The Lakota Secession

Via Rafael:

The birth a new Lakota nation is their stated intent. This could get very sticky.

clipped from afp.google.com

The Lakota Indians, who gave the world legendary warriors Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, have withdrawn from treaties with the United States, leaders said Wednesday.

“We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us,” long-time Indian rights activist Russell Means told a handful of reporters and a delegation from the Bolivian embassy, gathered in a church in a run-down neighborhood of Washington for a news conference.

A delegation of Lakota leaders delivered a message to the State Department on Monday, announcing they were unilaterally withdrawing from treaties they signed with the federal government of the United States, some of them more than 150 years old.

The new country would issue its own passports and driving licences, and living there would be tax-free — provided residents renounce their US citizenship, Means said.

It will be interesting to see where this goes. From the article:

The Lakota relaunched their journey to freedom in 1974, when they drafted a declaration of continuing independence — an overt play on the title of the United States’ Declaration of Independence from England.Thirty-three years have elapsed since then because “it takes critical mass to combat colonialism and we wanted to make sure that all our ducks were in a row,” Means said.

One duck moved into place in September, when the United Nations adopted a non-binding declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples — despite opposition from the United States, which said it clashed with its own laws.

So they’ve moved to secure their own independence and well being (emphasis mine):

Oppression at the hands of the US government has taken its toll on the Lakota, whose men have one of the shortest life expectancies — less than 44 years — in the world.

Lakota teen suicides are 150 percent above the norm for the United States; infant mortality is five times higher than the US average; and unemployment is rife, according to the Lakota freedom movement’s website.

“Our people want to live, not just survive or crawl and be mascots,” said Young.

Young’s rhetoric should be a model for liberals everywhere. The struggle is not simply for basic rights alone. We are also in this fight for a life worth living. And in that core sense, that struggle for dignity and meaning, the Lakota Freedom Movement is leading the way. They have my warm support. The US has failed this community utterly, and taking powerful, nonviolent action to call attention to and combat this is an admirable thing to do.

