Voices from Russia

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Crazy Horse’s Last Stand

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In the early 1940s, Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear, wrote to Polish-American architect Korczak Ziolkowski and asked if he’d be willing to build a monument to commemorate Native American history. The letter ended:

My fellow chiefs and I would like the white man to know the red man has great heroes, too.

However, who was it they proposed to embody the epic history of their people? It wasn’t Sacagawea. Although she was a formidable woman, she personified cooperation with white America at a moment when Native leaders wanted to express resistance. The recent completion of Mt Rushmore enraged Native America. It was a monument to white presidents in the Black Hills of South Dakota… land sacred to the Natives of the region. Henry Standing Bear and his fellow chiefs wanted their counter-sculpture to represent someone who fought against the American empire. The choice was easy… Crazy Horse (killed by American soldiers on this day in 1877).

An Oglala Lakota (one of the many sub-branches of the Sioux people), Crazy Horse was born in 1840 at a time when the United States’ thirst for land was driving a bloody expansion into what remained of Native land in North America. Crazy Horse grew up with his younger brother, Little Hawk, in a Lakota camp in modern-day Wyoming. He had his first experience of US brutality there in 1854 that when Federal forces stormed the camp in search of a supposed cattle thief, murdering the camp’s chief, Conquering Bear, in the process. After this, Crazy Horse committed himself to a life of resistance against the USA and its growing empire.

He was well-suited to the task as a fearless warrior and shrewd tactician. By the mid-1860s, his band named him Ogle Tanka Un (“Shirt Wearer”… the war chief) for his successes in battle against US forces. Soon after, in December 1866, Crazy Horse led a decoy manoeuvre which enabled a combined force of Lakota and Cheyenne to defeat a US force ranging out of Fort Phil Kearny in northeast Wyoming. A lull followed, until the Natives of the north had their final showdown with the US empire… the Great Sioux War of 1876-77.

It began with an astonishing Native victory in the river lands of Montana. On 17 June 1876, at the Battle of the Rosebud, Crazy Horse led 1,500 soldiers in an attack against 1,000 US troops under George Crook. The action delayed Crook, who was trying to link up with the 7 Cavalry Regiment of Colonel George A Custer. The rest is well-known. On 25 June, beside the Little Bighorn River, Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse led a large Native force to a dramatic victory against Custer. Crazy Horse’s earlier action at Rosebud Creek made this possible, and his bravery on the field was a defining feature of both battles. One eyewitness recalled of Crazy Horse at the Little Bighorn:

He was the bravest man I ever saw. He rode closest to the soldiers, yelling to his warriors. All the soldiers were shooting at him, but he was never hit.

The Battle of the Little Bighorn was the last great war-cry of Native America against its conquest. Alarmed by Custer’s defeat, the federal government poured more and more troops into the region. After a harsh winter in 1876-77, Crazy Horse surrendered to save his people from starvation and death. Later, on 5 September 1877, an American soldier bayoneted Crazy Horse whilst he was in US Army custody.

It goes without saying that no commemoration, whatever its scale, can redress the historical injustice done to the Native American people… an injustice upon which the modern USA was built. Three centuries of colonisation, genocide, and ethnic cleansing can’t be undone with a statue of Crazy Horse. However, such tributes can, at the very least, prevent the dispossession of Native Americans from being written out of the American story just because it’s an uncomfortable truth for those who rule. What’s more, the story of Crazy Horse and his resistance gives hope, not just to Native Americans, but to all who confront the forces of colonialism. To borrow the words of American journalist Chris Hedges:

There are few resistance figures in American history as noble as Crazy Horse. His ferocity of spirit remains a guiding light for all who seek lives of defiance.

By the way… the Crazy Horse Memorial is still under construction in the Black Hills of South Dakota!

