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Russell Means at the 2001 SSDP Conference

Submitted by David Borden on

Russell Means at the 1987 Libertarian Party national convention, Chicago (courtesy Carol Moore via Wikimedia)
I read the news last night that Russell Means, Oglala Sioux native American and libertarian activist as well as actor, has passed on. Numerous tributes to Means can be found online.

Means was a keynote speaker at the 2001 Students for Sensible Drug Policy conference, the organization's third national gathering launching nationally two years before. We had a few words about it in our newsletter at the time:

American Indian activist and libertarian candidate for governor of New Mexico Russell Means gave a rousing keynote address linking the war on drugs to myriad other social problems and arguing that fundamental social change is both necessary and urgent. Means professed to be strongly moved by the new wave of student activists. "This conference has touched my heart," he said at a Saturday night dinner.

We shared office space with SSDP for many years, and I remember when Means agreed to speak. I remember Means saying that and it sounding heartfelt, and I remember watching his exciting presentation. I don't know if there is video footage, but if anyone finds any, please post.

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