Feeling Like Things Are Impossible? Inspiration from a survivor
"I had some things happen in my life that changed all my realities - my family was murdered on the Shoshone-*Paiute* reservation in Nevada. It was during this period of time, I knew then that I wasn't going to be a political activist anymore. That's what made me recognize reality in a different way, because I was no longer in the same reality as everyone I knew the day before. Their realities go on, but mine now had a major ripping-your-heart-apart, shattering-your-spirit, experience. So I knew at that time I was done with the political activism, because I had learned maybe as much I could learn there."
Excerpts from an Georgia IMC interview with John Trudell:
"We need to use our intelligence and organize our consciousness and our perceptions of reality. This is hard work, but it must be done. We are in an evolutionary reality. We are never given something we can't handle. It's about activating the thinking process, about the real value of our ability to think...I am a human, a member of a tribe, not a subject for corporate mining and exploitation. I don't trust their corporate "democracy". We humans must think for ourselves."
and from an interview conducted by a Georgia IMC crew:
"...the government waged a war against us. A war to break us & to break everything: from our spirit to our momentum to our organization - just to break it.
So they waged a pretty serious was against us, and then in 1979, I had some things happen in my life that changed all my realities - my family was murdered on the Shoshone-*Paiute* reservation in Nevada. It was during this period of time, I knew then that I wasn't going to be a political activist anymore. That's what made me recognize reality in a different way, because I was no longer in the same reality as everyone I knew the day before. Their realities go on, but mine now had a major ripping-your-heart-apart, shattering-your-spirit, experience. So I knew at that time I was done with the political activism, because I had learned maybe as much I could learn there. And my reality had changed so I wasn't the same as everyone I had gone through this with.
So I had to do a lot of thinking, and I didn't trust politics anymore. I didn't trust America's Politics, Movement Politics, my own politics. Politics are basically very competitive in nature. *I mean even within a group, right?*
I came to understand that we need collective, cooperative work. We need collectivity and cooperation & and to become very territorial and at some point political entities, it somehow changes from consensus to some of this majority rule stuff.
And pretty soon you need to follow the line of that majority, even though you may agree about something else. Things like that&so it was too much energy drain, confusion & and I couldn't go there, so I knew I was finished with that. And I'm getting around to what I'm doing now&but after the killings, I was physically here, but my spirit and mind didn't want to be here. But I knew that I wanted to outlive this thing, that I wanted to live through this. I knew this as soon as it happened. But I knew that reality had changed and I was going to go mad. *All these things that eat at you.* I knew that was my ride, I didn't know how long it was going to last, I didn't know how I was going to get through the ride.
So I just kinda went adrift in the U.S. but I was still doing some public speaking & it was just one thing that stayed & I just continued to public speak. And then in 1979 I was in Vancouver, British Columbia. And I remember it was a cloudy day like today and it was drizzling and I was in this car. And I'm looking for something to hang on to, to stay connected to this reality&because physically I'm here and it's better if all of me was here.
And one day these lines came into my head and something told me to write them down. Actually the thought was&the lines came, and the thought that came with it was, "write these lines down and don't stop". So that's what I did. Because to me, my wife Tina, she was the poet, not me. So six months after the killings, I'm in mental desperation and lines come. So for me in my reality, she knew I needed some serious help. When these lines came, it's called poetry now, but it's something else to me personally, because it's like someone that I cared about saved me. It was their way of saving me & we can talk about death and all that stuff, but in reality this living life, being-essence.
So I started writing and in actuality maybe it was really about a therapy. But I started writing and then at some point within the year, I made the decision, a conscious decision, that I was going to go where the writing took me.
I was looking for direction, I was looking for something to hang on to, and it seemed like these were my hanging-on lines. It was totally unexpected for me to do this, because with everything that had happened, I didn't want to quit. So the writing started, and then the music, and it is where it is now.
