Monday, November 30, 2009

ZOOM IN Campaign for Leonard Peltier: Take It to the Streets!



Do you have a digital camera?* Maybe you have a cell phone with a camera. Well then:

  • Hit the streets! Go to an area with heavy pedestrian traffic—near shops, a post office, a popular park, etc. (For safety and companionship, you may want to work with a partner.)
  • Do you use public transportation to commute to and from work? Every work day you’ll have the opportunity to meet new people, talk about the Peltier case, and collect photos of new supporters.
  • Table at community events, too. Or create your own mini-event by setting up a table outside a grocery store or another public place (with permission, of course).
  • Don’t forget church and other civic functions, flea markets, bazaars, and pow wows.
  • Will you be attending a gathering related to Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years? These are prime opportunities to get friends, colleagues, and family and/or community members involved.
  • Host a house party and invite friends, neighbors, and family members.

From now until January 31, collect as many photos as you can and get folks interested in and participating in the campaign to free Leonard Peltier. If we all do our part, tens of thousands of photos will be collected by January 31.

*You can also purchase a disposable (standard or digital) camera or use a Polaroid camera, although these are more expensive options.

The Campaign Packet provides you with all the tools you will need to fulfill your mission. Please pay particular attention to the Guidance and Tips document in your packet.

Mail your mailers, log sheets, and donations to the support branch coordinators: ZOOM IN, c/o 2241 NW Hoyt Street, #214, Portland, OR 97210. Please also provide your contact information so that we can verify receipt of your batches. NOTE: Please provide an e-mail address and/or telephone number.

All materials should be received NO LATER THAN JANUARY 31, 2010 (but please don’t wait until then to send us batches of photos).

For information, contact zoom@whoisleonardpeltier.info.



Friday, November 27, 2009

Sunrise ceremony at Alcatraz (Audio) - 26 Nov 2009

Sunrise ceremony and celebration of the
40th anniversary of the Alcatraz occupation
Sunrise Ceremony - November 26, 2009 at 6:00am

Click to listen (or download)

Return to Alcatraz: 40 Years of Resistance
November 26, 2009
By Brenda Norrell

ALCATRAZ -- With the sounds of the Miwok singers and the calling out of the names of the original occupiers of Alcatraz, American Indians ushered in a new era of resistance, remembering how the act of holding the rock became the bedrock of a new generation.

During the Alcatraz Sunrise Ceremony, commemorating the 40 year anniversary of the Occupation of Alcatraz, Clyde Bellecourt of the American Indian Movement, told thousands gathered to prepare to hold President Obama accountable.

Bellecourt said that last year everyone was excited when President Obama took office. "I was happy too. I went to his inauguration. The whole world was excited."

"I told every one of you to be vigilant, to be watchful. We've heard promises before."

Bellecourt pointed out that President Obama has bailed out the car companies, bailed out Wall Street and bailed out the banks. The Indian people, however, have not been bailed out. Obama made campaign promises to the Indian people. So far, the missing billions in the trust funds have not been returned to the Indian people.

"We haven't seen a penny of what belongs to us. There may be a day when we have to hold his feet to the fire."

"We don't want a stimulus package. We don't want anyone to bail us out." Bellecourt said Indian people want what is justly theirs and guaranteed by treaties.

Referring to the Massacre of Wounded Knee, he said, "We'll never let this sacred hoop be broken again." Bellecourt said it is time to nourish the sacred tree and this hoop of life.

"We're still at war," he said, responding to questions of how to join the American Indian Movement. "I draft every one of you."

On Alcatraz, Doug Duncan said casinos have brought greed to Indian country and many elected tribal governments are now acting like whites. In northern California, the Pomo people are struggling to have their sacred land returned at Bloody Island, the site of the Massacre of Bloody Island in 1850.

Lenny Foster, Dine', spiritual leader for inmates in state and federal prisons, said he continues to visit Leonard Peltier in prison in Pennsylvania. Urging calls and letters to Obama to grant Peltier clemency, Foster said Peltier's health has not been good.

"He's been incarcerated for 33 years on fabricated evidence, "said Foster, adding that Peltier is one of the world's most famous political prisoners. Foster said Peltier's release would spark reconciliation between the United States and Indian people. Referring to the longstanding failure of the US to live up to its promises, he said, "We're not asking for any more than what is guaranteed to our people. Our people signed treaties."

During the weeklong events of AIM West, which began on Nov. 23, Bill Means spoke of the recent visit by United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing, Raquel Rolnik, to his Oglala homeland at Pine Ridge, South Dakota. Describing some of the worst living conditions in America, Means, cofounder of the International Indian Treaty Council, said there is a need for 6,000 more homes. On the average, 14 Lakotas live in each home. Because of the lack of funding and repairs, HUD homes have mold, disrepair, broken windows and doors that don't shut.

Means said the people are asking for what was guaranteed by treaty and are not seeking the benevolence of the United States. "The United States is not living up to their legal commitments through the treaties." Housing, education and health care were assured when the US took the lands of the Indian people.

Bellecourt, Foster, Means, Madonna Thunder Hawk (Two Kettle Lakota) and Mark Maracle, Mohawk, were among the AIM-West speakers on issues ranging from the theft of Indian children by social services to the theft of Indian lands for energy development. The Ohlone people were honored with images shown on Coit Tower, towering above the city, from sunset to dawn, before the Alcatraz Sunrise Ceremony. Still, the Shellmounds of the Ohlone people continue to be desecrated in the San Francisco region.

Mark Maracle, describing the genocide of Indian people in the United States and Canada, said Indian children were sent to residential schools and boarding schools. "They murdered their minds."

"They continue to do it today," he told those gathered at AIM West. Speaking of the need for unity, Maracle said the Haudenosaunee's Great Law is for everyone.

"We are a Nation," he said, pointing out that the United States is not 100 percent sovereign. Only Native nations are 100 percent sovereign.

"We have the greatest weapon, the truth."

Thousands gathered before first light at the Alcatraz Sunrise Gathering on Nov. 26 to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Occupation of Alcatraz. In the 1960s, American Indians occupied Alcatraz in a series of occupations. On November 20, 1969, Indians of All Tribes -- American Indian men, women and children -- made a stand here for justice. Alcatraz, vacated by the Bureau of Prisons in 1963, became the rallying place for the people to demand that their treaties be honored and their lands be returned. Lakota, Creek, Mono, Pomo, Paiute, Navajo, Mohawk, Chippewa and others took a stand that became a pivotal point for sovereignty, justice and freedom in Indian country.

For photos, audios and videos of these week's events:
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Reason to Fast . . .

26th November 2009

15th Anniversary-FAST FOR FREEDOM!


Today marks the 15th year that myself and other activists around the country FAST FOR FREEDOM. Whether in the public arena or in the privacy of our own homes we fast for cleansing, for sacrifice and freedom.

FAST FOR FREEDOM began 1995. Myself and four Irish Activists spent four days on the steps of the temporary County Building in San Francisco, California fasting and sleeping. The fast began on THANKS-FOR-TAKING Day morning and concluded 72 hours later on Sunday morning. The reason? To bring attention to the freedom struggle of the H-Block 4; Four Irish Political Prisoners awaiting trial in the United States or extradition to Northern Ireland. Within three years the H-Block 4-Pol Brennan, Terry Kirby, Jimmy Smythe and Kevin Barry Artt were released from U.S. custody, unfortunately it did not end their struggle for safety, security and asylum.

In 1998 the FAST FOR FREEDOM was moved to San Diego. The Presidio in Old Town San Diego became the focal point of our sacrifice. Old Town San Diego is credited with being the first fort and settlement of the Spanish for the Catholic Church; ground zero of the occupation of our California indigenous ancestors. It was fitting to channel our energies to one of our Indigenous leaders.

Concentrating on the unjust justice system that permeates the United States government and enforcement agencies our work was now dedicated to the FREEDOM OF LEONARD PELTIER. The three years we spent in San Francisco were supported by the Free Peltier campaign including Mr. Dennis Banks; it was a no brainer that we officially join Peltier's Freedom Campaign. From a four-day fast to a one-day fast we concentrated on the historical ramifications of THANKS-FOR-TAKING Day acknowledging the displacement, rape and slaughter of millions of Indigenous people. Leonard Peltier sits in prison for a crime he didn't commit and our one-day a year sacrifice was and continues to be the very least we can do for the most famous political prisoner in the world.

Times have changed. Activism has changed. Mass demonstrations are replaced by mass emailings, Twitter and Facebook. Challenging oppression, occupation, racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, environmental destruction and animal abuse can be challenging in economic depression; but where there is hope there is the possibility of progress.

Many of you will be sitting down to a meal where an animal has suffered to fill your body; where a worker was underpaid or overworked to offer fruits and vegetables on your table; where genetically engineering companies play "God" with nature; and where the celebration of a day has been historically distorted for the sake of corporate profit-making.

