The United States is one big reservation, and we are all in it. So says Russell Means, legendary actor, political activist and leader for the American Indian Movement. Means led the 1972 seizure of the Bureau of Indian Affairs headquarters in Washington, D.C., and in 1973 led a standoff at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, a response to the massacre of at least 150 Lakotah men, women, and children by the U.S. Seventh Cavalry at a camp near Wounded Knee Creek.
American Indian Russell Means gives an eye-opening 90 minute interview in which he explains how Native Americans and Americans in general are all imprisoned within one huge reservation. Means is a leader for the Republic of Lakotah, a movement that has declared its independence from the United States and refused to recognize the authority of presidents or governments, withdrawing from treaties it made with the federal government and defining its borders which cover thousands of square miles in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Montana.
Means explains how American Indians have been enslaved within de facto prisoner of war camps as a result of the federal government’s restriction of their food supply and the application of colonial tactics, a process that has now also been inflicted on the United States as a whole which has turned into, “one huge Indian reservation,” according to Means.
Means warns that Americans have lost the ability of critical though, and with each successive generation become more irresponsible and as a consequence less free, disregarding a near-perfect document, the Constitution, which was derived from Indian law. Means chronicles the loss of freedom from the 1840’s onwards, which marked the birth of the corporation, to Lincoln’s declaration of martial law, to the latter part of the 19th century and into the 20th when Congress “started giving banks the right to rule,” and private banking interests began printing the money.
“The history of the American and the history of the Indian have now come full circle and are intertwined in the dictatorial policies of those that control the monetary system of America,” remarks Means, pointing out that the elite are now so out of control that they are destroying themselves as well as the country.
“You’ve exported everything that makes a country run, for your greed, for Wal-Marts, for this idiocy of just buy, buy, buy and debt, debt, debt,” states Means, slamming apathetic Americans for allowing the Republic to be commandeered by two political parties who are almost identical. Means says Americans have lost their culture and dispensed with their values as a result, with families being broken up as a result of the de-industrialization of the country, allowing the nation to be subject to mob rule.
Means explains how the patriarchal pyramid structure of power is designed to prevent itself from ever being changed, which is why he urges Americans to “go local,” uniting families and communities and preventing people from being divided and conquered by building co-operative structures from the grass roots level on a model similar to that used by the Quakers. “It doesn’t mean uniformity, it doesn’t mean socialism,” explains Means, pointing out that such a system is built around common goals and unanimous outcomes.