KUNM Public Affairs: Fairchild Plant Takeover, Interview with Bill Reichert
Tonight on KUEDM's Public Affairs, Bill Reichard interviews Frosty Forensborn, a member of the American Indian Movement who participated in the week-long takeover of the Fairchild Electronics Plant in Shiprock, New Mexico. Why was the plant taken over, and why was it taken over, particularly with firearms? Well, initially, there had been reports that had gotten back to Larry Anderson, some of the people, you know, what might be termed, they would be termed militants, which is an untrue, let you say, interested individuals, and the ones who wouldn't just say, well, that's too bad. Somebody would try something. Incidents of, well, they just weren't proper. People weren't getting their sick pay, and they weren't paying for the hospital, you know, the accidents happen on the job. Things like this. And two years ago, the plant was employing 1,000 people, and all of a sudden it dropped off and kept dropping off, and they blamed it on the recession, which is sort of hard
to understand, because there are other plants for going full scale and increasing, and as a matter of fact, they profit-shown were immense in the millions of dollars, but they had dropped from 1,000 people down to, after they fired 140 last two weeks ago now, all at once. Why all at once? What were you able to find the reason for that? Was that specifically the reason why, at least one of the reasons why you went in there when you did? Yes, that was what triggered it, firing 140 individuals right off the bat. But were they all Indian? Yes, all Indian. I don't know, I believe there was one or two white people. That's another thing in itself. I think it was 97% Indian that worked there. But the management positions, excuse me, were all taken by a white personnel. Was it in your estimation, if this plant was, as you say, it's ranked what, 400th in
terms of companies and profits and stuff like that, and you did say it was a subcompany of Polaroid. Was it, do you think, specifically, a racial move? No, for them, it was purely economics. They were comparing us with their plant in Korea, where they pay the work or something like, I forget, it's about 40 cents or 30 cents an hour. And their rationale was the high turnover rate. And they would rationalize this, I've seen reports on this, they say, because people would move in from outer reaches of a reservation or whatever, that this caused family problems and they wouldn't show up for work all the time, high absentee rate, plus the technical terms applied in this particular trade weren't directly, you couldn't directly translate them from English to Navajo, and this made it, this were all just rationalizations, because
the people who work there tell me with the exception of a few jobs that they could have learned the whole job in a week, but they were on, but we'll get into that later, I hope, on the job training, where the federal government paid half of the wages of the trainees. And they just, I don't know, there's so many things going through in my hands, hard to keep a single train of thought without going off in a tent, you know, I'm sorry, so. No, we can cut this to make it sound cohesive and it'll be fine. Okay, you said you got to look at some reports, and the way the plant was set up, they did have, they did have the money to pay these people, and yet you say there was a high turnover rate, people didn't come to work and all that kind of thing, why would that be?
Why would that be? The high turnover rate? Yeah, if they were getting paid somewhat close to, I assume, a decent wage, barely over the minimum. Yes, there was one woman there who worked for 11 years there, from the inception back in 65, well, I guess that's only 10 years, but now, after all these years, she was getting 11 cents over the minimum wage. And why weren't federal officials called in way before that? Why wasn't the plant investigated 11 and 10 years ago when this was happening? It's happening now, it's been going on for 10 years. The reasons? I really don't know, it had been brought up complaints before, but I guess they were fairly closed ears, and there wasn't enough evidence to warrant it. They had a demerit system that they used, and you could get demerits for going to the
bathroom without having, for being absent for what maybe they didn't term a good enough reason. And 18 demerits, and you were out, we believe, can't be proven, and hopefully it'll come out in the trials, that they used this demerit system to terminate them after they reached journey man status. I guess that's what comes after training, I don't know. Because then, as soon as they were off the trainee, it would be a one or two year program as trainees, they would be terminated because the company would have to pay their full salary at whatever the going rate in that particular trade loss. They also, there's a question, I'm not clear on this, I really can just refer to it, they tried to get the union, and it was kind of backfired, it didn't work, so it was non-union, so they didn't have to pay the going rate really, but they would have to pay the full salary, at least minimum wage. And this way there, that's making them pay twice what they were paying to start with.