So today I fast for the Freedom of Leonard Peltier, for the Freedom of my Palestinian sisters and brothers and for the lives of my animal relations. Pick an issue, there are so many. It is easy to do and costs nothing. As most of my time is now thwarting the euthanasia process of dogs, cats, rabbits and farm animals, FREEDOM for anyone or anything should not be a competition between struggles. It is what it is. FREEDOM is to live in a world without violence of any kind.

Think before you act; act as if you will be alive in seven generations and live today in peace.

Peace & Resist in Health,


Janice Jordan
Peace & Freedom Party

Ms. Jordan was the Peace & Freedom Party Candidate for Vice-President in 2004; Leonard Peltier was the Presidential Candidate. Ms. Jordan currently works with Ferdinand's Familia, an all volunteer non-profit all species animal rescue and sanctuary serving Southern California.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Leonard Peltier on receiving the first annual Red Nation Humanitarian Award


Recently, the Red Nation Film Festival chose Leonard Peltier to receive its first annual Humanitarian Award for his lifelong commitment to indigenous and human rights, as well as his leadership in efforts to alleviate poverty and domestic abuse among Native peoples. As a political prisoner for nearly 34 years, Peltier has helped focus world attention on government repression of Native resistance throughout the Americas, while the United States continues to make an example of him as a consequence of seeking freedom. Unable to accept the award in person, Leonard wrote the following acceptance speech for the award:

I am very humbled to have been honored with the first-ever Red Nation Humanitarian Award. I wish the Red Nation Film Festival success in all its endeavors, as I believe your event benefits Indian people everywhere. With your continued support, I hope that I will one day have the freedom to thank you in person.

Film is a powerful medium with the potential to help change one's consciousness, which can in turn change the world. Film can transport the viewers to places and situations they might never encounter, from the mountains and jungles of Peru and Bolivia, to the prison cells of Abu Ghraib and Lewisburg, the federal penitentiary where I am held in limbo as they transform the facility into a special site for problematic prisoners. Although I have been what they call a model prisoner, I am still here because I was jumped and beaten by other inmates when I was transferred to another prison. I am here in spite of the fact that I was an ideal candidate for parole by any objective standard free of politics. But because of my beliefs, and the FBI's fears of exposure of their crimes against the people of Pine Ridge and the American Indian Movement, the federal government is determined to see to it that I die in prison. So here I sit in a 3 foot by 6 foot cell.

The fact that you are here today at a Native film festival shows how far we have come from the days when Hollywood Indians were portrayed by white actors as one-dimensional savages standing in the way of civilization. The fact that we are today not only acting in films but also directing and producing shows how far we have in the last forty years since the American Indian Movement arose from the ashes of the Termination Era and demanded political sovereignty and cultural respect.

But how far have we really come? We are still subject on the reservations to the jurisdiction of the colonial police force known as the FBI, an agency which ignores serious crimes such as sexual assault while persecuting those who would stand up for true sovereignty and human rights. On other reservations, state police play the same role, though their jurisdiction is a legacy of the discredited termination era. Last week, President Obama held what was billed as a historic summit meeting with hundreds of tribal officials in attendance, but what was really accomplished? My defense committee sent faxes to more than 500 reservation chairman asking them to speak out on my behalf on this unique occasion. A few said they would, but when the opportunity presented itself they were too polite to speak out to a president who spoke of dissolving tribes in his inauguration speech.

It is the same in movies. While we now have realistic films dealing with poverty, alcoholism, and related social problems on the rez, how many deal with the root cause—colonial oppression which extinguishes hope for the future? I ask you filmmakers to use this powerful medium to help create visions for the future and to put our many problems in an accurate context. I plead with you, if you can't get me out of prison and I am destined to die here, to make my sacrifice worth it in terms of creating a more sustainable future for our children and future generations.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,


Leonard Peltier


Monday, November 23, 2009

New Raffle: Peltier Original Painting



Mystic Storyteller


Win this Peltier original, Mystic Storyteller. It measures 12" X 16" and comes with an original frame also made by Leonard, constructed with rolled newspaper. Coffee grounds were used for stain, oatmeal for glue, and floor wax for shine.



$5.00 per ticket.
$20 for 5 chances to win!


Enter to win by Valentine's Day - February 14, 2010.


Send your check or money order to:


Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee
PO Box 7488
Fargo, ND 58105-5601


Or order tickets by credit card here.


*Be sure to note that you wish to enter the PAINTING RAFFLE*

Our View-Obama should 'AIM' at pardoning Peltier


Our View-Obama should 'AIM' at pardoning Peltier
By Staff, Daily 49er
California State University, Long Beach, CA
Published: Sunday, November 22, 2009


Most American Indian nations detest the distorted history of the first “American Thanksgiving” between indigenous peoples and the pilgrims.

Traditionally, we write an article debunking myths about the “first” Thanksgiving in order to provide alternate perspectives on one of America’s biggest ongoing lies; the tender story about turkey, cranberry sauce and the kumbaya moment we teach kindergarteners about.

There are many documented historical accounts of genocide, ethnic cleansing and broken treaties we could focus on, but because this is the first year President Barack Obama will pardon a turkey, we hope to beckon him to a higher sense of consciousness.

We’d like the former attorney and human rights activist to consider healing a wound in jurisprudence by granting clemency, or at least a new trial, for a fellow human being.

This Thanksgiving, we’re directing focus to one particular American injustice — the continuing political imprisonment of Leonard Peltier, a member of the American Indian Movement. United States prisoner No. 89637-132, now 65, was convicted and sentenced to double life in federal prison in 1977 for the 1975 killings of two FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

The two special agents, Jack R. Coler and Ronald A. Williams, were attempting to find Pine Ridge member Jimmy Eagle for suspicion of stealing a pair of cowboy boots. They chased what they believed to be Eagle’s red pickup truck onto the Jumping Bull Ranch on the reservation.

The agents, armed only with .38 caliber pistols and shotguns, radioed they were under high-powered rifle fire. Both agents were killed.

Peltier was detained by Canadian police a year later and, when the U.S. Justice Department presented an affidavit from Myrtle Poor Bear, a woman with known psychological problems, he was extradited. Poor Bear later admitted FBI agents coerced her into signing the affidavit.

Some of the improprieties in the FBI investigation should be pointed out because they were the nexus of evidence used to convict Peltier.

The agents had radioed they were chasing a red pickup truck. For weeks, FBI agents hassled every red pickup truck they spotted on the reservation. At Peltier’s trial, the FBI claimed it was actually looking for a red and white van, one similar to what Peltier was often seen driving.

Three witnesses who testified that they saw Peltier near the crime scene recanted, also claiming the FBI had threatened them into taking the stand. During Peltier’s trial, an FBI ballistics expert swore a shell casing from near one of the dead agents matched that of a rifle supposedly tied to Peltier.

The expert swore a forensics test matched the casing to the rifle’s firing pin, but it was later discovered the gun had been too damaged to test ballistics. Years later, the expert’s records were examined and his report stated that the firing pin did not match the gun presumed to be Peltier’s, but that report was withheld during an appeals hearing.

Following another failed appeals hearing, the prosecutor said, “We do not know who shot the agents.”

More suspicious is the appearance and re-appearance of Coler’s handgun at two different locations on two consecutive days.

On Sept. 9, 1975, a recreational vehicle Peltier was identified as driving blew up during a shootout in Oregon. Coler’s handgun was found in a bag under the front seat.

On Sept. 10, 1975, a station wagon blew up near Wichita, Kan. Numerous weapons were discovered in the car — including Coler’s handgun. This is one magic pistol.

The only thing clear in how the case was handled is it was botched. The FBI and federal prosecutors were on a mission to round up the usual suspects and convict somebody — preferably an AIM member.

Peltier was denied parole last month and won’t have another parole hearing until 2024 when he’s 79. Hopefully, Obama will treat Peltier and the White House turkey equally and let them go.

Source URL: http://www.daily49er.com/opinion/our-view-obama-should-aim-at-pardoning-peltier-1.2094799#5

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

NEW Art Prints

How about giving a Peltier print to that someone special on your Christmas list? We have new prints of several of Leonard's paintings: "Visions of Freedom," "White Mountain Lady," and "Woman Coming Out of the Water." They really are special and look fantastic framed. We're accepting orders now. Each print sells for $35.00 (USD). Check out our Merchandise Page at http://www.whoisleonardpeltier.info/.

ZOOM IN Campaign Update

The outpouring of support for the new campaign is overwhelming and we can't thank everyone enough for their enthusiastic participation. Support branches that haven't checked in, please do so today. Send an e-mail to zoom@whoisleonardpeltier.info. We're planning some special activities to help you with the public education aspects of the campaign. We need to hear from you to help with scheduling.

The first response to the new campaign was received from Verlon Jose, Chairman, Tohono O'odham Legislative Council (AZ) and we've heard from many long-time supporters like Ted Glick and Pam Africa. We're very pleased to have them on board.

