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A message from Leonard Peltier

Posted on August 4th, 2015 by admin

leonard

July 29th 2015 Greetings my friends and relatives, Most history classes will teach that United States’ policy of Indian Termination was officially abandoned in the late 1960’s. Native peoples know

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The Native American Man Obama Should Absolutely Pardon From Prison

Posted on August 5th, 2015 by admin

On Monday, President Obama commuted the sentences of 46 nonviolent drug offenders, citing inequities in our criminal justice system, saying the system can “work smarter and better.” Obama hasn’t issued

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Féile an Phobail in Falls Park

Posted on September 11th, 2015 by admin

As Brame di Corsica played at Féile an Phobail in Falls Park, Belfast last night we displayed on screen a message calling for the release of Leonard Peltier. It was

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Blood in the Hills: Leonard Peltier and the Pine Ridge Reservation Shoot Out, Forty Years Later

Posted on September 11th, 2015 by admin

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By Mark Trecka | The End Of Being | June 26, 2015 In the late morning of June 26th, 1975, two young FBI agents named Jack Coler and Robert Williams

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Greetings my friends and relatives

Posted on September 11th, 2015 by admin

Most history classes will teach that United States’ policy of Indian Termination was officially abandoned in the late 1960’s. Native peoples know all too well that many of the policies

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Greetings to you, my relatives and friends

Posted on September 11th, 2015 by admin

This is the first time that my dear sister Roselyn will not be there for me, but I know she is there in spirit as she has gone on her journey. I have seen pictures of the gathering over the years and can still see her sitting there under the trees with our relatives… I will always miss her and be grateful to her for all she did for me and for our people.

This year I am most concerned with our children and the taking of their own lives. This is very sad to me, as it is to you, and I know there are many reasons for them to feel such despair and hopelessness. But I can only ask and encourage all of us to double our efforts to show them love and support, and let them know that we will always look after them and protect them. That includes asking big brothers and sisters to look after the younger ones. They are our future and have to be protected and to learn to be the protectors. This is not something we can live with, we need to all work to change this.

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Beauty and Injustice in Lakota Land

Posted on September 11th, 2015 by admin

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Jack Healey Founder, Human Rights Action Center

Posted: 07/27/2015 11:20 am EDT Updated: 07/27/2015 11:59 am EDT
The Pine Ridge Oglala Lakota (Sioux) reservation lies hard against the South Dakota badlands to the north and just east of the Black Hills to the west. It is a land of harsh and stunning extremes. Brutal winter blizzards with hauntingly howling winds and bitter cold temperatures followed by oppressive, sweltering hot summers. Oglala Lakota county (formerly Shannon County) is among the two or three poorest counties in America, including Appalachia, and it has the low life expectancy and extreme high unemployment rate that is to be expected in such a place. There is currently a teen suicide epidemic that is both tragic and of course deeply hurtful to the Oglala people.

These are the descendents of the great Oglala Sioux Chief Crazy Horse and even amid staggering poverty and neglect they remain a strong and proud people in the face of unimaginable difficulty.

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Free Peltier! Says Ex-Federal Prosecutor

Posted on September 11th, 2015 by admin

Source: http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/07/26/free-peltier-says-ex-federal-prosecutor

Cynthia K. Dunne

When I left my job after 28 years as a federal prosecutor to volunteer on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, I was warned by a friend in the community, “do yourself a favor, never state an opinion about Leonard Peltier.” We both assumed I would oppose Peltier's release from prison; we were wrong.

Peltier is an American Indian activist who was convicted in 1977 of the 1975 murders of FBI Special Agents Jack R. Coler, 28, and Ronald A. Williams, 27, on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. The murders were horrific: The two young agents went to the Reservation to arrest a fugitive, a shootout occurred, they were outnumbered, and when they attempted to surrender they were shot in the head, at close range.

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The Native American Man Obama Should Absolutely Pardon From Prison

Posted on September 11th, 2015 by admin

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JOHN PAUL BRAMMER

JULY 16, 2015

On Monday, President Obama commuted the sentences of 46 nonviolent drug offenders, citing inequities in our criminal justice system, saying the system can “work smarter and better.”

Obama hasn’t issued many pardons during his time in the White House. But his recent actions have left one group with renewed hope that the president will free one of their own, a man they call a “political prisoner.”

In 1975, during a confrontation on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation located in the U.S. state of South Dakota, two FBI agents were shot and killed.

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A Birthday Message From Leonard

Posted on September 12th, 2015 by admin

leonardboxes

September 12, 2015

Greetings everyone,

Well, today is another birthday for me — my 71st. I had hoped I would not be here at this age, but that's not to be. So, I have to take a deep breathe and slowly let it out… and prepare myself for yet another day in here.

February 6th marks my 40th year in prison. How many of you know that when I was indicted a life sentence was 7 years? I was sentenced to 2 life sentences, so with good time I have served 6 + life sentences. I suppose all of this time has taken its toll on my body. I have a number of different health issues that come with old age. The one I'm most concerned about is my prostate.

Otherwise, I'm still getting compliments on how good I look for my age (smile). People can be nice and say things that make me feel good once in awhile. But I'm told this so often that I'm starting to believe it (smile).

Hey, did you know that the last time I went before the Parole Commission (2009), I was denied because I looked young and healthy… and a reason given for denying me parole was that I might be too much of an influence on the young Natives? Yeah, only in America.