So essentially, whenever a trainee was trained and was eligible for this, he was just moved aside, and within the weeks, it only took a week or two for another trainee to learn his position, and they were only paying half as much. So this, I'm sure, contributed to it, but we can't prove it yet, but hopefully it'll come out. Okay, so all these things contributed to the group of people, their decision to take over this plan, tell me how this was planned out, how it was executed, and what happened when you got here. I wasn't there, what happened when you started. I wasn't there at the initial takeover, I got there approximately 24 hours later when I heard about it. And we knew at the time. I was here in town, going to school. And there were some meetings that were held with some of the news meeting things at N-I-Y-C, and some people decided to go up that night.
Well, I decided to go up to see if I could be of any assistance. I am strong, and one of the things about AIM is, if you can, if it all possible, get there to help, because this is for all Indian people. We don't look upon this as, you're a Pueblo Indian, I'm a Navajo, so the heck with you. I'm a mission Indian from California, I'm married to a Navajo, but that didn't enter into it. If it was another tribe, I would have done the same thing, because we have to stick together. Because if three people go in there and do these allegations, which, you know, nothing has ever done about, nothing has set about it. And I would like to also emphasize that, usually, and I'm, this is too early to find out all the background, but people have tried, I didn't know, I don't know what extent they tried going through peaceful means of getting these things settled out. But this confrontation that is used is almost always a last resort or very nearly the last
resort. The only way we can get heard it appears, and it's regrettable, because I was in there all week and I didn't want to shoot anybody, and I didn't want to get shot, but a stand had to be made. These people's lives were at stake, much more than this. We also have information that infers that at the end of, in the middle of 1976, that this plant was going to pull out because they could run it much cheaper in the southeast part of Asia there. Now the group that did take over the plant was it's mostly consisting of A members, how was the group stratified? It was mostly Navajos, but it was AEM, and there were also some members of the Navajo
Coalition, the rental of all those, part of that, and it was just concerned people, but AEM is kind of a nebulous term, AEM can be incorporated into almost anything, the American Indian movement into somebody who, rather than go through 10 years of rhetoric to get done, which should have been 9, 10 years ago, they'll take a more direct route. Like I said, it is regrettable, but in some cases it's the only thing that will work. You said that the takeover of the plant was the last resort, now, had there been any inquiries on the part of Navajo people or AEM or anybody else who was concerned with it, was there any contact with the fair child people before this point? Before this take over. The plant landed on some pretty deaf ears, but now this isn't the only, the plant itself was the major objective at this time, but there were sub-objectives you might see.
Some of these being the, I don't know the whole thing, there was a firing of two nurses at the Public Health Service Hospital for speaking out or something like this, and other things, which is the whole ideal of industrializing right there in the Fort Corners area, which is sacred land to not only the Navajo but the Hopi, and we feel that the whole thing was just exploitation, profit making for outside people. The Navajoers didn't run it, like I said, I believe there was one person, somebody said somewhere in the management, I don't believe it was very high, otherwise it was all run by outside people, and they surely couldn't have the feelings of traditionalism, because they weren't raised anywhere near, you know, the way Indians were, with respect to the natural environment.