One of our support branches in New Mexico already has plans to canvass community events to educate folks and get as many people involved as possible.

Not to be outdone, supporters in Europe are hard at work, as well.

People are having fun with the idea, too--showing their hobbies, occupations, and cultures through the clothes they wear for their photos.

Leonard is thrilled with the response. Keep up the great work.

It's easy to join in. Learn all about the campaign on our Web site at http://www.whoisleonardpeltier.info/.

Don't have a printer? Make your own sign. Just make certain it's large and clear enough to be visible in your photo and that it says, "Executive Review NOW!" Don't know how to create your personal flyer? Drop us a line and we'll help. For the answers to your questions and technical assistance, send an e-mail to zoom@whoisleonardpeltier.info.

Okay, everybody, strike a pose!

26 November: 40th National Day of Mourning


40th National Day of Mourning
Nov. 26, 2009
12:00 noon
Coles Hill, Plymouth, MA


United American Indians of New England
284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
(617) 522-6626
E-mail: info@uaine.org
Website: http://www.uaine.org


ORIENTATION FOR 2009 NATIONAL DAY OF MOURNING

WHAT IS NATIONAL DAY OF MOURNING?
An annual tradition since 1970, Day of Mourning is a solemn, spiritual and highly political day. Many of us fast from sundown the day before through the afternoon of that day (and have a social after Day of Mourning so that participants in DOM can break their fasts). We are mourning our ancestors and the genocide of our peoples and the theft of our lands. NDOM is a day when we mourn, but we also feel our strength in political action. Over the years, participants in Day of Mourning have buried Plymouth Rock a number of times, boarded the Mayflower replica, and placed ku klux klan sheets on the statue of William Bradford, etc.

WHEN AND WHERE IS DAY OF MOURNING?
Thursday, November 26, 2009 (U.S. "thanksgiving" day) at Cole's Hill, Plymouth, Massachusetts, 12 noon SHARP. Cole's Hill is the hill above Plymouth Rock in the Plymouth historic waterfront area.

WILL THERE BE A MARCH?
There will be a march through the historic district of Plymouth. Plymouth has agreed, as part of the settlement of 10/19/98, that UAINE may march on Day of Mourning without the need for a permit as long as we give the town advance notice.

PROGRAM
Although we very much welcome our non-Native supporters to stand with us, it is a day when only Native people speak about our history and the struggles that are taking place throughout the Americas. Speakers will be by invitation only. This year's NDOM is once again dedicated to our brother Leonard Peltier.

SOCIAL
We hope there will be a pot-luck social held after the National Day of Mourning speak-out and march this year. Please check back to the website to confirm. We anticipate that the hall may not be large enough to seat everyone at once. We may have to do two seatings. Preference for the first seating will be given to Elders, young children and their mother/caretaker, pregnant women, Disabled people, and people who have traveled a long distance to join National Day of Mourning. Please respect our culture and our wish to ensure that these guests will be the first to be able to sit and eat. With this understanding in mind, please bring non-alcoholic beverages, desserts, fresh fruit & vegetables, and pre-cooked items (turkeys, hams, stuffing, vegetables, casseroles, rice & beans, etc.) that can be easily re-warmed at the social hall prior to the social. Thank you.

TRANSPORTATION
Limited carpool transportation may be available from Boston. Contact the Boston International Action Center at (617) 522-6626. There is transportation from New York City via the International Action Center, for more information call 212-633-6646.

Directions: National Day of Mourning is held by the statue of Massasoit at Cole's Hill. Cole's Hill is the hill rising above Plymouth Rock on the Plymouth waterfront. If you need directions, use Water Street and Leyden Street in Plymouth, MA as your destination at mapquest.com. That will bring you to within a few hundred feet of Plymouth Rock and Cole's Hill. You can probably find a place to park down on Water Street.

DONATIONS
Monetary donations are gratefully accepted. Please make checks payable to the Metacom Education Project and mail to Metacom Education Project/UAINE at 284 Amory Street, Boston, MA 02130.

SF: AIM-West 3rd Annual Conference (23-27 Nov 2009)


AMERICAN INDIAN MOVEMENT-WEST TO HOLD ITS THIRD ANNUAL CONFERENCE IN SAN FRANCISCO, THE PUBLIC IS INVITED. EVENT WILL BE BROADCAST LIVE!

AIM-WEST invites you to attend its Third Annual West Coast Conference, November 23-27, 2009 in San Francisco, California. This will be an opportunity for all Indian Nations particularly those on the west coast who share common concerns, issues and challenges to come together with a positive vision for the future, and share in council with decisions and solutions, and plan for our coming generations.

At this gathering we will address the honoring of Treaties, Sacred Sites, Human Rights and the Environment, Cultural and Spiritual Freedoms, Youth and Prisoner Rights, Immigration and Mineral Resource exploitation. A special session will also be held on how to organize an AIM chapter in your community, building alliances and coalitions, and the role of its membership, and supporters.

Monday, November 23, 10:00 am-5:30 pm
Press Conference 10:30-11:00 am

Opening Ceremonies with MC Bill Means and Madonna Thunder Hawk. San Francisco Public Library, 100 Larkin St. @ Grove, Koret Auditorium. A panel of special guest speakers, and a film “El Salvador: I Want My People to Live”

Tuesday, November 24, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Location: Bahai’i Center, 170 Valencia Street, SF (near 16th BART Station)
Pre-“Unthanksgiving” Potluck Dinner and special program, starts at 12 noon. Master of Ceremony is Mary Jean Robertson. With guest speakers, drummers and singers, and dance performances by California, El Salvador, Peru, and Traditional Azteca Teo-Kalli. Clyde Bellecourt will offer blessings and a talk on the state of the States. Musical entertainment. Everyone invited to the feast, where the Eagles invite the Condors!

Wednesday, November 25, 10:00 am-5:00 pm

Location: Bahai’i Center, 170 Valencia Street, SF
A full day of topics led by a panel of distinguished community organizers: Sacred Sites; Immigration and Border issues; Environment and COP-15 in Copenhagen; Treaties, and Mineral Resource and Mining Extraction; Prisoner Rights and strategy campaign for Leonard Peltier’ Executive Clemency; Federally Recognized, Unrecognized and Disenrollment; Building AIM chapters and defining role of supporters, coalitions, alliances, and capacity building; Youth and International Solidarity with Liberation Movements.

Thursday, November 26, 4:00 am-9:00 am

Location: Alcatraz Island 40 Year Anniversary of The Occupation 1969-1971
Annual Sunrise Gathering, Pier #33 Hornblower Alcatraz Tours, purchase tickets online, $14 kids under 5 free! The sunrise program will be broadcast from THE ROCK live on radio KPFA 94.1 starting at 6am to 9am with Miguel Molina, and Co-Anchored by Tony Gonzales of AIM-WEST with Mary Jean Robertson, DJ of KPOO radio.

Friday, November 27, “Native American Day” concert 6:00-10:00 pm

*Sacred Sites demonstration at Glen Cove, stay alert! Call Wounded Knee for more information: 707-557-2140

AIM-WEST will hold a benefit fundraiser at the Bahai’I Center, 170 Valencia Street in San Francisco!
Tickets $10-20 donation, no one turned away.
6:00-10:00 pm

Music by Bob Young Project, Local Artists, special guests and much more!! Please bring cans of food for Inter-Tribal Friendship House in Oakland.

The entire event will be broadcast and recorded by Govinda at http://www.earthcycles.net and will be streamed live!

For more information please contact visit http://www.facebook.com/l/af83a;www.aimovement.org.

AIM FOR FREEDOM! FREE LEONARD PELTIER!!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

2009 Leonard Peltier Holiday Gift Drive


Leonard Peltier
Holiday Gift Drive


Leonard Peltier is organizing a holiday gift drive for the children of Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and the Turtle Mountain Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota. Leonard grew up on the Turtle Mountain Reservation and many of his family members still live there.

This annual gift drive is one way in which Leonard continues his humanitarian work for his people. Help Leonard reach out beyond the bars that imprison him.

Remember... The gift drive helps the children and families, but also Leonard himself. Help keep Leonard's spirit strong through the difficult holiday season.

Mail all gifts to:

Waha Peltier
PO Box 159
Pine Ridge, SD 57770

Turtle Mountain Tribal Agency
Gifts from Leonard
c/o Cindy Malaterre
PO Box 900
Belcourt, ND 58316

Send new (unwrapped) toys, warm clothing, books, school supplies, etc., for children of ALL ages (newborn to 18 years). To ensure delivery by Christmas, mail your gift no later than December 17.

Thank you for your generous support.

Occupation of Alcatraz Program. Come Hear The ENTIRE Story. Friday Nov 20th, 2009 at UC Berkeley




On Friday, November 20th 2009, Richie Richards the Native American Education Specialist for the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology at UC Berkeley proudly hosts the 40th Anniversary of the Occupation of Alcatraz Program. The event will honor and commemorate the original efforts and intentions of the student-based occupation that took place in 1969; which was to protest the social conditions Native Americans were being subjected to in both urban areas and on reservations. Alcatraz provided a national forum for their voices to be heard and we want to continue that conversation with this event.

