Wounded Knee report on harassment by the FBI, Russell Means' bid, and shooting of Clyde Bellecourt

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MPR’s Kevin McKiernan reports of harassment by the FBI and federal marshalls coming out from Wounded Knee. Occupiers talk of rapes, shootings and beatings. Currently there are several harrassment suits opened against some FBI officers in Rapid City.

Reports include the incident of a man getting kicked down the stairs and that of a little girl getting shot in the eye. Thus far, no arrests have been made. Russell Means' bid to run against Richard Wilson for the Tribal Chairman's position on the Pine Ridge Reservation is also mentioned. Also noted is an all-Indian grand jury meeting in response to the Clyde Bellecourt shooting. That meeting will happen at the hospital where Bellecourt resdides.


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SPEAKER: Throughout the summer here, as you probably know, shootings, rapes, and beatings have been reported. Supporters of the spring occupation who still reside in Wounded Knee and resided there before the occupation maintain that they've been continually harassed and intimidated by supporters of Richard Wilson and by the FBI and federal marshals.

In fact, the legal committee here in Rapid City has several harassment suits, civil rights suits going now against the Federal Bureau of Investigation, including one in which one of the legal workers for the Defense Committee is alleged to have been kicked down a flight of stairs by an FBI officer.

Down at Wounded Knee last month, the FBI investigated a shooting into the house and automobile of Paul Thunder Horse, an AIM supporter and resident of Wounded Knee. The FBI photographed the bullet holes in Thunder Horse's home and car, but no arrests were made.

And then last Saturday, shots were again fired at the Thunder Horse house and automobile outside of it. A young neighbor, Mary Ann Little Bear, a nine-year-old girl, was struck in the eye and lost the sight of her right eye. She's currently in the hospital in Denver under intensive care.

Sunday morning, that is, the day afterwards, the FBI investigated the incident and confiscated pistols and other firearms from a family in Wounded Knee called the Randall family. But again, no arrests were made.

The Defense Committee in Rapid City has claimed to have 16 signed affidavits of eyewitnesses to the firing which struck the little girl. They claim that all the shots came from the home that I mentioned earlier, the Randall home.

During the conference, Russell Means, an Oglala Sioux, announced his intention to challenge Richard Wilson in the fall election for the new Tribal Chairman's position. Now, as I understand it, two elections will be held. One will be in November. This will be the primary election. And then the full-scale election will follow the next month in December.

At that press conference, Dennis Banks vowed that they would launch a massive campaign to support Russell Means in his bid for that seat on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Banks also claimed that the United States government is boosting the campaign of Richard Wilson for re-election by contributing funds. And he mentioned the figure of $100,000.

In other developments, in the small town in central South Dakota, the town of Winner, where Clyde Bellecourt rests in the Baptist Hospital, many members of the American Indian Movement from throughout the country will be gathering there this weekend, beginning tomorrow-- that will be Friday, Saturday, and Sunday-- to convene what Russell Means and Dennis Banks have termed "an all-Indian grand jury. This grand jury intends to investigate the near-fatal shooting of Bellecourt, who, as you know, is one of the original American Indian Movement founders.

American Indian Movement leaders refused to comment on the shooting, except to say that the results of the grand jury probe will be made known Monday or Tuesday of next week. Means, however, has said that he views it as an assassination attempt and part of an overall government conspiracy to destroy the American Indian Movement from within.


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