Occupation of Alcatraz

Topics: Native Americans in the United States, American Indian Movement, South Dakota Pages: 6 (1748 words) Published: May 28, 2014
Occupation of Alcatraz

Research Question:
What affect did this occupation have on future occupations/revolutions/etc.?

Student Plan:
I - What impact did this occupation have on future occupations? II - To answer this question, I’m going to go over key points in the Occupation of Alcatraz, noting important details and different actions taken to impact the occupation directly. Using this information as a basis, I will then go over relating factors in the occupations of both Winter Dam and Wounded Knee. Other questions asked and answered will be: Did the Occupation of Alcatraz inspire other Native Americans to take action? How? Did other occupations utilize ideas and actions from the Occupation of Alcatraz? II - Mostly online resources, with the addition of The American Indian Occupation of Alcatraz Island by Troy R. Johnson and Donald L. Fixico.

Summary of Evidence:
An occupation of Alcatraz island by the group “Indians of All Tribes” Lasted 19 months (November 20, 1969 – June 11, 1971)

The treaty of Fort Laramie (1868, between the US and the Sioux all retired) agreed that all abandoned or out-of-use federal land was to be returned to the Native people from whom it was acquired. Alcatraz was officially closed on March 21, 1963 – declared surplus federal property in 1964 Red Power activists felt like it was time for the island to be returned

First action was March 8, 1964
About 40 Sioux demonstrated by occupying the island for hours The group included photographers, reporters, Elliot Leighton (the lawyer representing those claiming land stakes), etc. The group was led by Richard McKenzie, Mark Martinez, Garfield Spotted Oak, Walter Means, and Allen Cottier Cottier was the spokesman, and explained that the protest was “peaceful and in accordance with Sioux treaty rights” They publicly offered the same amount paid initially – 47 cents per acre, added up to $9.40 for the entire island, or $5.64 for the useable land

Early on November 20, 1969, 79 American Indians set out to occupy — only 14 got through the Coast Guard blockade Was soon joined by many others, including Joe Morris, a key person as a representative of the Longshoreman’s Union, and “The Voice of Alcatraz,” John Trudell http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupation_of_Alcatraz


Occupation of Wounded Knee
February 27, 1973
AIM leaders Russell Means and Carter Camp + 200 activists
AIM = American Indian Movement
AIM occupied Wounded Knee (town located on the Mine Ridge Indian Reservation) This Occupation was the result of a failed effort by the Ogala Sioux Civil Rights Organization (OSCRO) to impeach tribal president Richard Wilson (accused of corruption) Protesters attacked the US government’s failure to fulfill treaties with American Indians and demanded that treaty negotiations be reopened Controlled town for 71 days

Meanwhile, US Marshals Service and FBI blocked off the areas The Wounded Knee Massacre was chosen because of its symbolic value Both sides armed, lots of shooting
Two American Indians killed in April 1973 due to shootings
Because of damage, Wounded Knee wasn’t reoccupied until the 1990’s Attracted lots of media attention
Because of this, word quickly spread to other American Indians, who then took it upon themselves to travel down to Wounded Knee and join the protests Lots of public sympathy for the occupation and its goal(s)

In 1947 Dennis Banks and Russell Means were indicted on charges related to the events, but the case was later dismissed by the federal court Richard Wilson, who failed to be impeached on account of a lack of effort by the OSCRO, stayed in office and was reelected in 1947 even though he had been charged with intimidation, voter fraud, corruption, abuse of opponents, and others This lead to violence becoming more prevalent in the following years http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wounded_Knee_incident...

Bibliography: "Occupation of Alcatraz." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 25 Mar. 2014. Web. 26
Redhawk, 21 May 2004. Web. 26 Mar. 2014.
"Wounded Knee Incident." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 26 Mar. 2014. Web. 26
Brown, Nicholas. "Native Resurgence." Native Resurgence. N.p., 14 Nov. 2004. Web. 26
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