How Did I Miss That? Militia: God Gave Land to Settlers, Not Shoshone
By Steve Russell
The 68-year-old Bundy recognizes no federal authority in the matter. If he owed grazing fees, he claimed they would be owed to the state of Nevada, which entered the United States on Halloween, 1864. Because the Civil War was going on, the Nevada Constitution contained a “paramount allegiance clause,” which is seriously inconvenient for anybody claiming, as Bundy does, a right to ignore the feds.
The year before Nevada was admitted, the US signed the Treaty of Ruby Valley, which recognized the Western Shoshone as owners of the dirt Cliven Bundy is claiming the right to use because of his “pioneer” pedigree. In 1979, the Indian Claims Commission awarded the Shoshone $26 million in compensation for land lost to “settler encroachment” while the federal government looked the other way. Those encroaching settlers would be who Cliven Bundy cites today as originators of his right to graze his cattle.
The Shoshone refused the money. They had not agreed to sell the land. They did not agree that the land should be used for nuclear testing. Carrie and Mary Dann were Shoshone elders who stood up to the abuse. Mary walked on at age 82, in 2005. The 81-year-old Carrie was last arrested in 2007, protesting against the use of Shoshone land for nuclear weapons research.
The Dann Sisters grazed their cattle on land the Bureau of Land Management claimed since 1973, refusing to pay grazing fees based on the Treaty of Ruby Valley, Article VI of the US Constitution, and a report by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States that found the US to be cheating the Shoshone.
In 1992 and again in 2002, armed BLM posses rounded up the Dann Sisters’ cattle and sold them for grazing fees. The New York Times reported in 2002 that the Dann Sisters had been fined $3 million for “trespass.”
When a BLM posse came to round up Cliven Bundy’s cattle, armed “patriots” rode to the rescue. The BLM got about 400 head of Bundy’s cattle and Bundy got about as many supporters, many of them armed, from as far away as Montana. The Washington Post reported on April 10 that a sign at the entrance to the protest camp read “MILITA SIGHN IN.” Cousin Ray said he hoped their shooting was no better than their spelling.
Protestor Richard Mack, a former Arizona Sheriff, told a Fox News camera that the plan was “to put all the women up at the front. If they are going to start shooting, it’s going to be women that are going to be televised all across the world getting shot by these rogue federal officers.”
On April 12, the BLM postponed the circus, giving Bundy’s cattle back and leaving Cousin Ray to wonder where all these lovers of law and liberty were when the women up front were Carrie and Mary Dann?
Millionaire Mormon Ranchers Always Get Their Way, Indians Get Off Of Your Land!
Now contrast this with the treatment of Western Shoshone Tribal members Carrie and Mary Dann in 1998 after grazing cattle on land that was rightfully theirs since 1973 the US government ordered them off of their own land. In 2003 Federal agents with back up from local cowboys swept onto the Dann sisters traditional grazing lands in helicopters, on ATVs, and on horseback they confiscated 504 horses that belonged to the Dann sisters. at one point elder Clifford Dann doused himself with gasoline to stop federal agents to no avail. In the end the Federal government hung a 3 million dollar bill around the Dann sisters necks and kept their horses. Mary Dann passed on in 2005 at the age of 82.
Carrie is still with us. The Western Shoshone land claim was upheld by the United Nations. The United States refuses to acknowledge the treaty.
So here we are in 2014 and white ranchers are still using their faith to steal our land and Indigenous people who have a real and spiritual claim to the land are still being herded, harassed, and intimidated into giving it up. Had Cliven Bundy been an Indian we would be talking about a dead Indian. White millionaires just have an amazing ability to get whatever they want.
Shoshone sisters have battled against the U.S. over land and cattle.
By Evelyn Nieves
The land surrounding the Danns' ranch sits atop one of the most significant deposits of gold ever found in the United States. Only a few months after the Danns' horses were first rounded up, Nevada's headlines blared about gold finds in Crescent Valley, at the exact locations where the horses were removed. Most of the world's largest gold mining companies have some interest in the land, which involves using cyanide to extract minuscule amounts of gold from rock. Because the gold dust sits under the water table, it also involves pumping 20,000 to 70,000 gallons of water per minute every day and moving tons of soil and rock, leaving open pits. The extraction methods are so energy-intensive that the production of a single gold ring generates 20 tons of waste land.
Carrie Dann is no Tea Party hero. But she vows to fight until her last breath.
"Right is right," she said in an interview. "And wrong is wrong."
Nor is this prejudice limited to Indians:
Cliven Bundy and the Tyranny All Around Us
How would the Nevada standoff be different if the rancher were black? American history has already answered that question.
By Ta-Nehisi Coates
Inasmuch as this is even a question, American history has already answered it (emphasis added):
In some cases, government officials approved the land takings; in others, they took part in them. The earliest occurred before the Civil War; others are being litigated today. Some of the land taken from black families has become a country club in Virginia, oil fields in Mississippi, a major-league baseball spring training facility in Florida ...
Then there's this idiocy. Some right-wingers are seriously comparing Bundy the welfare cowboy to Indians:
The Cliven Bundy Standoff: Wounded Knee Revisited?
By Mary W.
Unfortunately, the Bundy family—like the American Indians—had been living on a reservation: They were never allowed to exercise ownership of their grazing “allotment,” in much the same way that Indians were not permitted to have clear title to their lands. The land on which the Bundy family raised cattle was “owned” by the government, and the Bundys were required to pay rent—in the form of grazing fees—for the “privilege” of making productive use of it. The public-land grazing system has been described as “the nation’s most conspicuous and extensive flirtation with socialism”—except, perhaps, for the Indian Reservation System.
"Bundy Standoff: Wounded Knee Revisited?" More like Trail of Tears revisited. Locals steal land and feds do nothing. http://theresistanceunited.com/2014/04/12/the-cliven-bundy-standoff-wounded-knee-revisited/
Never mind that Bundy's parents bought the ranch in 1948. Whenever they bought it, they never owned more than grazing rights to the Bunkerville allotment. In contrast, the Indians owned the land itself.
Conservatives = hypocrites
More tweets by myself and others show the hypocrisy of Cliven Bundy and his far-right supporters:
Bundy says feds can't take the land his ancestors took from the Indians. Because Doctrine of Discovery, Manifest Destiny, and white power.
I am a Native American and I look forward to reclaiming my ancestral lands at #BundyRanch. pic.twitter.com/TR20tduzVq
BundyRanchers not once acknowledged the #Paiute nation, the real "owners" of the land. #IndigenousNationhood
Indians agree with Bundy: Ownership claims of the first inhabitants supersede those of the federal government. Give the land back to them.
Bundy gets different treatment from Dann sisters. Feds ordered them off their own land and sent in copters and ATVs.
Conservatives hate that the federal gov't owns land. So let's put it in private hands and give it back to the Indians. Win-win for everyone!
A solution for everyone: Feds give land back to Indians, no more gov't handouts, and ranchers and miners pay full market rates to tribes!
For more on the subject, see Cliven Bundy the Welfare Cowboy.