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4 Responses

  1. Keep the faith!

  2. This is NOT Means’ gig.  The four member Lakota delegation traveled to Washington D.C. culminating years of internal discussion among treaty representatives of the various Lakota communities. Delegation members included well known activist and actor Russell Means, Women of All Red Nations (WARN) founder Phyllis Young, Oglala Lakota Strong Heart Society leader Duane Martin Sr., and Garry Rowland, Leader Chief Big Foot Riders. Means, Rowland, Martin Sr. were all members of the 1973 Wounded Knee takeover.No tribal government has stepped up to debunk this.If there were a reputable voice anywhere that could be summoned to discredit this, then you can bet your bottom dollar that it would be coming out; the national security state would see to it. The idea that someone can secede with that much territory from the United States is not one that those in power can afford to have spread. Much smaller efforts than this but of similar nature have been crushed immediately with tanks and helicopters, among other things, indicating that the U.S. government believes that ANY such effort is a threat.Organizations and non-organized progressive outfits all over the world, and especially in America, are merely sitting back to see how this pans out and this lack of taking a stand may be what kills it. The media-military complex, I assure you, intends to ignore this and wait for the novelty of this particular news item to wear off but rest assured that potential plans to disrupt, intimidate, and even take out key people regarding all of this are in progress.I can’t believe, to tell you the truth, that in this day and age I have to explain to people (as I have done for days at a variety of forums online) that sitting back and being a spectator in all of this will end up functioning as complicity with the undoing of this movement. They are taking the lead and the only media people or groups expressing solidarity, except for the considerable din of collective individuals online, are from other nations.Of course this is typical. After all we sit fat in our own retirement-nation. If we just sit back and watch, forfeiting involvement, we ensure the continuation of the status quo.I think too many of us think this is too good to be true and are looking for that, “Oh yeah…that’s the flaw!” It unburdens us from acting.  Let us all sit and do nothing, including as many of the Lakota as can be convinced to do just that, and then marvel at how right we were that it didn’t materialize into anything.  It’s called a self-fulfilling prophecy.Key facts regarding all of this:1. This is not a rumor; Putin has even chimed in on the side of the Lakota! The president of Bolivia has said that nation is intensely interested in this and Hugo Chavez has expressed solidarity.  The Bush junta says it “opposes the measure.”2. The four member Lakota delegation traveled to Washington D.C. culminating years of internal discussion among treaty representatives of the various Lakota communities. Delegation members included well known activist and actor Russell Means, Women of All Red Nations (WARN) founder Phyllis Young, Oglala Lakota Strong Heart Society leader Duane Martin Sr., and Garry Rowland, Leader Chief Big Foot Riders. Means, Rowland, Martin Sr. were all members of the 1973 Wounded Knee takeover.3. “We have 33 treaties with the United States that they have not lived by. They continue to take our land, our water, our children,” Phyllis Young, who helped organize the first international conference on indigenous rights in Geneva in 1977, told the news conference.4. Russian legal experts further state that of all of the United States Indian Tribes, the Lakota Sioux are the best positioned to have their declaration of independence from the American government recognized by the United Nations as they remain the only indigenous peoples in the US to have refused to accept payment for their lands, estimated to be nearly $1 billion, which they consider their ‘sacred grounds’ and have stated they would never relinquish.http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5iVC1KMTOgwiSoMQyT2LwZc9HyAgAhttp://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Top_News/2007/12/21/lakota_indians_work_to_secede_from_us/3796/http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,317548,00.htmlhttp://www.indymedia.org/en/2007/12/898423.shtmlIt is amazing how many people are not wanting to believe this.  Some sites are automatically rejecting comments left by folks that are disputing their claim that this is nothing.  I should know; this one did.Many insist Russel Means does not represent the Lakota but in each case, these people refuse to address the fact that this is not Russel Means’ gig but that there are four spokespeople that say they’ve met with many people for years about all of this and foreign heads of state are taking this very seriously.  My understanding is that it is Lakota tradition dictates that no one speaks for the people yet if we are to say that it is legitimate for representatives of the Lakota to sign such treaties, then it is legitimate for representatives to nullify and if it is the representation itself that is being deemed illegitimate then that, in itself, nullifies all the treaties.Incidentally, Means will always speak more accurately for the TARGETED among the indigenous, i.e. those attempting to retain their culture and not become fully colonialized, than will any tribal council or any other outfit that answers to the Bureau of Indian Affairs.  This is a call to action.I EXPECT some or many tribal councils to challenge this, as do all that have struggled against the oppressor.  Its importance is directly proportional to the corruption that is the prerequisite for being in league with the United States government.  You accept its dictates and that is where the power of most of these councils come from.  I know there are Indians all over that might want to hit me on the head with a bat for that one but it is precisely such people whose opinions I am not interested in.

  3. THIS IS NOT MEANS’ GIG

    The four member Lakota delegation traveled to Washington D.C. culminating years of internal discussion among treaty representatives of the various Lakota communities. Delegation members included well known activist and actor Russell Means, Women of All Red Nations (WARN) founder Phyllis Young, Oglala Lakota Strong Heart Society leader Duane Martin Sr., and Garry Rowland, Leader Chief Big Foot Riders. Means, Rowland, Martin Sr. were all members of the 1973 Wounded Knee takeover.

    No tribal government has stepped up to debunk this.

    If there were a reputable voice anywhere that could be summoned to discredit this, then you can bet your bottom dollar that it would be coming out; the national security state would see to it. The idea that someone can secede with that much territory from the United States is not one that those in power can afford to have spread. Much smaller efforts than this but of similar nature have been crushed immediately with tanks and helicopters, among other things, indicating that the U.S. government believes that ANY such effort is a threat.

    Organizations and non-organized progressive outfits all over the world, and especially in America, are merely sitting back to see how this pans out and this lack of taking a stand may be what kills it. The media-military complex, I assure you, intends to ignore this and wait for the novelty of this particular news item to wear off but rest assured that potential plans to disrupt, intimidate, and even take out key people regarding all of this are in progress.