As it's not saying that the natural environment cannot be used somewhat, but not exploited to this particular extent, such as the power plants and stuff, which are terrible up there. Now, what is the plan produced, I'm a little bit vague on that point. Integrated circuits for cameras and possibly radios, I don't know, they're just integrated circuits, small circuit cards and things like this. It doesn't take any high degree of skill to do it, because the parts come and they just put them together and teach them how to solder, and a few little other things, and that was it, such as one trainee reports in this newspaper here that was just reading a little bit ago that her training period was for a year, yet she said she knew enough to go on her own after a week. So it wasn't that difficult to work, what it needed was patience, and the rationale was women are better suited for this, and there was a high availability of women to work there
on the reservation. So that's why they came in, okay, okay, so you're there, what happens now, what went on inside and outside the plant during that week? Well, we barricaded the doors, because there were a lot of blind spots, we knew what would happen, we knew if it came down to a fight, it wouldn't take them long to get up to the building, because three or four well placed snipers could effectively control the people on the roof, and they could get right up the door. So we had everything inside barricaded and we were ready to fight, and now we'll bring this other nasty stuff, tripped on 85 into it, and we discovered this one time when the alarm went off, and we went over there to see what it was, and it was this thing said radiation, this and that, now it's questionable, why, I understand it's a ceiling, some sort
of ceiling gas, I don't know what it seals or how, we weren't expert in that field certainly, but we did find out from outside sources that it was a dangerous gas, that's why it had several all these safety precautions on it, and it was on the reservation, they were licensed to have 200 curies of it, which is quite a bit I understand, they had 61 points, something left, now if this was open and just let in the atmosphere, it would kill anybody it came in contact with, it doesn't penetrate anything or anything like that, we found out, but if we opened it inside the factory, that factory, I don't know how long the half life is, but how they would go about destroying the contents in it or what, but it would kill anybody it came in contact with, and if it was laid out in the open air when it could have contaminated a few square miles, but this, we wouldn't have done that because we didn't want to hurt the people, but we would have done it inside the factory as a last resort, because if it
came down that far, it would be, you know, our credibility was gone anyway, we would have, why was it gone at this point? It would, no, it would have been gone, I say, if it came down to that point, because we would have lost contact with what we want to do and all this, this stuff and the fact would be that if they were coming in, it was, you know, it was going to be by force and it was no more negotiating left to be done if it came to that point. And it was just a last life defense for us, rather than serve a lot of long jail terms and kill our own people, which, what might have happened, we didn't want to be shooting at Navajo cops especially, let's put it this way, we didn't want to shoot anybody, but the National Guard or the Federal Marshals would have been preferable to our own Navajo policemen there, our own policemen, and it was just another bargaining point, but we would have used it, and we told the people it stayed in, we had a meeting and we said
that if you stay in, if it comes down, if it really gets down, and you've got to stay in here and be willing to die, and that's what we would do it, and the ones that stayed with it, there were a couple of younger ones that the parents really pleaded hard with and they came out understandably, but the rest of us were there to die, we've, by this time there were people from several parts of the country there, and we faced this before death, and to certain extent it's, it's preferable to living the way it was, if our death could contribute, which is the only reason we would have died, it would have been much preferable and to just go down shooting, and that said be a lot of long jail sentences, and we'd be branded as murderers, which we didn't want to be, all we want to do is negotiate. Now there
was, there was a negotiation, negotiating rather, bargaining, whatever that went on during the occupation, what, what was said during these, during these bargaining sessions, and was there anything that was accomplished? Well, the, the plant itself tried to make it a tribal matter, they said, well this is just between the tribal government and yourself, and we didn't want this at all, because that wasn't the issue at all, it was between us and fair child, and not exactly us, but us representing the inequities within the plant itself. And these, our fire reaching, which I'm sure we'll get into, they go into the use of anywhere from $46 million illegally of US funds, they also go to the credibility of this
