Granted, the bickering back and forth between various AIM factions borders on the absurd at times, and other times based on bloated egos and vying for the attention that will translate to donations and grants amounts to little more than bad theater.
Despite this when push comes to shove if a threat is perceived that has the potential to go viral among the leadership they will close ranks, pose for group photos, and speak of their great love and admiration for one another.
In the midst of this though it is about individual self preservation first and foremost-if that requires kicking someone under the bus or jumping into bed with the numerous agencies they often rail about no problem, as each sees themself as being indispensable to the “movement”- the salvation of the nations and the vehicle to right all wrongs, as being the “movement” itself.
You can browse the net and find example after example of this-one such is a “memorandum” released by Vernon Bellcourt in 1995 in which he goes to great lengths to make the case that AIM as incorporated by he and brother Clyde is the true AIM and other so called “autonomous” chapters are pretenders to the throne.
Government cells filled with operatives and informants.
I believe there’s some truth to that but Vernon stops short by failing to mention that undoubtedly the entire leadership have at some point or another had their turn at providing information when it served their purpose.
Despite the obvious attempts in such memorandum to discredit and deflect attention I am of the opinion that there are usually kernels of truth contained within them once you wade through the predictable rhetoric.
Just enough to place others on notice, to remind them that everyone is vulnerable-an example would be the following excerpt:
“Along with the following suspected government agents, conspirators and/or collaborators or dupes, Bobby Castillo, David Hill, Ward Churchill, Russell Means, Glen Morris, Bob Robideaux, Joe Locust Sr., Sharon Venne, George Martin, Donald Grinde Jr., Dian Million and Shelly Davis have tried to divide and destroy the American Indian Movement.”
If a lot of what of emanates from the various AIM factions seems like Communist propaganda couched in favored words like dupes, collaborators, puppets, running dogs and the like it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone as AIM has a long history of association with groups like the CPUSA, and never hesitated to crawl into bed with them to turn a trick or two and make a little money.
The names cited above compose quite a list, but their are other names and other lists, and each I suspect containing a kernal a truth within them.
Thing is people have to be willing to do the work- need to be willing to ask some questions, determine whose affiliated with who and look at the history.
Histories that are available to all-histories that cannot be disputed.
Like Dave Hill walking away from federal and state charges.
Histories like Russell Means working that day job at Abourezk’s law office while doing his year of “hard time”, his subsequent pardon by an “Indian hater”-Bill Janklow, and his asking the CIA to fund his proposed incursion into Nicaragua with a cadre of “warriors” to overthrow the government.
But perhaps most telling, that history of a long held immunity that continues to be denied, for if one instance is admitted the landscape will be forever changed and there will be a flood of questions that not even Noah’s Ark could offer sanctuary from.