Monday, November 7, 2022

Wounded Knee 2

 In 1968 a movement grew out of Minneapolis, Minnesota that was supposed to be a grassroots organization to help Native Americans living in poverty and urban squalor dealing with violence at the hands of police and others trying to make a point that eventually turned into an almost quasi home grown terrorist organization.  This is a strong term I use for AIM, the American Indian Movement.  Let me explain.

On February, 27th 1973 about 200 Oglala Lakota and followers of AIM seized and occupied the town of Wounded Knee, South Dakota on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.  This was a response to the failure of the Oglala Civil Rights Organizations attempt at impeaching the Tribal President, Richard Wilson who stood guilty of Civil Rights abuses and Political as well as Legal corruption.  Richard Wilson was guilty of channeling funds from the US government per treaty through to his own organization and into his own pockets.  His own organization and militia, Guardians of the Oglala Nation, (GOON) referd to as the Goon Squad, became the policing agency of Pine Ridge.  AIM activists such as Russel Means, and Denis Banks both came very close to serving jail time due to their part in the occupation.  The Occupation of Wounded Knee by AIM lasted about 71 days.  

I remember that time.  It was scary, and traveling across Montana to get from one Res. to another met with car barriers of armed GOON squads or AIM members. Having family in Northern Montana, and family in Southern Montana and South Dakota made me feel like we were living at a time of another war and occupation by US forces.  AIM finely let Wounded Knee go and the 2nd Wounded Knee incident was left behind, or so we thought.

In 1975 an AIM founding member, Leonard Peltier, was arrested for the murder's of 2 FBI agents on Pine Ridge.  The agents were investigating the incident in 1973 and looking for the main players.  What actually happened to the two men is a mystery, but Leonard was arrested and charged with the murders.  He  is currently on his 45th year and 6 months of incarceration.  Mr. Peltier is listed as a Turtle Mountain Chippewa (Ojibway) from Minnesota.  It is this author's opinion that he became a convenient fall guy, and has become a martyr for an entire nation.  

Peace and Balance,


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