Should Christians, Who Believe War Is Wrong, Refuse to Pay for It?


From the Lockport, New York Union-Sun and Journal, :

Mohawks Block Traffic

 About 300 Mohawks blocked traffic at Cornwall Island, midpoint of the Massena-Cornwall international bridge, in their continuing protest against imposition of Canadian customs duties on Indians.

The blockade at the island, owned by the Mohawks, lasted 10 minutes. There were no arrests.

Mohawks claim terms of the Jay Treaty exempt them from duty. Also, a right of way for the bridge across the island was granted Canada by some Mohawk leaders in in a contract that stipulated Indians would have the right to travel over the bridge “without any charge, tax or tolls whatsoever” on either themselves or their goods.

Despite this contract, customs officers stopped a panel truck, which the Indians loaded with groceries and clothing, and demanded a $5 duty. When the Mohawks refuse to pay, trucks and goods were impounded.

Shortly after the truck was impounded, the Indians massed at the Canadian end of the bridge and would not let automobile traffic pass. They carried signs saying “Enforce the Jay Treaty” and “This is Indian territory.” Some beat on drums while others danced and chanted in the Mohaw[k l]anguage.

After one car bearing Canadian plates rammed through the crowd, Mohawk leaders broke up the demonstration and held a mass meeting at the long-house on St. Regis Reservation. Another meeting was planned on Cornwall Island with officials of the Canadian Office of Indian Affairs. Several persons were knocked aside but not injured when the car drove into the crowd.

Canadian officials began collecting customs duties from the Indians in , honoring the contract until that time. Mohawk officials, backed by leaders of the Iroquois Confederacy of Indian Nations in New York State and Canada, were unable to arrange meetings to discuss the situation with Canadian leaders, despite several trips to Ottawa.

Forty-eight Indians had been arrested, and twenty-five cars towed, after a blockade of the bridge .

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