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Askew Review 15

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- In a Pigís Eye; Reflections on the Police State, Repression and Native America (Alternative Tentacles)  In this 120 minute speech recorded May 16, 2001, Ward Churchill, who is Co-Director of the American Indian Movement (AIM) of Colorado, a National Spokesperson for the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, and an associate professor of American Indian Studies and Communications at the University of Colorado/Boulder, discusses the history of how the United States Government dismantled several activist movements with counterinsurgency. Churchill explains that counterinsurgency is the state financed act of infiltrating an activist movement, blaming, framing, and murdering activists leaders till the point of the movementís near or total destruction. Using seventy-five percent of his speech to discuss various examples of counterinsurgency, Churchill leads his talk to the 1975 incident at The Pine Ridge Reservation where two FBI Agents were killed and how Leonard Peltier was later convicted of the murders. Churchill presents sloppy police/FBI work, contradicting evidence, eyewitness testimony, and even a statement by the prosecuting attorney declaring his lack of confidence of Peltierís guilt to backup his belief that Peltier shouldnít be imprisoned for these murders. Not being one to beat around the bush, Churchill doesnít let a sentence come out of his mouth that isnít an informative one. Now, I do not know how factual this stuff is, but judging how confident Churchill sounds, you canít help but to at least listen to what he has to say. I will admit, some of the content comes across as almost paranoia, but I am often skeptical when the discussion of an issue is so one-sided. Iím not so sure the government could so clumsily succeed with so much damage and getting away with it every single time. The talk concludes with a 10-15 minute question and answer session with the audience and as usual with q&a sessions, the audienceís questions are often long winded, pointless, and are vehicles for windbags to blabber about a subject they think they know a lot about. On the plus side, a good number of the questions canít be heard clearly so you really donít have to pay attention to them. I have listened to approximately fifty spoken word recordings over the past ten years and Ward Churchill is by far the most attention grabbing and convincing speaker Iíve heard so far. Whether you agree with him or not, Churchill gets you to listen. Ė Denis Sheehan



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