Thursday, January 10, 2008

a short bit on russell means

This posting is in response to a list serve of anthropology professors and students to a stream of remarks surrounding the Republic of Lakota, and the announcement made by Russell Means that they are withdrawing from treaties made 150 years ago with the U.S. These are treaties that have never been kept.
This event, which is historic and a major one in it's implications for the peoples of the Lakota nation, has been, for the most part, kept out of main stream media. You can learn more at:

I will be interviewing Russell Means on Friday January 25th, immediately following an interview i am also conducting with Howard Zinn. The evening is an event I am producing called, The Crowded Fire. Here is the response to the anthropologists...

I am not a professor or student, but I am concerned that the same old action is beginning to take place within the intellectual community. That would be the action of in-action. I can listen to the great debate of diplomacy and "working within tribal council" versus direct action and support there-of, for only so long. The greatest downfall of the intellectual community is there inevitable breach of trust with the world. The world today looks to this community for direction, for historical reference. Unfortunately, it rarely delivers, rather spends time debating over small details, while ignoring the stark truths that are before them.

Truth: tribal governments that are not showing solidarity with the peoples of the nation are in breach of natural law. This is not unheard of, as most governmental conglomerates rarely represent the most disenfranchised of their own constituency.

Truth: Russell Means has a rich history of dissidence, which should be recognized as courageous and not written off as a publicity stunt or everyday rabble rousing. This man has put his person in the line of fire in the name of freedom for most of his life. We herald the memory of Che, or support the efforts of Marcos, but marginalize and write off the revolutions of our own people. This is most likely due to our own embarrassment of letting people be treated as poorly as we have allowed our system to treat the Indians of America(s).

Truth: Without wide scale support and multiple voices speaking out about this matter, we will see a quiet genocide. People are asking why there is no media coverage as if they have never known about media compliance with business as usual. They will quietly murder as many Indians as they feel fit if the cameras are not on. Granted they will most likely pull a "Waco" distortion of truth if they are seen, but with a large number of voices in the intellectual community speaking in support, there is more of a chance that these people will have some level of safeguard.

Truth: While we debate safely from our offices, homes, and cafe's, 97% of the Pine Ridge Valley lives below the poverty line, without clean water, ample food, heat and housing. If that is not reason enough to revolt, then I do not know what is. I am forced to also make a comparison to Nazi behavior. The Warsaw ghetto. The thought is hard to conceptualize, Holocaust slums in modern US, but then I am reminded of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, and feel that there is hope here.

Bottom line is, solidarity amongst all poor people's is the last revolution, and the one that the feeble control structure fears. I do not call it a power structure, as true power needs to assert no control, and the vast numbers of the poor will tell of our power, as a people.

here is a documentary concerning an incident with the FBI and their war on the freedom fighters known as A.I.M. the american indian movement.
part 1.

part 2