5 September 2018

Pete Morgan

Radical Tea Towel

https://www.radicalteatowel.com/blog/crazy-horses-last-stand/

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Saturday, 7 July 2018

Lady Godiva: A Righteous Englishwoman

Cloisters Cross (King of the Confessors), walrus ivory, carved by Master Hugo, mid-12th century

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According to a well-known tradition, Lady Godiva was a noblewoman who rode naked through the streets of Coventry, covering her modesty with her long hair. She did this to free the townspeople from the taxation that her husband imposed on them. Although postmodernists doubted this story, we see no reason to doubt the backbone of the tradition, which does date from at least the twelfth century. Of course, we should avoid modern misunderstandings… for example, Coventry was then a settlement of only a few hundred people and not a major city.

Godiva  (in Old English Godgifu) was a popular name, meaning “gift of God”. Lady Godiva was probably a widow when she married Leofric, Earl of Mercia. They had one known son, Aelfgar. Both were generous benefactors to monasteries. In 1043, Leofric founded and endowed a monastery in Coventry on the site of a convent destroyed by the Danes in 1016, Godiva being the moving force behind this act. In the 1050s, her name and her husband’s were on a grant of land to the monastery of St Mary in Worcester and on the endowment of the minster at Stow Mary in Lincolnshire.

 She and her husband are also commemorated as benefactors of other monasteries in Leominster, Chester, Much Wenlock and Evesham. Lady Godiva also gave Coventry a number of works in precious metal by the famous goldsmith Mannig and bequeathed a necklace valued at 100 Marks of silver. Another necklace went to Evesham for the figure of the Virgin accompanying the life-size gold and silver rood she and her husband gave, and St Paul’s Cathedral received a gold-fringed chasuble. She and her husband were among the most generous Old English donors in the last decades before the Norman Conquest.

Wulviva and Godiva (usually held to be Godiva and her sister) gave the manor of Woolhope in Herefordshire, along with four others, to the Cathedral in Hereford before the Norman Conquest. Her signature appears on a charter purportedly given by Thorold of Bucknall to the monastery of Spalding. It is possible that this Thorold, the Sheriff of Lincolnshire, was her brother. Leofric died in 1057, but Lady Godiva lived on, dying sometime between 1066 and 1086. The Domesday survey mentions her as the only Englishwoman to remain a major landholder shortly after the Norman Occupation. There seems little reason to doubt that her grave is with her husband’s in Coventry.

3 July 2018

Archpriest Fr Andrew Phillips

Orthodox England

http://www.events.orthodoxengland.org.uk/lady-godiva-a-righteous-englishwoman/

Sunday, 3 June 2018

El Libertador Simón Bolívar on True Freedom

Filed under: history — 01varvara @ 00.00
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On 2 June 1816, Simón Bolívar declared that all the slaves in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela who fought for freedom from Spanish rule to be free. Once the Spanish were defeated, Bolívar fought for the abolition of slavery on the entire continent.

2 June 2018

Telesur English

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Wednesday, 21 February 2018

21 February 2018. “Do Russians Want War?” No… But Trump and Chilly Hilly Do!

“Remember the Meeting on the Elbe!” This Sov-era poster evokes the incident related in the song below… it focuses on the positive… quite unlike the Trump and Clinton filth. Russians don’t want war… but the War Witch and  Dimwit Donnie do…

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Kvatro is one of my fave ensembles. English subtitles… “Do Russians Want War?” NO! Remember, President Putin’s brother lies in the Piskorovskoye Memorial Cemetery in Piter… a child victim of the German fascists. America wants to walk in their footsteps…

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“Do Russians want war?” No… the last time, MILLIONS died. MILLIONS. Let that sink in. Eighty times as many Soviet citizens died in that war as did Americans… most of them civilians murdered by the Germans. We were “Untermenschtum”… “Subhumanity”, unfit to be masters in our own house. The Americans made common cause with the fascists after World War II… Truman allowed that. Anyone who was anti-communist and was willing to kiss the Americans’ ass got a “Get Out of Jail Free” card. Today, the USA supports the children of fascist collaborators in the Ukraine, the Baltics, Croatia, Kosovo, and elsewhere.

Honour the legacy of the Anti-Hitler Coalition or honour the legacy of fascism. They’re the only two options on offer… choose wisely.

BMD

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