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Erik Visits an American Grave, Part 199

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This is the grave of Lawrence La Monte.

Information on La Monte is not that easy to find. He is known for one thing–he was a member of the American Indian Movement killed at Wounded Knee, on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, on April 27, 1973 in the brutal firefight between the FBI and AIM. That standoff started on February 27, when AIM, the Native American liberation movement that was one of the many anti-colonial movements to spring up throughout both the colonized and internally colonized world during the 1960s and 1970s, occupied the historic site of the horrendous 1890 massacre that largely ended the active military operations of the Native American genocide. The FBI moved in quickly and shootouts began. During the 71 days of the occupation, two Native American were killed, including La Monte. On May 8, they surrendered when the government agreed to consider their demands that included an investigation of the many broken treaties between the tribes and the government, as well as the actions of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the poverty suffered by the tribes in South Dakota. Russell Means and Dennis Banks were arrested, but acquitted of all charges because the government committed so many violations through the process, including evidence tampering. AIM would continue for another few years, with more gun battles at Wounded Knee, but it fell apart in 1978, torn by the violence that was sometimes used against each other, and by the fact that many of its leaders were in prison by that time.

The Pine Ridge Reservation is still the poorest place in the United States today.

Lawrence La Monte is buried at the Wounded Knee Cemetery, Wounded Knee, South Dakota.

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