"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 19 August 1999. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Hit & Run CXCII



Russell Means of the

Oglala/Lakota nation has been a

prominent member of the American-

Indian Movement since the 1960s,

gaining national recognition

during the 1973 standoff at

Wounded Knee and bringing his

fiery personality to a host of

American-Indian issues. He is

currently writing a book with

his wife Pearl and assisting in

an independence movement by the

Oglala/Lakota nation. He spoke

to us from his office in New



You've been involved
lately in the
Oglala/Lakota independence
. What's the

It's very obvious.

What sense of

What other sense of
independence is there?
What does the word
"independence" mean? It
means everything you've
been taught that it means.

Well, it can mean a lot of
things: printing money,
having your own air force.
For example, how big of a
geographical area are you
treating here?

It's a five-state area.
However, that is to be
negotiated. We've set up a
provisional government
with a banking commission,
a health commission, an
environmental commission.
And this is just a
provisional government
until we get to a point
where we can institute a
more traditional form of
government. Our point is
that the existing land
base we now have will
suffice to ascertain our
freedom. For now. People
all over the globe for the
past 50 years have been
freeing themselves from
the colonial yoke of their
oppressors. And the United
States has been our
oppressor for 223 years.
We want freedom from the
US government and its
genocidal policies, and
we're going to utilize the
strategies of the Baltic
States, led by Lithuania,
which culminated in their
independence in 1990, when
they withdrew from the
Soviet Union.

How much of the lower 48
would return to Indian

That's not a point of
contention. We have our
legal rights,
internationally speaking.
What we're saying is that
we agree with the United
States government, that it
has unilaterally violated
our treaty. Therefore,
that puts us back to the
legal status we had at the
time of the signing of the
treaty. So we're agreeing
with the United States,
obeying constitutional and
international law, and of
course, we're going to go
to the international
community for recognition.

By that you mean the
United Nations?

No, hell no. We're going
to individual countries.
The UN is controlled by
the United States: What
would we want to go there

Just asking. What
countries do you have in



Mm-hmm. South Africa,
Pakistan, Yemen, Sri

Doesn't Sri Lanka have its
own independence issue,
with the Tamil?

That doesn't concern our

What are you doing with
the American-Indian
Movement right now?

I've been a leader of that
movement since I joined
it, although the only
formal affiliation I have
now is through AIM of
Colorado. I'll probably
resign again pretty soon.
If and when I resign, I'll
state my reasons.

Is that connected with the
independence movement?

When I state my reasons
that will be clear.
Because my allegiance will
be to my own people.

What do you suggest for
the Bureau of Indian

It should be abolished. In
all the controlling
countries of the IMF, the
only bureau of ethnic
affairs is the Bureau of
Indian Affairs. You can't
even imagine a Bureau of
Irish Affairs or a Bureau
of Jewish Affairs. If you
had a Bureau of Jewish
Affairs, that would bring
to mind the Nazis, and in
fact, the Nazis patterned
their treatment of the
Gypsies and the Poles and
the Jews after American-
Indian policy. So did the
apartheid government of
South Africa. Its entire
Bantu Development Act was
a carbon copy of the
Indian Reorganization Act,
passed 30 years after the
IRA was passed. The
present situation in the
West Bank and Gaza is
totally patterned after
Indian policy. The
colonial tactics developed
and perfected on the
American-Indians have been
exported to the world
successfully, and they've
come home to roost against
the American people. But
you all are so
self-centered and
colonized yourselves that
you can't see it. I'll
give you some examples:
The states and the federal
government have completely
taken over education in
this country, taking
charge from the local
communities. Health care
is completely controlled
by the government. Farm
policy is completely
controlled by the
government. The individual
farmer is no longer needed
by the government.

Haven't individual farmers
been done in more by
Archer Daniels Midland
than by the government?

