Tag Archives: Red Power

The Dollop – The Occupation of Alcatraz

There are a lot of important and interesting stories in history that I know exist, but I don’t fully know. Most of my academic studies have been based around large themes, movements of people and a few key events and figures which time them together and catalyze them. This allows me to contextualize events into the bigger picture. However, the value of this in a survey course is sometimes difficult.

As part of the greater Civil Rights Movement of the 1950’s and 60’s, other groups became mobilized. Women’s groups, Hispanic groups, Gay Rights groups, Environmental groups, all come together during the era and follow the non-violent protest and legal jurisprudence model that the Civil Rights Movement did. Part of the era is the Red Movement, a movement of Native Americans that were fed up with the alcoholism, drug abuse, and general treatment of the Natives on the Reservations.

This part of the movement I talk about in my survey every year, the tensions between the various classes of the groups in play, the urge of the assimilated to stay in the white middle class and the desire of the politically mobilized to strike, all ending with the triumphant metaphor of being pushed off of the continent all together and seizing Alcatraz.  That, at least, was the story I told my classes. However, once again, the Dollop has taught a better lesson, from economics, to politics, to why hippies ruin everything.

Enjoy.