the american indian movement

COINTELPRO

They won’t teach you this is school, but if you want to be a “woke” ally, one thing you should always read up on is the United State’s COINTELPRO program. 

Last night the PBS The Black Panther: Vanguard of the Revolution documentary touched on it and I thought it was important to talk about. Outside there being a general ignorance about the Black Panther Party, it is also important to know the things the government and police did to WARRANT the creation of The Black Panther Party. 

You should be very angry but very awake once you’re done. Because I want you to WANT to learn about it, I’ll only give you a blurb and a link.

COINTELPRO (a portmanteau derived from COunter INTELligence PROgram) was a series of covert, and at times illegal,[1][2] projects conducted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation(FBI) aimed at surveilling, infiltrating, discrediting and disrupting domestic political organizations.[3]

FBI records show that COINTELPRO resources targeted groups and individuals that the FBI deemed “subversive”,[4] including anti-Vietnam War organizers, members of black civil rights and nationalist liberation organizations (e.g. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Black Panther Party), feminist organizations, anti-colonial movements (such as Puerto Rican independence groups), and a variety of organizations that were part of the broader “New Left”.

FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover issued directives governing COINTELPRO, ordering FBI agents to “expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, neutralize or otherwise eliminate” the activities of these movements and their leaders.[5][6] Under Hoover, the agent in charge of COINTELPRO was William C. Sullivan.[7] Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy personally authorized some of these programs.[8] Kennedy would later learn that he also had been a target of FBI surveillance.[citation needed]

Groups that were known to be targets of COINTELPRO operations includec

]The COINTELPRO documents show numerous cases of the FBI’s intentions to prevent and disrupt protests against the Vietnam War. Many techniques were used to accomplish this task. “These included promoting splits among antiwar forces, encouraging red-baiting of socialists, and pushing violent confrontations as an alternative to massive, peaceful demonstrations.” One 1966 COINTELPRO operation tried to redirect the Socialist Workers Party from their pledge of support for the antiwar movement.[37]

  • communist and socialist organizations
  • organizations and individuals associated with the Civil Rights Movement, including Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others associated with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Congress of Racial Equality, and other civil rights organizations
  • black nationalist groups
  • the Young Lords
  • the American Indian Movement
  • the white supremacist groups
  • the Ku Klux Klan (an ACTUAL terrorist group they should have been focusing on)
  • the National States’ Rights Party (an white nationalist group they should have been focusing on)
  • a broad range of organizations labeled “New Left”, including Students for a Democratic Society and the Weathermen
  • almost all groups protesting the Vietnam War, as well as individual student demonstrators with no group affiliation
  • the National Lawyers Guild
  • organizations and individuals associated with the women’s rights movement
  • nationalist groups such as those seeking independence for Puerto Rico, United Ireland, and Cuban exile movements including Orlando Bosch’s Cuban Power and the Cuban Nationalist Movement;
  • and additional notable Americans.[36]

More on COINTELPRO

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April 2 2016 - Warriors from several tribes have built a camp in the path of the planned Dakota access pipeline to block its’construction. The pipeline would endanger the Missouri river and the communities and ecosystems connected to it. [video]

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December 29th 1890: Wounded Knee Massacre

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.

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1973 - After white businessman Darold Schmidt was charged with involuntary manslaughter instead of Murder after stabbing Wesley Bad Heart Bull to death on the Pine Ridge reservation more than 200 members of the American Indian Movement, or AIM, arrived for the hearing at the courthouse in Custer. Sarah Bad Heart Bull, the victim’s mother, was beaten on the courthouse steps while trying to enter into talks with authorities, after which the courthouse erupted into a riot between police and American Indians, during which AIM burned down the courthouse. [video]

For all our talk about suppression of human rights in other countries, and despite nostalgic sentimentality about the noble Red Man, the prejudice and persecution still continue. American hearts respond with emotion to Indian portraits by George Catlin and Edward Curtis, to such eloquent books as Black Elk Speaks and Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, to modern films and television dramas in which the nineteenth-century Indian is portrayed as the tragic victim of Manifest Destiny; we honor his sun dances and thunderbirds in the names of our automobiles and our motels. Our nostalgia comes easily, since those stirring peoples are safely in the past, and the abuse of their proud character, generosity, and fierce honesty… can be blamed upon our roughshod frontier forebears.
“After four hundred years of betrayals and excuses, Indians recognize the new fashion in racism, which is to pretend that the real Indians are all gone. We have no wish to be confronted by these ‘half-breeds’ of today, gone slack after a century of enforced dependence, poverty, bad food, alcohol, and despair, because to the degree that these people can be ignored, the shame of our nation can be ignored as well.
—  Peter Matthiessen, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse

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.