Friday, February 6, 2009
MNN: Canada & Big Tobacco Try to Liquidate Down Indigenous Trade
CANADA & BIG TOBACCO TRY TO LIQUIDATE DOWN INDIGENOUS TRADE – 6 Nations and Tyendinaga illegally invaded on Feb. 5th
Mohawk Nation News
Feb. 6, 2009. Last summer two Canadian tobacco giants agreed to pay the largest criminal fines and civil settlements in Canadian history for their role in cigarette smuggling and tax evasion. Revenue Minister Gordon O’Conner announced the biggest “sweetheart” deal ever. Three companies were involved – R.J. Reynolds, Imperial Tobacco and Rothman. The fine is $4 billion. Reynolds and Imperial will pay $1.1 billion for mass criminal tax fraud.
Where will the rest come from? Ordinary people who don’t pay their fines are harassed and jailed. But not these guys! Nine R.J. Reynolds executives were charged. None went to jail.
Ever wonder why?
Paul Martin, former Prime Minister, was on the IMASCO board that owns Imperial. [See Comments Feb. 1/09 www.cbc.ca/sunday/2009]. Tobacco industry executive, Paul Finalyson, says Imperial initially set up the operations and the rest followed. There will be no trial.
The exact nature of the involvement of these companies and their executives will remain hidden from the public. The tobacco companies planned and set up the “contraband” market in the early 1990s. They shipped truckloads of product to Buffalo and Syracuse in New York State, supposedly for sale in the U.S. No taxes had to be paid to Canada. This product was then sold to middlemen. They brought them back to Canada for sale at very low prices. Sales rose from $800 million a year to $6 billion by 1993.
Everybody was involved, police, judges, stores, cigarette companies and so on. Cigarettes became cheaper and sales and profits soared.
In Canada one in three was a smuggled cigarette. The big tobacco companies taught the indigenous people how to run this business in a sophisticated way. Now successful Indigenous business people are being called “organized crime” for manufacturing and selling the very same product that Canada and big tobacco are dealing in.
In 1994 the federal government weaned itself off the “golden teat” by dropping the price on cigarettes. Overnight smuggling stopped because it wasn’t profitable. The deal between Canada and big tobacco was a business arrangement between two partners.
The Canadian government has an interest in keeping tobacco sales high to collect more taxes, while at the same professing to cut down cigarette smoking to bring down medical care costs. Smoking is on the decline. But these big companies and their corporate protector, Canada, want to keep the money rolling in.
They are trying to do this by putting legitimate indigenous tobacco manufacturers out of business.
They do not want legitimate Indigenous traders to legally sell tax free products. So they have to illegally stop our trade by bullying, charging, threatening and fining us. Big tobacco companies are waiting to start up again big time. Canada does not want to “shoot the goose that laid the golden egg” but it does want to steal any eggs laid by Indigenous people.
In the meantime, the tobacco companies have moved all their assets off-shore. British colonization of Turtle Island was founded on piracy. Throughout we have asserted our sovereignty including the duty to look after our families according to our traditional laws and governance. Tobacco trade was always a part of our traditional culture.
Today the colonists want the valueless paper currency we are getting in exchange for our legitimate products. Who’s the counterfeiter here?
We are accountable to our mothers, grandmothers, aunties, sisters, clanmothers, chiefs, clans and nations. Crown employees take an oath to uphold the colonial way of life which is aimed at destroying us.
They obviously want to stop us from having any means at all to look after each other and our families. Most Ongwehonwe communities in Canada are so poor that people don’t have adequate nutrition. It really sticks in their craw to see that we have found a way to feed our families and live decently.
On February 5 2009 our "smoke shops" and businesses in Six Nations and Tyendinaga came under fire. Canada decided to once again try to illegally enforce its colonial jurisdiction on us and our territory.
Squads of Six Nations Police and the Tyendinaga Mohawk Police, which are set up by the Canadian government, acted under the direction of the colonial band councilors. They set out to remove all products from a smoke shop and even tried to remove the building itself. Our men and women stopped them. Marked and undercover police hid out in Caledonia behind Tim Hortons, Canadian Tire parking lots and elsewhere. An OPP cruiser that got “lost” in Six Nations was turned back. In a former "dry run" the police would feign being lost in our community “accidentally”!
The OPP were actually testing our response so they could figure out the number, type of officers, weaponry and media required to attack us and make us look bad. They are also testing their communications equipment in all these operations now.
Martial law can’t be brought in until all the kinks are ironed out. The band council police told us that if they can't "get the job done", outside authorities will be brought in. We wanted to see proof of their rights to invade us and try to shut us down. The band council and its goons are part of the colonial “bankster” apparatus, no matter how dark their skin is under their uniforms. The same day, on February 5th, in Tyendinaga, six rez cops, with OPP SWAT Team backup 500 ft. down the road, went into a local bar claiming to have a warrant which they refused to show. They seized some cases of beer and whisky. The owner is accused of not paying Ontario provincial taxes even though there is no agreement for us to pay any taxes to foreigners. This is really a “protection racket”.
At the other end of the community towards the Trans Canada Highway 401 were parked SUVs, vans and a tactical team. They hesitate to come in as they know they have no jurisdiction over us in any way. The murder at Ipperwash and the fiasco at Sharbot Lake still hang over their heads.
We have no agreement with the colony of Canada to pay any taxes to them. By international law we require a valid agreement contracted with our full knowledge and consent, which does not exist. That can’t and will never happen.
It looks like Canada and big tobacco have made a deal to raise prices, collect the taxes and kill their biggest competitors, the Indigenous people. It isn’t gonna work, guys.
Unilaterally making laws, then forcing them down our throats by sending in your para-military death squads is illegal.
You know it!
Ia’koha:kowa & MNN Staff Mohawk Nation News
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