Counting Coup – Lakota Citizens Stop US Helicopters from Landing at Wounded Knee

May 3, 2010 by  
Filed under Culture, News

By : Russell Means
In answer to today’s United States Government and its Colonial Corporation, the Oglala Sioux Tribal Govenment’s press conference:
“We the Lakotah People, do not want our massacred dead bodies of Men, Women and Children at the mass grave at Wounded Knee used for publicity by the United States Government nor their colonial corporation, the Oglala Sioux Tribal Government.”

On May 1, 2010, two young men, the Camp brothers counted coup on the first 7th Cavalry helicopter and Debbie White Plume, an elder and grandmother who charged the second helicopter preventing it from landing. By running under the blades and touching them without harming the enemy and getting away is how the Lakotah counted coup on this eventful day.

May 2, 2010 at 9:35am
Dakota.
To the Original Peoples of the Fourth World and all International Press Services:

At high noon today US Army helicopters of the US Seventh Cavalry air division attempted to land their Blackhawk aircraft upon Lakota Sacred Burial grounds in South Dakota. The presence of military aircraft from this unit is a sad and insulting reminder of the slaughter of more than 300 American Aboriginals on December 29, 1890 when soldiers of the US 7th Cavalry gunned down more than 300 Aboriginal Minneconjou Lakota refugee children, women, infants and the elderly at what is now called Wounded Knee in South Dakota Indian Country. The military then left the bodies of their victims to decay unburied in the driving snow.

According to reports from Indigenous Rights Movement Radio host Wanblee this afternoon, Lakota resident Theresa TwoBulls was given less than 24 hrs notice that three US Army 7th Cavalry helicopters would make a landing on the sacred burial grounds at Wounded Knee. As of this writing, the US military was confronted by angry but peaceful and steadfast community resistance as the Aboriginal people of the area have so far, according to reports from Lakota people on the ground, managed to prevent the aircraft from touching Indigenous ground.

For all American Aboriginals of the Americas, this is a sacred area. This is the place where the promise of a people died while fleeing from a genocidal US military unit hell-bent on liquidating the continent of its Indigenous population. There has never been any official apology offered for this massacre and the military awards bestowed upon the genocidal aggressors involved in this conflict still stand, as does a physical monument in honour of the US Army killed during Custer’s “last stand” against a defiant and united Indigenous resistance to their own demise.

The history of the US Army 7th Cavalry is important to understanding the level of violence used against Indigenous peoples. It is important to remember that after the US Seventh Cavalry officially ended the “Indian Wars” at home, they were then dispatched to do battle against Indigenous Filipinos struggling to maintain their hard-won national independence from the colonialist Spanish. In other words, the US War Department sent this very same unit to do overseas what was done here to the Indigenous peoples of the Americas. In this historical light, it is only logical for Indigenous peoples to assume that the Obama administration is attempting to make a political point out of this spectacle. Only, what sort of message are you sending by insulting and humiliating a people already suffering from five centuries of continuous pro-Europocentric, anti-Indigenous genocide?

This domestic military action is a deliberate insult and an obvious message of ongoing colonialism, state-sponsored racism and apathetic Indigenous genocide to all Indigenous peoples across the Fourth World; to the whole of the Lakota/Dakota Nation; and to the Indigenous residents of Pine Ridge and Wounded Knee. The symbolism of dispatching the Seventh Cavalry to Wounded Knee in an attempt to land weapons of mass destruction on Aboriginal sacred ground tells us how little this government, and this particular administration, respects the people of Indian Country and our significant historical perspective as survivors of the racist Euro-settler xenophobic purges waged against the Indian in the Americas.

To make matters worse, this action comes on the heels of newly-passed legislation in Arizona state that requires law officers to racially-profile anyone they believe “looks”, “sounds” or “dresses” like an illegal immigrant, a thinly veiled “race law” that directly effects both our Indigenous sisters and brothers native to Occupied Mexico as well as the Native American population of Arizona in the United States. Given that most Indigenous peoples of the Americas share the same general physiotype and more often than not, similar Spanish last names, the passage of this guideline will without a doubt lead to widespread abuses against that state’s brown-skinned population. The legal door now opened, Texas and other states led by neo-confederate constituencies are moving to pass their own anti-immigrant/anti-Indigenous directives that will broadly effect anyone and everyone who could be perceived by the colonial European majority as a “foreign invader”.

