From: Gary Hunt at the Outpost of Freedom on the Onondaga Reservation New York
Date: October 3,1993 Phone: (315) xxx-xxxx
The Outpost of Freedom reports for the last three days remain in my computer. When I made arrangements to come to Onondaga I had heard that the power and the telephones were out at Smoke Signals, where I would be staying. When I arrived I was pleasantly surprised to find that the power had been restored. Unfortunately, the telephone service had not.
It wasnít a storm that had created these outages, it was an act of vandalism (vandalism is an act of violence), applied to attempt to force those inside of Smoke Signals to capitulate. Iím not quite sure what they are to capitulate to, but Iím sure that those answers will come when I am able to talk to the Tribal Council, or at least the Tribal Council supporters, those who man the picket lines at a rate of $5.00 per hour. It appears that there are a minimum of 10 "supporters" at any given time which would make the cost, in manpower support, $1200 per day. Since April 1,1993, that would mean the cost is approaching 1/4 million dollars, and probably exceeding that figure rapidly.
The act of vandalism occurred on September 29, 1993. Both Smoke Signals (owned by Kenneth Papineau) and ORís (owned by Oliver Hill) had power and phone lines cut with cable cutters. These acts were witnessed and affidavits have been prepared identifying the perpetrators. Both criminal and civil actions are contemplated.
Anyway, we have power, as does ORís. The power company, Niagara Mohawk, was willing to brave the hostile voices of the multitude of supporters who attempted to block access to make the repairs. The telephone company, New York Telephone, although continuing to promise, and even assure that repair service was on the way, finally admitted that they would not abide by their contract to repair interrupted service unless permission were granted by a chief, or the Tribal Council. The phones remain off, except for one pay phone at ORís and a cellular phone at Smoke Signals.
The result is that the releases for October 1, 2 & 3 are now waiting for a solution to this problem. It does bring home a point that I have been remiss in addressing, the issue of transmission of Outpost of Freedom reports under adverse circumstances. I am open to suggestions to remedy this situation.
Return to Onondaga Nation page