This was no ordinary fishing trip, and Russell Means, the head angler, was out for a different kind of catch--an affirmation that treaty rights are still in force and that the U.S. is ignoring its own laws in failing to enforce them.
Russell Means: To make it clear we have the right to fish, hunt, and travel under the 1851 treaty and Article VI of the (U.S.) Constitution. He (Long) had no choice but to allow us to enjoy our right to fish. He lived up to his Constitutional oath of office. If they were going to do anything, they would have ticketed us and we would have gone to court--they didn't do that. He had no choice; he had to obey the law--we could have sued him for violating our rights. And, believe me, the police don't care about adverse publicity.
ICT: You appear to have made your point. Does that mean an end to fish-ins?
Means: As soon as I return home, I'm putting out a letter to each of the other four attorney generals in the states in the Republic of Lakotah (parts of which he includes under the 1851 treaty) to tell them we also expect them to live up to the Constitution and our treaties. We do not have to have license plates and drivers' licenses or insurance in the Republic of Lakotah.
O-kay. First, he's delusional if he thinks cops don't care about adverse publicity. Second, there could be all sorts of reasons why they didn't make a case out of one fish. Perhaps whoever's in charge didn't want to bother with the extra paperwork.
When Means gets caught pulling a more daring crime than poaching one fish, I trust the police will arrest him. I imagine driving without a license or license plates will do the trick. But time will tell.
For more on the subject, see The Republic of Lakotah.
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