[OPE-L] Lakota Nation : the de-enclosure movement & original de-accumulation?

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Fri Dec 21 2007 - 15:01:53 EST

---------------------------- Original Message
 Descendants of Sitting Bull,
Crazy Horse break away from US

(AFP) — The Lakota Indians, who gave the world Sitting Bull
Crazy Horse, have withdrawn from treaties with the United States,
leaders said Wednesday.

"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," long-time Indian rights activist Russell Means told
handful of reporters and a delegation from the Bolivian embassy,
gathered in a church in a run-down neighborhood of Washington for a
news conference.

A delegation of Lakota
leaders delivered a message to the State
Department on Monday,
announcing they were unilaterally withdrawing
from treaties they
signed with the federal government of the United
States, some of them
more than 150 years old.

They also visited the
Bolivian, Chilean, South African and Venezuelan
embassies, and will
continue on their diplomatic mission and take it
overseas in the
coming weeks and months, they told the news

Lakota country includes parts of the states of
Nebraska, South Dakota,
North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming.

The new country would issue its own passports and
driving licences,
and living there would be tax-free -- provided
residents renounce
ttheir US citizenship, Means said.

The treaties signed with the United States are merely
"worthless words
on worthless paper," the Lakota freedom
activists say on their

The treaties
have been "repeatedly violated in order to steal our
our land and our ability to maintain our way of life," the
reborn freedom movement says.

Withdrawing from
the treaties was entirely legal, Means said.

is according to the laws of the United States, specifically
six of the constitution," which states that treaties are the
supreme law of the land, he said.

"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," said Means.

The Lakota relaunched
their journey to freedom in 1974, when they
drafted a declaration of
continuing independence -- an overt play on
the title of the United
States' Declaration of Independence from

Thirty-three years have elapsed since then because "it takes
mass to combat colonialism and we wanted to make sure that
our ducks were in a row," Means said.

One duck moved into place in September, when the United Nations
adopted a non-binding declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples
-- despite opposition from the United States, which said it clashed
with its own laws.

"We have 33
treaties with the United States that they have not lived
by. They
continue to take our land, our water, our children," Phyllis
Young, who helped organize the first international conference on
indigenous rights in Geneva in 1977, told the news conference.

The US "annexation" of native American land
has resulted in once proud
tribes such as the Lakota becoming mere
"facsimiles of white people,
said Means.

Oppression at the hands of the US government has taken its
toll on the
Lakota, whose men have one of the shortest life
expectancies -- less
than 44 years -- in the world.

Lakota teen suicides are 150 percent above the norm
for the United
States; infant mortality is five times higher than the
US average; and
unemployment is rife, according to the Lakota freedom

"Our people want to
live, not just survive or crawl and be mascots," said Young.

"We are not trying to embarrass the United States. We
are here to
continue the struggle for our children and
grandchildren," she said,
predicting that the battle would not
be won in her lifetime.

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