Saturday, 16 February 2013

Hot! American Indian Activist Russell Means Dead At 72 Reuters

By Keith Coffman

Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:57pm EDT

(Reuters) - American Indian activist Russell Means , in whose lifelong campaign that will assure the privileges and self-worth of his individuals grew to help cover Hollywood plus indigenous populations worldwide, died on Monday with his / her South Dakota home, his spouse and children said. He was 72.

"Our daddy and husband these days walks amongst each of our ancestors," the particular friends and family claimed within a statement.

The firebrand original leader on the American Indian Movement and one-time Libertarian Party candidate regarding U.S. us president acquired been recently battling esophageal cancer.

Born inside South Dakota for the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation from the Oglala Sioux, also called the actual Oglala Lakota, Means participated from the 1964 American Indian occupation of Alcatraz Island around San Francisco Bay, his first major act associated with civil disobedience.

He become a member the American Indian Movement within 1968 along with soon grew to become a single its notable leaders.

He subsequently took element in a good work of the U.S. Bureau regarding Indian Affairs home office within Washington within 1972. But it had been his leadership of the armed, 72-day standoff versus federal government bodies with Wounded Knee about Pine Ridge in 1973 in which built the pup a nation's figure.

The siege during Wounded Knee, protesting what Means believed to become a virus ridden tribal govt as well as maltreatment of American Indians by national authorities, remaining two demonstrators dead, a new U.S. marshal paralyzed as well as a number of other folks injured.

Nearly 80 decades earlier, Wounded Knee appeared to be your website of the 1890 massacre with standing regarding Lakota men, females and babies by U.S. cavalry troops in what was the next major clash from the American Indian wars.

Beginning his activism within the quick 1960s, for the peak on the U.S. Civil Rights mobility guided toward ending racial segregation regarding blacks, Means first protested college and skilled activities teams' use of Indian photos seeing that mascots. He explained these were demeaning caricatures involving his people.

Means seemed to be in jail quite a few occasions during his / her lifetime in addition to used several periods around jail. He eventually expanded his projects regarding American Indians - this individual disliked the idea of "Native American" - that will rally support regarding indigenous individuals with different countries.

Means divide considering the nation's section with that American Indian Movement, or AIM, within the mid-1980s over the particular group's stance on the forced relocation connected with Miskito Indians at your hands and wrists in the Sandinista authorities around Nicaragua, amid additional issues.

Means said AIM's left-leaning country wide management was not willing to criticize Nicaragua's Marxist regime.


He after that formed this American Indian Movement of Colorado, along with appeared to be rotting in jail various times to get preventing your Columbus Day march within Denver.

He called Christopher Columbus a new "trans-Atlantic servant trader" whose life and explorations ought not end up being celebrated general health introduced more than 100 years with mistreatment involving indigenous people by European settlers in the New World.

"No one particular in AIM appeared to be adored or maybe hated while passionately seeing that Russell Means ," said Robert Allen Warrior, overseer of American Indian Studies for the University of Illinois.

Warrior, co-author with "Like a new Hurricane: The American Indian Movement from Alcatraz in order to Wounded Knee," named Means one of the most significant Native Americans in the previous 100 years.

He leaped unsuccessfully regarding leader connected with his tribe along with sought this Libertarian nomination for U.S. president, losing in order to Representative Ron Paul in the party's 1987 national convention.

"Given that mistreatment of American Indians by the U.S. government, I do not know why any of us could be anything but libertarians who seem to doubtfulness the federal government," he or she told Reuters throughout an interview.

In an added confusing political turn, "Hustler" newspaper writer Larry Flynt utilized Means as his working partner within a long-shot 1984 bid with the Republican presidential nomination extensively observed when an election-year stunt.

Means, who has been to you're wedding many times, had been honest about their very own foibles, which include a struggle with alcohol. In 1997 they was in jail on hunch regarding strike on his / her then-father-in-law.

"Despite his / her often odd choices, personalized problems plus ethical lapses, they appeared to be central to presenting voice for the major ideas with protest to American Indians of the past due 20 th century," Warrior said.

Means dabbled throughout acting, appearing in such video clips as "The Last from the Mohicans" along with "Natural Born Killers." He was that words with Pocahontas' father within the popular 1995 Disney film.

More recently, he / she seemed to be the public encounter with Lakota tribal members who sued the U.S. government above infant erectile maltreatment by means of Roman Catholic priests from Indian boarding schools throughout South Dakota.

The u . s . administration had contracted considering the Catholic Church and other religious corporations running this schools.

"The boarding classes ended up part of a centuries involving torture by the federal federal and also their ethnic genocide towards American Indians," he said.

Means was diagnosed along with esophageal melanoma within 2011, as well as undergo a combination of traditional Native American and normal modern medical options with a great Arizona clinic. He perished only weeks self conscious involving his 73rd birthday.

Troy Lynn Yellow Wood, that recognized Means for much more in comparison with 40 years, reported he deal "a valiant fight" resistant to the cancer, nevertheless in the end decided to come back house to die.

"This is a superb deprivation into the Lakota people," she said. "Russell bought individuals the actual bravery to help perservere and be over heard with regards to the horrible injustices that had been completed for you to us."

(Reporting by Keith Coffman; Editing by Steve Gorman as well as Xavier Briand)

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