It's like if I didn't, it would be a betrayal to them. Maybe it would be better in reality if I did it for other reasons. But & I mean & this is why they were killed. They were killed for what Tina wanted and what I wanted and what we were doing, so to let them just kill me that way, no, that to me would have been the betrayal. That was the only reason I had for continuing to live. It wasn't inspiration, it was desperation."
Terrorism wasn't even a part of our reality. Terrorism arrived on the western hemisphere with Columbus, and it's been manifesting itself here ever since. Looking at the reality of terrorism - terrorism is violence to achieve a political objective. What happened to the native people here - it was about a political objective - to create a political entity and an economic base and all that. [The United States of America is] 510 years old, with terrorism and all of its aspects - from psychological terrorism to just hunting you down and murdering you and stealing your land. *And small-pox virus in blankets.* They did this to us.
Placing terrorism in that context, I think that Western civilization is a terrorist civilization. They've got all the words and the rationalizations and the justifications for why it's alright for them to do what they do because it's progress and things like that. But the basic spiritual reality - it's a terrorist *civilization*.
To fight this war on terrorism & so let's define terrorism a little bit more&because I personally think that sexism is a form of terrorism, and racism is a form of terrorism, and classism is a form of terrorism. I think that when corporate CEOs *with this plundering thing and this looting thing* that's going on - those are acts of economic treason on the citizens and taxpayers of the United States of America.
These are terrorist acts against the workers and the citizens of the United States and how the terrorist acts comes in is because the taxpayers need to replace what these guys take. In order for the corporate, capitalist mentality to capitalize on that, that means they still need to make their profit. So that means that somebody's not going to have the same wages and somebody else is not even going to have a job. And somebody's not going to have access to adequate health care - all the things that I think should be a guaranteed part of our living.
When you have children to raise, or you know you may be getting older and you know you can't afford medicine. To me--that's about terrorism because it's creating all these fears in the general populace. And I think that the subtleties in the ways these fears spread, in the long run, it has just as much of a psychological terrorist impact as when they knocked down those buildings. The difference is when they knocked down those buildings, everyone saw it at once. But when it happens to you individually, you don't know if you'll be able to pay your rent & or even if they'll give you foodstamps - whatever the spectrum of this thing is - that's terrorism.
So they're not really fighting a war on terrorism - they're fighting a war for resources and domination - political domination and economic domination. They create these enemies.
[(ed's comment: Noam Chomsky is pretty articulate on this one; he calls it a "parade of enemies"; see this in a speech here (may have to look on the next page or something like that, but the search will be worth it, due to the details he gives))]
What's happening now - the "patriot act" and all of these laws that they're passing. Right now it's against Muslims. But the real intent of these laws is against the citizens of America. Fifteen, twenty years down the road, when the economic shifts truly start to make a big impact. Right now, a lot of people are living on the fringe, through the credit system. But that's all going to change. All the mechanisms are in place.
*The workers* won't get to unionize in the future. The environmentalists won't have a say in the future. What I find interesting about this war on terrorism now - the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs&this is what created the World Trade Organization. It has maybe 190 member nations. But in order to join the GATT each nation had to agree that they would go by the final decision makers and any disagreements that came up would go through the World Trade Organization *which is the bureaucracy for* the GATT agreement. And each nation agreed to submit to the decision-making process of the World Trade Organization, which means that any economic dispute, American sovereignty will be submissive to an economic decision made by corporate appointees.
[(ed's comment: thus, what the Left means when it talks about the WTO and such groups as "Unaccountable" powers)]
So taking this to an extreme & let's say in Atlanta we've got a company that wants to do something *but* environmentally *they* can't get after. Theoretically, they can make a complaint to the World Trade Organization that they can't compete with the people in Romania. In Atlanta, in Georgia, we have too strong environmental standards, and in Romania, they have no environmental standards.
What these people can say to the World Trade Organization & they can say to Atlanta, or the state of Georgia and the U.S., you *have* to lower your environmental standards. And *you* have to do it. And whether it's about living wage - if they say you have to lower it. And I was thinking about this, and I was wondering - what are the American people going to do when they understand?
