Bay Native Circle – February 1, 2023 Tony Gonzales interviews Jean Roach and Dr. Jose Cuellar – transcript below:
The Bay Native Circle weekly program presents special guests and explores today’s Native issues, peoples, cultures, music & events with rotating hosts Morning Star Gali, Tony Gonzales, Eddie Madril and Janeen Antoine.
00:00:51 Tony Gonzales
Good evening relatives and welcome to Bay Native circle here on KPFA and online at kpfa.org. This is Tony Gonzales, your host this evening February the 1st and tonight we’ll have for you an interview with Miguel Molina and Doctor Jose Cuellar, AKA Doctor Loco, where they talk about the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo of 1848. And this is an interview that they did on flashpoints last Friday and I thought it would be interesting for you to listen to that because it was signed on February the 2nd, and so it it’d be very interesting to know how this Treaty has been implemented or whether it hasn’t [and] what are the challenges?
So TuneIn on that my relatives and then later we’ll be speaking with Jean Roach and that Jean has been on the trail for freedom for Leonard Peltier from day one… In fact, she was at that firefight in June 26, 1975 where the shooting occurred and the deaths of three different people there on the Jumping bull compound. She’ll talk to us about that and the significance of February the 6th and what has occurred since then in their campaigns for Leonard’s Freedom. And she’ll talk to us about the 50-year reunion of Wounded Knee veterans that would be on February the 27th. So, she’s got some details on those dates leading up to the 27th beginning on the 24th in Rapid City my relatives are two men on that and also, we do have an exclusive interview with theEx FBI agent Miss Coleen Rowley, who as some of you might have read about twoweeks ago, [where] she wrote a letter to the President Biden [saying] that is time for Leonard to come home [and] that it’s a vendetta that the FBI and the Department of Justice [has against Leonard Peltier], that’s what they’re waging against Leonard Peltier. She says that it’s time for Leonard to come home. So, listen up on that interview.
…[and] my friends…we’ll [be playing music by] Buffy Sainte Marie with “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.” Now let us go to that interview now with Miguel Molina and Dr. Jose Cuellar AKA Doctor Loco.
00:03:32 Dennis Bernstein
My name is Dennis Bernstein. I’m here with Miguel Gavilan Molina. He is the host of La Onda Bajita for decades here at KPFA in the Bay Area and Miguel, why don’t you take it from here and welcome at our next guest?
00:03:46 Miguel Gavilan Molina
Thank you Dennis and I’d like to say welcome Bienvenido Dr Cuellar. It’s good to have you with us, thank you very much.
00:03:53 Dr. Jose Cuellar
Good to be here and it’s great.
00:03:55 Miguel Gavilan Molina
We’re so appreciative local thank you so much for joining us Jose.
You know all of the stuff this week has been tragic, and it everyone is on high alert stress anxiety, but there’s something coming up next week That really deals with a lot of issues and that is the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, and that’s the treaty that ended the war of aggression the United States inflicted on Mexico. The treaty was the signing of the end of that war, where Mexico lost half of its territory to the United States. That’s something that’s always been in the back burner of everyone that I grew up with. You know, Mexicanos, Chicanos, Latinos.
You know it’s the Treaty it’s a living document, but [it] really pointed out the conditions and terms of the agreement that gave us certain undeniable rights. You know the rights to our education, the rights to our language, our history, and for those that lived within the now new territories of the United States. You know the rights to the land, the rights to its resources, but like every other treaty that this U.S. government has signed in the last 200 plus years, it’s violated each and every one of them.
That said, Dr. Cuellar, what does it mean to you? These people are calling this movement and movimiento the “Brown Civil Rights Movement”… what do you see that…playing in today’s world, can it be applied? Can we move it forward? Can we sit with the government in some kind of world court and suppress the Treaty of Guadalupe to be actually honored and applied to the masses of people? Is that possibly?..Then also the land issue? Recently there’s been talks here in the state here in the Bay Area [about] reparations to the African American community. Is there somewhere in the future that the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo can be addressed? [Where we] look and reparations for Chicano was within the United States territories?
00:06:03 Dr. Jose Cuellar
Well can you imagine? All of those issues are just the tip of the iceberg. When we begin to think and talk about the Treaty of Guadalupe, the Treaty of 1848 and as you said, set the terms for the establishment of that border that goes from Ground Zero to San Diego, ground zero…to Tijuana.
