[Marxism] Update on Annie Mae's case
JCraven at clark.edu
Thu Feb 5 09:33:50 MST 2004
SIRENS IN THE NIGHT:
THE DEATH OF YET ANOTHER INDIAN WARRIOR
By antoinette nora claypoole
There is a water shortage in many places on the planet. Today in the
courtroom of Rapid City's Federal building, that reality was a
Just like so many things about this complex and brutal murder trial.
Tears were running like big rains into the arroyos of Northern New
is where Darlene Nichols, aka Kamook Banks has lived over the past few
years. From where she now flees, taking FBI relocation money with her,
$42,000 in the past six months according to her testimony. Perhaps just
like a storm over desert she imagines she was arriving to help. But
sometimes lightening kills and sometimes slides bury drive by cars.
With drivers inside of them. This is what the courtroom was like today,
in Rapid City. My eyes still aching from tears I never expected to shed.
For the loss of yet another Indian warrior woman happened right there
for Judge and family to see.
Darlene was one of a series of Indian women called to the stand today
by the prosecution. She in her cry me a river presence she selected for
and observers a psychic connection to what it feels like to watch a
warrior die. And that is what happened today. To Kamook Banks. She was
no longer the AIM woman who claimed sovereignty for Indian people. She
is now Darlene the woman dressed as a man in short hair and polyester
blazers who with sullen resolve kisses into the schemes of a government
she once knew would as easily murder her as any one of her best
friends.Kamook spoke of her current relationship. With the FBI. Talked
of how they help her out, spoke with disdain about Leonard Peltier and
revealed she cooperated full heartedly with a wiretap of her good
friend Troy Lin. With something like a mutant monotone voice Darlene
said she believed her husband, Dennis Banks 'was involved in the
murder of Annie Mae". Ever since he phoned her about it back in Feb.
1976. Finally , she confessed, she "had to do something." So she turned
into the very thing that Annie Mae was accused of being. By the man who
was lovers to them both. Kamook has bedded down with the FBI that
threatened the life of her best friend, her children and lover.
Probably the intensity of this transformation of radical to FBI
snitch/collaborator was only softened by the fact that the defense
attorney,Timothy Rensch, rose to the status of thunder being as he
continually objected to hearsay evidence (mostly to no avail). And then
finally challenged Special Agent Wood, FBI agent who was involved in
investigating Annie Mae back in the day when she was walking with us
here. What called this storm into the courtroom today? It was a slow
rumble which shook many of us like a 4.5 in northern California. The
courtroom silenced, even the laptop keyboards of New York Times
reporters quiet as Darlene revealed not a shred of Kamook left inside of
her heart. Still. Kamook herself was as rain in a needed dry season
when she delivered somberly the truth she believed necessary to speak.
That she had turned to the FBI soon after her divorce from Dennis
Banks. Dennis Banks was phoned by the New York Times during a court
break for comment. He did not come to the phone today. Maybe tomorrow
will be a better
one for him. The father of Darlene's four children. Has muted their
relationship. She spoke today like a Catholic girl to her confessor,
kissing the ring of the bishop prosecutor, telling the sins of silence,
selling the sacredness of woman strength to the white men who examined
her life. When she spoke about Annie Mae the portrayal was one of a
pitiful scared woman who was captured and overpowered by the people
around her. Kamook Banks aka Darlene has become the snitch Annie Mae
never was. The eerie paradox of this feels like some kind of a legend
written with the wrong ending.
Yet many of us know differently about Annie Mae, and though this trial
has little to say of Annie Mae alive and brave, Troy Linn Yellowood,
another witness in the collection of Indian women "presented" today,
Troy Linn did her best to defy the prosecution and talk of Annie Mae as
a woman who defied
her accusers. "Either kill me off or defend me" was what Troy Linn
remembers Annie Mae saying to her accusers, while Mathalene White Bear
remembered Annie Mae as someone who cared deeply for her daughters,
her family. And then relayed to us the story of the silver ring. Which
might just top Tolkien's classic for mysticism and symbolic
liberation. If it had a different ending. The courtroom and jury heard
about how John Trudell came to get a silver ring, in Santa Monica near
the sea. A ring Annie Mae had sent as a sign of distress. But White Bear
implied Trudell never bothered to protect Annie Mae from the death
threats the ring was meant to signify."I hope the next time you see this
ring it is on my finger. But if it comes to you any other way, you'll
know I'm in trouble. Then you should call this phone number". Annie
Mae's words to White Bear sometime in the Fall of 1975. "The phone
number was that of John Trudell who was fine brother to us back then. I
called him when the ring arrived in a small white box through the mail.
No letter or anything. He came and got the ring within a day and I
never heard from him again. I spent 28 years of hell waiting to find out
what happened" .
Maybe we all feel that way today. But a worse nightmare would be that
another quarter century goes by with the wrong person(s) accused.Today,
having mentioned COINTELPRO and the 'operatives placed in AIM 'to set
up Annie Mae " , the defense offered a sense that not everyone has
forgotten the atmosphere of murder which pounded in the veins of agents
back when Annie Mae defied them. As some of those same agents sat in
the back row of
the courtroom today thinking they had taken yet another line of Indian
women down as they testified against the movement they once believed
in, I longed
for just a glimpse of their souls. Take a photo of their conscience.
Sell it to the National Inquirer. Then give them mirrors to places
which have windows instead of lying walls.
This is unedited pre-distribution matter of which I have no interest,
shared opinion, or ownership of other than making it available for
may be freely distributed for any purpose by permission of the
author.Excerpts of this update and DAILY updates can be heard on KPFK
Angeles, a Pacifica Radio Station 90.7 FM http://www.kpfk.org /
First Voices Indigenous Radio
WBAI NY 99.5 FM
10 AM Thursdays
Firstvoices at wbai.org
WBAI Pacifica Radio covers an audience area of 21 million
Who is really listening?
Mother Earth will have her day and night.....forever!
Long ago the peoples of the Americas were divided into two groups--the
people of the Eagle (North America) and people of the Condor (South
America). When the two begin to come together again, mixing the tears of
the Eagle and the Condor, there will begin an era of renewed life and
spirit for Indigenous peoples.
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