Tuesday, February 27, 2018

February 27, 1973 Wounded Knee Occupation by American Indian Movement fighters begins

we remember wounded knee posterThe American Indian Movement’s (AIM) best known and most controversial protest began in February 1973 in Wounded Knee, South Dakota, a small town on the Pine Ridge reservation. Wounded Knee Two began as a conflict within the Oglala Lakota (Sioux) tribe between the supporters of the tribal Chairman Richard Wilson and other tribal members who considered him to be a corrupt puppet of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).

Like many other such conflicts, it had simmered for a while. In 1973, the disagreements between the two segments of the Pine Ridge Lakota Sioux created so much anger and division that both sides ended up arming themselves. The forces allied with Wilson, along with Federal law enforcement officials and U.S. military, entered into a 71-day siege of the AIM forces.

The AIM group included local citizens, national AIM members, prominent entertainment figures, and members of national philanthropic, religious, and legal organizations. National news organizations covered the entire 71 days of the siege and its aftermath.

When the siege ended on May 9, 1973, two Native American members of AIM were dead and an unknown number were wounded on both sides. Richard Wilson remained in office and was challenged in the next election. Many AIM members spent the next years in litigation, in exile, and in prison.

Several more armed conflicts erupted in the wake of the siege, in large part due to continuing counterintelligence programs and vigorous prosecutions that targeted AIM members. The most well-known of these cases is that of Leonard Peltier who remains in prison because of an at-best questionable conviction in the death of an FBI agent in 1975.

Although I was living in Germany at the time, the occupation came close to home. A classmate of mine whose family was connected to Pine Ridge left his senior year in early March to participate. His father was supportive, despite his rather contradictory role as part of the U.S. Army’s infantry. Indeed, it is likely that while he was in Vietnam he participated in campaigns named after earlier military actions against his own people.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

White House Crooks Sentenced to Prison February 22, 1975

Three of Nixon's right hand men (including the Attorney General John Mitchell) sentenced to federal prison for some of their crimes in the Watergate scandal.....it was a good day....


Friday, February 9, 2018

New Left Group Rising Up Angry writes up Watergate in 1973

By February 1973, Watergate had begun to affect the Nixon White House. Groups on the Left (not the Democrats) were stepping up their critique of this growing dispute in the circles of the ruling class.  Rising Up Angry, a leftwing Chicago-based group of mostly white working class youth organizing in workplaces and the streets of Chicago and some surrounding areas, put their analysis of the situation in writing in their newspaper.  Click on the link below to read it:


Friday, February 2, 2018

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Bob Dylan and the Band Play Madison Square Garden January 30, 1974

This show was one of three at the Garden.  It was the first time Dylan had toured in eight years.  He and The Band had just released the album Planet Waves.  Tickets could only be obtained via a lottery.  My roommate at Fordham had scored a couple but he had no spares.  I lucked out, though.  A guy in one of my classes sold me his extra for the January 31 afternoon show at face value.  I was awestruck the entire show. Here's a review.