Two hundred armed Red Indians kept a task force of United States Federal Marshals and two armoured personnel carriers at bay on Thursday (March 1) in a battle for the prairie town of Wounded Knee.
MV PAN INT Indians looting store
SV Indians leaving post
DV & SV Armed police roadblock (3 shots)
SV Armed policeman PULL OUT TO roadblock
SV Car stopped by police
AERIAL VIEW Church
LV Police and roadblock
SV Federal officials talk to newsmen
SV Indian on motor-bike on reservation
SV & GV APC's driving into area (2 shots)
Initials BB/2250 TS/BOB/BB/0036
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Background: Two hundred armed Red Indians kept a task force of United States Federal Marshals and two armoured personnel carriers at bay on Thursday (March 1) in a battle for the prairie town of Wounded Knee.
When the Indians seized the tiny town, they vowed to die unless they got a better deal from the white men.
And it was no joke. A couple of shots fired at approaching cars proved that. Under the cover of darkness, 200 disgruntled Indians took over Wounded Knee...the scene of an infamous massacre of their ancestors in 1890, and held 18 hostages, including a priest and an elderly couple with heart trouble.
Many of the Indians are members of the militant American Indian Movement (A.I.M.) and they say they're armed and prepared to die if the Federal Government does not act on their grievances. They issued a three point list of demands to be met in return for the release of the hostages and abandoning the township, which is on the Pine Ridge reservation of the Oglala-Sioux tribe.
United States officials in South Dakota have made no comment about their intentions in dealing with the demands of the Indians. Some sort of peace was supposed to have hung over the area while both sides had a "pow-wow"over the telephone, but there has been no official statement.
Police have got the prairie town completely sealed. They have made no move to get closer, but the Indians say they will not move until their claims are met. Until that time, they say that Wounded Knee is theirs.
SYNOPSIS: The tiny Prairie town of Wounded Knee in South Dakota, where two hundred Red Indians have taken over. They moved in on Wednesday and looted the trading post, then vowed they wouldn't leave until their demands were met. By Thursday morning, the entire area was blocked off by police.
A mile away from the church and the trading post, police and federal marshals sealed off the community.
The police weren't moving in on Wounded Knee, but they weren't letting anyone else get in either. There were some reports of rifle shots from the Indians. Some shots hit approaching cars, but nobody was hurt.
The church is the headquarters of the Red Indians. It's also where they have their eighteen hostages held. They say they won't release them or get out of town until their demands for a better deal from the United States Government are met.
Armoured personnel carriers arrived on Wednesday. No soldiers, but if the Indians don't go, they could be brought in.