That border that crosses through hundreds of individual and collective Indigenous territories separating indigenous in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas dividing to this day, I mean all of the issues that are happening at the border have a relationship to just treating that gap as the boundary in and of itself. But I think one of the issues that as you raised it, one of the things that becomes a real concern that you think about the Treaty. The reality is that the Treaty itself was written up with one guy by one person, one who was an emissary to Mexico, [Nicholas] Trist. He voted against the idea—not necessarily within the context of what President [James K.] Polk at the time with what he wanted. So [Trist] wrote a rogue treaty that he got the Mexico to sign [on February 2nd, 1848]. Then he brought it back to the US Congress. Then the US Congress…on March 4th , 1848 they took out a lot of provisions that have to do with the right and privileges that those ancestors of ours were of both Indigenous and Mexican ancestry.
Who living north of the Rio Grande N that that border borderline is affecting in the present? A lot of the issues that were contending with, but the land rights that was just taken out. Indigenous rights were taken out by the Congress when the ratified the treaty. So did it go back to Mexico and get reapproved? What are the issues?
It was the first treaty that the US signed when the treaty that when they got that territory and they got Mexico with that treaty to cease to Texas. That only got the US Texas, the next rebel slave state, which is what they have been wanting, so the treaty led to the increase of slavery, particularly in Texas over the last to be enslaved. Many had fled the South to Texas because Mexico had [banned slavery in Texas] and declared all Mexican territory slave free. So, all of those issues arise with its validity and I thin [we should starting thinking about taking it] to the UN, challenging it. And with us,I think it’s really important for the rest of us to visit to really study what is in that treaty. What is significant and what do we need to do? What can we take away [learn] from that treaty?
00:09:11 Miguel Gavilan Molina
Yeah, it’s the interpretation of it, but there’s a lot of talk, especially with Texas and Arizona banning books. And also, here in California the struggle with ethnic studies, the struggle with Chicano studies and the governor in a sense, vetoing bills that would allow that. So here we are, an elitist liberal, a Governor Gavin who vetoed an initiative that would have opened up ethnic studies and teaching of those histories to college and High school level students…
00:09:40 Dr. Jose Cuellar
If I may, I think that we need to think more about the debate and discussion that went on behind the scenes around this ethnic studies requirement, the so-called requirement…
What we don’t because you know, we have ethnic studies for a variety of contexts…right? So I think I think it really be who’s supposed to really investigate what happened and why did Newsom not sign it? [Why didn’t he] support [it] and [could he be] convinced to supported it.
That’s the right thing to do or that you know the there are a lot of issues. This ethnic studies received ethnic studies departments watered down.
Then they will credit place and then they were on.
They would say, well, all of these other courses also kind of justice studies and no longer are we looking at these issues that there were initially the objective of an expense.
Education for liberation education to free our minds.
To feed our souls to be able to become you human beings in the new context, free ourselves and colonialism.
We ourselves in capitalism free ourselves from the forces by drinking fluid, working through and putting into practice the ideas that we were learning about our history and our heritage and about the society that we were giving and the world that we’re living in, and how do we how could we improve?
You know that passion with other folks who think your education for occupation will happen and how that how are they going to get living there expense? How are they going to get a job?
It’s a different objective and I think that’s one of the issues that we face in our community, because that’s just so you know, how work oriented that we are. That is the just education and it’s not really true for the purpose of getting a better job. So there’s all these issues I think business facing moving into the into the next phase you get that is going to be very challenging.
00:11:46 Miguel Gavilan Molina
The challenge is, you know, are they…going to change. But I think at this point one of the things that is really concerning is even in higher education. I mean, even in schools, I mean we know at this point at this moment that violence has penetrated every level of the society. Gun violence is everywhere.
It’s more than ever, you know, even higher education going to universities.
We saw the recent murderers of the students. Those four students.I mean, it’s like there’s no way that people feel safe. But how can we? We’re already a lot of us, you know that come from the indigenous brown cultures we’ve grown up with. Our parents being undocumented always in fear of them being raided or in fear of them being taken away or fear of being stopped by the police and may be killed. I mean we see that it just happens everywhere back in June up in Sonoma County, the deputy serves Sonoma County chased down this farm worker in the town of Healdsburg, which is wine country.
And they chased him for 45 minutes and then shot him to death for an alleged somehow. I guess maybe 30 yards away they said he picked up a rock and he had a little hole in his hand or something and he was shot to death. And then just it happened it was [briefly] covered and [then the story] it went away.
So how do we push education, how do we [keep] going on?
