The occupation and blockade of Wounded Knee began as a demonstration for Lakota rights organized by members of the AIM. For the Lakota people, the community has great significance. In 1890, Wounded Knee was the site of a major clash between the Lakota and the United States Army, an event many consider to be the end of the Indian Wars.
I’m sure we remember the protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Standing Rock Sioux. This article is long, but it tells us what’s been going on with the hundreds of Native American and other protestors that were arrested. Some have settled their court cases, some have been found not guilty, it’s hard to find unbiased juries, the cases are weak versus the cases are strong depending on who you talk with, and so on. It’s a good article.
Here is an excerpt telling us about one of the protestors, Rattler, who faces federal charges.
Rattler, 45, legal name Michael Markus, is one of six native activists facing near-unprecedented federal charges related to the Standing Rock protest camps against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The federal cases sit alongside hundreds and hundreds brought by state prosecutors, stemming from vast numbers of arrests made over the six months that the camps stood—a protest which at its height drew up to 15,000 participants from around the world and, for a short time, the dilettantish gaze of the mainstream media. The authorities razed the last major holdouts of the camps on February 23, by which point numbers had already dwindled as blizzard conditions pummeled the prairie lands. The camera crews packed up and most of the country went back to focusing on Trump.
But for Rattler, his federal co-defendants, the many hundreds of arrestees facing state charges, and their lawyers, the fight on the ground in North Dakota is far from over. They face a terrain as brutal and unforgiving as any winter on the Standing Rock reservation: a small-town court system in conservative rural counties with no experience of anything nearing this scale or political valence.
The unbroken American history of native oppression is not lost on Rattler, a marine veteran, truck driver and card-carrying Oglala Lakota Sioux Indian who lives on the Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota—designated one of the poorest areas in America. His great-great-great-great grandfather was Chief Red Cloud, the storied Oglala Lakota leader who oversaw successful campaigns against the U.S. Army in 1866 and signed the 1868 Fort Laramie treaty, delineating the Indian Country through which the DAPL now runs. Red Cloud died at Pine Ridge in 1909. The same Pine Ridge where over 250 Lakota were massacred and buried in a mass grave in 1890 at Wounded Knee; the same Wounded Knee where, in 1973, American Indian Movement (AIM) activists and supporters from every Indian nation occupied the town.
The Standing Rock federal trials are not likely to begin until October, at the earliest. The six federal defendants have all been charged with use of fire to commit an offense and civil disorder, stemming from events on October 27—a major date in the pipeline standoff on which 141 people were arrested. Police deployed armored vehicles, lashes of pepper spray and LRAD sound cannons to clear water protectors from one of the campsites, while barricades were set alight and DAPL equipment was damaged. The civil disorder charge is a rarely used federal statute with a fiercely political history—it was passed in the late 1960s at the height of the Black Liberation and anti-war movements. AIM members from the Wounded Knee occupation faced the very same charge.
It was not until January 23, three days after Trump’s inauguration, that the Justice Department moved to file federal charges. This, [Sandra Freeman, Rattler’s attorney] said, was “no accident.” Each defendant now faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
On this day in 1890, hundreds of Native Americans were killed by United States government forces at Wounded Knee, South Dakota. Tensions between the federal government and the indigenous peoples of America had led to frequent bouts of warfare ever since the country was first colonised by Europeans. These wars became particularly intense during the latter half of the nineteenth century, and despite several key victories for Native Americans - most famously at the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876 - the federal government increasingly pushed native peoples onto reservations. The government were particularly alarmed by the growing Ghost Dance movement, which was a spiritual movement which prophesised the imminent defeat of the white man and the resumption of the traditional Indian way of life. The movement factored into mounting tensions at Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, which were exacerbated by the murder of Sioux chief Sitting Bull on December 15th 1890. The situation came to a head fourteen days later, when the U.S. Army’s 7th Cavalry surrounded a group of Ghost Dancers, under the leadership of Lakota Sioux chief Big Foot, near Wounded Knee Creek in the reservation. During this confrontation, a shot was fired, and the fighting descended into a massacre of Native Americans by the well-equipped army. It is estimated that around 200 people died - nearly half of whom were women and children - though some historians place the number much higher. Only 25 U.S. soldiers were killed, and 20 of the survivors were awarded the Medal of Honor. The Wounded Knee massacre was a pivotal moment in the history of indigenous relations in North America, as it marks the last major confrontation of the Indian wars. The incident also provides a poignant symbol around which Native American activist groups have rallied, providing the title for Dee Brown’s famous history Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (1970), and becoming the focal point of the occupation of Wounded Knee in 1973.