I'm telling you this is
all Indian policy. I don't
care how it's employed.
Indian policy is what's
been practiced and
perfected on us and then
exported to you all. When
the settlers were no
longer needed, the first
thing the United States
did was make them
dependent on the
government. They call it
farm policy. Bullshit;
that's Indian policy.
That's colonial policy.
And then when the settlers
became dependent,
corporations, centralized
powers, moved in. But the
point is the government is
using Indian policies
against the American
people. In today's US
government, 90 percent of
the laws passed are not
passed by Congress.
They're passed by the
administrative branch.
They're called rules and
regulations, but they have
the full effect of law and
have been ruled upon to
that effect by the Supreme
Court. The United States
of America has perfected
the one-party government,
but Americans believe it's
still a two-party system.
It's ridiculous; everybody
in the entire world knows
it's a one-party system.
Everybody except the

Since I'm pretty ignorant
about the BIA —

You're ignorant about a
lot of things. You're
ignorant about your own

That's why I'm asking you

Well, let's look at
corporate law. In the
1840s, Congress gave
corporations the same
rights and benefits you
have as a citizen of the
United States. But of
course, corporations don't
have to suffer the same
penalties as you do. Now a
tribal government is a
corporation, created by
the Bureau of Indian
Affairs. Not by Congress
but by the BIA. The reason
we're going independent is
that the American people
have become totally
irresponsible about
enforcing their own
liberty. And we can no
longer live with you. You
all are slaves, and we
cherish freedom.

The most widely recognized
Indian issue right now is
tribal gaming, but you
haven't had much to say
about that matter.

It's a colonial tool used
by the United States
government to the
detriment of the Indian
people. I challenge
anybody to go to a
reservation where there's
gaming. You won't see any
difference in the people's
standard of living or
standard of spirit.
Nothing's changed for the
American Indian. You know,
a few get richer; it's a
colonial setup, man. The
rich get richer.

Who's getting richer? You
hear a lot about organized
crime involvement.

Oh fuck. They throw that
out there so they can put
more rules and regulations
on it. What do you mean,
who's getting richer?
Guess. The Indians aren't.
A lot of what you're
asking me should be
natural sense. But if you
don't have any sense or
any naturality ... OK, are
there black people on an
Indian reservation? No.
Are there aliens on a
reservation? No. Are there
Mexicans on a reservation?
No. Are there Canadians?
No. It's white men, OK?

Well, are there white men
on the reservation?

I'm not going to answer
that asinine question.

Well, seriously, I'm a
white man and I haven't
seen one thin dime from
tribal gaming. So who are
we talking about?

Like I said, I'm not going
to answer that asinine

OK. Another favorite TV
news story about tribal
government is when a
tribal president rips off
the treasury. It always
seems like propaganda
designed to demonstrate
that Indians can't handle
their own affairs, but is
there any other angle

American Indian
reservations are colonial
tools. If you don't know
anything about
colonialism, then it's not
worth my time to continue
this interview. This is a
colonial setup where a few
are picked by the
oppressor. They get the
candy bar, and the white
man gets the money. So
yes, it's true when they
show that these
hang-around-the- fort,
apple Indians who are put
in charge of puppet
governments rip off the
treasury. Of course they
steal. That's what they're
taught. How many people
get caught with a hand in
the till of the US
government? Almost
everybody Clinton has
appointed is being
investigated or charged in
a court of law. And those
who don't get charged end
up in a plane crash. And
I'm talking about
Mexicans, blacks, and
whites. And women.

When a tribal gaming issue
comes up, like Proposition
5 last year in California,
most people vote for it,
presumably thinking
they're doing something to
help out the Indians.

You're specifically
helping out the California
Indians because they're so
small. They don't even
live on reservations; they
live on these little
rancherias. And there's
only a few hundred or at
most a few thousand in
each nation. They've been
colonized for so long that
most of them are part of
the mainstream. They've
been educated in the ways
of the dominant society.
So I would favor tribal
gaming in California but
oppose it in South Dakota.
I've seen the benefits
that have come to the
people in California, and
they've been able to try
to get back to their
roots. But that's because
they're so small that the
wealth can reach them. But
on a reservation like
mine, it's pathetic.

Have you got a casino?

Mm-hmm. So what did these
colonial idiots [in the
tribal government] do?
They went $3 million into

Has the AIM ever fielded a
presidential candidate?

No, that would be treason.

Have you ever run

In 1987 I ran for the
nomination for the
Libertarian party. I lost
by three votes on the
first ballot.

What do you think of
Nunavut, the new
indigenous province in
Canada? Would something
like that happen in the
United States?

No, because they're a
province. We're going to
be independent. I don't
even want to lower myself
to statehood. We're going
to be free and
independent, so I can
enjoy being with my
beautiful wife.