    I can’t believe, to tell you the truth, that in this day and age I have to explain to people (as I have done for days at a variety of forums online) that sitting back and being a spectator in all of this will end up functioning as complicity with the undoing of this movement. They are taking the lead and the only media people or groups expressing solidarity, except for the considerable din of collective individuals online, are from other nations.

    Of course this is typical. After all we sit fat in our own retirement-nation. If we just sit back and watch, forfeiting involvement, we ensure the continuation of the status quo.

    I think too many of us think this is too good to be true and are looking for that, “Oh yeah…that’s the flaw!” It unburdens us from acting. Let us all sit and do nothing, including as many of the Lakota as can be convinced to do just that, and then marvel at how right we were that it didn’t materialize into anything. It’s called a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Key facts regarding all of this:

    1. This is not a rumor; Putin has even chimed in on the side of the Lakota! The president of Bolivia has said that nation is intensely interested in this and Hugo Chavez has expressed solidarity. The Bush junta says it “opposes the measure.”

    2. The four member Lakota delegation traveled to Washington D.C. culminating years of internal discussion among treaty representatives of the various Lakota communities. Delegation members included well known activist and actor Russell Means, Women of All Red Nations (WARN) founder Phyllis Young, Oglala Lakota Strong Heart Society leader Duane Martin Sr., and Garry Rowland, Leader Chief Big Foot Riders. Means, Rowland, Martin Sr. were all members of the 1973 Wounded Knee takeover.

    3. “We have 33 treaties with the United States that they have not lived by. They continue to take our land, our water, our children,” Phyllis Young, who helped organize the first international conference on indigenous rights in Geneva in 1977, told the news conference.

    4. Russian legal experts further state that of all of the United States Indian Tribes, the Lakota Sioux are the best positioned to have their declaration of independence from the American government recognized by the United Nations as they remain the only indigenous peoples in the US to have refused to accept payment for their lands, estimated to be nearly $1 billion, which they consider their ‘sacred grounds’ and have stated they would never relinquish.

    http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5iVC1KMTOgwiSoMQyT2LwZc9HyAgA

    http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Top_News/2007/12/21/lakota_indians_work_to_secede_from_us/3796/

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,317548,00.html

    http://www.indymedia.org/en/2007/12/898423.shtml

    It is amazing how many people are not wanting to believe this. Some sites are automatically rejecting comments left by folks that are disputing their claim that this is nothing. I should know; this one did:
    http://www.theleftcoaster.com/archives/011557.php

    Many insist Russel Means does not represent the Lakota but in each case, these people refuse to address the fact that this is not Russel Means’ gig but that there are four spokespeople that say they’ve met with many people for years about all of this and foreign heads of state are taking this very seriously.

    My understanding is that it is Lakota tradition dictates that no one speaks for the people yet if we are to say that it is legitimate for representatives of the Lakota to sign such treaties, then it is legitimate for representatives to nullify and if it is the representation itself that is being deemed illegitimate then that, in itself, nullifies all the treaties.

    Incidentally, Means will always speak more accurately for the TARGETED among the indigenous, i.e. those attempting to retain their culture and not become fully colonialized, than will any tribal council or any other outfit that answers to the Bureau of Indian Affairs. This is a call to action.

    I EXPECT some or many tribal councils to challenge this, as do all that have struggled against the oppressor. Its importance is directly proportional to the corruption that is the prerequisite for being in league with the United States government. You accept its dictates and that is where the power of most of these councils come from. I know there are Indians all over that might want to hit me on the head with a bat for that one but it is precisely such people whose opinions I am not interested in.

  4. Means was arrested in Chine on Dec. 29, charged with battery against Leon Grant, his father-in-law. Bellecourt, a national representative to AIM’s Grand Governing Council, said the alleged battered showed disrespect for elders. AIM is a spiritual movement, working for a rebirth of traditional Indian spiritualism, teaching and values. As such, “…We highly revere and respect our elders,” Bellecourt said. “People that connect this act with the American Indian Movement would be misled if they didn’t understand that those are some very serious concerns.”

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