They're not going to like what's going on, right? They're going to rebel. And then after knocking down the buildings in New York City and the Pentagon, all the laws are set in place now & they've legalized how to keep the American people from rebelling. And as a side thing - from 1999 to 2000, the false millennium - I was watching this T.V. show on the history channel of New Years Eve and they were talking about the number of people who are in the legal system, from Death Row maximum security to probation. It's over three million people. But they are projecting that by the year 2100, there will be 33 million people.
[(intheheart comment: Laws made to block *rebelling* in traditional ways, though. There's another side to all this that's coming up, thanks to the services of the psychiatrists--Soviet Psychiatry coming to America via alleged "disorders" like "Oppositional Defiant Disorder" which is now being used on kids and is in the DSM Clinical Manual, as well as the main DSM-IV, if you look. So, here's a situation where rebellion is beginning to be moved on openly, yet in a very sneaky way. The inarticulate rebellion of kids intuitively questioning and challenging coercive authority in their lives is being made into a "sickness" since kids and others aren't in touch with an articulation for why they're rebelling. They're intuitively rebelling, but they don't have any frame of reference (for instance, they don't know about other kids who've articulately rebelled); do you think this sounds totally off the wall? I wonder, because ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) started out against inarticulate kids and when they grew up, they still considered that THEY have a "disorder", not that the Schooling System has serious problems! So what happens when "ODD" kids grow up?? (one thing we know is, that as soon as a lot of publicity is made, "ODD" will be updated to a new, seemingly more benign label)]
So in a hundred years, they are already projecting to incarcerate thirty million more people. And I thought about that, and I wondered where they came up with this figure. They are anticipating something, right? That we don't even have a clue that they're anticipating.
What Americans don't really quite get yet, is that the American ruling class, they needed the white people to kill the Indians and enslave the blacks to work the land. So they gave them certain privileges. [(NOTE: Howard Zinn also backs this statement in _A People's History of the United States-ed]]
They [gave non-elite white people?] a little more say because it's all internal competition, made progress go. But the technology has advanced, they have globalized the planet now through trade and the military. When they realized this, maybe 20, 30 years ago, that the American people, the citizens, are too fuckin' expensive.
They want to make a living wage, they want health care, they want childcare, they want days off to have babies, fuck -they want everything. That's just too expensive. Because [the ruling class is] into maximizing profit. So the world has opened up globally. So they have markets globally and they don't need the American consumer the same way they needed them before. Because there's two billion of them in the planet right now, and out of that 2 billion, one-and-a-half billion of then can pick up the slack that the Americans have to let go. And this is really what's *going on*.
[(intheheart's comment: So, look, there's a situation in the international arena when unaccountable power *no longer needs the services* of "client States" or other allies, or when those States *get out of line* or, as Chomsky says, become the *threat of a good example* like Cuba did, and Grenada and Haiti tried, etc. So that's the *macro*, and the *micro* example is we American "citizens" who could easily find ourselves out of luck and in the same tenuous situation as any "rogue State", if we start to think that we can continue having the priviledges we've had, or something along those lines. So, I'm looking for conversation about this. Can you stretch your imagination this far at all, and compare this with the patterns?)]
So when I think about the war on terrorism, they were ready, they had this legislation ready. Do you know what else is interesting - that it's about Talibans & the Afghani Taliban, of which Osama Bin Landen and all them are a part of, but then I think that America has its own taliban - and that's George Bush and Ashcroft and all the right-wing religious extremists that put them into office anyway.
It's interesting, all this positioning that goes on. These attacks wait until after the American taliban has come in.
See, the American Taliban, these people - they believe in the Armageddon, they believe in the Rapture. They believe that they will persevere and they believe that the state of Israel, the only ones that will survive are the ones that will take Jesus Christ as their savior. It's insane stuff going on, it's violently insane. It's interesting, that this doesn't happen until the American taliban is in there, that's extremely interesting.