How many kids do you

I have 15 children, 23
grandchildren; seven or
eight of the children are
adopted. I try not to keep
track of them.

Are you still acting?

Yes. I just finished
making Thomas and the
Magic Railroad.

Is that Thomas the Tank

Yeah. How do you know
about Thomas the Tank

Come on, everybody knows
about Thomas the Tank
Engine. Who do you play?

I play Billy Two Feathers,
railroad engineer. My
favorite role was in my
second film, Wind Runner,
because it was a
contemporary film. I think
that was my best role, but
I'm telling you a close
second is my role in
Thomas and the Magic
But every role
has its beauty except the
TV roles. I've done that
angel show, Touched by an
I did that psychic
one on Saturday night,
starts with a P ...
Profiler. And I did Walker, Texas
and did Nash
twice. But TV is
done in such a hurry that
it's just production

Well, the way you kill Wes Studi at
the end of Last of the
makes me never
want to get in an argument
with you.

Thank you.



NetAid's promoters make the

venture sound a little like a

CBN superhero show pilot,

combining as it does earnest

"cutting edge technology with

the world's best artistic talent

and poverty-fighting expertise"!

On the other hand, co-sponsor

Cisco's placeholder site's talk

of "the power to end extreme

poverty" makes the whole thing

sound like an X Games franchise.

What is it, then? Brought to you

by the same production team that

created the diminishing returns

of Live Aid, "We Are the

World," and Hands Across

America, NetAid's 9 October

Web/TV/radio simulcast of

performances by the likes of

Celine Dion, Bono, and Pete

Townshend is intended to use the

"power of the Internet" to

"engage the first world" and

"inspire action against"

poverty. This seems a perversely

optimistic take, seeing as how

the most popular forms of

Internet engagement would

involve either having sex with

the poor or shooting them. Then

again, those are historically

popular ways of interacting with

the poor off-line as well. And

if "inspire action against"

poverty doesn't sound the same

as "raise money to end," that's

because it isn't, as one of the

spokespeople put it at the

NetAid press conference this

week: "Our goals are not

fundamentally financial; they

are to get people involved."

This de-emphasizing of actual

charity makes clear an earlier

promise by the sponsors that

NetAid would apply to poverty

"what we've learned in




With total subscriptions now

topping 18 million and another

2 million subscribers on the

CompuServe reservation, this

would seem like a good time for

America Online to celebrate its

arrival as the leading colonial

power of the information age.

But the company received a swift

kick in the shins this week, in

the form of a federal court

ruling that Elwood Edwards'

beloved "You've Got Mail!"

greeting doesn't meet the

trademark test and is not

infringed upon by such

poetically modulated variants as

AT&T's "You Have Mail!" or

humble tributes like the New

York Post's "You've Got Jail!"

headline. Nor are the terms

"buddy list" or "IM" unique

enough to be trademarked, ruled

US District Judge Claude Hilton.

Whether the words "unique" and

"AOL" should ever again be

uttered in the same breath is a

legal matter that awaits a final




While mad-cow-shy English

protesters take to the fields

in "decontamination suits" to

pull up the matter of

"Frankenstein food" by its

transgenic roots, American

consumers chomp blithely on GM

(genetically modified) tomatoes,

corn, and soybeans. Everyone

seems to agree that GM crops are

potentially dangerous,

considering — among other

evidence — the Great

Monarch Catastrophe, where 44

percent of the black-and-orange

butterflies who snarfed GM

pollen croaked. The authors

of Against the Grain

detailed how Monsanto and other

nature bunnies have treated

government officials to an

ongoing Killer Tomato lunch in

exchange for a regulatory blind

eye toward their bumper crop of

test-tube food. So why the

discrepancy between the British

vegetable vigilantes and the

apathetic American consumers?

Apparently Americans don't find

it odd that it takes weeks for

bright-red, nonredolent tomatoes

to rot these days. Although 60

to 70 percent of canned goods

contain GM foods, a recent poll

by the International Food

Information Council indicated

almost half of American

respondents thought their food

wasn't genetically engineered.

On the plus side, you can chew a

Monsanto tomato all day long,

and it never loses its flavor.

courtesy of theSucksters

[Purchase the Suck Book here]