Member of Native American community warns of possible Thruway demonstration

Jun 7, 2013

A local member of the Native American community is warning of a possible demonstration against the governor's proposed casino in Western New York.

Past protests against New York State by Seneca Nation of Indians near Thruway
Credit Photo from Let's Talk Native Web


"This isn't just a function of annoying the Seneca leadership.  The Seneca people are very angered by this," said John Kane, host of Let's Talk Native. 

As a Native American, Kane has close connections with those in the Seneca Nation Community. 

John Kane, host of Let's Talk Native

Kane said New York State has been stacking up too many issues against Native Americas, from gaming issues to lawsuits against native brands, taxes and seizures. 

"There is talk of a Thruway event because if the governor is going to try to interfere with their national commerce, in terms of gaming, and their private sector commerce, in terms of tobacco...you're going to see reaction and there is a lot of talk of a Thruway event," said Kane.

WBFO News asked Kane when this demonstration could occur and what members of the Senecas are planning.

"What I'm hearing is there is a plan to close the Thruway from a demonstration standpoint.  I don't think anybody is talking tire fires or bulldozing the Thruway.  But I think there is talk about doing an event that is going to spill out on the Thruway and clearly grab the attention of the media and grab the attention of Governor Cuomo," said Kane.

In 1997, the Senecas demonstrated against the states sales tax on native lands shutting down a section of the Thruway. Protestors lit fires and got into scuffles with state police. 

Kane said Cuomo continues to threaten the Seneca's for failure to provide casino revenue payments. But Kane noted that this issue remains in arbitration.  Kane claims the governor is failing to follow a gag order recommended by the arbitration hearing officer.