This program will begin by honoring and giving thanks to those who participated in the occupation and their perspective by reviewing the 1969 occupation. Speakers will discuss the conditions for Native Americans during this time period in response to the governmental policies that continued to strategically enforce cultural assimilation and deny Natives of their basic human rights and rights as sovereign nations.

Our Keynote Speaker will be Dr. LaNada War Jack (formerly LaNada Means). LaNada was the student leader from the Third World Strike which took place at UC Berkeley whose efforts led to the foundation of the Ethnic Studies Program at UCB. She, along with Richards Oakes, organized the take-over of Alcatraz in November, 1969. We are very honored to have her presence at this event and look forward to a great presentation.

Our Honored Guest Speaker will be Dr. Lehman Brightman (President of the United Native Americans, Inc.), who will discuss the founding of UNA Inc., his role as First Director of Ethnic Studies here at UC Berkeley, and his participation in the Occupation. Dr. Brightman recently presented at the 40th anniversary of Ethnic Studies at SFSU and may speak about this presentation as well.

Another element to the event, will include Ilka Hartmann (German photographer from the occupation), who will present a slide show of her photographs and her experiences as a non-Native participant on Alcatraz. Ilka Hartmann has taken some of the more famous photos that we may have seen as well as other photos from past demonstrations of human rights and equality.

During the 40th Anniversary program, students from local universities will present contemporary research and statistics in regards to the current situation of Native America. As students, we will examine and present various subjects including those which were the motivating factors of the occupation. So far, students from UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine, and DQ-University Board Members have agreed to come present.

This event is meant to bring together old friends and create new networks. This is an opportunity for Natives to unite once again in solidarity.

Please RSVP by sending contact information to Richie Richards at naes-pahma@berkeley.edu.

----

*Healthy lunch will be provided to occupation speakers and elders who attend. Free of charge at Hearst Museum patio. Lunch will be provided by Friendly Natives Catering: bluemaiz@yahoo.com.

*Time and Agenda are currently in development and is subject to change-due to growing interest.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Zoom In: Focus on Executive Review


Zoom In: Focus on Executive Review

A new campaign sponsored by the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee (LP-DOC) with Friends of Peltier and the International Peltier Forum

The United States courts have acknowledged that Leonard Peltier was the victim of official misconduct and convicted on the basis of fabricated and suppressed evidence, as well as coerced testimony. However, the courts have not granted Leonard a new trial.

Attorney General Eric Holder can conduct an Executive Review of the Peltier case and provide a remedy. In fact, he has said that in the face of misconduct by Department of Justice officials, it's his job to do the right thing. That's why we've renewed the call for an Executive Review of the Peltier case.

Join us in our new campaign to demand equal justice for Leonard Peltier.

The Campaign

People often ask... "Who are those Peltier supporters, anyway?" We're all just ordinary folks from all around the world. We're a diverse group, representative of all races/ethnicities, religions, social classes, political beliefs, etc. Yet, we have at least one thing in common. We know a grave injustice has been done to Leonard Peltier.

The campaign concept is simple: (1) Send a message to AG Holder--We want justice... equal justice... and we want it NOW and (2) Put a face to the message.

The campaign has two components:

Action #1: Personal Response--Where you'll provide a photographic image of yourself holding a campaign sign, as well as your name, address and e-mail address.

Action #2: Community Response--Where you'll go out into your community and get others to participate in the campaign.

A box filled to the brim with campaign flyers, including all our faces, will be delivered to AG Holder's office on or around February 6, 2010 - the 34th anniversary of Leonard Peltier's arrest.

For details and instructions, see http://www.whoisleonardpeltier.info/.

We also ask that you contribute $1 to help us with expenses associated with the campaign. That's right--ONE U.S. dollar! You can, of course, donate more if you wish. Checks and money orders should be made out to "LPDOC". If you prefer, you may donate online at http://www.whoisleonardpeltier.info/.

Contrary to what some say, the Committee has limited resources and, like any other grassroots organization, struggles financially. Your dollars are needed to make this and other campaigns successful and so that more events--like those held in Boulder, Lewisburg, and Washington, DC, this year--can be planned and successfully implemented in the months ahead. Please give what you can.

Deadline

All photos should be received NO LATER THAN JANUARY 31, 2010 (but please don't wait until then to send us your photo).

Again, for instructions, see www.whoisleonardpeltier.info. Download the campaign kit and review all of the materials provided. The campaign e-mail address is zoom@whoisleonardpeltier.info. Don't hesitate to ask questions or request assistance.

Note to our local support group coordinators: Please let us know you're on board with this new campaign by sending an e-mail to zoom@whoisleonardpeltier.info. We'll work closely with you to help you succeed. To assist us with the planning of branch-specific special communications (which may be state, regional or international in scope) please provide your name and location in the body of your e-mail.

Thanks to all of you for the work you do. With your help, Leonard WILL see freedom soon.


Kari Ann Cowan, Assistant Coordinator
Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee
http://www.whoisleonardpeltier.info/

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

Leonard Peltier the recipient of the First Red Nations Humanitarian Award


The Red Nation Film Festival has chosen Leonard Peltier to receive its first annual Red Nations Humanitarian Award for his lifelong commitment to indigenous and human rights, as well as his leadership in efforts to alleviate poverty and domestic abuse among Native peoples. As a political prisoner for nearly 34 years, Peltier has helped focus world attention on government repression of Native resistance throughout the Americas, while the United States continues to make an example out of him of the consequences of seeking freedom. The award was presented on November 12.

The 6th Annual Red Nation Film Festival - A Night of Tribute Awards

2009 Honorees:

• "Red Nation Vision Award” – In Loving Memory to Michael Jackson “Black or White”
• “Edward Albert Jr Indigenous Film Award” – Edward James Olmos, Actor
• “Brando Award” – Jo Berlinger, director of Crude
• “Lifetime Achievement Award” – Graham Greene, Actor
• “Best Network Award” – C.B.S. Network
• “Television Heritage Media Award” – San Manuel Tribe
• “Red Nation Theatre Playwright Award” – Richard Montoya, Culture Clash
• “Red Nation Humanartian Award” – Leonard Peltier
• “Red Nation Activists Award” – Atossa Soltani, Amazon Watch

PAST RNFF Honorees have included:

President Obama, Governor Richardson, Marlon Brando, George Burdeau, TNT Network, Pechanga Tribe, President Joe Garcia of NCAI, Alvin Warren-Secretary of Dept of Indian Affairs, Lisa Strout-Director of New Mexico Film Office.

www.rednation.com

Thursday, November 12, 2009

10 Nov 2009: LPDOC Newsletter

LPDOC 11/10/09 NEWSLETTER

Click Here For Details...


N. Hennepin Comm. College Peltier Events


SCREENINGS OF INCIDENT AT OGLALA
North Hennepin Community College, SC
128 Brooklyn Park, MN

Read below and attached flyer for details

Please join us this week for the three final events connected with our Pow Wow and exploration of Native American culture and history this semester- a presentation on Leonard Peltier, the wrongfully imprisoned Native American activist, who has now spent 33 years in prison for a crime he did not commit, and two screenings of Incident at Oglala, the 1992 Robert Redford and Michael Apted documentary that explores the American Indian Movement in the 1970s and Peltier's controversial case.

Monday 9 November - 1.30 - 2.50 p.m. in SC128 - Incident at Oglala

Tuesday 10 November - 9.30 -10.50 a.m. in CBT 101 - Incident at Oglala Repeat showing

Thursday 12 November 12 - 1 p.m. ES Atrium A Presentation on Leonard Peltier

Leonard Peltier’s cousin, the cultural activist Juanita Espinoza, who is a tribal member of the Spirit Lake Nation in North Dakota, and Executive Director of the Native Arts Circle and Two Rivers Gallery in Minneapolis, will talk about Leonard’s life, his work as an artist, and what he represents to Native American people, as well as the millions of people around the world who have petitioned for his release.

NHCC students will read excerpts from Peltier’s book Prison Writings and student artwork inspired by his case will also be on display in the Atrium.

Berkeley: Peltier Art Exhibit


VISUAL ARTS EXHIBITS HIGHLIGHT LEONARD PELTIER'S ARTWORK
Hecho en Califas Visual Art Exhibits Presents

Opening reception: Friday, November 13, 2009
6:30 - 8pm
In the Cafe Lobby
3105 Shattuck Ave.
Berkeley
www.Lapena.org

For more info, call 510-849-2568

Pangea - Cultivate Our Cultures

PANGEA - CULTIVATE OUR CULTURES

Saturday, November 14, 200910:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Heritage Kjemkomst Interpretive Center

202 1st Avenue North

Moorhead, MN 56560

Come and celebrate our community's traditions and cultures with this local muti-ethnic showcase of music, dance, culinary arts, and children's activities. Handmade items and ethnic foods are available for sale.LPDOC will be displaying many of Leonard's paintings with lithographs, digital prints and merchandise for sale.



