the arrest of a group of Indigenous Peoples, mostly women and children, by the US Border Patrol on an Indian Nation.
The United States' Apartheid Wall is under construction on Tohono O'odham Nation lands, shown here at the San Miguel Gate.
Minutes after this photo was taken, a delegation of Mohawks and other Native people stood before the Border Patrol with fists held high in solidarity and would have intervened in the arrest of Mayans, if the Border Patrol had not packed the Mayans into a vehicle and sped away.
Delegates from the Indigenous Peoples' Border Summit of the Americas were disgusted to see the border wall going up on Indian land; the "cage" where men women and children are held on Indian land; and the arrests of Mayans, mostly women and children, on Tohono O'odham land.
The construction of the border wall on O'odham land has already resulted in the digging up the ancestors of the O'odham from their final resting place, on the western side of Tohono O'odham Nation lands by the contractor Boeing.
The border wall will also be a barrier for the traditional ceremonial route of O'odham. Although it is endorsed by the Tohono O'odham Nation government, individual O'odham are protesting the wall with support from Indigenous Peoples throughout the Americas.
(Photo Jay Johnson-Castro)
"We are going to take this wall down," Means said, after viewing the construction of a "border vehicle barrier" by contractors and National Guard on Tohono O'odham land. [This wall is something to see. It is iron posts filled with cement, sunk 5 ft. into the ground and 6 1/2 ft. high. it is going to be electrified.]
"One inch of intrusion into our land is not acceptable!" Mohawk Mark Maracle told the Border Summit. "I became very angry when I saw those guys rounding up our people. It is a violation of our Great Law to witness what we saw today and do nothing about it." [We felt so powerless. What could be do. They had all the guns!]
The delegation included Mohawks, Oneida, Navajo,
Acoma Pueblo, Hopi and O'odham.
Near the border, at the scene of the arrests of a group of Indigenous Peoples, Mohawks stood before US Border Patrol agents and yelled at them about the illegality of their actions. They held their fists high in solidarity, as the Border Patrol packed nearly a dozen Indigenous Peoples into one vehicle.
The delegation also viewed the federal spy tower next to Homeland Security's migrant detention center known as "the cage" on the Tohono O'odham Nation. The first stop, however, was the abomination of the new wall being constructed on O'odham land.
Kahentinetha Horn of the Mohawk Women Title Holders said she saw the callousness of the Tohono O'odham district official standing before them and speaking in favor of the border barrier. [Marla asked, "What people are your talking about?" "Your People", we all said. She smiled the whole time].
"This is completely illegal," Kahentinetha said, adding that it violates human rights and international law. Kahentinetha was outraged at the arrests of the group of Indigenous Peoples, who appeared to be young Mayans from Oaxaca, Chiapas or Guatemala.
"We stood in front of the Border Patrol yelling at them," Kahentinetha told the Indigenous Border Summit. She described how the Mohawks stood with fists held high in solidarity with the Indigenous Peoples who were arrested earlier in the day. "We tried to pass some of our strength on to them to fight."The Indigenous delegation documenting the abuses planned to intervene in the arrests, but the Border Patrol crowded the group into a vehicle and left quickly.
Mohawk warrior Rarahkwisere, among those disheartened to see the arrest of fellow Indigenous Peoples on Indian land with the help of Indigenous people, was shaking with anger. He pointed out, "These brothers and were not drug runners or criminals. These were men, women and children walking in search of a better life". [They have the same rights as anyone else? This fence is being erected by people who claim to support a "free market society". They really want low labor costs. Today some cab live well and others are pushed to starve. These people are not just economic migrants eager to get into the US to sponge off welfare. They are being forced to flee. The multinational corporations are spraying toxic chemicals on their homeland.]
Jay Johnson Castro of Del Rio Texas, leading protests against the imprisonment of migrant children at Hutto prison in Texas and the border wall in Texas, was in the delegation.
