NYM Vancouver ANNOUNCES OFFICIAL BOYCOTT OF JOHN TRUDELL
March 2, 2005
Unceded Coast Salish Territory
On February 21, 2005, a BC supreme court ordered John Graham to be extradited to S. Dakota to stand trial for the 1975 murder of Anna Mae Pictou-Aquash. The formal order for extradition will be given March 2, after which Mr. Graham will have 30 days to appeal. The defense plans to launch a constitutional challenge against the Extradition Act itself.
In making her decision, judge Elizabeth Bennett noted the numerous errors in the US case, but stated that under the Extradition Act her primary task is limited to establishing the identity of the prisoner. Under amendments made in 1999, a Canadian judge cannot evaluate the evidence submitted by US authorities.
We must remember that in , Leonard Peltier was extradited by a Vancouver court, based on falsified evidence submitted by US authorities. At that time, the FBI was engaged in a deadly counter-insurgency campaigned to destroy the American Indian Movement (AIM).
How sad it is then, that during the February 21/05 court date, judge Bennett stated that a determining factor in her decision was the hearsay testimony of former AIM spokesperson, John Trudell, and in particular his identification of Mr. Graham from photographs provided by US officials.
NYM Vancouver remains firmly opposed to the extradition of John Graham. We also condemn the February 2004 kangaroo court in S. Dakota, which convicted Arlo Looking Cloud of aiding & abetting.
Having met both accused men, their friends & family, and having reviewed the evidence & information at our disposal, we state clearly our belief that the case against Mr. Graham & Arlo Looking Cloud is based on lies & disinformation provided by the FBI, police, informants, & collaborators.
Among these are former AIM members, including John Trudell, Kamook Banks, Russell Means, Bob Robideau, & Kelly White, all of whom have, in one way or another, participated in the smear & disinformation campaign against Mr. Graham & Mr. Looking Cloud.
At this time, NYM Vancouver calls on all those who support our people’s struggle to boycott the works & activities of John Trudell in particular, and to denounce all those who have collaborated with the government & police in this matter.
We re-assert that those responsible for the death of Anna Mae Pictou-Aquash, and at least 66 other Indigenous people in S.Dakota during 1973-76, are the US federal government and its various agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), and the paramilitary forces which they funded & equipped (the ‘GOONs’)
In the 1970s, the goal of the FBI’s Counter-Intelligence Program (COINTEL-PRO) was to discredit, divide, neutralize and destroy organized resistance movements using any means necessary, including widespread surveillance, use of informants & infiltrators, break-ins, assaults, frame-ups, imprisonment and assassination.
Today, the goals of the FBI & police are to destroy what little remains of AIM & anything positive associated with it, and by extension all Indigenous resistance. They want to revise history, to turn themselves from the thugs & assassins that they are to the ‘heroes’ who solved the murder of Anna Mae.
We must remember: there would have been no Wounded Knee in 1973, nor the 1975 Oglala shoot-out, if not for the fact that the US government & energy corporations were actively working to gain control of the Lakota’s sacred Black Hills and parts of Pine Ridge reservation land for uranium, coal, oil and gas.
We view this case as part of the ongoing war against Indigenous peoples — waged by government and corporations — to continue the exploitation & oppression of our people and territories.
John Graham is a warrior who stood in defense of his people. He is not an assassin, nor is he a thug. We call on all people to stand now and defend John Graham before yet another warrior is taken & caged by the US government.
In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,