Produced and hosted by members of No One Is Illegal in Montreal.
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KATENIES was recently described as "lawless" by an official of the Canadian Border Services Agency. She is a member of the Akwesasne Community, part of the Mohawk Nation, and is currently wanted on an arrest warrant, from the Superior Court of Justice in Cornwall, Ontario, for refusing to appear on customs and border violations. Katenies refuses to recognize the authority of the Canadian courts, or any colonial courts and border officials, until they have clearly established their jurisdiction, if any, over the Mohawk peoples.
She and her family -- including her daughter and two grandchildren -- have been harassed by border officials, in various incidents, since 2003. To visit her daughter, Katenies needs to make a simple 2-minute drive, but that drive takes her through two provinces, one state, and two countries. As recently as November 2006, she was accused of running the border. She was ordered to court this past January 18, 2007, but didn't appear. Instead, she earlier served the courts with her own Motion to Dismiss, demanding that the courts and border officials address the jurisdiction question; ie. does Canada, or the US, have any juridiction whatsoever over the Mohawk people.
In this exclusive interview, Katenies discusses her current challenge to border officials, her refusal to recognize the colonial courts, her reflections on the re-establishment of the Confederacy House at Six Nations, attempts to introduce biometric "smart cards" into Mohawk communities, as well as her jurisidictional challenge to the Canadian authorities, and the precedents she cites within the Mohawk Great Law and the Two-Row Wampum.
Katenies was interviewed this past weekend, from an undisclosed location, somewhere on Turtle Island.
For background information, consult Mohawk Nation News: http://www.mohawknationnews.com
On the early morning of January 9 of this year, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested an entire family of Pakistani origin from their home in Queens, New York. The Siraj family, a father, mother and daughter, were all detained after a pre-dawn raid, just hours after a Federal Court judge sentenced their son and brother, Matan Siraj, to 30 years in prison on terrorism charges. The Siraj family were all active members of DRUM -- Desis Rising up and Moving -- a community-based organization in New York City that works with Muslim and South Asian immigrants that have been targeted in the so-called "War on Terror."
DRUM has denounced the detention of the Siraj family, and the sentencing of Matan Siraj, as part of the US government's ongoing intimidation of Muslim, Arab and South Asian communities, seeking self-justifying pretexts for the "War on Terror".
On this edition of No One Is Illegal Radio, we talk with KAVITHA PAWRIA, an organizer with DRUM who was active in mobilizing support for the Siraj family throughout the past month.
She speaks about the current situation of the Siraj family -- mother and daughter were released on a prohibitive cash bond -- while the father remains in detention, facing deportation, and the son Matan Siraj is beginning an appeal of his 30-year prison sentence. Kavitha also speaks about the broader context of the attack on the Siraj family, and the ongoing organizing against the War on Terror within New York City's Muslim and South Asian communities.
For background to DRUM, the Siraj case, as well as info about how to contribute to the support fund for the Siraj family, visit their website: www.drumnation.org