Akwesasne Mohawks protest border gun plan
Published Friday, May 1, 2009 7:14PM EDT
Akwesasne Mohawks near Cornwall are furious about the presence of weapons near their community, in the form of newly-armed Canadian border agents.
Protests began Friday against the new policy at the Cornwall Island crossing, which goes into effect on June 1. Many natives fear escalations will become even more dangerous through the presence of guns.
"Our community has had enough of CBSA harassing our community, harassing our young people, and (racially) profiling our people," said Tim Thompson.
The Canadian government has instituted a long-term but controversial plan to equip Canada Border Services Agency agents with firearms. But the Akwesasne Mohawk Reserve has a law banning guns, meaning many are angry that the agents will remain in place in the midst of their community.
"There haven't been any confrontations that would justify them having guns," said Akwesasne resident Frank Horn. "This is because they're trying to become like the Americans."
The RCMP, local police, and the CBSA have mounted sustained operations against contraband tobacco and other smuggled goods in the area.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Jamie Long