Dennis Banks Declares War on Drugs with Longest Walk 5
Dennis Banks, a co-founder of the American Indian Movement, will be leading the Longest Walk 5 beginning February 13 at La Jolla Shores in San Diego, California. Banks has declared this walk to be a war on drugs. The first Longest Walk was organized in 1978 to bring attention to 11 bills pending in the U.S. Congress. The Native Americans Equal Opportunity Act would have eliminated all treaties between the U.S. government and tribal nations. This bill did not pass largely due to the attention brought by the walk from California to Washington D.C.
The Longest Walk 2, “All Life is Sacred” was organized in 2008 to bring attention to the need to protect sacred sites on tribal land throughout Indian country. Singer Harry Belafonte attended the rally in Washington, D.C. when walkers arrived. The Longest Walk 3, “Reversing Diabetes” was organized in 2011 to bring attention to the diabetes epidemic throughout Indian country. Native Americans suffer the highest rates of diabetes, followed by African Americans. The Longest Walk 4 was a reverse walk held in 2014. It began in Washington, D.C., and ended on Alcatraz Island. The purpose was to educate Americans about the history of our many tribal removals from our homelands due to government policy. The Longest Walk 5: War on Drugs will cover 3,600 miles, and will travel through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia, before ending in Washington, D.C. on July 15.