Friday, December 21, 2007

Lakota declare themselves separate nation – free Leonard Peltier?

Noting multiple broken U.S. treaties, and citing Article Six of the U.S. Constitution and the Vienna Convention of 1980, the Lakota have declared themselves independent. Longtime American Indian Movement activist Russell Means delivered the proclamation:

“We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us.

“This is according to the laws of the United States, specifically article six of the constitution.

“It is also within the laws on treaties passed at the Vienna Convention and put into effect by the US and the rest of the international community in 1980. We are legally within our rights to be free and independent."

What’s next?

Free Leonard Peltier!

No, seriously. Free Leonard Peltier, or at least give him a new trial. Besides, he’s no longer a U.S. citizen right?

Beyond “gimmick” status, maybe this will have benefits such as jump-starting the stalled lawsuit against the Department of Interior for mismanaging Indian tribal fiduciary investments, or force Congress to address Indian rights in general more seriously.

At the same time, does Means really want to try to go back to pre-Columbian North America? Sure, you’d have no smallpox, measles, etc., as well as no white folks around, but, you’d also have no horses, no guns and no smelted metals.