company, promising to stay there and stay there when we had it done, they were getting ready to move out in 1976, and just leave everybody flat, high, and dry. And it's, there were inequities enough to warn us going in there, let's put it that way. Okay, you mentioned, first of all, illegal use of funds in what way, what, what were they doing with a whole bunch of, you know, a couple million dollars, whatever the figure was, well, this on the job training program is supposed to be two or three years, three years is supposed to be the max, okay, there are extenuating circumstances, but we did find one letter that referred to, it was written to the BIA by the company, that they think they might be pressing the legal point a little bit too far, and it was time to get out
of it. And this was why they were going to move to Southeast Asia, and because it was so much cheaper to do there, if the government wasn't going to pay half the salary of the train E's while then they figured let's go somewhere where it's cheaper. And this is any economic student would see what is a drain in our economy by huge corporations, this is millions of dollars just flowing out of the country, and that could have been used here. Okay, so you can see their point is more profitable, but I hope they don't hit us with this patriotic stuff, because they're definitely far from patriots. Okay, so with all this bargaining that you, that you tried to accomplish during the week that you were in the plant, really didn't amount to a whole lot from what you're saying. No, they held it over heads that if we didn't get out by, they said 9 p.m. Sunday, they would shut
the plant down, which is trying to make us look bad, like we're shoving these 475 people out of a job, who were going to lose a job anyway, but they didn't know it with another year, a little over a year, and they tried to make it a tribal thing, make the tribe fight us, and they walked out of the thing. It would have suited their purposes fine. It was playing right into their hands to shut it down, so they shut down a year early, they used, you know, they make that much more when they transfer all their equipment and go elsewhere. So it was playing into their hands, but then they didn't know it this time, we had found these documents, and now it's a little bit different. The community, I'd like to emphasize this, the community, the old people, the traditional people, all the people there were forests, almost all of them, I won't say that, all of them, but they had a meeting at the town council about what to do in all this, so the vote there to support
us or not to support us, the vote was 415 to nothing to support us, and these are the people of Shiprock. Now, the word hadn't got back to council later on, such as Sunday, I believe it was happening, that the major meetings finally got going, Saturday and Sunday. The people representing the plant from the Indian's point of view, they didn't know all this either, when it was explained to them, and some documents were referred to that we had, they immediately were forest too, and one of the things that came out of that, we didn't ask for it, and our list of demands, it was not mentioned, because we all figured we're going to pull a little time out of this anyway, but it would be worth it, you know, the people would benefit. But the tribe came up with the idea that, you know, complete amnesty, and it was accepted, so, like I said, the only reason I can give this and give my name, I know I'm going to be harassed anyway, because the FBI harasses anyone that should be
known by now, from the later reports coming out, that shows any inclination not being for big corporations. Didn't Peter McDonald have a statement, what was his position on the situation? It's hard to say, he was kind of hard to find for a while, it seems. He was trying to stay out of it for a while. Why? Was that, do you think? It was volatile, and there may be some other things come out involving him, I don't know this. I won't make you think that. Nothing concrete, that's why I just can't elaborate on it. Maybe he was scared, maybe he was just being careful, I don't know, I really can't say at this point, so rather than avoid a statement on it, because I don't want to be drugged into court by him later for something that I don't know about. But the people who were supporting
us were starting to get uptight by the middle of the week, well, they said Peter McDonald and Mr. Skeet, vice chairman, should be there. They should be here, this is concerning their people, it's a major issue, why weren't they there? That's a good point, I really don't know why. He did say, maybe he had legitimate reasons, but he wasn't there. He never did come. Okay, no, you said that you went in there specifically to get these things at least out in the open and possibly, when we went in, it was the issue about the hospital and all these other things. We stumbled onto these when we went through the finals, we didn't know it was that bad, nobody had any idea about it. But then we found out there was a lot going in there that was... But my point was that you initially went into the plant because of what they hunted in, what is it? 140 workers that were fired within
what, a two week period or so? All at once. All at once. The previous Friday, I believe, or whenever it was, I understand that there was no advance notice of this at all. Just statement, it was on the bulletin board just saying that they're due to economic recession all of this. And it goes on 140 people that came to work thinking they were all secure and all this. Now, mind you, these people... Well, we're securing their jobs, the fact that they were buying cars and things like this and they had payments to make and all this and they still do. And all of a sudden, they're out of a job. But what we contend is that the company was being less than truthful when they said that it's just a recession, we're backing off and all this stuff. We believe it was just part of a massive layoff continually. They're going to shut down us in a year and a half and they're just cutting