Even though you know kids are growing up in these climates of violence and being afraid of not only going to school, but afraid for their parents, getting picked up by ICE picked up by the INS. So how do we as a people doctor…be able to move on and say hey, regardless of these threats, regardless of these situations here we’re going to keep moving ahead.
Do we need to come to a place Dr. Cuellar, to where we’re going to have to start protecting ourselves, do you see that? How do we address this? Because you know somebody said “I don’t want to go to school.” “It’s dangerous, what do we do?” What can educators do to at least calm the community and encourage students, to say there is safety, you know, within the institutions or the administrators of the collegiate systems talking about safety on campuses? Is there any talk? Have you heard anything about that local or are you thinking that maybe at some point coming up with something to assure people that it’s safe to go to school?
00:14:06 Dr. Jose Cuellar
Tremendous, tremendous several questions that really are taking it to the many dimensions that are involved in this phenomenon that we’re facing.
But I think that one of the keys, is when you mentioned Community, I think we use that word to lose it. I think we should we need to think about what that word because these are people, people who come together have relationships and those relationships have to do it right, and responsibility is one of the things that happen under stress, and it breaks down to where the COVID goes down.
Less interaction, more individualization, less responsibility for one another. I think going back to the idea of mutual aid societies of 200 you know 200 years or so ago they had these mutual aid societies with what he said. But people would come together and have—putting money in and support one another when someone got sick. There was a little socially going there they pick up, but they got people together and encourage people to look after each other.
We need to look for strategies that bring people together and encourage people to look for one out for one and other and support one another in the best way possible and that’s the challenge, I think. How do we maintain and even develop community develop more relationships in positive ways with one another under these challenging times? When everything…Everything tells us to individualize? You become much more of a collective as we approach these struggles. Yes, I…I think that’s one of the strategies of the many that we might explore right now.
00:15:55 Dennis Bernstein
Right, how can we figure out ways, strategies to move strategies to work together collectively to harness our power…This is Dennis here with Miguel and Dr. Loco. Just to for this in—on the one hand, you’ve got the United States just to put on the assembly line 30 new long range nuclear bombers. Each one is a billion dollars. Each bomb is a billion dollars. We just lost an environmentalist in in Atlanta who was trying to protect the forest against a fully $50 million, essentially creating a police city police training city where they have mock villages. I guess where they can go in and arrest and kill black people.
But there’s a of work ahead of us. We’ve got a first grader shooting this teacher where are we in this world?
00:16:55 Dr. Jose Cuellar
That’s the challenge. Absolutely, absolutely. We’re in isolation…with folks who often commit violence. Often times they’re the ones that have felt most isolated as opposed to take to more integrated into the fabric of the community…You know you were talking to…the vice mayor, that was one of the things that impressed me by his just his tone and his perspective was to be bringing these people together and kind of appear.
You know, please meet these people as members of communities, not as isolated individuals.
And I think, the isolation, when we lose someone to isolation, that’s when there’s potential danger.
Where there’s this guy who killed those four students in Idaho, or the one who killed those all those folks in those in El Paso ones who what we have to we have to begin to think about, right?
Both externally and internally. How do we get to weave our relationships, so we have networks to support the people who wind up in these situations and lash out?… kind of the larger perspective, as you’re pointing out that has you know and is military industrial prison complex that you know that those are the largest struggles and issues in this post nuclear and post industrial [age].
What are we selling? What is the value that come with those weapons. But it’s you know it’s a it’s a multi layered challenge. You’re living in a multiverse that is more complex than even 30 years ago. You know, when we were in earlier years Dennis and Miguel. It’s a challenge and we need to encourage younger people to step up to the chart to step to the, to the plate. That’s one of the challenges that we have. How do we support these other people to take on these responsibilities?
Or…how do we prepare them for that?
00:19:11 Dennis Bernstein
Yeah, and one gets the feeling Miguel and I talk about this all the time, but one gets the feeling that that this country doesn’t love its children anymore. If you judge, you know if you you’re willing to spend a billion dollars on a long range nuclear bomb and but you can’t give you know, a preschool. No programs and lunch programs.
There’s not enough there’s not 5,000,000 dollars for milk program and it blows my mind.
I used to be a teacher very young children in the some of the poorest neighborhoods in New York, and I see these kids come to school hungry and with it was like heaven sent to be able to just put a bowl of cereal down in front of them. You can’t teach your kid who’s like suffering from lead poisoning and is hungry how to spell the word love. So anyway, Doctor Loco.