[(intheheart's comment: Funny how, depending on your viewpoint, one view is "insane" and another view isn't. A lot of people would say John's idea of his dead wife helping him has to be "insane", or his people's orientations to "spirits" is crazy...so, it's relative. I see that *we'd all* do each other better by accepting and talking about all of these at the very least as *metaphors* and work more on getting at the grist of the dangers; and stop calling someone else's imaginations called spiritual/religious beliefs "insane". Of course, John may be seeking to get at this grist...what do you think? So, i'm saying we ought to try to utilize language more constructively. The actions are what's really insane, so we've got to say what we mean! )]
There's a group called the Carlyle group, this business group, and their tentacles are into the military industrial complex, and it's been around since the end of the first Bush administration, and it's made up of cabinet members *created by* the Reagan, Bush Administrations. And George, Sr. is one of the *consultant* advisor's representatives.
Anyway, this war happens to be very good for them, *fiancially*. *Anyway, the point on that is that* the Bin Laden family and the Bush family, *they're investors in this thing and* this war happens to be very good for them. And I read this in the L.A. Times, and they hardly ever tell you anything & but nobody really picks up on that and pursues it.
So this war on terrorism, I can understand one feeling the need for revenge. I can even understand exacting that revenge. I'm not saying that&they did what they did. We did what we did to them as America, and they did what they did, attacking back. So I understand that need for revenge feeling, but that's not going to settle the problem. If you've gotta get some of the revenge out of your system to sort this out, but really the solution is fair and equitable treatment of the people of the world.
When America participates with the world in a fair and equitable way, I really see those things as being the solutions to the problems in this world. Everybody wants to be treated fair. We have all these anti-discrimination laws in America, but I think that really it's a lie. Because America discriminates against the rest of the world.
But I don't care about all this shit about "saving the women" in Afghanistan&in America, the burka's a thong. There's a different standard about how we expect women to look. The way they expect women to behave. In reality, how many women go through life in this world feeling that there is something inadequate with them because they don't fit the image. There's no difference&these people are all nuts. Really.
Mali: You mention the patriot act. We're activists and many of the people who read our website are activists. Having personally experienced COINTELPRO, how do you feel about state perpetuated terrorism, in regards to the patriot act?
Trudell: They designed the patriot act to perpetuate terrorism, and that's exactly what it's about. Western civilization seems to run in cycles. Western civilization is revolutionary. Not evolutionary.
I think the real solution is that we should be looking for an evolutionary solution, not a revolutionary one. Revolution means you turn. It all comes back. I think that western civilization is a revolutionary civilization in that it turns back to its original point of oppression. And aggression. An evolutionary reality would continue on, you don't necessarily keep coming back to the same point of oppression.
And what I see right now is America, the patriot act, *all these things going on* - and it's not just America. It's happening in Europe, it's happening in the industrialized, civilized world. It's not about just the capitalists, it's not about just the socialists, or communists, or any of these things. These are just different colors of the painted face of the industrial ruling class on this planet.
So each one of these systems that's been devised, they're just there to feed us, control us, tell us "this is how I like to be controlled as a mass"--*tell me, promise me, false socialism or whatever; in reality, all of these things - there is always a ruling class of decision makers.
There is always that class separation where someone is better than somebody else. And they paint it up differently, so it might be attractive to us, but the problem is the industrial ruling class that dominates the perceptional realities of the people on this planet.
So the patriot act is just a minor little tool in this thing they are fixing, so what's happening in this revolutionary western civilization is that we are coming back to the dark ages but people don't see that because we have neon and electricity. But what I mean by the dark ages&if one looks historically on the dark ages of Europe, the people of Europe, they were serfs, *they were theifs, they were* peasants. They were owned by whoever owned the land and they were owned by the royalty. Maybe they apprenticed and learned a trade, the lucky ones. The landlord could do whatever he wanted with you.
The Europeans, the reason it was easy for them to enslave the blacks was because it had fucking happened to them. The landlord owned them. If the landlord wanted some man's wife or some man's daughter, he got that. If he wanted some man's son, he got that. When the Europeans arrived here, this is what had happened to them for so long, they just behaved that way.
