PROTEST: A Suspenseful Show of Red Power

FROM the start, the confrontation at Wounded Knee, S. Dak., between militant Indians and local, state and federal authorities had all the elements of bad theater. The Indians insisted on outmoded makeup (war paint) and melodramatic lines ("Massacre us or meet our human needs"). The Federal Government brought in outrageous props, including war planes. There were too many theatrical asides aimed at the TV cameras and too many studied parallels to the Viet Nam War, including a "demilitarized zone" and "ceasefire observers." Finally there was the self-conscious symbolism of the choice of...

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