00:20:10 Dr. Jose Cuellar
Yeah, but a challenge because that hints to the largest section maybe then. Like you cannot really spell love, but understand the significant love isn’t really for the larger society—with [people working] for $9 an hour at a mushroom farm, this beautiful place called Halfmoon Bay. So that’s where we get to hang out. Relax, yeah, that’s the challenge, absolutely.
00:20:36 Dennis Bernstein
it’s a challenge, but listen, we are grateful to have you right here right at this time. Miguel and I were delighted to know that you would join us, and, uh, we’re not going to wait so long. Next time, hopefully we can keep this going, so thank you Sir.
00:20:50 Dr. Jose Cuellar
Thank you so much for inviting me, thank you, thank you.
00:21:02 Tony Gonzales
Want to thank Gavilan for letting us use that [interview] on the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Now let’s talk with Jean Roach on freedom for Leonard Peltier and February 26th
Aho my relatives and for tonight I invited Jean Roach to talk to us about Leonard Peltier. Of course many of you are becoming more familiar with Jean over these months, and indeed over the years where she has been advocating for his release and kept us up to date, informed on what’s happening with the campaign to free Leonard Peltier. And here we’re coming around to February the 6th Monday and it is a very significant day in the Odyssey that is the journey through the prison system for Winter Park here. Welcome to the show, introduce yourself and the significance again—the happenings of February 6th, 1976.
00:21:59 Jean Roach
Yeah, good evening, everybody. My name is Jean Roach.
I’m from the Cheyenne River Sioux tribe located in South Dakota, I’m a survivor of the 1975 firefight in Oglala, South Dakota—the reason why Leonard Peltier is in prison. And I just wanted to talk about February 6th. It’s the anniversary. It’s going to be the starting of 48 years that Leonard Peltier has been imprisoned. I mean, 48 years of can you even imagine. You know we have a lot of things happening worldwide. We have several, you know you could call them if you want, actions, rallies, prayer circles worldwide pretty much. Some of those places we have in excuse me in Europe include seven cities in Germany and the part of the uh. We have, you know we have I can’t even say the name to them. But we have a Berlin and we have well, I can’t say their names. I’m not sure how to say their name but we have this [information] if you go to our website.
00:23:10 Tony Gonzales
Yeah, just to do that. It’s good to mention the topic so that people can feel the gravity and the emotion around the world for Leonard Peltier, so that would be a Berlin and go ahead. You had told me before last night stuck there, go ahead.
00:23:27 Jean Roach
OK, so well, the most read OK. Well let’s start over. OK, let’s start with Germany. We have Berlin stride. That skirt we picked. And those in Frankfurt and then in Italy we have Milan. We have Rome, France. We have Paris, Switzerland. We have Geneva and I know we have one more German city and I can’t seem to find the name of that. But we have several United States. You know we have one in Rapid City, SD. That’s one that the international and the Culture Defense Committee is hosting and we’re going to be on the federal building steps. You know, the message of Leonard Peltier. You know he needs his freedom. We have Rapid City. We have Minneapolis, MN Fargo, ND, Tampa, FL, San Jose, NM, Albuquerque, NM. San Francisco, CA San Jose CA Sacramento CA Columbia Tulsa, Oklahoma and Washington, DC, and I think there’s more and I haven’t updated my list today.
00:24:38 Tony Gonzales
You know that’s terrific Jean and this part of the international work that you’ve also been doing and networking with so many people and people on their own picking up the ball and deciding to do it on their own. And that’s like my relatives. Are you out there that are listening and the international community that the times that you mentioned? They’re on the worldwide web listing in jeans, so you know that they’re hardened, hardened by that.
Lot of strength, but please go on.
00:25:07 Jean Roach
Yes, and one of our biggest developments that we have recently like within the last couple of weeks was the FBI, ex FBI agent, and yeah, her name is Colleen…Yeah, and she was the FBI agent during the time period of the when the shootout happened and the aftermath, and basically, she talks about how it is a vendetta case and it’s linked to the COINTELPRO tactics. You know, beyond investigations you know where they plant rumors, they blackmail people you know, and she just goes on and on, and there is like if you go to our website who is on it called whoisleonardpeltier.info we have an [hour and a half] Interview done with her by Red Nation [you can watch].
00:26:00 Tony Gonzales
Oh, very good, very good.