What I see now is that the Western *civilization* has gotten back to the dark ages. Where the individual is the property. I mean, the landlord will wear different clothes now and say it differently. But the landlord's the landlord. Am I answering your questions or am I just going off lost?
Mali: No, you're definitely answering our questions. Having served in Vietnam, how do you feel about the impending war with Iraq?
Trudell: They're all insane. Bush and Hussein, they're both insane. And I know there is some validity about what Bush is saying that Hussein has. Yet I also know that there is validity to what Hussein says that Bush is. So I'm not taking a side.
*What I'm saying is,* I'm not a "God" person. For me, life is connected to spirit, not gods. What I see going on with Iraq, and the whole thing going on. This is a war between [the idea of one "God"]. This is a war between evil. Abraham seems to be the common denominator here. The religious Abraham. Because the Muslims are a descendant of him, the Jews are a descendant of him, and Christianity descends from Abraham. There's something weird and bizarre about this.
Since that decendency emerged, since these religions emerged, they've been insane. They may have their moments of cultural beauty, but they've been extremely violently aggressive against the earth. In their "progressive, civilizing" thing.
So when I look at this war with Iraq, both sides have legitimate things they are saying, but both sides are insane. So on one part of it, George Bush Jr. wants to kill Saddam Hussein because Saddam allegedly tried to kill George's daddy, right? But George Bush is a puppet. George Bush works for that industrial ruling class. So it's the people behind George Bush that I'm concerned about.
George Bush is an idiot: he didn't think all this stuff up and everybody knows it. But yet we pretend that he's the problem. But he's not the problem. He's the Peter Jennings. He's the anchorman for the real problem. And this has been going on for awhile. So I think that the war with Iraq is inevitable. Because the Americans, the West, they need a stronghold. Israel isn't enough now. They need to have a stronghold in that Muslim population.
On one hand, it's about Iraq and oil, but it's about more than that. The largest untapped resources are in Central Asia, on the other side of Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan. So it's about that part. But the other part - the Muslim consciousness, because of globalization--*electronically and everything* -- is starting to re-emerge again after having been subdued after a hundred or a thousand years, however long this last thing&this has been going on between the Christians and the Muslims and the Jews for two-thousand years. Or less than two thousand - for the last fifteen-hundred years.
The Muslim thing is starting to re-emerge because it's a revolutionary civilization, so different ones take turns doing their thing.
The Muslims are starting to re-emerge as an entity again. And this has got to be stopped by the other children of Abraham, the Christians and the Jews. And my own personal opinion is that part of it is racial. Because the Jews and the Christians, they look alike & more than the Muslims look like them. It's about skin. I'm not saying that's the sole thing. But I just find it an interesting observation & because Israel & there are many dark Jews, they're not just light. But Israel is a country of light Jews in a dark Jewish environment. So it's racial.
Mali: Your talk tonight is on the consequences of war on indigenous people.
Trudell: I guess & they title it, I say okay.
Mali: What are some major issues that indigenous people face today and what can non-indigenous people do to act as allies?
Trudell: The major issues facing native people today is that Americans don't get it. So the best thing the American people can do - smarten up. Use their intelligence clearly and coherently - get it. In a way, that really is what it is.
Because this comes up. On one hand, people should do what they do. If people are supporting native issues through the political system, or collecting things, or organizing to help them with environmental issues, however one is doing it, I don't think any of that should stop. At some point, the American people have to look at their systems - their systems being political, religious, military, business - they have to look at their systems more realistically.
All of us, even those who oppose the system, there are many ways we cooperate with it in our opposition. And those ways, it's almost like we're lasering energy. But the ways we cooperate with the system unknowingly, we're draining maybe 60 percent of that strength from the laser of our focus. I'll talk about this a little bit tonight.