Prosecutors' Immunity

LPDOC RESPONSE TO NPR.ORG ARTICLE

Prosecutorial immunity is nothing less than a dagger through the heart of justice. In recent years, we have seen more than enough evidence that prosecutors can and will knowingly send innocent people to jail, and sometimes even to death row. When through the diligence of a number of crusading defense attorneys such malfeasance became clear, laws were passed to hold such prosecutors accountable. In other words, the wrongfully convicted were given their own legal path towards justice. Now comes an effort to once again give prosecutors free reign to knowingly prosecute those they know to be innocent. Just the willingness to argue the position that there is "no freestanding constitutional right not to be framed" is evidence enough that some actually believe wrongful prosecutions are acceptable. Prosecutors cannot - MUST NOT - be given immunity for wrongful prosecutions, lest we see injustice of staggering proportions.

First and foremost in this writer's mind, is the prosecutor's temptation to convict anyone and everyone for merit's sake. Let's face it, being a prosecutor is a gateway drug....ahem....position. If one wants to be a judge, or a politician, the doorway to said profession is primarily as a prosecutor. And when they run for a judgeship, mayor, or some other office, former prosecutors love to quote their conviction rates. The higher the conviction rates, the better it appears one did his or her job, and the more dedicated to "justice" he or she appears to be. And as was seen in Chicago and other locales over the last several years, the pressure to successfully convict is, like a potent drug, very hard to resist. There have been so many instances in fact, that organizations such as the Innocence Project have come into being. Dedicated to overturning wrongful convictions, IP has found no shortage of cases to pursue. To date, the Innocence Project claims 245 wrongfully convicted prisoners freed. That’s 245 lives, not to mention children, mothers, fathers, and others, whose lives were likewise needlessly destroyed. And this is just one such organization.

And what of racial bias? Far too often there has been, particularly in the southern states, an eagerness to convict members of minority communities for crimes they did not commit. In some communities, the mere implication that a person of color has somehow wronged a white man or woman is enough to conjure up a fear laden conviction. We see evidence of this after the fact, as DNA evidence exonerates one easy target after another, yet only after victims of wrongful prosecutions lose years and sometimes decades of their lives behind bars. Minorities continue to suffer disproportionately high conviction rates and prison population rates. Minorities typically receive longer sentences for similar offences and are far more likely to be given the death penalty in qualifying cases. Either minorities are more prone to break the law, or "the system" as we like to call it, is flawed. Allowing prosecutorial immunity only compounds the shortcomings in an already troubled process.

Lastly, the difficulty in receiving a new trial is equally troubling and one of the most profound reasons behind holding prosecutors liable for wrongful convictions. In some states, and in some cases, getting a new trial borders on the impossible. Leonard Peltier is a prime example of this, where the federal court system declared in light of new evidence that he "might have" been found innocent had this new evidence been available at the time of his conviction. "Might have" isn't good enough, as the federal standard for a new trial is that one "would have" been found innocent with said information at the time of trial. So the difference between "might have" and "would have" is enough to keep Mr. Peltier in jail for 34 years running. Likewise, a review of the Texas justice system within the last decade found it "barely constitutional". Part of this finding was due to the difficulty in obtaining a new trial once convicted. Many states have rules that limit when new evidence can be admitted. Quite literally a piece of evidence exonerating a convicted person may not be admitted and therefore may be irrelevant if it becomes known past a predetermined number of days or years after conviction. In other words, it can literally be too late to prove you are innocent. Justice, it seems has a shelf life and can expire.

No American should live with the rational fear of a wrongful conviction. In the event it does happen, a victim of such an experience must have a round trip ticket back to justice. The only way we can properly assuage the wrongfully convicted, and protect the not-yet wrongfully convicted, is to be able to hold the offending prosecutors accountable. Otherwise, losing our freedom could be like shooting fish in a barrel, with all of us just waiting to get plugged.

TO READ NPR'S 11.4.09 ARTICLE"High Court Weighs Prosecutors Immunity"

Click here to read


New Peter Matthiessen Op-Ed


THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS
Volume 56, Number 18 · November 19, 2009
The Tragedy of Leonard Peltier vs. the US
By Peter Matthiessen


On July 27, 2009, I drove west from New York to the old riverside town of Lewisburg in central Pennsylvania, the site of the federal penitentiary where early the next morning I would make an appeal to the parole board on behalf of the American Indian Movement (AIM) activist Leonard Peltier in his first parole hearing in fifteen years. On this soft summer evening, a quiet gathering of Peltier supporters from all over the country had convened in a small park near the Susquehanna River. Despite his long history of defeats in court, these Indians and whites sharing a makeshift picnic at wood tables under the trees were optimistic about a favorable outcome. Surely a new era of justice for minorities and poor people had begun with the Obama administration, and anyway, wasn't Leonard's freedom all but assured by the Parole Act of 2005, which mandated release for inmates who had spent thirty or more years in prison?

Leonard Peltier, an Ojibwa-Lakota from Turtle Mountain, North Dakota, was one of the three young Indians who were among the participants in a shoot-out with the FBI at Oglala on South Dakota's Pine Ridge Reservation on a hot dusty day in June 1975. They were later charged with the deaths of FBI agents Jack Coler and Ron Williams. Ostensibly searching for a suspect in a recent robbery case, the agents had been warned by tribal police not to enter the property where the AIM Indians had their camp. Their intrusion apparently provoked a warning that led to an exchange of gunfire. Understandably outraged by the deaths of Coler and Williams and in particular by the fact that an unknown "shooter" had finished off both wounded men at point-blank range, their fellow agents would also suffer intense frustration and embarrassment when a dozen or more of the Indians involved, using a brushy culvert under a side road, escaped a tight cordon of hundreds of agents, Indian and state police, national guardsmen, and vigilantes who had the area surrounded.

More galling still, Bob Robideau and Dino Butler, two of the three AIM suspects in the killings arrested during the FBI's huge "ResMurs" (Reservation Murders) investigation, were acquitted a year later in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on a plea of self-defense, as the third and last suspect, Leonard Peltier, would certainly have been as well, had he not fled to Canada. He was arrested there in February 1976, extradited back to the US, and tried separately. Though originally indicted with the others on identical evidence, he was barred by a hostile new judge, Paul Benson, from presenting the same argument based on self-defense that had led to Robideau and Butler's acquittal. Furiously prosecuted as the lone killer and convicted for both deaths on disputed evidence, Peltier was sentenced in February 1977 in Fargo, North Dakota, to two consecutive life terms in federal prison.

The following year, when Peltier's conviction was appealed, 8th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Donald Ross denounced the coercion of witnesses and manipulation of evidence in his case as "a clear abuse of the investigative process by the FBI"; the US Attorney's Office, too, would be sharply criticized for withholding exculpatory evidence. In October 1984, in an evidentiary hearing in Bismarck, North Dakota, ordered by the appellate court to review the possibility of a new trial, the prosecutor, US Attorney Lynn Crooks, had to concede that the FBI's own laboratory had failed to verify the claimed ballistics link between Peltier and the murder weapon that was used to nail down his conviction—a shell casing of disputed provenance that Crooks had called "perhaps the most important piece of evidence in this case." Even so, Judge Benson refused to reconsider the conviction.

The following year when the decision was appealed again, Crooks finally admitted that the identity of "the shooter" had never been proven and was in fact unknown to the prosecution even when it was twisting the evidence to ensure Peltier's conviction and make certain that its third and last suspect—by its own description, "the only one we got"—was imprisoned for life. Yet the appellate court, while noting that so much tainted evidence had deprived the defendant of his constitutional right to due process of law, found "no compelling legal justification" for ordering a new trial.

In a TV interview after his retirement in 1989, Judge Gerald Heaney, who had signed that astonishing decision, called it "the most difficult I had to make in twenty-two years on the bench." The following year, in the National Law Journal, this troubled jurist held the FBI "equally responsible" for the deaths of its two agents; in a letter to Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, he urged commutation of Peltier's sentence. Questioned on the same 1989 TV show about the perjured affidavits extracted by FBI agents from a frightened alcoholic, US Attorney Crooks declared: "I don't really know and I don't really care if they were false. I don't agree that we did anything wrong, but I can tell you, it don't bother my conscience one whit if we did." Properly outraged by this arrogant refusal to repudiate US government use of fabricated evidence, Senator Inouye, as a former US attorney, called Crooks "a disgrace to the profession."