The Occupation of Alcatraz - Celebrate People’s History
From November 1969 to June 1971 a collection of American Indian students and urban Indians, calling themselves Indians of All Tribes,occupied Alcatraz Island off the coast of San Francisco as a call to resistance against U.S. domination of Native peoples and land. The coalition publicized the occupation through a widely distributed newsletter and a radio show broadcast in multiple cities. This action sparked years of Native resistance, including the 1972 takeover of the Bureau of Indian Affairs headquarters in Washington D.C. and the re-occupation of Wounded Knee in 1973.
Demian DinéYazhi’ Untitled (For Anna Mae Aquash Pictou), 2013
– Printable poster 18"x 24" –
In the spirit of International Women’s Day, let us take a moment to honor the words and work of the late Mi'kmaq warrior Anna Mae Aquash Pictou, whose lifeline was shortened due to her brave and resilient spirit!
This poster was inspired by Anna Mae’s Aquash’s statement to the Court of South Dakota, made after her arrest and interrogation by the FBI regarding fellow activist Leonard Peltier, who was wanted tor the murder of two FBI agents. The FBI had arrested and interrogated Aquash a number of times throughout 1975, including one in which she was allegedly told she would not live out the year it she did not give up the information they wanted. Aquash claimed to have no information about Peltier. She was murdered in late 1975, and her body was discovered along a stretch of highway in South Dakota in February 1976.
About Anna Mae Aquash (March 27, 1945 – mid-December 1975):
Annie Mae Aquash (Mi'kmaq name Naguset Eask) was a Mi'kmaq activist from Nova Scotia, Canada, who became a member of the American Indian Movement, on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, United States during the mid-1970s.
Aquash participated in the 1972 Trail of Broken Treaties and occupation of the Department of Interior headquarters in Washington, DC; the Wounded Knee Incident in 1973; and armed occupations in Canada and Wisconsin in following years. On February 24, 1976, her body was found on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota; she was initially determined to have died from exposure but was found to have been executed by gunshot. Aquash was thirty years old at the time of her death.
Thunderhawk is a part of the Oohenumpa band of the Cheyenne River Sioux
Tribe and a co-founder of American Indian Movement. She is an Elder in one of
the highest regards within the indigenous community. In the late 60’s and 70’s
she participated in frontline actions most notably the Alcatraz occupation in
‘69, Mount Rushmore occupation in ’71, and the Wounded Knee siege in ’73.
I wish "feminism" would grow the fuck up, STOP being preoccupied with pop culture and *tee-hee* white women/girls "culture" as I derisively call it, and become a mature, collective, sociopolitical movement, with the end goal being the female sex on a global scale liberating themselves and abolishing the white-supremacist, Western-centric, capitalistic, imperialist Heteropatriarchy.
“Feminism” has devolved into a trashy, sophomoric article in Cosmo that you would see/hear vapid, bourgeois, basic-ass white women/girls gossiping about at a Starbucks, with high-pitch, dumb-as-hell voices. Last week they were gossiping about ::shudders:: how ~*totes*~ “feminist” their boyfriends/fiancées/husbands are. ::vomits:: The week before that they were bashing WoC, lesbians–particularly butch lesbians, tomboys, “oppressed” Muslim women, survivors and abolitionists of human/sex-trafficking and the porn industry, and crying about how a Hindu woman criticized them for wearing bindis. “Feminism” has become about as willfully juvenile–and depoliticized, deradicalized–as the characters from “Clueless”. Bring back the maturity and revolutionary fervor, a la, the Second Wave, the Black Panthers/Black Liberation Movements, radical lesbian separatists, the Brown Berets, the “Yellow Peril” who marched in solidarity with the panthers, the American Indian Movement (Wounded Knee ‘73, Occupation of Alcatraz, Free Peltier), the Palestinian Liberation Movement, the Young Lords Party, First Nations/Indigenous Rights Movements of Canada and the Pacific, etc. FUCK what “feminism” has become at the hands of suburban white women/girls, Hollywood, white celebutantes, the porn/sex industry, capitalism/the corporate world and of course [white] men.
Native History: AIM Occupation of Wounded Knee Begins
This Date in Native History: On February 27, 1973, about 250 Sioux Indians led by members of the American Indian Movement converged on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation, launching the famous 71-day occupation of Wounded Knee.