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352px-JohnTrudellCannabisCommonSense_(cropped)LUMPENPROLETARIAT—Another revolutionary has departed.  If you don’t know about the life and times of John Trudell, please read on. [1]

John Trudell deserves to be remembered as one of the greatest Americans of our time.  Trudell is certainly one of those voices, who has inspired many of us toward civic engagement, toward going from sociopolitical passivity to activity.  Trudell was fiercely dedicated to socioeconomic justice.  And, for that, he paid a heavy price, including the apparent murder of his pregnant wife, children, and mother-in-law in 1979 at the hands of state officials opposed to the struggle for indigenous people’s rights.

Trudell was not only a human being of conscience, but he was also active as an author, poet, actor, musician, as well as a political activist who became the spokesperson for the United Indians of All Tribes’ occupation of Alcatraz Island in 1969.  Trudell also went on to join AIM, the American Indian Movement.  Trudell’s human form expired yesterday in Santa Clara County in the San Francisco Bay Area.  But his spirit of resistance to socioeconomic injustice lives on.  Aho.




“This 1971 file photo shows John Trudell, then a 25-year-old member of the Alcatraz tribal council, talking to newsmen after a band of Indians occupied a remote former Nike site near Richmond, Calif.” [2]


Mining Our Minds for the Machine”, A John Trudell Collage

JOHN TRUDELL:  “But I think that we really need to put serious thought into understanding that we’re dealing with a disease.  You know?  It’s like there’s this predatory energy on this planet.  And this predator energy feeds upon the essence of the spirit.  It feeds upon the essence of the human being—the spirit.

“Now, this predator energy can take fossil fuel and other resources out of the Earth, turn it into fuel to run a machine system.  But, in order for there to be a need for that system, and in order for that system to work, they have to mine our minds to get at the essence of our spirit.  In the same way the external mining takes place, it pollutes.  We see now.  People understand how it poisons the environment, the water, the air—pollution.

The mining of the essence, the mining of the spirit, mining our minds, the pollution from that is all of the neurotic, distorted, insecure behaviour patterns that we develop.  That’s the pollution.

Because in order for this predatory system, this disease, to work we must not be able to use our minds in a clear, coherent manner.  Because if we use our minds in a clear, coherent, manner, we will not accept the unacceptable.  But it’s a disease.  It lives and travels through the mind, through the generations.”


Trudell (2005) directed by Heather Rae

ROBERT REDFORD:  (c. 19:45) “I first was aware of John through political activism; and then subsequently became aware that there was an additional part to John, as a poet-artist, spokesperson—spiritualist.  And the—I think the connection I had, very strong, identification with John’s willingness to commit his life to a cause that was so dangerous and would require such sacrifice because I was so taken by the fact that the U.S. government would try to dismantle and decimate a culture by, first, stripping them of their spirit.”

BRUCE ELLISON [Defense Attorney, Butler-Robideau and Peltier Trials, on COINTELPRO]:  (c. 23:00)  “In the 1960s, the FBI launched what it called the COINTELPRO programme, the counter-intelligence programme.  And, essentially, it was a programme within the FBI to infiltrate the Civil Rights Movement and to destroy it from within and from without.  In the late ’60s, very early ’70s, when activists within the Indian community started vocalising their situation with regard to deprivations of human and civil rights, the FBI shifted or used the same basic tactics to go after AIM.”


[Taken from News Headlines by Democracy Now! for Wednesday, 9 DEC 2015.]

DEMOCRACY NOW!—And indigenous activist, poet and actor John Trudell has died in California at the age of 69. Trudell was the spokesman of the American Indian Movement during the 1969 occupation of Alcatraz Island in the San Francisco Bay, where he set up a radio broadcast called Radio Free Alcatraz. He later served as the head of the American Indian Movement for most of the 1970s. Trudell was also a poet and musician. This is John Trudell speaking in New York City in 1979 from the 2005 documentary “Trudell.”

John Trudell: “I’m a member of the American Indian Movement, and I’m from the indigenous nations of the Western Hemisphere. As the indigenous people, we have watched. We have watched this thing happen on our hemisphere. We have seen what has happened. We have seen the community confused and attacked. We understand that the issue is the land, the issue is the earth. We cannot change the political system, we cannot change the economic system, we cannot change the social system, until the people control the land, and then we take it out of the hands of that sick minority that chooses to pervert the meaning and the intention of humanity.”

Learn more at DEMOCRACY NOW!.


Blue Indians” by John Trudell


Grassfire” by John Trudell

“My DNA needs THC…”  —John Trudell


John Trudell On the Christian World View


[1]  John Trudell deserves much more time and devotion than time constraints allow.  Lumpenproletariat will revisit the life and times of John Trudell as time allows.  But, for now, we leave it to your curiosity and consideration to read up on one of our national heroes.

[2]  Image taken from USNews.com


[9 DEC 2015]

[Last modified 10:10 PDT  20 MAY 2016]