Reflections on the Police State, Repression, and Native America
Ward Churchill (Author)
More than 17 years after the firefight at Oglala Village on Pine Ridge Reservation in 1975, Leonard Peltier continues to sit in a cage in a federal prison. Not for anything anyone, including his prosecutor at any point in the last 15 years has been prepared to say they actually believe he did, but rather as a symbol of the arbitrary ability of the Federal Government of the United States to repress the legitimate aspirations, for liberation, of the indigenous peoples within its claimed boundaries.
And why, despite still "owning" some of the most valuable land in America (most of the uranium reserves, 20% of the oil and natural gas, water rights throughout the arid West, et al.) do the remaining 2 million Native inhabitants live in conditions of poverty commonly found only in the Third World—a life expectancy averaging under 50 for both men and women; 60% unemployment; a per capita income on the Pine Ridge Reservation of $2,000 a year... Welcome to counterinsurgency, American style. State financed, highly illegal methods of framing, blaming, and murdering activists has quite a history. From anti-labor Pinkerton thugs and the Palmer raids on anarchists to infiltration of the anti-globalization movement, Churchill traces the ugly history of the FBI and US State repression.
In this keynote lecture, Churchill weaves together the themes for which he has become hailed as an activist and scholar—genocide, repression, and resistance—and amply demonstrates why the fate of Leonard Peltier, the current state of Native America, and the long, sordid history of the State clampdown on dissent have ramifications across the globe.