00:26:02 Jean Roach
So you can hear for yourself, you know, and she’s not the first one that’s come forward. You know we have the Reynolds letter who came out twice when we had to work for justice in DC. He came out and he joined the rally…yup James Reynolds…the former prosecutor during that time… and then we also have several [other US] senator’s [support] you know. We just we’ve been really pushing really hard, getting as much support whether it’s tribal or in the United States Senate [or House] in the Congress, you know.
So we have the recent letter by Senator Markey who joined Senator Schultz, in urging President Biden to commute Leonard’s sentence for clemency. So, you know…Leonard has a great lawyer, Kevin Sharp, who has really who’s an ex federal judge and believes in his innocence. And you know when he when we do speak with [Kevin] he talks about the Constitution and how he made an oath to serve it. And whatever oath he made is doing right from wrong, and the right thing is telling the truth, you know? It’s not like the COINTEL program has urged them to, you know, continue this vendetta way past [what a served sentence should be]. You know, the FBI agent that was caught with a dead informant in his trunk only got 10 years.
Oh my goodness and Leonard Peltier. It’s been proven over and over again how they’ve you know planted evidence, coerced witnesses. I mean they did everything to make sure that he was scapegoated into prison. And now on February 6th, we’re going to the 48th year in prison. Wow, that’s slap into all peoples faces, especially our tribes to keep him in there…
00:27:59 Tony Gonzales
—you described it very well. You know, to the extent that he was framed. All this showing up false information by the FBI and prosecution. He is, you know, totally framed. So Jean, now what do you call upon people to do?
00:28:29 Jean Roach
In their communities on February 6th, yeah, well, like the you know the things that I mentioned before you could hold a prayer circle you could go to the capital, you could go to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. That’s where we’re going right here in Rapid City where it started where it continues.
We live in a racist area here in South Dakota. They call us the deep north and it’s true. Our People are imprisoned, incarcerated at bigger, larger numbers [arrest rate and incarceration rate] than the white people—and with [African-Americans] we are about equal to their [arrest rate and incarceration rate]. But yeah, the racism continues and we’re here to try not to break down.
Our people are suffering, you know. Leonard represents a bigger position among our people of how we’re being treated by the United States government. And the tribes recognize that too. Right now we have the full support of the newly elected Oglala Sioux Tribal President Frank Starr, whose parents were actually in Oglala organizing [in 1975]. That’s why Leonard and everybody was there, to help the communicable ground to pull away from the corrupt reign of terror government of Dick Wilson during that time period. So now we’re back to circle. We have the son who is the tribal president, and he also represents the tribal chairman’s board, which represents nine different nations, and we’re hoping to get their full support.
00:29:54 Jean Roach
We have several different tribes already that have written support letters. The Oglala Sioux Tribe has been the major cutting edge every year. They come out with their support letter. They dedicated letter Leonard Peltier day. I mean they’ve been full support of his freedom.
And you know, I think one of the things that the United States government is fearing is the repatriation of the of what they have to pay to Leonard for this wrongdoing. You know they need to pay him for money or something because for going on 48 years and for a crime that if any other people were guilty, they would have been out of prison by now.
00:30:34 Tony Gonzales
Oh, yes, including that he wasn’t charged with murder convictions, but charged aiding and abetting…
00:30:42 Jean Roach — Yeah, that’s a good question.
00:30:47 Tony Gonzales
…And the two other defendants Dino Butler and Robert Robideau they got off charges for self-defense—then and they’re charging Leonard Peltier for aiding and abetting!
00:30:49 Jean Roach
That’s how twisted it is…that’s like making up the rules as they go along and just to serve their own purpose. And that’s what they do every time. We all know that. So let’s make a change, you know, talk to your people, I know care who, even each child of yours if they can support Leonard. We’re all important. We’re all human. Basic human rights, that’s all we wanted.
00:31:25 Tony Gonzales
Indeed, this is the momentum now generated on behalf of Leonard for his freedom has never really been higher in all these 4 1/2 decades or so, now 48 years that Leonard’s been incarcerated and we’re right at the cusp of it hopefully. We’re all optimistic good news that the president, who’s the only person that can free Leonard Peltier, will find it in his heart that it is time for Leonard to go home.
As you said the former FBI agent Collene Rowley, who has said that it’s a vendetta that that it’s a part of the FBI culture to cite the case of Leonard Peltier and using him as an example. Yeah, so all of this is coming to a good peak including—I don’t know if you had mentioned the Democratic National Committee last September also wrote a letter to the president that unanimously [asked for Leonard’s freedom], they wrote a letter for Leonard’s freedom and that represents well over 70 million Democratic voters across the country that speaks a lot to the power because it’s the Democrats got him in in the White House in the 1st place. So on top of that, and this vigil raising that attention, indeed we have to go keep the momentum going Jean.
