Monday, December 31, 2007

Easter Sunday 1973 in Occupied Wounded Knee

In Joe Trimbach's book, American Indian Mafia, Richard Two Elk sorrowfully recounts how, as a misguided 19-year-old, he and some other American Indian Movement (AIM) militants who were occupying the Indian village of Wounded Knee tortured a man by tying him to a cross and beating him on Easter Sunday, 1973:

Long before I forged an alliance with efforts to stop AIM violence, I was a soldier devoted to AIM militancy. Vernon Bellecourt was my commander in Denver. For a time I became Vernon's body guard, messenger, and procurer of drugs. Arlo [Looking Cloud] and I were brothers. When we were called to Wounded Knee, we packed in weapons and supplies under cover of darkness...I believe it was Easter Sunday when the leadership decided they had found a spy in their midst. When Dennis Banks told us to take care of him, we knew what he meant. After Arlo and I and several others beat this poor fellow, we tied him to a cross and beat him some more. He stayed up there for six hours in the sun. Stories that say this did not happen, or that it was a manikin [reference FBI report, April 22], are simply untrue. I have no idea what happened to that fellow after they cut him down (American Indian Mafia, p. 321).

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