THE INDIANS CIRCLE THE WAGONS

Running Dog Levenstein addresses a group of perhaps two dozen Native Americans, student sympathizers and curious onlookers who have assembled at the site of what had only the day before yesterday been the three-story Sayers House.

The day is gray, the young man's voice is strident, and the crowd's mood is ugly. Anger permeates the air like an invisible pollution.

Ty Powell and Oliver Hagger, two very nervous Cliff College security guards, watch from the periphery as Running Dog whips up the crowd in anticipation of his guest speaker and patron, Chief Dennis Dubois.

RUNNING DOG
The administration has been dragging its feet on this issue for years now with the excuse that the existence of a building here was eminent domain, even though we maintained that there this was an ancient Nez Percé burial ground. They argued that the Nez Perc´ were not an Ohio tribe, that they roamed through Oregon and Idaho. Bull chips! Their primary hunting grounds may have been in the Northwest, but they were here fighting George Washington's troops when he was still with the British in the 1750s. And it was then that this burial ground was established. And yesterday we proved it when they uncovered the body of a great warrior here! Now that there's no building to stand in our path, I say eminent domain cuts both ways! It's our turn and this is our land!

His words are greeted by enormous applause. An Apache war cry rises spontaneously from the crowd. Oliver feels a shiver of fear run from his security badge up through his scalp. Ty worries that he won't get home in time for the Braves game on TV.

RUNNING DOG
I'd like to introduce the man who is going to lead us to victory. The founder of the Native American Student Union and current Chief of the Northwest Ohio Nez Percé, Chief Dennis Dubois!
An even louder round of applause greets Dennis as he steps to the makeshift podium they've fashioned out of a piece of concrete rubble. He taps the microphone that's hooked up to a miniature, battery-powered guitar amp.

DENNIS
Welcome to the Powwow. (CHEERS). First off, I'd like to make a few things clear. The Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act defines "burial site" as "any natural or prepared physical location, whether originally below, on, or above the surface of the earth, into which as a part of the death rite or ceremony of a culture, individual human remains are deposited." Well, brothers and sisters, behind me lie the bones of a great warrior, and I can promise you he wasn't thrown in there like a sack of garbage. Our people have always respected their dead with rituals, with rites, and with ceremonies, and I, for one, am not about to let Uncle Sam or Uncle Cliff or Uncle anybody else come in here and disrespect these hallowed bones! Today is day one of a vigil that will not end until justice is done! We are going to pitch our teepees right here, where our ancestors once did. And we will let no one cross our line until what is rightfully our is legally ours! Are you with me?

The crowd goes crazy. Even those who arrived as innocent bystanders attracted by the commotion, find themselves swept up by Dennis' firey passion. Oliver pulls out his walkie-talkie and tries to raise Security Chief Dick Francis but no one answers. Ty offers to go back to the office to look for the Chief, and as he heads off, Oliver wishes he'd thought of it first. Now he's alone with the savages, feeling none too safe.

Meanwhile, Dennis opens the back of his Jeep Cherokee to reveal piles of blankets, crates of bottled water, and bags of sandwiches. The students begin to set up an extended campsite to ring the construction site. The vigil has begun.