The Obama administration has shown America and the world that they are no different than any other previous US government in their view that the American Indian on both sides of the US border is nothing more than a prop or a tool to be displayed only when it is useful to promote the “contemporary” 21st century neo-colonialist capitalist agenda. The Obama administration, an office headed by a man of African descent, has shamed itself and all those who have supported his candidacy in arrogantly dismissing the memory of our people interred at Wounded Knee by rubbing the military might of the historically anti-Indigenous 7th Cavalry in our faces by forcibly entering Indian Country in an attempt to land their machines of war on top of the bodies of our ancestral dead.

Clearly, the culture war against the American Indian is not over. Welcome to the new American century.

Pass this on We must get the word out…..Let everyone know..Contact the your local media….Tell them the the Local Media in (Rapid City, SD) haven’t even mentioned this in the news…So typical for rapid city SD media…and if they did post it, it would not be the truth..I tried to contact the Rapid City Urinal….LOL. They wont return my calls or post any of the comments I have made in defense of our people.
James ( Magaska) Swan AIM Black Hills South Dakota

iReport —CNN news 5/3/2010
Today at just past Noon Central Time; Three US Army Helicopters attepted to land on Lakota Sacred Burial grounds at Wounded Knee, South Dakota.
The Helicopters were from the Seventh Cavalry which were Historically remnants of General G.A. Custer whose troops were defeated at Little Big Horn in one of the Many battles the United States as they waged a war of attrition and Genocide on Native Americans after the Civil War.
On Dec 28, 1890 remnants of the Seventh Cavalry Mowed down more than 300 Babies, Children, Women, Old People and Men; at what is now called Wounded Knee, South Dakota and left their Victims bodies unburied and Frozen.
Theresa TwoBulls was given less than 24 hrs Notice that Three US Army 7th Cav helicopters would Land on the Burial Grounds at Wounded Knee today.
They were met with Peaceful but Firm resistance, as Lakota (Sioux) Women and Children stood Immobile on that Sacred Ground, preventing the Gross, Unspeakable Insult of 7th Cav. choppers to Land on the same ground where more than 300 Murder Victims lay Buried.
A Lakota Mother said..”I cannot believe they are doing this, have they ( 7th Cav) NO Respect for Our Dead ” ?
Evidently the 3 Helicopters & Brass in Charge did not know their history..and what a Unspeakable Insult it was to the Residents of Pine Ridge, Wounded Knee and the Lakota People; to have the ACTUAL Seventh Cavalry Choppers attempt to land on this Sacred Ground.
This was Broadcast Live on Blogtalkradio, Indigenous People Rights today.
More to follow as reports come in.

Weekend Update #33: Bail Out

October 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Media

In this edition of Weekend Update, Russell Means asks why there has been no massive public outcry in response to the bailout of 2008, which is projected to cost $7 trillion dollars. He speaks as well of the need for a living and vibrant consitutiton as well as a citizenry that responds truthfully to the challenges of their time.

Nobel Update

October 12, 2009 by  
Filed under Media

“Hello my relatives. Today is NOT a good day…”

Russell Means speaks about Obama’s recent award of the Nobel Prize and the meaning of the prize, as well as its history.

1971-Henry Kissinger awarded Nobel Peace Prize after the conclusion of an 18 month B-52 bombing campaign of Cambodia, where an estimated 600,000 villagers were killed. The subsequent destitution and displacement were major factors in the rise of the Khemer Rouge, which the U.S. supported through continued arms sales.

Weekend Update #27: Dying of Racism

September 18, 2009 by  
Filed under Media

In this edition of Weekend Update, Russell Means speaks to the racist portrayals of Indians by Hollywood, the U.S. Government and the media of the left. He speaks as well to the soft racism of exclusion that too often ignores the Indigenous communites of the world and their concerns of their land and their people.

Weekend Update #27: Dying of Racism from Russell Means on Vimeo.

acteal_2

Photos from the funeral of victims of the Acteal Massacre that occurred on December 22, 1997

Acteal Massacre:

On December 22, 1997 paramilitary (state-trained and state-funded pro-governing party civil defense) forces surrounded a Catholic chapel in the pacifistTsotsil Mayan community of Acteal, Chiapas state, Mexico. During a period of several hours, this armed force, with the apparent consent of local Mexican Army units stationed not far away, proceeded to surround Acteal’s chapel, and shot to death those inside, and as many of those who escaped as they could find. A number of residents survived the massacre. Those murdered on that day included 15 children, 21 women (four of them pregnant) and 9 men.