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N A T I O N A L L A W Y E R S G U I L D
132 Nassau Street, Room 922, New York, NY 10038 212-679-5100 Fax 212-679-2811 nlg.org
October 7, 2015
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) consists of thousands of lawyers, law students, legal
workers and jailhouse lawyers committed to fighting social injustice. Founded in 1937,
the Guild has been at the forefront of the legal and political struggles of ordinary people
to end oppression and discrimination in our society.
Mr. President, the NLG urges you to grant Executive Clemency to Leonard Peltier. Mr.
Peltier has served more years in prison than other persons convicted of the same or
similar crimes. At 71 years of age, Mr. Peltier’s deteriorating health and inability to
protect himself in a maximum security environment make this an urgent matter.
As you know, Mr. Peltier is a Native American activist who has been incarcerated for
nearly 40 years after being convicted in connection with the deaths of two agents of the
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Despite overwhelming evidence of FBI
misconduct—including the coercion and intimidation of witnesses, the utilization of false
testimonies, and the concealment of a ballistics test reflecting his innocence—Mr. Peltier
has been denied a new trial and is long overdue for parole.
“Much of the government’s behavior at the Pine Ridge Reservation and in its prosecution
of Mr. Peltier is to be condemned. The government withheld evidence. It intimidated
witnesses. These facts are not disputed.” Per Curiam Opinion by Circuit Judge Seymour
and Senior Circuit Judges Anderson and Brorby, Peltier v. Booker, 348 F.3d 888, 896
(10th Cir. 2003).
The United States’ system of justice prohibits the incarceration of any person unless he or
she has been afforded a full and fair trial, and found guilty of the charges beyond a
reasonable doubt. A trial based on fabricated or concealed evidence does not constitute a
full and fair trial.
“[W]e find that the prosecution withheld evidence from the defense favorable to Peltier,
and that had this evidence been available to the defendant it would have allowed him to
cross-examine certain government witnesses more effectively.” Hon Gerald Heaney,
writing for the Court in United States v. Peltier, 800 F.2d 772, 775 (8th Cir. 1986).
Numerous reasonable persons have grave doubts about Mr. Peltier’s guilt. After being
faced with formerly-withheld evidence on appeal, casting serious doubt on Mr. Peltier’s
guilt, the prosecution admitted that it could not prove who actually shot the FBI agents or
what participation Mr. Peltier may have had in their deaths. Under such conditions, his
incarceration runs counter to our society’s most cherished values.
N A T I O N A L L A W Y E R S G U I L D
132 Nassau Street, Room 922, New York, NY 10038 212-679-5100 Fax 212-679-2811 nlg.org
“[T]he FBI used improper tactics in securing Peltier’s extradition from Canada and in
otherwise investigating and trying the Peltier case. Although our court decided that these
actions were not grounds for reversal, they are, in my view, factors that merit
consideration in any petition for leniency filed . . . We as a nation must treat Native
Americans more fairly . . . Favorable action by the President in the Leonard Peltier case
would be an important step in this regard.” Hon. Gerald Heaney Letter to Sen. Daniel
Inouye (Apr. 18, 1991).
The Guild agrees with Judge Heaney and joins many other organizations and
individuals—including but not limited to Amnesty International, Archbishop Emeritus
Desmond Tutu, Nobel Laureate Rigoberta Menchu, the Kennedy Memorial Center for
Human Rights, and Representative John Lewis—in urging you to add to your legacy as a
President committed to ensuring justice for all by taking steps to grant Mr. Peltier
immediate and unconditional release through a grant of Executive Clemency.
Sincerely,
Azadeh Shahshahani
President

 

 

 

 

 

***

Statement by Leonard Peltier, International Tribunal of Conscience, 26 Sep 2015

Greetings my friends and relatives,

As I look past my prison cell door, I contemplate the many doors and walls that are between myself and freedom. Despite having been twice recommended for transfer to a medium security facility since coming to USP Coleman I, I am currently warehoused in a maximum security facility in Florida. These maximum security prisons are each surrounded by a high wall. For us inside there is no horizon.

As I think about these physical obstacles to my own freedom, I wonder how many walls are between YOU and freedom. How many of these walls are invisible—like the imaginary borders created by colonizers, power brokers, and governments—that are nothing more than obstacles to the free migration of Indigenous Peoples?

I’m greatly honored to be an absentee participant in this International Tribunal of Conscience. I notice that the 43 disappeared students from the Rural Teacher´s College in Guerrero have long since faded from the news cycle. It is imperative that these young people, who were mostly from Mexico´s poorest Indigenous communities, are never forgotten. Perhaps the students involuntarily serve as a reminder that our collective struggles are far from over. Death squads are still prevalent, and it is always the poor and most vulnerable people who endure the most suffering and injustice. These death squads are the same around the world as they all serve the same master—greed—that spurs humans to torture, terrorize, and kill others, forgetting that we are truly all related.

One aspect of my case that is not widely known is that in the 1970’s there were these same death squads on the Indian reservations. Corrupt tribal police, were armed and propped up by federal forces. Prior to the firefight on the Pine Ridge Reservation on June 26, 1975,—an incident for which I have now served nearly 40 years in prison—some 60 people who were connected with the resurgence of our traditional spiritual practices and renewed struggle for sovereignty were murdered or disappeared. During the preceding 5-month period, more incidents of violence were reported on the reservation than in the rest of South Dakota combined. In the subsequent search for my codefendants and myself, the people of Pine Ridge were terrorized by these paramilitary groups led primarily by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Innocent people were intimidated, threatened, and brutalized. To date, none of these acts of terrorism have been fully investigated.

On behalf of myself and the International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, I wish to thank the organizers of the International Tribunal of Conscience, the National Lawyers Guild, and our hosts at New York University. I encourage all defenders of human rights to continue to work together on our common issues in the struggle for our existence.

In the Spirit Of Crazy Horse…

Doksha,

Leonard Peltier

More on the International Tribunal of Conscience: http://internationaltribunalofconscience.org/

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