National Roundup of Indian News
volume:  
volume 2
issue 2
Fall 1976

Oregon:

Butler and Robideau

Two FBI agents, part of a huge federal armed invasion of Pine Ridge, South Dakota, in 1973, were found dead on June 26, 1975. An armada of 350 FBI agents, state troopers and BIA police, backed up by tanks and airplanes, swept through the Indian reservation in Pine Ridge, completely violating the civil rights of residents. The cops ransacked houses and grilled suspects.

Several months later, two Oregon members of the American Indian Movement, Dino Butler and Bob Robideau, were charged with aiding and abetting first degree murder. Also indicted were Jimmy Eagle (these charges have since been dropped because of lack of evidence) and Leonard Peltier.

"The government is trying to make scapegoats out of Bob and me," Butler said during the trial. But on July 16, 1976, Butler and Robideau were acquitted. A crack legal defense team, headed by William Kunstler, effectively turned the case upside-down, using it to expose FBI harassment of AIM. Even FBI Director Clarence Kelly was forced to testify.

By the time the trial was over, all government evidence had been completely discredited and a verdict of innocence was read to the crowd of relieved spectators.

British Columbia:

Leonard Peltier

The federal government still seeks to make Leonard Peltier a scapegoat for the death of the two FBI agents.

Peltier is incarcerated in Vancouver, B. C. , Canada, conducting a fight against U.S. government attempts to extradite him.

Funds are needed to continue the defense of Indian victims of the Wounded Knee occupation. Donations should be sent to Wounded Knee Legal Defense/Offense Committee, P.O. Box 4287, Omaha, Nebraska 68104, or to the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, 1855 Vine St., Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

Letters and telegrams supporting Peltier's attempt to gain political asylum in Canada should be sent to the Hon. Ron Basford, Minister of Justice, House of Commons, Ottawa, Canada.

Indiana:

Leonard Crow Dog

A courageous Sioux medicine man, Leonard Crow Dog, is imprisoned in the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana, victim of a series of vicious frame-ups.

Convicted of assault, he has been refused permission by the U.S. Supreme Court to remain free pending an appeal.

Like many Native American leaders, Crow Dog has been systematically set up and convicted of false crimes in an attempt to discredit him with his people.

The first charge against him was "interfering with federal officers" during the occupation of Wounded Knee. Crow Dog escorted four postal inspectors from the area after they were arrested by Indian-occupation security forces. Although all four inspectors testified that he had protected them, he was put on trial, convicted and sentenced to eleven years in prison.

Put on probation, he soon found himself facing another concocted charge. Two drunken and belligerent trespassers, suspects in the brutal beating of one of his nephews and the murder of another, drove through log barriers set up at his home. Friends repulsed the trespassers while Crow Dog only watched, yet he was promptly convicted of assault by an all-white jury and sentenced to two five-year terms.

Last January, he was again spuriously charged with assaulting a provocateur who entered his house without permission. Another all-white jury found him guilty and sentenced him to five years.

Early last summer, he was freed briefly as he sought a U.S. Supreme Court appeal. But the Court, which ordinarily takes months to answer an appeal, took only a few days to deny his appeal and order him to surrender within 24 hours. Crow Dog now waits in a maximum security prison for an appeal hearing.

California:

Skyhorse and Mohawk

Paul Skyhorse, a Minnesota Chippewa, and Richard Mohawk, a Tuscarora/Mohawk, have already spent two years in a Ventura, California jail reputed to be the worst in the state. The charge is murder of a non-political, uninvolved cab driver, yet all available evidence points to the fact that the actual murder was engineered by the FBI.

A number of problems, including the influence of provocateurs inside AIM who kept the organization from defending the two men, have prevented more than minimal public information about the case. It is becoming abundantly clear, however, that the trial may reveal the incredible lengths to which the FBI will go to frame up Indian militancy.

Sky horse and Mohawk are conducting their own defense, amassing considerable evidence against the government, informers and government agents. They are still in the pre-trial discovery stage of their case. .

Help is needed badly. Contributions should be sent to Skyhorse/Mohawk Judicial Liberation Committee, c/o Attorney Andrew Marsh, 326 S. "A" St., Oxnard, CA 93030.

South Dakota:

Russell Means

"Since Wounded Knee, I have been arrested twelve times, an average of once every two months," said Russell Means at a press conference last June.

For the past four years, the U.S. government has unmercifully harassed the national .AIM leader, forcing him to trial On a long string of phony charges ranging from carrying a concealed weapon to assault and murder.

This war of attrition is a typical federal government attempt to exhaust Means with constant legal battles that prevent him from actively participating in the Native American movement.

The persecution against Means was capped on June 7 when he was shot in the back and seriously wounded by a BIA police officer. Means faces a continual threat of assassination· and is forced to use bodyguards at many of his public appearances.

A fund has been established to assist Russell Means in his determined resistance to physical and legal attacks. Donations should be sent to the Russell Means Defense Fund, P.O. Box 30116, St. Paul, MN 55168.