Maracle said the atrocities that the US government is falsely accusing migrants of doing, is what the invaders did when they arrived on Turtle Island: rape, robbery and murder. [We do not believe that toddlers and 9 year olds are committing such crimes]."I hear 'sovereign nation,' but I didn't see sovereign actions [by the Tohono O'odham]." Castro said the buildings near the border on the Tohono O'odham Nation are labeled "Homeland Security and Tohono O'odham Nation. They are partners [in crime! Partners in genocide!]
Chris George, Oneida from Canada, said, "When the Border Patrol came up, they treated us like as enemies." The Border Patrol imemdiately asked the summit delegation "Who authorized this delegation to be at the border and who is your leader?" [Did they think we were a bunch of martians or something?] "No one authorizes us to do anything. Creation brought us there". George warned, "Don't let the United States government tell us who we are. We are Haudenosaunee, People of the Longhouse.""If we don't stop and grab hold of our destiny, there is not going to be one for our children." Maracle said. "All the nations need to come together and stop what is happening here. I know from past experience with the Mohawk Warrior Society where our power lies. It is with the people. Don't ever forget that."
Lenny Foster, Dine' (Navajo) and advocate for Native ceremonial rights for inmates, said that what he witnessed was "brutal, vicious and evil." He said Dine' know that all human beings have five fingers. He said that he did not recognize the district official and federal agents as having five-fingers. "They were robots." Foster said that the Tohono O'odham district official [Marla Henry] who led the tour was defending the [colonial] policies of genocide.
Describing how the Indigenous Peoples were arrested and quickly rushed into a small vehicle, Foster said, "It reminded me of Gallup, N.M. and how they round up our people, stacked them up like cords of wood." Foster was at the dirt path leading to Mexico, also known as The Gate, years ago when the American Indian Movement protested the violation of human rights there. He remarked on the heavy buildup of police and agents, from the BIA, Tohono O'odham Nation, US Border Patrol, Immigration and Customs agents and the National Guard. They were all working with the contractors constructing the wall, while a white customs' helicopter hovered menacingly overhead.
At the same time, on the Mexico side [of the "imaginary line"], two men sat under a tree. An attorney for the O'odham in Mexico was prevented from crossing into the United States portion of Tohono O'odham land by the US Border Patrol. This man held a letter from Tohono O'odham Nation Chairman Ned Norris requesting to meet with him today. Norris stated that the attorney could enter the Nation by way of "The Gate" that we were at.
The Border Patrol officer at the scene refused to allow the attorney to enter, over-ruling Chairman Norris. He said the attorney must have a US visa and not just a letter from Norris. [This goes to show how some Indians are letting themselves be puppets of the low ranking "foot soldiers" of the U.S. government.] The attorney waited there in the company of a Tarahumara who held a US visa.
Foster pointed out that the Mexican federales or police, who arrived on the other side, could do anything with these two people who were left there. "They could even be torturing them now." Means also pointed out that the delegation was "tailed" or followed from the tribal capitol of Sells. Means also said that the Berlin Wall had come down, but now there are other walls to divide the people [that are being built all over the world].
At the border wall, Means said one of the workers announced proudly, "The Israelis are helping us put up the wall." Border wall contractor Boeing has hired a subcontractor, Elbit Systems, an Israeli defense contractor, who helped build the Apartheid Wall in Palestine.
Means said the U.S. "gated communities" have expanded into a "gated country" where the government welcomes the rich [and kills the poor]. [We were down there during the "Remembrance Day" weekend. Is this the world the soldiers sacrafied for?]
An international summit must be called immediately. These kinds of borders are allegedly being planned worldwide. We've been informed that a wall is being planned on the "imaginary line" known as the Canada-U.S. border. This is a violation of Indigenous law, human rights and international law. This plan to control all of mankind and the natural world must be stopped immediately! Direct your criticisms to: Marla Henry firstname.lastname@example.org; Verlon Jose, Chairman of Tohono O'odham Legislative Council, Box 837, Sells, Arizona 85634, email@example.com; and to your local Congressmen, Senators, media, file international complaints; To help, contact: Mike Flores MNN Mohawk Nation News www.mohawknationnews.com firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com
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