August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Dineh Lenny Foster -- 'American Indian Movement gave us dignity and pride to stand up, express ourselves'

Bill Means and Lenny Foster, AIM West 2017.
Photo by Karen Wright

Dineh Lenny Foster -- 'American Indian Movement gave us dignity and pride to stand up, express ourselves'

Article by Brenda Norrell
Audio by Govinda Dalton
Spirit Resistance Radio
Photo by Karen Wright
Censored News

SAN FRANCISCO -- Lenny Foster, Dineh and spiritual adviser for Leonard Peltier, shared his memories of being in the American Indian Movement at Alcatraz, on the Trail of Broken Treaties and at Wounded Knee, during the annual AIM West Conference here, Nov. 20 -- 21.
Lenny began with a prayer in Dineh, a Blessing Way Prayer, to bless those gathered, and their grandchildren, and relatives back home. Lenny said it was a blessing for what is said here, which comes from the heart.
"The Dineh have been here a long time, we fought the Conquistadors, we fought the Mexicans, and we fought the Calvary. Today we still engage in the struggle to keep our dignity and pride, our water clear and pure, the land. All of us are part of that classic struggle," he said.
The struggle includes the right to smoke the Pipe, share in the Sweatlodge, and to keep one's hair long, he said.
These were rights he struggled uphold in state and federal prisons over the past decades.
Lenny spoke of the Twenty Point Manifesto of 1972, written by Hank Adams, and with Sidney Mills. Lenny was part of that with others, after Clyde Bellecourt asked him to be part of it.
Lenny said Hank Adams wrote this brilliant document. Lenny remembered those who stood with him at Alcatraz and were with him on the Trail of Broken Treaties Caravan.
"We didn't plan on taking over the building," Lenny said of the BIA building takeover in Washington.
"We did it with the prayer, the Pipe, different herbs that were used."
Lenny said he identifies himself to the Spirits with the names of his ancestors in prayer.
Dineh also identify themselves to the Spirits with Turquoise.
"One of the teachings of the movements was prayers, ceremony," Lenny said.
"The movement gave us that dignity and pride to stand up and express ourselves."

Listen to more of Lenny's words at the AIM West Conference at Spirit Resistance Radio:

Article copyright Brenda Norrell, Censored News. May not be used for revenues or commercial purposes.

'COINTELPRO and TigerSwan Tactics -- Infiltrators, Rumors and Destruction of Sacred' by Lakota Jean Roach

Standing Rock Water Protectors
Oglala to Standing Rock -- COINTELPRO and TigerSwan Tactics are the same: Infiltrators, Rumors and Destruction of Sacred 

Jean Roach and Lenny Foster
AIM West 2017
Photo Karen Wright
Understanding this war is part of the struggle -- Jean Roach, Lakota

Article by Brenda Norrell
Audio by Govinda, Spirit Resistance Radio
Censored News


SAN FRANCISCO -- Jean Roach, Lakota from Cheyenne River Sioux Nation, representing the offices of Leonard Peltier, described the United States ongoing genocidal war against Native Americans.
The COINTELPRO tactics used at Oglala, South Dakota, resulting in the prison sentence of Leonard Peltier, were the same tactics used by TigerSwan at Standing Rock.
These tactics targeting Native Americans continue to resulting in large numbers of political prisoners.
"I've been friends with Leonard for many years. Me and my brother were survivors of the Oglala fire fight," Jean said during the AIM West Annual Conference, held here Nov. 20 -- 21.
Pointing out the long genocidal history of the United States, she said, "The water protectors are political prisoners. Way back in the 1800s, we have prisoners of war. We have the Dakota 38."
"What happened to the water protectors, what happened to the American Indian Movement, specifically in Oglala, South Dakota, show the same tactics being used," she said.
Jean described the tactics of infiltrators, rumors and the desecration of the sacred.
"We have infiltrators coming into our movements."
What happened during the Oglala firefight, was the same as what happened in Standing Rock. "They sent people in to disrupt."
Jean said sometimes people stand back a little when they talk about Leonard Peltier, but the attacks were the same at Oglala as at Standing Rock. During the 1970s, Lakotas  were protecting the elders and the sacred at Oglala.
In both cases, there were people who started a lot of rumors.
At Oglala, they attacked a spiritual camp. The people there were armed to defend the elders, who were being shot when they prayed in their own way. They were being killed, shot, ran over, Jean said of Oglala and surrounding communities on Pine Ridge.
When Oglala was attacked by the FBI, "They kicked in our sweatlodge."
In Oglala, they abused the spiritual items, the same way they did at Standing Rock.
It was the same when water protectors camped at Standing Rock defended the sacred, and the precious water of the Missouri River.
Morton County "peed on" sacred items.
"We are dealing with this colonization, this genocidal practice that has been going on."
Jean described how FBI misconduct and a racist judge in South Dakota led to the conviction of Leonard Peltier after the Oglala fire fight.
"They set up Peltier."
"They took Myrtle Poor Bear to Canada to tell lies, who does that?" she asked.
The U.S. government falsified witnesses and changed the charges against  Leonard Peltier.
They couldn't charge all those under 18 at Oglala, but they picked on the adults, she said.
Now, in the Dakotas, racist judges continue to imprison the defenders of the sacred.
"It is so ironic that we are back in court where Leonard was convicted with this biased and racist judge," Jean said.
Jean pointed out that Dino Butler and Rob Robideux were acquitted on these charges that Leonard Peltier was convicted on. In the case of Butler and Robideux, the court found they acted in self defense because they were attacked at Oglala.
Yet, Leonard Peltier was convicted on the charges in the court of a racist judge in South Dakota.
"He would just spin around in his chair when anything was mentioned about FBI misconduct," she said of the Peltier trial.
"Right now we are facing the same system."
The COINTELPRO practices used against them in Oglala were continued by TigerSwan in Standing Rock. Both were used to "attack us for prayer."
"Look how strong our prayers are," she said, pointing out the power of prayer and non-violent direct action.Understanding this war is part of the struggle, she said
Jean said Leonard has just had major surgery. "Leonard, needs some support. Where is everybody""
"I don't want people to forget we have prisoners in this genocidal war."
She urged people to send postcards to Leonard.
"I don't want him to die in prison. We all need to act."
During his introduction, Tony Gonzales, AIM West coordinator, said all people are now feeling what Indians have always felt. We are all now in that Spiritual Movement, he said.

Article copyright Brenda Norrell, Censored News, may not be republished without permission, or used for revenues or commercial purpose.

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