by Winter Rabbit | 6/06/2008 01:47:00 PM
2 nd Update:

Thanks to Meteor Blades for finding this photo!

Imagine beginning to walk from San Francisco in order to raise awareness about American Indian concerns in a good way and having walked over 2,400 miles since February; but then, you get to Ohio where eight police cars come swooping at you while one does the blocking. Suddenly, an officer comes and reaches into the window, grabbing the wheel.


COLUMBUS Ohio – Unprovoked Columbus, Ohio police, attacked Long Walkers, by first pointing a taser at the head of Michael Lane and then forcing Luv the Mezenger to the ground and handcuffing him.
The Longest Walk Northern Route was walking this prayer through Columbus on Monday, June 2, when squad cars and arrest wagons arrived. Without discussion of the purpose of the prayer walk, or even verify that the Ohio Department of Transportation had been notified of the prayer walk, police attacked the walkers.

Crossposted at Native American Netroots

I suppose I can understand why, but not really.

Michael Lane, who arrived on the walk with his wife, Sharon Heta, Maori, and their children from New Zealand, was targeted by police with a taser.
As dozens of police came at the walkers, a police officer held a taser three feet away from Lane’s head.

It must be truly terrifying for some to have the truth about the suicides on reservations, the lack of justice on reservations, climate change, alcohol and drug addiction in the American Indian population, health concerns of American Indians, and the worries of the American Indian People in general becoming public knowledge. I suppose I can understand.

Anyone, anyone whosoever with a taser and a gun would just cuff 'em & stuff 'em too, wouldn’t they?

Luv the Mezenger from Los Angeles went to the aid of Lane. At that point, police officers threw Luv on the ground and handcuffed him.


(from a Myspace bulletin)

To the Editor:

Columbus, OH has once again distinguished itself. After walking more than 2,400 miles from San Francisco since February, a group of men, women and children experienced their first police problem on their journey in Columbus. The Longest Walk is a group of about forty mostly Native American people who are walking to Washington DC for the Seventh Generation for youth, peace, justice, the healing of Mother Earth, heart conditions, alcoholism, drug addiction and other diseases. It is a spiritual walk, a historical walk, and a walk for educational awareness for the American and world communities about the concerns of the American Indian People. And, as they go, they are picking up trash.

On Monday, June 2, as this peaceful group walked in the parking lane and on the sidewalk on the west side of Columbus on Main Street, eight police cars zoomed up, one blocking their way. A police officer came up to a van that follows the walkers and reached into the window and grabbed and yanked the steering wheel. He yelled at the young woman who was driving a carload of young children and threatened Your children would be taken away and given to Childrens Services! As the children began to cry, their mothers who were walking came to see what was wrong and to comfort them. A walker charged with security came up and was grabbed, kneed, thrown to the ground and handcuffed. A police officer pointed a taser gun at the head of a walker who was also an attorney as he spoke to the police. A grandmother spoke softly to an officer asking what the concern was and trying to calm a situation that was becoming increasingly frightening. She pointed out “We are like your mothers, your sisters, your children. Ultimately the walkers were allowed to continue, but were badly shaken by this unprovoked and frightening experience.

The walkers have walked though the snow, extreme rain, and the blazing sun. They are often tired, hungry, thirsty and sore. They will continue through Ohio on Route 40 to their destination of Washington DC, expecting to arrive next month.

I hope our leaders will ask questions about our Columbus Welcome to these peaceful people who were picking up our trash as they walked for health, justice and the environment.

If you are embarrassed for our city by our polices harassment, as I am, consider sending a message of support and a donation if you are able, to the Longest Walk at their website at www. longestwalk. org.

Click here for interviews


cacamp’s comments and request

1978 - - today

this walk is a commemoration of the "Longest Walk" in 1978. A spiritual walk that went across the nation to stop some vicious anti-Indian bills which were before Congress. That walk was successful and did stop those particular bills but the underlying problems have grown worse and worse. Two or three Indian reservations vie for the ugly statistic of being America's poorest county. During the great depression the US approached 25% unemployed and it was a national disaster for a decade. It threatened american democracy and scarred a generation of Americans. The unemployment on our reservations is 75% and more and it only gets worse. 75%! This has gone on for several generations with no end in sight. How would your society look with 75% unemployed? Ours is hurting through and through and stays on the verge of collapse.

The peaceful walk to commemorate a past triumph and bring attention to "America's Shame" existing on our homelands has struggled hard to defy the odds and WALK across America. If anyone here reads my words and can understand the rage I feel at this, please call the mayor of Columbus (the right name for Indian hating) and tell him to control those pigs. thanks




Blogger Pete Jones on 6/06/2008 3:48 PM:

This reminds me of the abuse heaped on members of the sixties SNCC/CORE Freedom Rides. Some truly terrible stuff despite action that was not even civil disobedience (totally legal as per Boynton V. Virginia). It's well documented by Ray Arsenault in his book on the subject.

After reading some of the Daily Kos posts
and info from Norrell, a blogger journalist on the scene- I wonder why the mainstream American Indian media (as well as the MSM) have not reported this story. Do you have any ideas?


Blogger Winter Rabbit on 6/06/2008 5:53 PM:

She posted a couple updates and one of the journalists is a journalist for Indian Country if I remember ccamp's comments correctly.

I think it was her bulletin I got in the first place, notice I removed the names from it.

As to why, seems like it's the same 'ol thing.

I wrote this as a response, but can't get it to post to Kos.

The purposes of the Long Walk, just to restate, are in general the truth about "the suicides on reservations, the lack of justice on reservations, climate change, alcohol and drug addiction in the American Indian population, health concerns of American Indians, and the worries of the American Indian People in general to become public knowledge."

My guess is, some wish American Indains would just stay in the back of the bus.