Every individual truly needs to use their intelligence clearly and coherently, not emotionally. Not reactionary. Because we've been programmed to react. We've been programmed to believe what we've been taught. And then out of that program of belief, we've been programmed to react to those beliefs.
So somewhere along the line, we need to bring in something fresh, which I'm going to call "initiated thought." By having an understanding of who we are individually, and therefore collectively at some point, and I mean really understanding who we are as human beings. Because our relationship to reality power is in our relationship to the human and the being.
And I personally don't think that we use our intelligence clearly and coherently anymore. To me, it's obvious that the society we live in - *this [all around us] is* not the result of clear and coherent thinking. I'm 56 - I started in the late 60s with this, and we were the majority, the baby boomers. And our intentions were good. Our motives - sometimes maybe we didn't understand our motives. But our intentions&weren't bad. It wasn't bad we wanted. It was good we wanted, and we wanted it for everybody. I mean collectively, interracially, all of it - we wanted it to be better.
And now, 40 years later, and it's worse. Now why is that? Exactly what the fuck happened? This wasn't what we wanted! The closest conclusion I can come to on this - somehow manipulated our thought. Somehow they affected [?] how we perceive reality, and the way they affected how we perceive reality - we were doing many things that were built in for them to absorb.
[(ed's comment: analysis that might be useful here is a *meta* or *macro*/Big Picture analysis like that found in Jacques Ellul's book Propaganda: The Formation of Mens' Attitudes; it is about the *methodology* that elites use to manipulate our perceptions on a systematic basis. If we understand how CONNECTED every hysteria is under the sun to this methodology that elites use, together with a very bigoted outlook against us, we can understand how we're *played* over and over again--and we can start to take back our power and see the grey areas of each alleged "total evil" they tell us we've got to restrict our freedoms over, due to some domestic or foreign alleged "enemy" who supposedly acts irrational out of a vacuum, with no context whatsoever.)]
We weren't thinking differently. They knew how we were gonna think. They knew how we were gonna react. Because this has been going on for such a long time. The way this system seems to work & If you can fool the worker generation, if you can keep them off balance...then by the time they get old, they won't pass on what they learned to the next generation. So you can just gotta recycle the generations.
Every three generations, you can do the same damn thing you did before, because the third generation doesn't know. It's got something to do with our perception of reality.
This goes back to our intelligence. As human beings, we were given intelligence. To say, to decide - destiny, fate. We were given intelligence to help the human beings maintain a balance in the evolutionary reality. This is why we have intelligence, to maintain a balance for us. That means we get to stick around. And if we use our intelligence clearly and coherently, and understand the power that our intelligence represents, we get to participate in the evolutionary reality.
It comes to a point where we're not using our intelligence clearly and coherently & and the more unclear and the more incoherent, then that sets the pace at which we will evolve ourselves out of the evolutionary reality. And so it's about perceptions of reality. And the whole civilizing process has been to alter our perception of reality. So what I'm saying, about that we cooperate with them sometimes unknowingly - demonstrating. I'll just use that as an example.
If we have a violent civil disobedience, we're cooperating with them - it's war games. All the people that beat you up -they get paid overtime for it! They're making extra money! Whatever our tactic is, they learn that tactic. And then the next time, it's harder.
What happened with the World Trade Organization stuff in Seattle, well, by the time it got to D.C., that wasn't happening anymore, was it? So it's all war games *for them. So even though we're having this [Seattle protest, etc.] we're cooperating with them*. If we do it nonviolently, *then* we get permits! Again, we're cooperating with them. I'm not saying we shouldn't do those things, because we've gotta be doing something. But we really need to start thinking about ways not to cooperate. How do you not cooperate with these fuckers?
One way of not cooperating, is not believing anything they say. But that's difficult to do, because it's so layered into us. We can say we don't believe, but it's so layered into us, right? Not believing is a form of non-cooperation, because I think it's about non-cooperation.