00:32:58 Jean Roach
Well, we also have, you know we’ve been making some great upgrades to our website. We have 3 postcards that are ready if you want to go to our website at who is on at whoisleonardpeltier.info you can download the postcards and print them out and send them to the president…Yeah, so we keep the latest updates on there…Keep going, keep pushing like I said, everybody’s important.
00:33:47 Tony Gonzales
Jean can you clarify again—I know you’re concerned with how people write articles have been writing articles on kid as I referred to earlier and not murder charges but aiding and abetting. Can you speak to that a little bit about how journalists continue to perpetuate that?
00:34:03 Jean Roach
Yeah they continue to perpetuate that. That’s one of the stereotypes, and that’s part of COINTELPRO works, presenting this false narrative of who Leonard Peltier is you know. Dehumanizing, and they use that since 19- I mean 1890 or first contact. When you talk about the first wounded knee, you know they downgraded us to the public. As you know less than human so they could justify massacring the people.
In 1890 at Wounded Knee. We have wounded in 1973 that when the American Indian movement came to Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation. Because people. So…the rights were being violated, left and right, and when AIM came it changed.
00:34:55 Tony Gonzales
I’m glad you mentioned that Jean because that takes us into the next phase of [this] interview, and that is Wounded Knee and what led up to the shooting with Leonard Peltier, Robert Robideau, and Dino Butler there on Jumping Bull Compound South Dakota. June 26, 1975. If this is the aftermath, we’re talking about the aftermath of wounded knee. But during that time from 1973, after leaving Wounded Knee for, it was for the next couple of years to 1975-76. At that time in the shooting, it was referred to as the Reign of Terror. Over 60 men, women and young people were disappeared, assassinated, murdered, disappeared. Can you talk about that climate? Because we’re now coming to the celebration, the commemoration that is in reunion of the Warriors of Wounded Knee.
00:36:05 Jean Roach
This will be the 50th anniversary of Wounded Knee take over. And, uh, like you talked about the reign of terror that the aftermath of people standing up for their basic human rights, where the United States government did a full-fledged military assault on the people at Wounded Knee. I mean, yeah, they talked about we had weapons, but we’re like 22 single shots against automatic weapons. APC, you know the latest technology. And that was, uh, basically to protect the corrupt government of Dick Wilson that was running the Oglala Sioux Tribe at the time where tribal members were being run over shot at. You know, if anybody that had braids or if anybody believed in the sacred ceremonies and prayed in or Lakota ways, were targets. And they’re also labeled as AIMs. You know, because AIM brought back spirituality, or it came forward. It was here.
But our traditional came people came out and shared their knowledge because we all knew.
That after being beaten in the Catholic schools or whatever, that was not our way. There was a major change, a shift there. So when Leonard Peltier and people were there and Oglala, they were helped to organize and doing security because people just praying were targets of drive-bys and killing. So whenever we talked about what was going on in Oglala, it was all because the people went and invited Leonard and his people to the Oglala Sioux [Reservation]…
00:37:41 Tony Gonzales
Jean, I don’t want to keep you too much longer on the interview. It seems like the cold that you have can you know can’t stay down, but I do want to let our listeners know that it’s a four-day occasion that begins February 24th in Rapid City and with the concert and gathering there, and also a powwow in Rapid City as well as a film. Go ahead please.
00:38:06 Jean Roach
Yes there is a Powwow yes, on Saturday there is a Powwow. Yeah and then also in Porcupine on the 25th they will have the voices of resistance, which is a collection of native rappers and singers and also of some films being showed in the Porcupine school. The Warrior women’s one of them. There’s two different things going on at that time. So and then on Sunday, there’s another Powwow that one will be in Porcupine, so that would be Sunday the 26th and then on Monday the February 27th will be the four direction walk.
00:38:41 Tony Gonzales
The four direction, walk to Wounded Knee Cemetery and the village itself.
00:38:58 Jean Roach
Yeah, so then it’ll be like there’ll be feeds. They’ll be things at the Powwow so there’s. A lot of different. And Umm, the sponsors are going to be the cooler air grassroots. The international community generation, indigenous ways the Indian collective, Good Warrior Society…some. Chicano…and Grand Council in Minneapolis. So, we have a lot of people that are coming together and we’re going to celebrate all the things that are relatives have accomplished making that one of the initial stands that wounded, need and will also Several events of honoring us and feeding the people. All the you know could be a good time, a four day event. So starting in Rapid City on Friday the 24th.
