Akwesasne miffed over new security web planned for border

Akwesasne miffed over new security web planned for border
Protesters cross the Seaway International Bridge during a protest by First Nations people.

CORNWALL, Ontario – A massive new security apparatus being erected along the international border near Cornwall is ruffling feathers in Akwesasne.

The First Nation Friday suggested the move with further isolate the Mohawk community in an era when Akwesasne wants to create improved relationships with the federal government.

“The plan to spend millions of dollars more on external law enforcement is equivalent to Canada sending in more cavalry soldiers to further surround Akwesasne,” said the Frist Nation in a statement. “We continue to state that other solutions can be found that are more productive and will benefit all.”

The RCMP recently announced it plans to erect a $92-million security apparatus that will include everything from radar to thermal imaging and ground sensors.

The move is being completed over the next few years in an attempt to curtail organized-crime activities that permeate the border near Cornwall and Akwesasne.

“It is true that putting Akwesasne into a police state that is already surrounded by security cameras and a multitude of law enforcement agencies can be viewed as an attack on not only our sovereignty; but also on our human rights, mobility rights and privacy rights,” continued a lengthy statement from the First Nation. “Akwesasne has made requests for partnerships and has called for increased support from Canada in order to help secure the border that physically dissects our community into several jurisdictions: Ontario, Quebec, and New York.”

Akwesasne has proposed the development of a secure border identification card to help make border-crossing easier, and has also advocated  the implementation of a Mohawk Border Security Plan that would include local security/border officers and procedures.

The RCMP have countered that increasing border security by way of the new security web planned to be completed in 2018 will be effective in curtailing crime.

“(The project) will significantly enhance law enforcement coverage of the border environment that is being exploited by organized crime to facilitate cross-border criminal activities,” said Sgt. Greg Cox, RCMP spokesperson, earlier this week.

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