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Rebellion goes on
THE “On this day” feature included the perennial old chestnut about Geronimo.
Firstly, he was not a chief but a medicine man. Secondly, he hardly led a great rebellion – the number of his ‘‘army’’ never exceeded 30 soldiers.
Thirdly, the battle with the Indians continued and in 1890, 300 men, women and children were slaughtered at Wounded Knee.
Even then, the government had not finished its war with the native Americans.
On February 28, 1973, another rebellion erupted at Wounded Knee and, although it set out to be a peaceful civil rights demonstration, they were under siege for 71 days.
Although an FBI operation, the US Army illegally deployed 17 armed personnel carriers, 130,000 rounds of M-16 ammunition, 41,000 rounds of M-1 ammunition, 24,000 flares, 12 M-79 grenade launchers, 600 cases of CS gas, 100 rounds of M-40 high explosive rounds, Phantom jets and personnel.
Until 9/11, it was illegal to deploy the army against civilians.
On June 26, 1975, the FBI once again made war on the Sioux at Jumping Bull Ranch. Two FBI agents were killed and more than 30 members of the American Indian Movement were surrounded by 150 FBI agents and others.
Most of the Sioux escaped, but Joe Stuntz was shot dead. His death was never investigated.
Three people were charged with the murder of the FBI agents. Two were cleared after it was proved that the FBI entered perjured testimony.
Leonard Peltier, who was also convicted on perjured testimony, has been in prison ever since.
Until he is freed or dies, the last great Indian rebellion goes on.
Ken Barnes, North View, Catterton, Tadcaster.
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