I first interviewed Leonard Peltier in Marion Penitentiary in 1981, and that same year, with his original codefendant Bob Robideau, I inspected the Jumping Bull Ranch at Oglala where the shoot-out had taken place. Later, after reading many if not most of the pertinent documents, including the FBI field reports and the transcripts of both trials, I returned to Oglala to interview local people and study the scene again. Like the FBI, I would hear all sorts of rumors about the many young Indians involved without learning which one had fired the fatal shots; however there seemed to me no doubt whatever that Leonard Peltier had been railroaded into prison.

Unfortunately my long book making that case[*] was quickly suppressed by libel suits brought by South Dakota's attorney general, William Janklow, and an FBI agent named David Price. Eight years would pass before both suits were summarily dismissed and the book was back in circulation. Meanwhile Peltier's long fight for a fair trial had won his endorsement as a political prisoner by Amnesty International, and his thousands of supporters throughout the world included the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, and the great majority of his own people in the more than 250 Indian nations that had formally demanded his release.

In Peltier's first parole hearing in 1996, the examiner filed an internal recommendation in Peltier's favor. (The US Parole Commission, like the US Attorney's Office and the FBI, is under the aegis of the Justice Department: its examiner informs himself about the case, questions both sides, and appraises the new evidence, if any.) Yet in actions so belated and irregular as to raise suspicion of undue influence, the commission replaced that first examiner with one more to its liking and denied parole.

By then, the few bold lawmakers who had called for investigations had retreated or retired, and Peltier's best hope was executive clemency. To that end, I wangled my way into the Oval Office and pressed my book about the case into President Clinton's hands. In January 2001, during Clinton's last week in office, as FBI lobbyists—the Association of Retired FBI Agents and No Parole for Peltier—marched in front of the White House, I joined attorney Bruce Ellison and filmmaker Jon Kilik in a long meeting with the presidential and White House counsels in which we argued that granting clemency to an American Indian who could offer nothing in return was a bold symbolic step that could only enhance the President's last-minute efforts to prop up his legacy.

The lawyers seemed impressed and hopes were high, but when the clemency list appeared on the Saturday morning of Inauguration Day, Peltier's name was missing. The phone call I dreaded was put through from Leavenworth Prison in early afternoon. "They didn't give it to me," mumbled a stunned voice I scarcely recognized—the first time in twenty years of visits, letters, and telephone conversations that Leonard Peltier's strong spirit sounded broken. With all court appeals exhausted and no hope of mercy from the incoming Republican administration, this aging prisoner was condemned to wait for his next parole hearing in 2009.

In the park in Lewisburg, people agreed that had the shoot-out victims not been "FBIs," Leonard might never have been convicted; at the very least, he would have been paroled many years before. Someone in the park recalled the fear and disruption on the reservations caused by the FBI's huge ResMurs investigation (which was widely perceived as the latest chapter in the long history of oppression and revenge against "the redskins who killed Custer" that had led up to the shoot-out). The killing that day in June 1975 of a young member of the AIM by a marksman's bullet in the forehead had gone all but unmentioned, someone said, let alone investigated by "the Injustice Department," doubtless because "Injuns don't count." How about Bob Robideau's statement to an FBI man that he had been "the shooter"? Would the Parole Commission take that into account? And was it suspicious that Robideau had been found dead last February in Barcelona? (The official autopsy concluded that he had struck his head in a fall while suffering a seizure.)

With Peltier's attorney Eric Seitz and the two other parole advocates —Dr. Thom White Wolf Fassett, a Seneca elder and United Methodist adviser to Congress on Indian affairs, and an Ojibwa woman named Cindy Maleterre representing Peltier's Turtle Mountain Reservation—I went early the next morning to the prison, passing supporters waving "Free Peltier" signs at the entrance road.

In the hearing room the first to speak were the two sons of the late agent Jack Coler. After testifying to their family's great loss, they suggested that if this man facing them today were to take responsibility and express remorse for those brutal murders he so stubbornly denies having committed, the Coler family might not protest his parole. But the three FBI spokesmen and the assistant US attorney who spoke next were content to repeat the same vilifications and distortions of the facts that won a conviction back in 1977. Locked long ago into their ResMurs myth, they insisted that Peltier was still a danger to the public and cited those provisions in the Parole Act specifying that parole may be denied if the subject's release might "depreciate the seriousness of the offense" or "promote disrespect for the law."

In response to the charge that Peltier has evaded his responsibility for those murders, Eric Seitz countered that the FBI and the US Attorney's Office have evaded responsibility for their own illegal tactics in his prosecution. Otherwise Seitz made no attempt to retry a long historic case in a few minutes, emphasizing instead the prisoner's exemplary behavior record, serious health problems, and other strong qualifications for parole under the commission's geriatric and medical criteria. He reminded Examiner Scott Kubic that in a few weeks, on September 12, when Peltier would turn sixty-five, he would also become eligible for home detention under the new Second Chance program for elderly inmates designed to ease overcrowding in the US prisons.

Thom White Wolf testified that Peltier's incarceration for nearly thirty-three years has been viewed both nationally and internationally as a gross injustice and a major embarrassment to our country, with a negative effect on the world's view of how the US government treats its native population. When my turn came, I spoke to the points made in this article, adding how much this inmate had matured over the three decades of our acquaintance, not only as an articulate spokesman for his people but as an artist, self-taught in the prisons, whose work is admired through- out the US. And Cindy Maleterre assured the examiner that the prisoner's Ojibwa-Dakota people at Turtle Mountain—including grandchildren he has never seen—had already taken care of the parole requirements of social support, adequate housing, and steady employment (as an arts-and-crafts teacher and alcoholism counselor on the reservation), and were planning to welcome him home with a great feast.

That afternoon we left the prison with the feeling that Examiner Kubic had listened carefully and would recommend parole—a guarded optimism we conveyed to the flag-waving supporters awaiting our report on the public road. But no one forgot how the examiner's finding in Peltier's favor fifteen years before had been aborted; in the next weeks, as so often in the past, the prisoner would have to suffer the suspense of desperate hope.

On Friday, August 20, federal inmate #89637-132 received terse notice that his petition for parole had been denied: not until his "15-year Reconsideration Hearing in July 2024," he was informed, would he become eligible to be turned down again. In the unlikely event that he lives long enough to attend that hearing, Inmate Peltier will be eighty years old.

In his angry response, Attorney Seitz accused the commission of "adopting the position of the FBI that anyone who may be implicated in the killings of its agents should never be paroled and should be left to die in prison." I entirely agree with Seitz and share his anger. For the prisoner and his supporters, the Lewisburg hearing had been hollow, with a predetermined outcome: The United States v. Leonard Peltier had always been a matter less of justice than of retribution.

Americans—those in public office especially—should inform themselves about this painful case and demand an unbiased investigation that might start with one simple question: If, in the thirty-three years since his trial, reputable evidence has ever emerged that Leonard Peltier was the lone killer and deserves to be in prison for life, why hasn't the Justice Department produced it?

Without public protest, Peltier will not be granted a fair hearing since his prosecutors know that in the absence of honest evidence, "the only one we got" would be set free. Instead, this man's life leaks away behind grim concrete walls for the unworthy purpose of saving face for the FBI and a US Attorney's Office that together botched the famous ResMurs case and mean to see somebody pay. And who better for this fate than a "radical" AIM Indian who dared stand up to "legally constituted authority" in defense of his humiliated people, as he was doing with such tragic consequences on that long-ago June day?

In reviewing this case with an open mind, as surely he must in fulfilling his oath of office, Attorney General Eric Holder (the assistant attorney general in 2001) might reflect on his own role in the clemency bestowed by Clinton on Marc Rich, the notorious "fugitive felon." He might consider, too, Rich's consequent evasion of even a single day in prison in the harsh light of the eleven thousand days already served by a penniless American Indian who remains innocent before the law, having never been proven guilty.

Notes
[*]In the Spirit of Crazy Horse (Viking, 1983).

Video: White House Tribal Summit

VIDEOS FROM 11/05/09 D.C. TRIBAL SUMMIT





Raffle

FLUTE RAFFLE

THE LPDOC IS OFFERING ANOTHER RAFFLE!

We are raffling a beautiful cedar wood flute hand crafted by gifted artist Leslie C. Thunder Hawk.

Leslie is an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe from the Rosebud Reservation. Leslie comes from a long line of noted artists. He began making flutes and drums in 1987. The flute is made from airomatic cedar wood or red heart redwood. His own style is very original and his work has been displayed at museums because of the craftsmanship he put into it.The Indians Arts & Crafts Act of 1990 states, a person must be an enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe to label their arts and crafts as Indian made. His work has been in a number of galleries and has been displayed at the U.S. Dept of Interior Sioux Museum in Rapid City, South Dakota, and The Elizabeth M. Watkins Community Museum in Lawrence, Kansas.

Thank you Leslie for giving the gift of tradition.

We ask everyone to please buy a ticket to support our ongoing efforts for Leonard’s freedom.

Raffle tickets are 5.00 for one and 20.00 for five tickets. Please pay through PayPal or through postal service. Include your name, address and phone number.