Bagua Shootings:

bagua-1On June 6, 2009, Police, supplied by the U.S. ‘War Against Drugs, shot dead more than 38 people. The government of Peru ordered for the National Police to attack the Amazonian Indigenous peoples. Civilians were shot from building roofs and helicopters.

Indigenous peoples in Peru were on strike for the previous 52 days protesting against free trade policies that would allow multinationals to take over their territories. The attack occurred around 5:00 AM in the morning, a day after the Congress of Peru decided not to debate one of the most important decrees that allow the sale of Indigenous land. The number of casualities is according to a Twetter sent by a Peruvian journalist who is in the area of Bagua, a city located in the Amazonas region of Peru.

Columbia:

farcIn the first week of February, according to indigenous witnesses, Columbian FARC rebels massacred up to 27 Awa people in the southern Narino province, including women and young children (from ages 3 to 6), bringing the total number of murdered Native people to 50 since the national march in the fall.

FARC press statements have only acknowledged the “execution” of eight indigenous due to their alleged assistance of Columbian military, but witnesses deny that figure and the assertion that the Awa willingly assisted anyone.

The National Indigenous Organization of Columbia, ONIC and regional UNIPA, Indigenous Unity of the Awa People, issued a joint statement the week after the massacre, decrying the murders.

“The UNIPA and ONIC denounce the grave violation of human rights and the collective rights of the Awa people of Narino, which is nothing new. … in the last 10 years [in the AWA territory] there have been four massacres, approximately 200 murders and 50 people affected by antipersonnel mines (land mines). … and now 1,300 Awa people are trapped in the area due to confrontations between the army, the guerillas and the para-militaries.”

Guatemalan Civil War:

2122_sc_graves_of_guatemala-4_04700300In its final report, the Commission for Historical Clarification (CEH- Guatemalan Truth Commission) concluded that army massacres had destroyed 626 villages, more than 200,000 people were killed or disappeared, 1.5 million were displaced by the violence, and more than 150,000 were driven to seek refuge in Mexico. Further, the Commission found the state (funded largely by the United States) responsible for ninety-three percent of the acts of violence and the guerrillas (URNG-Guatemalan Revolutionary Union) responsible for three percent. All told, eighty-three percent of the victims were Maya and seventeen percent were ladino.

Sources:

Acteal: http://www.libertadlatina.org/Crisis_Mexico_Chiapas_Acteal_Massacre.htm</em>

Bagua:

http://peruanista.blogspot.com/2009/06/alert-massacre-in-peru-police-shoots-at.html

http://narcosphere.narconews.com/notebook/kristin-bricker/2009/06/us-drug-war-money-funded-peru-indigenous-massacre

Columbia:

http://poorbuthappy.com/colombia/post/farc-massacre-of-indigenous-in-columbia-more-deaths-and-displacement/

Guatemala:

http://www.yale.edu/gsp/guatemala/TextforDatabaseCharts.html

Justice Ignored – Ward Churchill Jury Verdict Overturned

July 7, 2009 by  
Filed under News

ward-588

July 7, 2009

On April 2, 2009, after hearing evidence for a month, a Denver jury unanimously found that Ward Churchill had been fired from the University of Colorado *not* because of research misconduct but in retaliation for speech protected by the First Amendment.

After more than four years of political attacks on Ward Churchill, a clear statement had been made: the University of Colorado had violated the U.S. Constitution when it fired Churchill, a tenured full professor of American Indian Studies.

The normal remedy in such cases? Reinstatement.

Today, July 7, 2009, Judge Larry Naves of the Denver District Court threw out the jury’s verdict, adopting the University’s argument that the Regents have “quasi-judicial” immunity from such lawsuits. In essence, this means that the Regents and University administrators are free to continue to violating the Constitution.

In a 42-page opinion lifted wholesale from the University’s pleadings, Judge Naves went on to explain why Ward Churchill should not be given front pay, back pay, or be reinstated.

All of these are irrelevant, of course, if the jury’s verdict is not upheld. But the fact that the judge went to such pains to adopt the University’s arguments – which often directly contravened the factual record in this case – speaks volumes.

