Thursday, March 5, 2009

AIM Warrior Robert Robideau Passes On to the Spirit World

AIM Warrior Robert Robideau

Workers World
Published Mar 4, 2009 3:47 PM

Robert Robideau, a member of the American Indian Movement since 1973, died Feb. 17 at his home in Barcelona, Spain, where he was the founder and director of the American Indian Movement Museum. He was a member of the Turtle Mountain and White Earth Ojibwa tribes. Robideau and Darrell (Dino) Butler were acquitted in the deaths of two FBI agents in 1976 on grounds of self-defense. The charges arose from a shootout with the FBI on Pine Ridge reservation in June 1975 that left two FBI agents and an Native man dead. In the aftermath of the 1973 Wounded Knee takeover by AIM, 60 AIM members were killed and hundreds more assaulted in a government-sponsored action to destroy the organization. A third defendant, Leonard Peltier, was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences in a separate trial. Peltier, an internationally known political prisoner, has been incarcerated for 33 years for the same alleged offense of which Bob Robideau and Dino Butler were charged and acquitted. Below is Peltier’s statement on the death of Robideau.

It is with a real deep sense of loss that I write this. Robert Robideau, who we called Bob most of the time, was my brother in the struggle for Indigenous rights. He was also my blood cousin and a defendant in the Oglala shootout trials. Bob was a tireless campaigner for my freedom and Indigenous rights all over the world. I can’t express enough how greatly his leaving this level of existence will be missed.

Bob and I grew up together. We were involved in the 1970s American Indian Movement together. We were shot at together. We were on the run together. Over the 33 years of my imprisonment, Bob was a person I could count on for a lot of reasons. We laughed together, quarreled with one another, praised one another and had strong disagreements at times. Bob was the one person I could truly count on to tell me the straight of it, whether I liked it or not. ... He was sometimes my worst critic and sometimes my best support, but he was always my brother and I loved him dearly. I wouldn’t doubt that wherever he is at, he’s organizing a support group of some sort. If I thought there was anything I could say that would bring him back to us, this statement would go on for as long as it took.

I know Bob will appreciate our concerns for the loved ones he left behind and want us to go on and do the very best we can to make this a better and more free, more just world we live in and he would surely remind us that we are the guardians of the future and the keepers of today.

It is always difficult to address the loss of people you knew and cared about, but every once in a while, there is a loss that is deeper than all the rest. In this loss, there is often a loss of words. It is a time when the shock of the situation is so close that you just don’t know what to say. One thing I can say for sure is that the loss of Bob Robideau is a loss to all. And to Bob, I don’t know how long I’ll be here myself, but that doesn’t matter. I look forward to seeing you again my brother, some other time, some other place. May the Creator be with you wherever you are and wherever you go.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, Bob Robideau, Steve Robideau, Joe Stuntz, Bobby Garcia, Roque Duenas, Nilak Butler, Anna Mae Aquash and all the others who gave of themselves for our People.

Mitakuye oyasin,
Leonard Peltier
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