Maybe if we organized to get people to agree to not spend any money for one day. Spend your money the day before, the day after. But not spend any money for one day. And if you get thirty percent of the population to do it, it has an economic impact. I guarantee, because I'm not cooperating. I'm not going to help the cash flow. I'm not helping your blood run today. I'm not spending any money today. Credit card, check, cash, whatever.
We all agree and know it's being done for profit. Every bit of it. Whatever it is we protest or oppose, we know it's being done for profit in the end. Here's one way that we can affect that. They'll blow us off and make fun of us, but I guarantee you, once we get it down, we can get the numbers to 30 or 40 percent, they have to deal with us. And it's not illegal to do this.
And the churches can't go against it. And the majority of the people in this country don't have money to spend every day. So when you look at the natural things you fight your guerilla war in your environment. So when you look at what's there for you to do this with. Many things are there&it's time hasn't come with. But something like this, I think it becomes an exercise in non-cooperation.
You don't have to over-centralize. Because when you over-centralize, they'll kill you. Either figuratively or literally, you'll get attacked ([i.e. legal or illegal means like f.b.i.'s COINTELPRO--ed]). But with something like this, the network agrees "this is the day we don't do it". And if their issue is different from your issue, well, then fine - they do it around their issue.
You don't need to create a new command, you don't need to create anything new. You just use the existing things that are there. It's about clear and coherent agreements are made and understandings. So nobody has to raise money for a national organization, *or anything*.
An agreed-upon coordinated thing. And that's based on non-cooperation. So we're not spending money going to demonstrations or bailing ourselves outta jail. I really think we need to find ways not to cooperate with them.
Mali: Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers? Any other issues you're really interested in?
Trudell: I won't say it in terms of issues, but what I will say is: No surrender. No surrender, no give up.
In anything that gets in front of us, we have the ability to deal with any situation placed in front of us. I'll just call these universal realities. Anything that ever happens to us is there to make us stronger.
If we understand that, our strength will get stronger. If we don't understand that, then our fears and our doubts and our incoherencies will get stronger but I guarantee you, something will get stronger. Everything that is ever put in front of us, we have the ability to deal with it.
The real issue is, how do we deal with it. Do we deal with it clearly or coherently, or do we deal with it with incoherency. But in the end, we have to deal with it. But yet, how we deal with it says what the end result can be. And I think it's important to think about those things because there are many frustrations and emotional provocations coming from those who oppress us, many things coming that we always need to remember. I think we need to think about this because of younger people & they've gotta deal with it longer. Don't give up.
Excerpts from a speech by John Trudell, originally published in _THE INDIGENOUS VOICE, Vol.2_; edited by Roger Moody in the UK. Also published in Paola Igliori's 1994 book _Stickman_.
(note: while this is "only one person"--whatever that means--he is representing a way of life that has been systematically attacked in ways much worse than many "anarchists", "liberals", or what have you, are now dealing with, at least in this country, and that should be cause to take a little time to hear him out. A little more bio at the bottom, also)
WE ARE POWER
"...This is a survival gathering. And one of the things I hope that you all learn while you are here is that you learn to appreciate the Energy and the Power that the Elements are--that of the Sun, the Rain, and the Wind. That you go away from here understanding that this is Power --and this is the only true, real Power...
"...We must not become confused and deceived by their illusions. There is no such thing as military power; there is only military terrorism...That is all that it is. [b]They try to program our minds and fool us with these illusions so that we will believe that they hold the power in their hands...All they know how to do is act in a repressive, brutal way...They want us to believe in them and depend on them[/b], and we have to assume these consumer identities, and these political identities, these religious identities and these racial identities [not to mention sexual ones]. [b]They want to separate us from our Power...from who we are...[/b]
"...We must consider the Spiritual genocide that they commit against us. The spiritual genocide that the white people have been victimized by for thousands of years...