This ruling simply confirms what we have observed so often. When given access to the facts, regular people on the street can make clear, reasoned decisions that uphold constitutional values. It is rare, however, to find persons in positions of power who will not bow to political pressure.

Attorney David Lane will, of course, appeal this decision. Ward Churchill’s reaction? “I can’t think of any way to improve upon Steve Earle’s line from *The Hard Way*: ‘There are some who break and bend. I’m the other kind.’”

Natsu Saito

Russell Means:
July 7, 2009

If you’re an American Indian in the United States of America, whether you are a Lakotah or a Navajo, a tenured professor or a Nobel Peace Prize winner, or an elected president of another country, you will not receive justice in any form from the white people of America.

They attacked Vine Deloria, Jr. (on the day of his funeral), Rigoberta Menchu and Evo Morales. An Indian on a reservation can’t get justice. And a tenured professor can get unconstitutionally thrown out, vindicated by a jury of his peers in a court of law, and it doesn’t matter.

Everyone I’ve named cannot fight back. Evo Morales has to worry about being the president of a country; Rigoberta Menchu has to continue working for her people. Vine Deloria is dead. Indian people on reservations have no power of any kind.

Only Ward has the ability to fight back and win, and it’s still not good enough. They still quash him.

The American Indian has been living at Guantánamo Bay since the founding of the United States of America.

Weekend Update #19: Crooked Histories

June 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Culture, Media

In this edition of Weekend Update, Russell Means talks of the guaranteed freedom of Iroquois Great Law of Peace, the many gradations of slavery in the past & present, as well as the true dangers of the frontier. He speaks as well of languages without war and the missing pieces of the tales, often told as ‘history’.

Weekend Update 19: Crooked Histories from Russell Means on Vimeo.

Weekend Update #18: Myths and Missed Histories

June 6, 2009 by  
Filed under Culture

In this installment of Weekend Update, Russell Means talks of the continual perpetuation of false myths concerning Indians. From the static stereotypes put forth by Hollywood movies, to the ignored histories of abundance and disease-free living never mentioned by supposedly balanced documentaries or historians, Russell Means works to tell the untold stories. He speaks as well to Cortez’s darkness, and to the misrepresentation and outright, on-going oblivion of the American populace to the Indian people in this 14 minute video.

Weekend Update 18: Myths and Missed Histories from Russell Means on Vimeo.

Reconciliation Forum – Russell Means speaks of the Indigenous Struggles

May 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Culture

Russell Means speaks of Matriarchy, the Indigenous struggles, and of the Indigenous people of the Western Hemisphere at the Reconciliation Forum in Washington D.C..


Racism, Alive and Well

May 5, 2009 by  
Filed under News

In the current economic times, how much does truth sell for?

In the recently concluded UN Forum on Racism, the world got a firsthand look at how racism operates.  You are welcome to attend if you verbally denounce racism.  If, however, you speak directly to current acts of racism, you face the barbed tongues of the media for divisive speech.  If you speak of a people who have been dispossessed of their land, those who dispossessed them will walk out of the building.  And, if you speak of the history of slavery and the possibility of reparations for the descendants of those people who were forcibly abducted from their homes, then, like the US, you neednt bother to even attend. 

 At the UN World Forum on Racism in Geneva, The President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took advantage of another chance to flummox the feathers of Israel and called frequently for the disempowerment of that nation.  But less focused on in his speech were a few other points.  He spoke of the need to dissolve the veto power of the Permanent Members of the UN Security Council, who at last tally, had quashed some 40 resolutions on the subject of Palestine by the veto of the United States.  He spoke of the million souls killed in Iraq and the several million who have been forced out of their homes in that country.

He also gave voice to the deathly silence of genuine action from the UN Security Council beginning in December of 2008 to January 09, when the UN spoke sternly but did not act to stop the slaughter of an estimated 1100 civilians in the Gaza Strip.  He called these acts by a name, racism. 

Speaking of violence in today’s society is often equated with actual violence.  The difference between the two is very real though.  Consider, since the year 2000, there are around 6000 fewer Palestinian souls on the planet, and around 1000 fewer Israeli.  Taking into account the fact that almost every aspect of Palestinian life is under curfew, that family members often begin decomposing before they can be taken across checkpoints to burial, that women often die in childbirth for the same reason and that upwards of 70% of the citizens lack clean drinking water, one can sense that there might be a perception of racism toward the Palestinians by the Israeli government.  Israel has been given material support since its inception by the United States to perform acts of dispossession on a native population.  In recent times, they have expanded the ‘settlements’, tripling their inhabitants in a little over a decade and a half.

