BLOOD OF THE LAND: The Government and Corporate War Against the American Indian Movement by Rex Weyler

BLOOD OF THE LAND: The Government and Corporate War Against the American Indian Movement

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A compelling narrative documenting the emergence of the American Indian Movement (AIM) and the opposition to it. From the meeting in Minnesota's Stillwater Penitentiary of the Bellecourt brothers, Dennis Banks, and other Indian prisoners, came AIM: in 1968, a patrol monitoring police harassment in Minneapolis' Indian ghetto; by 1972, a nationwide political and spiritual movement calling Native Americans to their land and sacred traditions, and calling white Americans to account. Weyler, an associate publisher of New Age magazine, chronicles the unrelenting efforts of state and federal governments and corporate powers--Peabody Coal, Union Carbide, Exxon, Kerr-McGee, Gulf--to undermine, co-opt, and ""neutralize"" (i.e., murder) members of the Movement. At the center of the drama is the 1972 Oglala Sioux occupation of Wounded Knee (scene of the 1890 massacre of their Sioux ancestors), opposed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs' puppet ""tribal council"" and counteracted by the FBI's massive ""Garden Plot""--a ""counterinsurgency"" plan involving the FBI, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Federal Marshals Service, Highway Patrol, SWAT teams, and riot police in domestic war games warming up for ""hard ball in South Dakota."" In two years after Wounded Knee, most AIM leaders were beaten, raped, imprisoned, or simply murdered while corporations continued to pillage the land. White crimes against Indians, Weyler convincingly argues, are not merely ""regrettable history"" but continuing cultural genocide--an All-American holocaust against people whose title and sacred relation to valuable land challenges both profits and the American way of exploitation. The confrontation continues at Camp Yellow Thunder (South Dakota) while Hopi elders warn of ""what will happen to this land and human race if we turn away from the Life Pattern the Great Spirit gave us."" A shocking story, still--and very well told.

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 1982
Publisher: Everest