back until when they finally did pull out. And the people didn't know this. Okay, so for that reason you, you went roughly between 35 and 45 people took the plant and were armed, but you said that you contend that nobody wanted to get shot or nobody wanted to shoot anybody else. Well, let's say if we walked in with a peaceful sit in, how long do you think it would take the police to just peacefully drag us out? Right. Okay. And nothing more than a news. And some Indians were found breaking and entering and planting that would be the end of it. So, unfortunately, we have to go on a little bit farther. We have to use forceful means. If you'll remember, I can't remember the exact word. I believe it's a second line in the Constitution that says if the government isn't doing the job, then it should be overthrowned. Yeah, it's not those words, but that's what it means. That's the implication. Yes. Okay. So, you said that there was to be no violence. However,
there was, there was, there was, which I'd like you to explain. There was a couple of shots fired, but you say that they were in the air or something like this. Oh, yes. So let's get that cleared up. All right. I was watching the 11 o'clock news last. I don't know if I can give them networks and names, not less. Well, I wanted to ask you what you thought about media coverage we can get to that in a minute. Well, there was some good, and there was some bad. I, from the broadcast, we managed to get hold of an all this like, I hate to say this, but let's just say, I have the people out here are familiar with the term yellow journalism. I would say that was rampant. The issues were definitely against us, according to the Farmington news stations up there. But then Farmington itself is, in my opinion,
wine alone is a parasitical town feeding off the Navajo people without, without the Navajo people there, Farmington would soon become essentially a ghost town. There's a lot of people living there, but they, a good percent of it depends upon the Navajo people. And it's, it's just, there's so many different issues coming. I'm getting off an attention again. I'm sorry, but let's just say the reports come, somewhere favorable, somewhere definitely favorable, and some were not, definitely not. Do you think that the more favorable reports came from national people like, like just say UPI or any of the major networks and the more, maybe unfavorable or, or leaning maybe a different way would be our own local networks? That's, that would be too much of a generalization
because there were some good, there was some good coverage around here too. Such as last night I was listening to one station, it was all very favorable up until the last where he said that there was an exchange of gunfire and the next morning there were only nine people in there. Now the implication here, be it accidentally or not, is that the credibility of the American Indian movement isn't very high. In other words, as soon as the shooting starting, they run out. But I was there and so I can give a first hand account of that. There was a shot fired, one shot. It did not come from inside the factory. It was, I've, all I can say is it was fired by one of the supporters outside accidentally and it went in the air. It didn't go near anybody or anything. And because of this shot, the policemen who were covering the gates and they were about at the time about eight cars surrounding
the plant, they were sitting ducks and was shooting more at this startup and they didn't know what was going on either. So they pulled back, understandably. Now this is where fortunate that they didn't try to shut off our line of communication. Because with it, about a half an hour later, we got in touch with Mr. Rowland Dart of the Chief of the Navajo Police, which is a source bottom on the Navajo people because he's white. And we got it straightened out. He was asking us why we were firing him, you know, and we straightened out. We did not fire. Well, couldn't they tell that the shot was outside and not inside the plant? Well, there was some confusion somewhere. I don't know where they're confused. There was confusion within the plant too because all of a sudden somebody looked out. We were eating dinner at the time, I think. And there was no more police cars and somebody said, hey, they all pulled out, you know. So they threw open the gate and there was a lot of people
coming in and out. But the people that stayed there, when we got the word out, you know, it's not over. Some of them thought it was over. And they were just leaving before the feds came down, you know. And so we got the word out. It wasn't over. And they came back in. And the police, we got it. We had a half an hour. This happened when we finally got in touch. It was about 10 o'clock or closer to 10 30, I guess. So we said a half an hour to get everything straightened out. And at 11 o'clock, the police came back and took the original positions. But there was only one shot fired. There was no exchange. And our people did not all up in high tail at the first shot. Okay. And you had not been granted amnesty at this point when the people had, when the shot was fired and some people thought it was over. Yeah. You had no amnesty at that point. No. The amnesty, I presume, happened at the meeting because I, you know, we kept some odd hours. I had been up 20 something, hours and slept for a few. And then got up and was up for a while and went back to sleep.
