In 1969, American Indian Movement (AIM) activists occupied Alcatraz Island, invoking the Sioux Treaty of 1868, which grants unused federal lands to indigenous groups. Over the next several years, AIM also occupied the Mayflower. And Mount Rushmore. And the Bureau of Indian Affairs. And Wounded Knee. And other sites across the United States emblematic of the ongoing refusal of the American government to fulfill treaty obligations. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, AIM became the vanguard of indigenous liberation. They fought back against police violence, illegal seizure of land, and the economic marginalization of indigenous people. Through direct action, formation of patrols documenting police abuses, and other confrontational tactics, AIM brought media attention to long-neglected issues relating to indigenous sovereignty and abuses at the hands of the state.
By Wendy Sol for the Indypendent. AIM is short for Algonquin Incremental Market Project, one of a number of pipelines that are being built in the Northeast to transport natural gas from fracking fields in Pennsylvania to New England and on to markets abroad. If completed by Nov. 1, as planned, AIM will carry approximately 342 million cubic feet of gas to Boston and other ports in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. Spectra is also increasing capacity by more than a third on an existing pipeline that runs within about 100 feet of generators at the aging Indian Point nuclear power plant on the Hudson in Westchester County, about 35 miles north of Midtown Manhattan.With Spectra intending to have AIM ready by the beginning of November, groups that have opposed the project since it was first proposed to federal regulators in 2014 worry they are running out of time to halt the pipeline and are escalating their activism.