In the news in the last week has been the story of a downtrodden millionaire rancher who has refused to pay the Bureau of Land Management grazing fees for 20 years. Cliven Bundy refused to pay grazing fees on federal land and invited 1000 of his militia Nazi buddies who were heavily armed to release his confiscated cattle. The Federal government backed down yesterday to a bunch of Neo nazi shit kickers. Add to this menagerie of assholes is that Bundy is claiming his right to continue bilking us out of our money the fact that “my Mormon faith teaches me I have a right to this land”. What a load of shit!
White Millionaire Rancher Cliven Bundy who refuses to pay for grazing on public land. Government Backs Down After Heavily Armed Militia Nazis Show up to protest.
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.
Personally, I believe that Indian people should follow Cliven Bundy’s lead and forcibly seize treaty land back. If all a millionaire Mormon rancher has to do to refuse to pay his taxes and invite a few friends with M-16s over to the house and wave the guns at federal agents then I guess that is what Indian Country should do. The last time I checked when people did things like this the government was accusing them of ‘acts of terrorism”. I guess not. I guess this means it’s open season for anyone who wants to steal from the government.
The absurdity of the BLM to back down in this situation is staggering. Because he claimed that according to his Mormon faith he doesn’t have to pay for grazing fees? Really? The legal ramifications of this will resound all over the country if the US government refuses to hold this “cowboy” accountable to the same standards that a person of color, a poor person, or anyone else for that matter. The head of the BLM is either in on the gag or is a yellow chickenshit wimp.
The memory of the proud Dann sisters standing up to demand that the Ruby Valley Treaty of 1863 be upheld. In 1979, the Us government offered the Western Shoshone miniscule amount of money to abandon their claims to the land. 80% of the Western Shoshone people voted against the settlement and the tribe, the nation, demanded the treaty be upheld. It has never been upheld. This situation is extremely troubling. The fact that the land that Cliven Bundy was grazing his cattle on was possibly on disputed Ruby Valley Treaty land that had been stolen from the Western Shoshone is more than ironic.
If the feds refuse to hold Cliven Bundy accountable for his tax liens then I say they can hold no one accountable. None of us should pay this sham government a penny until it has honored all treaties with the indigenous people of this land. What right do they have to round up some poor indigenous folks livestock for non payment of BLM grazing fees on THEIR OWN LAND and then walk away when some redneck millionaire screams “I’m a Mormon this land is mine”. All of this happens on a backdrop of a government that stole a trillion dollars from the tribes that was then paid back 10 cents on the dollar in the Cobell Settlement. The BLM, The Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the entire US government to blame. Troubling, troubling indeed.