http://www.worldmeets.us/images/RussellMeans-OyateWacinyapin_pic.jpg

Russell Means, baptized Oyate Wacinyapin, which means 'works for the

people' in Lakota, died on Oct. 22. A towering figure among indigenous

peoples, those who oppose injustice across the world mourn his passing.

 

 

Russell Means Reminded the World of the Real America (Izvestia, Russia)

 

"I don? know what his life teaches Americans. But for me, he was the figure who links the America we know from history books to the America of today, in which presidential candidates debate whether homosexuals should be able to marry. Means made it possible to respect this country. It turned out that everything we loved about it as children was more than just a shadow on a movie screen, but a physical reality."

 

By Orhan Jemal

                              http://www.worldmeets.us/images/Orhan-Jemal_mug.jpg

 

Translated By Casey Patrick Reilly

 

October 27, 2012

 

Russia - Izvestia - Original Article (Russian)

Russell Means, an Oglala Sioux activist and champion of Native American rights, played the immortal Chingachgook alongside Daniel Day Lewis in the film Last of the Mohicans.

INDIAN COUNTRY TODAY, NATIVE AMERICA: Recorded shortly before his death, Russell means explains his philosophy on life and America, Aug. 14, 00:07:59RealVideo

The real life Chingachgook has died. Only as an adult did I learn of his existence. The Chingachgook of my childhood was a fake. I knew that actor Gojko Mitic was not an Indian, but a Serb. Russell Means, however, was a real Sioux. But it was his life and not his origins that made him a genuine hero and not just a cinematic one.

 

He became an actor at the age of 50, playing the renowned Indian chief and warrior. But up until then, he had never played anyone. He was simply an Indian chief and warrior who fought the White man his entire life.

 

Means got his start with the desecration of a monument to the first American president. It was just minor symbolic hooliganism: in 1970, a group of activists associated with the American Indian Movement relieved themselves on the head of George Washington, carved out of an entire mountain in the town of Rushmore. It didn? attract much attention, as there were plenty of unconventional people in the U.S. at the time, but Means and his comrades had no intention of stopping there.

 

U.S. mythology understands the story of Thanksgiving Day thus: British settlers, who journeyed to America on a three-masted ship, The Mayflower, founded the Plymouth Colony [in 1621]. In the first winter they died like flies from starvation, and all would have perished if not for the local chief Tisquantum, who gave the settlers some turkeys and bags of corn. This sharing of a common table with their Indian saviors came to be celebrated as a major American holiday.

 

On Thanksgiving Day, he appeared at Plymouth and ?poiled the party./p>

 

Means led hundreds of Indians to Plymouth and held a series of protest marches, recalling as it really was: about 1,000 Indians, including women and children, gathered at the harvest festival. They were surrounded, the men were shot, the women and children burned and the severed head of their chief was mounted on a pike and left to rot for 24 years. The next day, the governor of the colony declared a day of "Thanksgiving" for their God-given victory over the savages. That was how America's biggest holiday was marked for the first time.

Posted by Worldmeets.US

 

http://www.worldmeets.us/images/mount-rushmore-Indians_pic.jpg

Mount Rushmore: One of America's greatest national monuments is,

to Native Americans, one of the most inflammatory and blasphemous

symbols of what was taken from them.

 

This was now a fully-fledged scandal that attracted attention even outside the United States, but it still fit within the rules of the time. This was the era of The Beatles, hippies, "Black Panthers" and the anti-war movement - all of America's informal heroes were young nonconformists.

 

Two years later, the young Indian was one of the organizers of the "Trek of Violated Treaties." A petition calling on the United States to comply with 19th century treaties agreed to with the Indians was brought to Washington. It was a question of returning land that the government had recognized as Indian, based on these signed documents. The delegation was not received, and police even attempted to disperse the guests arriving in war paint. In response, Means organized the seizure of the Bureau of Indian Affairs building, holding it for almost a week. The government was afraid to put Means and his comrades on trial. There was a whiff of Indian rebellion in the air.

 

Despite this caution, rebellion occurred that same year. In the town of Castor, a White man publicly stabbed an Indian and was acquitted by a local court. Then, on the day of his acquittal, police beat the victim's mother. For all of the following day, Means' Indians burned police cars and chased the cops all over the city. They then climbed the hill in the village of Wounded Knee, where in 1890, there was a battle between Indians and Whites (the Indians call this incident a massacre - not a battle). From there, Means and his comrades proclaimed an independent Indian republic, and took up defensive positions.

 

http://www.worldmeets.us/images/russell-means-earth-abused_pic.jpg

 

SEE ALSO ON THIS:

Le Monde, France: Sioux Indians of Lakota Tribe Tell State Dept. of Succession
Indian Country Today: The Death of Russell Means: Let Us Examine His Journey
Indian Country Today: Russell Means, Lightning and Sexiness: The Toughest Indian

Indian Country Today: Russell Means: A Hero Moves On
Die Zeit, Germany: Romneysia Hits Lakota Country

 

It went on for 70 days. The F.B.I. lost two men in firefights, and under the mediation of the Association of American Churches, the Indians finally laid down their weapons. The government has never fulfilled the conditions under which the Indian rebels surrendered. Some of the rebels were tried, but were acquitted.

 

The last time he took up arms was in 1986. With a detachment of volunteers, he went to Nicaragua to protect Miskito Indians from the red [communist] Sandinistas who had taken power (with the help of the CIA who were in the midst of aiding the Contras during a civil war). And this, despite the fact that throughout previous years, conservative America denounced him as a communist, a Maoist. But in fact he was just a fighter for his people, the same as the great Indian leaders of the 19th century, Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Red Cloud.

 

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Already middle-aged, Means' friends persuaded him to act in films (he was a friend to Oliver Stone and Marlon Brando). And so it transpired that he depicted Chingachgook. It wasn't hard for Means. He was just playing himself. Still, his biography's final chapter doesn't indicate that his blood cooled with age, or that he became "a useful member of society."

 

In 2007, he declared the independence of the Lakota. There were no political implications to the move. It just meant that Means and his supporters burned their American passports. Still, it allowed him to die not a just an ordinary American citizen, but as leader of the red skins.

 

I don? know what his life teaches Americans. But for me, he was the figure who links the America we know from history books to the America of today, in which presidential candidates debate whether homosexuals should be able to marry. Means made it possible to respect this country. It turned out that everything we loved about it as children was more than just a shadow on a movie screen, but a physical reality.

 

CLICK HERE FOR RUSSIAN VERSION

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[Posted by Worldmeets.US Oct. 27, 10:12pm]