00:39:58 Tony Gonzales
00:39:59 Jean Roach
But we do have, uh, we’ll have it on our website also.
00:40:01 Tony Gonzales
Alright well Jean Roach thank you very much. I hope you get well soon and for my relatives.
The details as we’re trying to explain to you. It also includes a welcome to you, the public, to make arrangements to come and join us. I’ll be there myself, Jean, as well as some of the KPFA a crew.
To cover some of the events there and also to celebrate the radio station KILI there in the in the where. Where is that in Porcupine? There in South Dakota and said that they’re having their 40 year anniversary as well. But for the public and our listeners, you’re welcome to come.
I mean all the programs that that you mentioned. Some will be enlightened and they need to come to a Powwow. If you’ve never been to a Powwow, this would be the place to go and also my relatives. And the story of Leonard Peltier, there’s a movie “The Life of Leonard Peltier” and also a book in the spirit of Crazy Horse by Peter Matheson and more locally here in the Bay Area.
If I may Jean, in the Bay Area in San Francisco proper, there’s a newspaper that that will look there and I’d like to, you know, give them an honorable mention. They’re out of here in the Mission District and it comes out In this month’s issue, Jean, with an excellent article, that Leonard Peltier deserves.
You know, and this is a guest commentary opinion, and it’s like Alejandro Murguia was a professor at San Francisco State University and Port laureate here in the Bay Area. So without that handle you are composing that commentary. That commentary, on behalf of Leonard Peltier, a lot more people will be convinced that it is time for Leonard to come home so people can go to the website. Uh, Jean mentioned. That http://www.whoisLeonardpeltier.info
Jean any closing words?
00:42:13 Jean Roach
Yeah, just like everybody to thank everybody that’s been out there and helping Leonard over these years and continue the fight because he would. You know we’re not going to stop even when he gets out, but let’s have some prayers for his release and come join us and meet me, you know? A great celebration and we have a really nice commemorative T-shirt that we just came out with honor honoring our…and it has a picture of a Leonard Crow, Doug, and Leonard house here and we have that available on our website too (http://www.whoisLeonardpeltier.info) and we’re using that to raise funds, so if you have a chance check it out.
00:42:54 Tony Gonzales
All right, very good.
00:42:55 Jean Roach
Thank you for everything.
00:42:56 Tony Gonzales
And my relatives, the shootout that was the mentioned it that was mentioned by Jean on 26th in 1975, there in South Dakota. Was with the deaths of three men there and always forgotten. Not much mentioned but. Two kills, right? Stunts was also among those three that were. You know if there is an investigation of his death, who did the shooting, that has never been accounted for. My relatives and yes we prayers up for the three of them that includes those FBI agents that shouldn’t have come onto the grounds in military fashion the way they did. That’s Jack Kohler and Ronald Williams. I want too, so thank you once again Jean Roach.
I want to thank Jean Roach for her time and her commitment.
Her dedication for freedom for Leonard Peltier, For our listeners, please go to Leonard Peltier’s website. http://www.whoisLeonardpeltier.info
Now Lets go to that interview now with the ex FBI agent Miss Colleen Rowley.
00:44:14 Nick Estes
And the FBI surveillance of the American Indian movement was largely ignored during the church hearings and investigations which you know coincidentally took place the same year as the shootout in Oglala, and the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in June of 1975. And this was at the height of the reign of terror which you mentioned. So given what we know about the hostility towards Peltier and AIM by the FBI in the past, but also today with, you know, with the letter what needs to be done in this particular moment and what kinds of investigations and inquiries would you like to see?
00:44:58 Colleen Rowley
You know, probably one of the reasons, perhaps why the infiltration and disruption the COINTELPRO activities directed on American Indian movement may be one of the reasons why the trip might be more than one, but one of the reasons why the church committee. Or that might have been the shootings?
So it was such an emotional hot, you know, politicians. No matter what. Don’t like to wade into any kind of hot button issue, so that might have been it. They knew the FBI would never at that point in time be able to see, you know again, very emotional at that time. So that might be a reason why it was kind of ignored. I know Frank Church himself was a target of the NSA, so he would have been more motivated for all of the surveillance during Vietnam that went crazy.