But as with America, the push for expansion of lands and displacement of native people has no term other than racism, and such crimes seep in to the consciousness of a country, as much as it wishes to shield itself from it.

That Ahmadinejad spoke so in public is of course anathema to systemic racism, which prefers not to have its name called out in the polis.  To be fair to the conference attendees, Ahmadinejad’s statements were in some respects the least eloquent of the conference.  The work to address the muliplicity of slave trades between Africa, the Middle East and India is laudable, as is the work to improve human rights and dignity for migrants and modern day slaves.  The fact that defamation of religion has for the time being been labeled as a matter of freedom of speech is as well commendable.  But Ahmadinejad’s speech still captures something that won’t sit still, even after it has left Durban in 2001 or Geneva in 2009, namely, a striving to create a world which is more just and more humane for the future, starting with an honest admission of the crimes of the past, the crimes of the present and what can be done to best help the future.  A good start would be the demanding equity for the Palestinian people, many of whom currently live in isolated camps, are subject to random arrests and are forced further toward hopelessness by a policy that is by now at least two generations old.

Considering that the population that lives in Israeli Settlements in the West Bank has tripled in the last 18 years, with an estimated 40% of the settlements and ‘outposts’ existing extralegally on Palestinian land, it would seem that now would be an opportune moment for reconciliation. 

Also recently, was the Indigenous People’s Global Summit on Climate Change, which captured fewer headlines than Hugo Chavez’s timely gift of a book to Barack Obama.  The present, Uruguayan Eduardo Galeano’s “Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent”, puts forward the notion that if Latin America had been and was now fully reimbursed for all of the land and natural resources stolen from them, from the past up until the present day, they would be the keepers of the keys of the world economy, instead of its most frequent beggars.  Indeed if the human species is to gain a footing that would walk it away from self-imposed annihilation and closer to sustainability, taking Native People’s perspective into account would seem to be a good start.  The 400 indigenous people from 80 nations making up the Indigenous People’s Global Summit on Climate Change were in the end divided over whether to call for an immediate moratorium on all new oil and gas drilling on native lands in preference for alternative energy. 

Though unresolved in the end, such a call is to date not even conceived of being mentioned in the wider populace of any country.  They as well called for a stop to ‘false solutions like forest carbon offsets and other market based mechanisms that will benefit only those who are making money’ as Tom Goldtooth stated.  With grain prices having doubled in the last 2 years, with ethanol consuming 25% of the US grain supply and with 18,000 children dying each day from starvation, we are fast approaching the day when it will be more profitable to put gas in a car than to feed people. 

All of this, and Javed Iqbal, a Staten Island resident originally from Pakistan, was sentenced last week to six years in prison for airing an Arabic television channel and Dov Zakheiv, the rabbi who somehow lost 2.6 trillion dollars while working for the Pentagon from ’01 to ’04, is writing columns for ‘shadowgovernment’ of foreignpolicy.com.  Yes, Virginia, there is a racism in the world still.

Wasi’chu

January 3, 2009 by  
Filed under Culture

The first people who lived on the northern plains of what today is the United States called themselves “Lakotah,” meaning “the allies,” a word which provides the semantic basis for Dakotah. The first European people to meet the Lakotah called them “Sioux,” a contraction of Nadowessioux, a now-archaic French-Canadian word meaning “snake” or enemy.

The Lakotah also used the metaphor to describe the newcomers. It was Wasi’chu, which means “takes the fat,” or “greedy person.” Within the modern Indian movement, Wasi’chu has come to mean those corporations and individuals, with their governmental accomplices, which continue to covet Indian lives, land, and resources for private profit.

Wasi’chu does not describe a race; it describes a state of mind.

Wasi’chu is also a human condition based on inhumanity, racism, and exploitation. It is a sickness, a seemingly incurable and contagious disease which begot the ever advancing society of the West. If we do not control it, this disease will surely be the basis for what may be the last of the continuing wars against the Native American people.

…excerpt from Wasi’chu, The Continuing Indian Wars,
Bruce Johansen and Robert Maestas
with an introduction by John Redhouse