19 Oct 2009: LPDOC Newsletter

LPDOC 10/19/09 NEWSLETTER

Click Here For Details...


30 Sep 2009: Seitz Interview on Parole Appeal

09/30/09 INTERVIEW WITH PELTIER ATTORNEY REGARDING PAROLE APPEAL

Click Here For Details...


11 Sep 2009: Leonard Responds to Parole Decision


The United States Department of Justice has once again made a mockery of its lofty and pretentious title.

After releasing an original and continuing disciple of death cult leader Charles Manson who attempted to shoot President Gerald Ford, an admitted Croatian terrorist, and another attempted assassin of President Ford under the mandatory 30-year parole law, the U.S. Parole Commission deemed that my release would "promote disrespect for the law."

If only the federal government would have respected its own laws, not to mention the treaties that are, under the U.S. Constitution, the supreme law of the land, I would never have been convicted nor forced to spend more than half my life in captivity. Not to mention the fact that every law in this country was created without the consent of Native peoples and is applied unequally at our expense. If nothing else, my experience should raise serious questions about the FBI's supposed jurisdiction in Indian Country.

The parole commission's phrase was lifted from soon-to-be former U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley, who apparently hopes to ride with the FBI cavalry into the office of North Dakota governor. In this Wrigley is following in the footsteps of William Janklow, who built his political career on his reputation as an Indian fighter, moving on up from tribal attorney (and alleged rapist of a Native minor) to state attorney general, South Dakota governor, and U.S. Congressman. Some might recall that Janklow claimed responsibility for dissuading President Clinton from pardoning me before he was convicted of manslaughter. Janklow's historical predecessor, George Armstrong Custer, similarly hoped that a glorious massacre of the Sioux would propel him to the White House, and we all know what happened to him.

Unlike the barbarians that bay for my blood in the corridors of power, however, Native people are true humanitarians who pray for our enemies. Yet we must be realistic enough to organize for our own freedom and equality as nations. We constitute 5% of the population of North Dakota and 10% of South Dakota and we could utilize that influence to promote our own power on the reservations, where our focus should be. If we organized as a voting bloc, we could defeat the entire premise of the competition between the Dakotas as to which is the most racist. In the 1970s we were forced to take up arms to affirm our right to survival and self-defense, but today the war is one of ideas. We must now stand up to armed oppression and colonization with our bodies and our minds. International law is on our side.

Given the complexion of the three recent federal parolees, it might seem that my greatest crime was being Indian. But the truth is that my gravest offense is my innocence. In Iran, political prisoners are occasionally released if they confess to the ridiculous charges on which they are dragged into court, in order to discredit and intimidate them and other like-minded citizens. The FBI and its mouthpieces have suggested the same, as did the parole commission in 1993, when it ruled that my refusal to confess was grounds for denial of parole.

To claim innocence is to suggest that the government is wrong, if not guilty itself. The American judicial system is set up so that the defendant is not punished for the crime itself, but for refusing to accept whatever plea arrangement is offered and for daring to compel the judicial system to grant the accused the right to right to rebut the charges leveled by the state in an actual trial. Such insolence is punished invariably with prosecution requests for the steepest possible sentence, if not an upward departure from sentencing guidelines that are being gradually discarded, along with the possibility of parole.

As much as non-Natives might hate Indians, we are all in the same boat. To attempt to emulate this system in tribal government is pitiful, to say the least.

It was only this year, in the Troy Davis, case, that the U.S. Supreme Court recognized innocence as a legitimate legal defense. Like the witnesses that were coerced into testifying against me, those that testified against Davis renounced their statements, yet Davis was very nearly put to death. I might have been executed myself by now, had not the government of Canada required a waiver of the death penalty as a condition of extradition.

The old order is aptly represented by Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, who stated in his dissenting opinion in the Davis case, "This Court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who has had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is 'actually' innocent. Quite to the contrary, we have repeatedly left that question unresolved, while expressing considerable doubt that any claim based on alleged 'actual innocence' is constitutionally cognizable."

The esteemed Senator from North Dakota, Byron Dorgan, who is now the chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, used much the same reasoning in writing that "our legal system has found Leonard Peltier guilty of the crime for which he was charged. I have reviewed the material from the trial, and I believe the verdict was fair and just."

It is a bizarre and incomprehensible statement to Natives, as well it should be, that innocence and guilt is a mere legal status, not necessarily rooted in material fact. It is a truism that all political prisoners were convicted of the crimes for which they were charged.

The truth is the government wants me to falsely confess in order to validate a rather sloppy frame-up operation, one whose exposure would open the door to an investigation of the United States' role in training and equipping goon squads to suppress a grassroots movement on Pine Ridge against a puppet dictatorship.

In America, there can by definition be no political prisoners, only those duly judged guilty in a court of law. It is deemed too controversial to even publicly contemplate that the federal government might fabricate and suppress evidence to defeat those deemed political enemies. But it is a demonstrable fact at every stage of my case.

I am Barack Obama's political prisoner now, and I hope and pray that he will adhere to the ideals that impelled him to run for president. But as Obama himself would acknowledge, if we are expecting him to solve our problems, we missed the point of his campaign. Only by organizing in our own communities and pressuring our supposed leaders can we bring about the changes that we all so desperately need. Please support the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee in our effort to hold the United States government to its own words.

I thank you all who have stood by me all these years, but to name anyone would be to exclude many more. We must never lose hope in our struggle for freedom.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,


Leonard Peltier

Time to Act


This is not the time to be quiet, it is time to act - and right now.

CONTACT THE WHITE HOUSE:

Contact President Obama via EMAIL

The website is not the only way to reach the president.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/CONTACT/

You can also call or write to the President:

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414
FAX: 202-456-2461

CONTACT U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER

And ask him to conduct an Executive Review of the case of Leonard Peltier!

U.S. Dept. of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20530-0001
Call (202) 353-1555

Responses to Parole Denial

PELTIER ATTORNEY RESPONSE TO PAROLE DENIAL

The Bush Administration holdovers on the U.S. Parole Commission today adopted the position of the FBI that anyone who may be implicated in the killings of its agents should never be paroled and should be left to die in prison. Despite judicial determinations that the unrepentant FBI fabricated evidence and presented perjured testimony in Leonard Peltier's prosecution; despite a jury's acquittal on grounds of self-defense of two co-defendants who were found to have engaged in the same conduct of which Mr. Peltier was convicted; despite Mr. Peltier's exemplary record during his incarceration for more than 33 years and his clearly demonstrated eligibility for parole; despite letters and petitions calling for his release submitted by millions of people in this country and around the world including one of the judges who ruled on his earlier appeals; and despite his advanced age and deteriorating health, the Parole Commission today informed Mr. Peltier that his "release on parole would depreciate the seriousness of your offenses and would promote disrespect for the law," and set a reconsideration hearing in July 2024. This is the extreme action of the same law enforcement community that brought us the indefinite imprisonment of suspected teenage terrorists, tortures, and killings in CIA prisons around the world and promoted widespread disrespect for the democratic concepts of justice upon which this country supposedly was founded. These are the same institutions that have never treated indigenous peoples with dignity or respect or accepted any responsibility for centuries of intolerence and abuse. At his parole hearing on July 28th, Leonard Peltier expressed regret and accepted responsibility for his role in the incident in which the two FBI agents and one Native American activist died as the result of a shootout on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Mr. Peltier emphasized that the shootout occurred in circumstances where there literally was a war going on between corrupt tribal leaders, supported by the government, on the one hand, and Native American traditionalists and young activists on the other. He again denied -- as he has always denied -- that he intended the deaths of anyone or that he fired the fatal shots that killed the two agents, and he reminded the hearing officer that one of his former co-defendants recently admitted to having fired the fatal shots, himself. Accordingly, it is not true that Leonard Peltier participated in "the execution style murders of two FBI agents," as the Parole Commission asserts, and there never has been credible evidence of Mr. Peltier's responsibility for the fatal shots as the FBI continues to allege. Moreover, given the corrupt practices of the FBI, itself, it is entirely untrue that Leonard Peltier's parole at this juncture will in any way "depreciate the seriousness" of his conduct and/or "promote disrespect for the law." We will continue to seek parole and clemency for Mr. Peltier and to eventually bring this prolonged injustice to a prompt and fair resolution.

READ THE AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL STATEMENT ON PAROLE DENIAL


Eric Seitz on the Parole Decision

PELTIER ATTORNEY on "Democracy Now" Radio


Eric Seitz discusses the Peltier parole decision...scroll to the last 14 minutes of the show to listen...


Eric Seitz Interview


Parole Decision

PELTIER SUPPORTERS COMMENTS ON PAROLE DECISION

Arthur H. Bremer shot Wallace during a presidential campaign stop in Laurel, Md. Spokesman Mark A. Vernarelli said Bremer left the prison before sunrise Friday after serving 35 years of his sentence.Hinkley, the man who tried to kill President Ronald Reagan is now allowed to visit his mother more, to get a driver’s license and spend more time away from the mental hospital where he lives.Lindsey Fromme. who pointed a gun at President Gerald Ford…

Credits: 8/15/09 in First Nation...Homeless on the High Desert

08/16/09 ARTICLE BY THOMAS TEN BEARS WARE...