"We must move to the time when we truly understand our connection to real power because these people who deal with illusions and imitations...they want to keep us confused with [the confining concepts of?] sexism and ageism, racism, class. They want to keep us in a confusion so that [we] will continue to believe in one lie after another as they programmed them into our minds and into our society...[b]The ruling class...are going to lie to us and they are going to create the illusions of change...[/b]
"We have to understand our role as a Natural Power. [b]We have to understand that when our oppressor treats us this way and does these things to us, that we allow him to do it as long as we accept his lies[/b]...We have been allowing it for too long...
"We must be willing in our lifetime to deal with reality. It's not revolution; it's liberation. [b]We want to be free of a value system that's being imposed on us...[/b] Liberation --we want to be free. But in order for us to be free we have to assume...our responsibility. We are going to have to struggle for it. We are going to have to work [and be] committed to it. We must never underestimate our enemy. Our enemy is committed against us 24 hours a day. They use 100% of their efforts to maintain their ...status quo. 100% of their effort goes into deceiving us and manipulating us against each other...
"...We are going to have to start working more realistically with a resistance consciousness, a resistance, something we can pass on as strength to the coming generations--a resistance where organizational ...[and] individual egos don't get in the way, a resistance where the infiltrators and the provacateurs and the liars and the betrayers...do not get in the way. We will not get our liberation if we do not seriously analyze the experiences of our own lifetimes.
[b]The other side ...has studied. They understand what we were up to in the 1960's. They understand what we wanted in the early 1970's...They create certain events, and they manipulate the economics, and they manipulate circumstances because they want us to react the same way that we did in the 1960's so that they can come in and they can smash our movements. We must become of a resistance consciousness. [/b]We must say that we will not allow you to smash us. Even if it means that we have to deal with the part of you that you have planted in me...
"...It takes more than good intentions. It takes committment. It takes that in some point in our lives we are going to have to decide that we have a way of life and we are going to live that way of life. Even when our enemies totally surround us, even when [they] act against us with brutality and harshness, with lies and bribes, we are going to have to stand with our way of life. ...We cannot reach a point in our lives [where] we're going to sit back and say: "Well, we will make this compromise with the other side..."
[b]"We are going to have to talk to all the people who will listen to us...We're going to have to find ways to talk to the people we can't talk to now...[/b]
"...We must always deal with reality. [b]They have been able to use the element of fear to control their masses of people... We must not be drawn into their traps...[/b] It is time for us to think...We have to learn to put up and deal with the hard times just like the good times... [b]We have to learn and underderstand that they want us to be lazy in our minds and lazy in our spirit and lazy in our body. They want us to be able to give up hope easily. They want us to quit thinking.[/b] (just obey, work, consume, and fear and hate when told) But the nature of the People on Earth has always been one of struggle...If they stop us one way then we must find another way... We have to take the initiative. We can no longer become and remain reactionary...
"And if we have gotten it into our consciousness to accept [the interference we've had since the time we were born], then we have got a lot of work to do...But we have the ability to do it because we are a Natural Part of the Earth...the Earth did not put useless things here...
"The enemy has been attacking the Indigenous People and they have been misusing the white people, [b]and they are trying to push us into a position where all we think about is ourselves...[/b]They want to isolate us and call us names (labels, identities, etc.). They want to attack us. They want to use terrorism to intimidate. We must build a resistance in our hearts that says we will not accept it, we will not accept it.
John Trudell is a former chairman of the American Indian Movement (AIM) who learned that he has 17 thousand pages in his f.b.i. file when he was able to get 60 of them from the Freedom of Information Act. He was a main spokesperson in the American Indian take-over at Alcatraz Island, and led at least one march protesting f.b.i. tactics against Indian people in the 1970s (during the height of the f.b.i.'s illegal "Counter Intelligence Program" aka "COINTELPRO"). During the angry protest, Trudell apparently burned an American flag on the steps of f.b.i. Headquarters. Less than 12 hours later a suspicious fire killed his wife, his three children and his wife's mother. The f.b.i., which has jurisdiction on federal Indian reservations, declined to investigate.
Today John Trudell is somewhat known for his powerfully spoken audio collages, and his speaking in various places in the world. Contact John through www.johntrudell.com
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