The Wounded Knee incident began February 27, 1973 when about 200 Oglala Lakota and followers of the American Indian Movement (AIM) seized and occupied the town of Wounded Knee, South Dakota on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The grassroots protest followed the failure of their effort to impeach the elected tribal president Richard Wilson, whom they accused of corruption and abuse of opponents; they also protested the United States government's failure to fulfill treaties with Indian peoples and demanded the reopening of treaty negotiations.
Oglala and AIM activists controlled the town for 71 days while the United States Marshals Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and other law enforcement agencies cordoned off the area. The activists chose the site of the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre for its symbolic value. Both sides were armed and shooting was frequent. An FBI agent was paralyzed from a gunshot wound early during the occupation; a Cherokee and an Oglala Lakota were killed by shootings in April 1973. Ray Robinson, a civil rights activist who joined the protesters, disappeared during the events and is believed to have been murdered. Due to damage to the houses, the small community was never reoccupied.