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Lakotah Citizens Stop US Helicopters from Landing at Wounded Knee

Published by on September 14, 2010

Lakotah Citizens Stop US Helicopters from Landing at Wounded Knee thumbnail

by Russell Means

IN ANSWER to today’s United States Government and its Colonial Corporation, the Oglala Sioux Tribal Govenment’s press conference, we stated: “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 hours 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. 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 honor of the US Army soldiers 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. We ask: 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.

James ( Magaska) Swan AIM Black Hills South Dakota

Read the full report at Russell Means Freedom

EDITOR’S NOTE: We are happy that the Lakotah people stood up to the regime in Washington. But we don’t believe, as the author of the press release from AIM does, that the Washington regime is Euro-centric. Euro-Americans are being dispossessed by an open borders / cheap labor policy, just as Native peoples were and are dispossessed by having their borders and sovereignty wiped out. Indigenous and Mestizo and White populations alike are pawns in this strategy of the globalists to destroy all national identity. In the struggle for self-determination and freedom, we should be allies against the billionaire elite that wants to rule us under a false “democracy” and “multiculturalism.”

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Readers' Comments

  1. New York Republicans May Sue Their Own Candidate | The American Mercury on September 22nd, 2010 5:41 pm

    [...] way less radical than what Russell Means did when he declared independence for his American Indian Republic of Lakotah — and Means is usually [...]

  2. Joseph Elk on November 22nd, 2010 5:14 pm

    How can you claim that anybody counted coup on the 7th Cavalry when absolutely NO 7TH CAVALRY or personnel were present? I find it embarrassing that ridiculous rumors get permanently enshrined on the Internet by people who should no better. (The closest 7th Cavalry units were in Ft. Hood, Texas at the time.)

    And though I suppose frustrated and relatively powerless people have to imagine some sort of “victory” by “chasing off” military helicopters, we all know what really happened. As the commander stated in a press release — and as tribal leaders confirmed — they were concerned for the safety of the people running around on the ground and simply canceled the landing. (If someone feels powerful in their own fantasies simply because they touched some part of a military helicopter, good for them. Does it make me feel proud as a Lakotah? Hardly. The ridiculous statements of various people present at the time embarrasses me.)

    If we are going to keep these webpages about the event online, at least correct the nonsense and stick to the facts. (The claims about the 7th Cavalry being present were and are LIES.)

  3. Joseph Elk on November 22nd, 2010 5:16 pm

    [My apologies for the typos. Somehow the corrections were lost.]

  4. Doris Respects Nothing on January 9th, 2011 4:52 pm

    I guess Joseph Elk missed the point of the fact that the US Military represents the 7th Calvary no matter who leads them or where they attempt to land on the Reservation. The fact of the matter is that Military helicopters do not belong in nor around any type of cemetary here on the reservation. It is this type of mentality of our own which allows non-Indians to perceive us a savages, but who are the real savages? The pride that the people carry with them with last longer than the history of the 7th Calvary. No matter how powerless those people may seem to you that day but to the people, they are heros and modern day warriors. This is something that is lost when our own enter the Military and become one of them and forget where they come from. We will never forget!

  5. Joseph Elk on November 10th, 2011 2:16 am

    Rants about “desecration” of a cemetery or monument ring hollow where our own people mill about smoking cigarettes and drinking beer—and throwing their trash from such on the ground. But I suppose it is easier to complain about the evil military than take responsibility for all we do to dishonor ourselves and our ancestors (who deserve better.)

    No, Doris, people who do these things (and lie about the events of that day) are not “heroes” nor are they “warriors.” We delude ourselves. We’ve been doing it for years. We can keep complaining about the government and all we’ve been wronged — or we can move on, build our lives, and bring pride to our people. (For that matter, nobody else is forcing us to spend our money on cigarettes and booze, and showing so little respect for our bodies and our community that the remains of both are scattered about.)

    And if you don’t want helicopters landing near particular sites, tell the leaders not to invite the military and/or courteously inform them where you would like them to land. Nobody was trying to make anybody angry. No, they were expending man-hours and expensive flight hours in an educational event of mutual benefit. Our people made us all look like frightened children.

    One more time: Telling lies about these events honors no one.





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