00:45:51 Nick Estes
Project Minaret, right?
00:45:52 Colleen Rowley
Yeah, the NSA had this project called Project Minaret. The FBI had its COINTELPRO, and the CIA had one, I think the Name was chaos. Just like in “Get Smart” and not very little is known about minaret in chaos because they did not have a whistleblower type like William Sullivan. So William Sullivan ended up telling the church committee about some of these workings of the of COINTELPRO because he was at the table. I think he had a thing Sullivan had a famous quote, something like, well, we all sat around the table coming up with these ideas, one of which was to encourage Martin Luther King to commit suicide letter.
We all had these ideas and sat around and no one said is it right? Is it wrong? Not a soul, a handful of these high level people so. But there was nobody who talked about minaret and so all to this day, it’s still classified somehow. One little bit lagged out that showed that he had seven of the targets. There were many, many more targeted and one of them was Senator Frank Church. Whether he knew it or not, there was columnist, newspaper columnist, humorist, Art Buchwald, Muhammad Ali of course, which wouldn’t be surprising because he was a opposed to Vietnam… A couple of editors, mainstream newspaper editors, and another senator.
So when you know that these were the again, if the public knows that our national security agencies are actually spying on our own publishers, journalists, government officials. I mean you can’t have it. I mean that we can’t have. That’s the rule of law completely breaking apart.
So, so I think the church committee was more. They had a lot to look. At that’s the other thing.
They had a lot, so they probably looked at some of the things that were nearest and dearest to them at the time and. I don’t know why they didn’t, you know that those would be my guesses as to why they did they more or less ignored the AIM.
So towards the end of when I was the legal counsel in 1990s, I mean, Leonard Peltier had been in jail for Oh what 30 years? Or something like that 25-30 I mean. But now it’s nearly 50 years. Because of that you know it really is not In Sync with any other murder prosecution. Most of you know it’s an average convictions. Now the average prison term of about 16 years. And I was well aware of this horrible case of the FBI agent who murdered his informant female informant and drove with her body and his FBI trunk for two or three days. Yeah, Mark Putnam. I was aware of that case that was also talked about quite a bit and he only served 10 years.
So you have this contrast and you know I thought, well, this is about the time where mercy and the real reasons for having criminal justice. Of course, the reason I joined the FBI that I learned in law school. Four a reasons- One is accountability, which is kind of a revenge accountability thing. The other one is to prevent recidivisms to create an example so people know so that there’s less other crime. People don’t follow that example because there’s accountability. And the last one is rehabilitation, and so if there’s no danger to the public from recidivism is this. And certainly when people, when their health deteriorates, and their whatever, it’s almost always the case that they are able to pardon, and so when you see this letter and it kind of jumps out to you all after nearly 50 years, and there’s no mercy in these other.
And basically it is just now very vindictive case, which of course was you know which.
Began on an emotional level at the time of the murders, but you know it by now.
It should have faded to the background and we should have been more objective in that.
(The full hour and a half interview can view watched at http://www.whoisLeonardpeltier.info)
00:50:34 Tony Gonzales
My relatives, let’s go into the song now Buffy Sainte Marie.
(Music Break Song By Buffy Sainte Marie titled “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee”)
00:55:50 Tony Gonzales
Yeah alright Buffy Sainte Marie “Bury my heart at Wounded Knee” don’t forget the reunion.
Wounded Knee Warriors 50 year anniversary in South Dakota.
It’s open to the public. You’re welcome to go to the website. http://www.whoisLeonardpeltier.infoor also the American Indian Movement at aimovement.org for more details and information. Also there was just a quick mention on February 7th at Sacramento State Capitol grounds between 12th and 13th there will be a missing murdered indigenous peoples day of action, so don’t forget that’s at 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM at Sacramento State Capitol on February the 7th OK, and let’s see. Yeah. For more information, contact [email protected]. That’s [email protected] And that’s February 7th of capital Steps, Sacramento
All my relatives were at the hour now and this is Tony Gonzales, you’ve been listening to Bay Native Circle. Our producer is Janinne Antoine. Thank you for music by Al Frank Manriquez mixed with Rass K’dee, Robert Maribel Rare Tribal Mob. thank you goes out to Diane Williams for the opening prayer. We also thank our musical artists, our guests and you are listening audience for your continued support.
We want to give a shout out to our brothers and sisters on the inside, especially those on death row.
Thank you to creator the indigenous peoples whose lands we occupy to ancestors and to those yet to come blessings.