When Larry Anderson came back from Shipronk, we were informed of all this. I mean, came back from, excuse me, from a window rock, a child of meetings, informed us of the amnesty. And then it was over. And then people left. And the police were pulled out in their road box, the end of the pound. And they were, they checked everybody over for firearms and stolen equipment and stuff like this. I don't know if they caught anybody. They cheer, searched me hard enough. I don't find anything. And we left. But the implication, the reason I stress this is, I don't want aim's credibility ruined because our strength lies within our credibility. We didn't run out. We left when it was over. Now, there was also a report that a couple of reporters, a couple of newsmen got, got slightly roughed up. In fact, one of them had a broken nose and such like that. What, what happened there? Well, this happened outside. And I can only give
second hand information. But having been supporters at Aim Camp's outside of occupations before, we do know that these pictures that they take and granted. Now, at this time, nobody knew about amnesty. We, this was all up in the open. We, we all expected to pull some jail terms out of this, even if it was settled. And I'm very grateful we're not. But at the time, we didn't know this. And when the newsmen go around taking pictures of all the supporters in camp, now these go into files all over the place. And they are sometimes such as in Wounded Knee and all over the places, the custard trials and all the disturbances are used as evidence against us. And they were warned time and time again. If you want to do some reporting, why don't you go and investigate some of these documents in Washington pertaining to this? If you want to do some investigative reporting, instead of coming around and showing pictures of supporters to be used later against them. I want to get off here for a second. From the files that you did, I guess I can say this,
the files that you found inside the plant, were you able to get that information out at the time to these reporters so that they could check this out? We would let what we knew to be people that would report straight news, not yellow journalism. Like there was one reporter who really wrote up a badge, told me, gave him a straight story. And he really wrote it up bad. It made us look really rotten. But he was the only one. And when he came to try to get in to do some more reporting, we wouldn't let him in. Why should we? We just destroy us. But the ones that, now I'm not saying this isn't against free journalism. Like I say, this was yellow journalism we were against. There was a reporter from the Washington Post. We let in. He saw all the documents. There were some more reporters from Tucson, I believe it was, came in and they took photographs of all the documents and we had, took us a while to get it going. We got this Xerox machine working and we had copies of these out. So there are copies out. And I'd like to make that clear to any
federal people might be listening. There are copies out and we have more proof besides what's there. Because as happened before, there was very incriminating stuff found in the B.I. building in Washington, D.C. that wasn't all managed to get out. Some was gotten out. But then the federal people came in. It was their jurisdiction and all this. And all of sudden the stuff we found was no longer there. So we didn't want that to happen. So we got some out. It's out. Okay. So there was, there was, there was a reason for you to tell these people, okay, if you want to, if you want to research a story, you want a story, you go to Washington and check the stuff out. But we got copies of the documents too. Yes, I mean, well, these people are, came from all over the country and like I say, I've got a pretty good file on me right now. I'm sure, excuse me. And these people definitely didn't want their pictures being taken where it could be used against them. And pictures
just being there is incriminating enough. And they just didn't want them. And they were warned. These people, there's no, there was no need to take pictures of these people. They were our supporters. I don't know what it could be used for. There was, there was no story out there. The story was all this stuff we were giving out. But these people were after sensationalism or something. I don't know. So these two newsmen, reporters, whatever. It's regrettable that it happened. If perhaps if I have, have fairly high boiling point myself, obviously the one that hit him didn't. But it wouldn't have happened possibly with me, maybe. I don't know. I really don't know what happened. Maybe the reporter got pretty obnoxious about it. I understand he did get sort of obnoxious. I don't know the proof of this either. But I can understand why he was hit. And I saw some of these editorials calling it the ugly face of anarchy and all this. And I think this is, once again, your
yellow journalism, sensationalizing on something that deviates from the main point. In other words, getting away from the true meaning of what the whole thing is about. In other words, that has got more ink and news coverage in the whole, you know, than it should have. I mean, it's just blown out of proportion, proportion because most things like that are. Yes. And it's regrettable. Like I say, these reporters should have been elsewhere investigating just to see, you know, trying to prove us wrong, perhaps. If that's, if that was their aim, they should be out trying to do that instead of trying to destroy us other ways. Now, you say that there will be a trial. It's not a trial. They call for the civil rights. I can't think of the name of it now. It's going to be investigated anyway, everything. It can be another audit, a complete audit to find out the legalities of all this thing.
