The AIM jacket symbolizes David’s attachment to other AIM activists and his participation at the Wounded Knee occupation. The jacket was one of David Plume’s proudest possessions. When David first comes to Will’s studio, the jacket is one thing that clinches his identification.
I had never met David, but I knew the jacket. It was an ordinary club jacket, red nylon with knit cuffs and waistband. Across the back in large white letters was the word AIM . . .That jacket was famous. People who didn’t know David, like me, knew the jacket.
David is enormously attached to the jacket because it was a gift from the legendary AIM founder and leader, Dennis Banks (Ojibwe). He tells Will this when he asks him to help copy and enlarge a photograph in which he appears with Banks and several other AIM members at Wounded Knee.
When David later turns up at a bar, wearing the jacket and "bragging” about his time at Wounded Knee, Ray mocks AIM, and David calls him a coward. They get into a fight that is far from fair, as four men gang up on David. After they beat him, Ray takes the jacket and not only puts it on but also rips it. Afterward, David gets a rifle and starts shooting at Ray, but he misses. Ray dies, but this is from cutting himself on a broken bottle.