With these new documents and the evidence that you found within the plant and everything that went on during the occupation, what do you think the result of this investigation is going to be? Will, will, will Fairchild, will it have its due day? I mean, well, will they get him for these allegedly illegal transactions that they're doing? To a certain extent, I think they're going to be stung. But like I say, for your students of economics, there's only so much you can sting a huge corporation. And we say Fairchild, rank 400. That's huge enough. But it is just a subcompany, a branch of Polaroid, which is monstrous. And so the money that they can get into lawyers, I mean, they're going to have the best going. And
so they're going to be stung, but essentially, we just slap on the wrist. But hopefully enough of the truth will come out that it will support what we did. Okay, just a couple other thoughts here. I just like your reaction to the, first of all, the wounded knee incident and the the occupation of the the chairchapel was constant. What, what is your feelings, what are your feelings on those particular incidents? Well, wounded knee was brought about by, and all I can say is it's alleged again, because it has never been proven and the courts are still going in the trial. So what I could say could be used, could be backfired against me if something isn't, you know, something that they can find to dig it apart, tear it up. So I don't want that. But it was alleged that the chairman of the reservation Dick Wilson was doing some highly illegal things and wasn't being
fair to the people. And he was just a puppet for the white bureaucrats in Washington. I mean, for instance, there was one man in Pine Ridge Reservation had 800 acres of prime grazing land. And the lease wasn't drawn up by him. I don't know how this happened, but there's a lot of this where the Indians can't lease their own land. It's leased by tribal representative or somebody, somebody controlled in Washington. He was getting a dollar an acre a year for his land. And this $800 made him ineligible for welfare and things like this. So the man was starving to death with 800 prime acres of land. I mean, he was just being squeezed to death. And this is just one case. And there are many, many more. I hear of, you know, the people all over the income is just ridiculous for being what it is. But it is over the years it's got controlled by the wrong people and their own interests,
like Dick Wilson's over on in nice big shiny cars all the time. And I remember one, I stressing a little bit by saying poignant story, I suppose. I don't really think so. I have a lady saying that once a week, she would walk 10 miles to a grocery store to get a groceries and walk 10 miles back. And she says every time Dick Wilson or some of his men, which are now termed affectionately, the goon squad, they just passed her by. Nobody ever offered to give her right now. This isn't right. These people driving around in brand new cars and this other lady who they are representing has to walk an older lady has to walk 10 miles. And it's the old people really that make me saddest of all in ship rock. And we left. There were some old people, I mean old people, 60, 70 year old people. Don't
even speak English. Who couldn't really comprehend the whole thing, but they were supporting us because they knew it was wrong. When we came out of there, these two old ladies walked up to us and they said, you know, they didn't know too much English, but I understand they learned some phrases somewhere just for this occasion. They said, God bless you all for staying here and helping us, you know. And that to me made it worth it. You've been listening to an interview with one of the members of the American Indian movement who occupied the Fairchild Plant in Shiprock, New Mexico. The plant was closed several days after we talked with Frosty. The people who owned the plant from California said the reason they closed it was because they were another takeover.
- Producing Organization
- Contributing Organization
- WGBH (Boston, Massachusetts)
- AAPB ID
- Program Description
- KUNM Public Affairs with Bill Reichert presents an interview with Frosty Forensborne, a member of the American Indian Movement and participant in the week-long takeover of the Fairchild Electronics Plant in Shiprock, New Mexico. Forensborne answers why this event took place and why they used firearms to do so.
- Created Date
- Asset type
- Media type
Interviewee: Forensborne, Frosty
Interviewer: Reichert, Bill
Producing Organization: KUNM
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
Identifier: cpb-aacip-eba2a85db8d (Filename)
Generation: Stock footage
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- Chicago: “KUNM Public Affairs: Fairchild Plant Takeover, Interview with Bill Reichert,” 1975-03-04, WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed November 30, 2023, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-207-68kd578c.
- MLA: “KUNM Public Affairs: Fairchild Plant Takeover, Interview with Bill Reichert.” 1975-03-04. WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. November 30, 2023. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-207-68kd578c>.
- APA: KUNM Public Affairs: Fairchild Plant Takeover, Interview with Bill Reichert. Boston, MA: WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-207-68kd578c