"LEONARD PELTIER'S PAROLE HEARING UPDATE"

Click Here


Peltier Interviews

8/11/09 PHONE INTERVIEW WITH LEONARD PELTIER!

First Interview

Second Interview


Parole Update

We are receiving an outpouring of support from around the world, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu... Click here to read Archbishop Tutu's letter (PDF).

THANK YOU for getting the word out, please continue your efforts!


How You Can Help

HERE ARE SOME OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP LEONARD!

  • Call The White House Comment Line (202-456-1111 and 202-456-1112); If it's busy, we have been provided another option. You can call the main White House line, which is 202-456-1414 which will get you into the system, and you'll be prompted to indicate that you want the comment line. Even though you'll probably be on hold for a few minutes, at least you will be able to leave your comment.

  • Please hold something in your own area - even if its just you and a sign at a coffee house. Or host a "Lunch with Leonard" - stand at a busy and safe corner over the lunch hour with signs that support Leonard. People will ask you about it and you"ll have an opportunity to share.

In the News: Peltier Parole Hearing

Lewisburg Parole Vigil


VIGIL AT LEWISBURG

Video of Eric Seitz, Leonard's Attorney

PICTURES AT LEWISBURG...

View image set 1 [PDF format]

View image set 2 [PDF format]

Credits: Melinda Rose, Documentary Photogragher (www.melindarose.com)


Phoenix Parole Vigil

VIGIL IN PHOENIX

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28 Jul 2009: SF Parole Vigil

San Francisco Vigil 07/28/09

Click Here for Audio & Pics


25 Jun 2009: Letter from Leonard Peltier


Greetings my friends and relatives,

I want to start off this statement or speech or whatever you want to call it by saying again as I've said before thank you thank you thank you from the bottom of my heart for supporting me and for standing up for right wherever you are. I can't express to you in words how extremely grateful I am not just to the people of America but to the people all over the world who have supported the cause of Indian people and myself.

I know a lot of you have given up a lot to help so many in my predicament. Daily I am made aware of political prisoners around the world. Many who have been killed or tortured or who knows what for trying to right the wrongs in their area, country or nation. I have been asked to make statements in support of other movement people around the world from time to time, South America, Europe and other places. People who love freedom, people who love the earth, people who love their family, people who love the freedom to make their own choice with their own resources, and all indigenous people- we share a common bond. The bond of brother and sister-hood, the bond of believing there is a greater power than ourselves. And I don't mean some government power; I mean the greatest power in all the universe the Creator Himself.

We also as human beings upon this earth have to recognize that there have always been those who suffer from an illness called greed. They have an appetite for gaining material wealth that is never satisfied. They have an appetite for land that is never satisfied. And the most common symptom of their illness is indifference to the suffering they cause with their quest.

These people are the ones that have identified themselves as our common enemy. It is so terrible that under the guise of religion and shouting freedom they pit one people against another. This isn't something new. All down through history it has taken place. All down through history there have been men, spiritual men, holy men, great thinkers and philosophers who have tried to unite us against this common enemy.

Today my brothers and sisters I want you to know that if nothing else if we don't unite against the destruction against the Mother Earth we will have a common future that is void of clean air, clean water, and basic freedoms.

We must reach our hands out to embrace others to the cause of life. We must do our best from where ever we are with whatever tools available to enhance and further our quality of life. We must find a way to break down the barriers that divide one people from another. We must find the things we have in common and find ways to solve our differences as basic humanity. We must evolve to a higher level of thinking or to as you might say a traditional level of thinking which obviously is superior to what they call progress today. Our traditional values taught us to live in harmony with Earth the greatest manifestation of the Creator that we have to relate to.

Our traditions taught us to respect our bodies the greatest gift we have or possess as an individual. Our traditions taught us to preserve the environment for our children and all our future generations. As a member of the American Indian Movement these values are what we were about. Poverty isn't solved by money poverty is solved by attitude. The problems we have today among all our people are caused by attitude. They are caused by an attitude that was given to us in boarding schools and on reservations that were nothing more than concentration camps in the past. They are attitudes by people who came to us talking to us about God and wanting us to embrace their version of religion and as one brother said once, "They told us to bow our heads, and when we looked up our land was gone, our culture was gone, our children was gone, our way of life was gone." And now the air itself is dwindling.

I have been in this cage for some 34 years and though I have been caged I have sought the spirit in prayer of our brother the eagle, I have sought to have an overview of things for as anyone can see I don't have the freedom to examine life from a close perspective. And from this distant view, abstract view, this detached view, at times I get to see the destruction and divisiveness that these political powers that have scattered us for so long have involved themselves in promoting among our people. I don't know if it is because I am older now or because my future is so uncertain or if through some spiritual inspiration I deeply want to say so much. I deeply want to move you to do something to save our earth and our children and our children's future. I didn't get to raise my children; I haven't got to really know them or my children's children. I may never get to, but I love them all just the same. And I love life as much as anyone on the outside. And I don't know how long I will walk this cage. Some days I feel quite healthy and energized and some days I feel like the 64 year old man that I am. I'm always hopeful that I will be free at some point, perhaps in the latter part of July after my parole hearing, and perhaps I won't. The people that hold me, the FBI and the conglomerate corporations that have for so long controlled the resources of this country and others and for so long have done their best to stifle, to denigrate, and to vilify the voice of the oppressed are some of the most formidable well funded political people on Earth. I was told that the FBI themselves are some 10,000 strong.

I am but a common man, I am not a speaker but I have spoken. I am not all that tall but I have stood up. I am not a philosopher or poet or a singer or any of those things that particularly inspire people but the one thing that I am is the evidence that this country lied when they said there was justice for all. I am the evidence that they lied when they extradited me from Canada. I am the evidence that they can lie at your trial, they can manufacture evidence at your trial, they can intimidate witnesses at your trial, they can have back room conversations and agreements with the judge at your trial. I am the evidence that the attitude, the powers that be still hold us in a grip. They hold us in an emotional grip. They hold us in a poverty grip. They hold us in a cultural deprivation grip. I could go on and on about the things that go on that weigh so heavily against our people but the bottom line is my case is well documented by court after court after court, by hearing after hearing after hearing, by statement after statement after statement. And we as a people are the evidence that this country fails to keep its treaties, this country fails to keep its word. This country has failed to follow its own Constitution - the treaty between the people and the government. We are that evidence. I am nothing more than evidence. That is why people all over the world and here at home have supported the cause of justice in my case. In my particular situation I can't say that there will ever be any level of justice.

They cannot give back the 34 years of life that have been taken from me. They can not give back the life of Joe Stuntz that they took June 26th 1975. They cannot give back the lives of the 60 something people that they directly or indirectly caused the death of. They cannot give back the thousand upon thousands of Indian people that were killed and abused since the inception of this government. But the one thing we can do, we must do, is find a way to change their attitude. My brother Leonard Crow Dog once said, "If you want to change the white man you have to change his religion." And religion is a word that means how you do something on a regular basis; most generally it is associated with your spirituality. Perhaps with global warming as it is and the changes in the weather patterns and the questionable future that faces the earth, they will start to listen. Maybe they will reach back and embrace the words of our people foretold again and again. We must live the way that the Earth will renew itself every spring. We must help them reach back. We must speak to them at every opportunity. We must make an effort to reach back ourselves to our own cultural values. And in doing so we can start to solve the many destructive challenges we face.

We must more than ever before find a way to heal the wounds of our children and prevent the social illnesses that are so prevalent across our reservations and communities. We have the tools, we have the teachings, we have the philosophies, we have the culture, we have the artists, we have the singers, we have the philosophers, I could go on and on but in essence what I am trying to say is it is imperative that we bring together all our resources to enhance the future for our children in a way that they themselves can further the healthy teachings of our culture and way of life; and in doing so I have no doubt that we can change the world.

If I am freed next month or if I die in prison remember my words and remember we are evidence that the Creator made a beautiful people a people that respected the Earth and nature and each other. We are evidence on every level of goodness that when the Creator made us He meant for us to be free. All our traditions have taught us this way. And even this very form of government that exists today was copied from our people. Our people with our foods, our medicines, belief in freedom and right to choose have influenced the world. Its too bad they didn't adopt a healthy attitude that we had toward the Earth or an attitude of respect for us the first keepers of this portion of the Earth. If there is something about me that this government can point at and say is wrong or any person say is wrong I will by my own choice, if it proves to be fact, seek to fix it myself. But I also want to remind them the policies that have been in place for so long have made us what we are today. The policies that have been in place for so long, have created another reservation called Iraq and another reservation called Afghanistan, and the list goes on and on, you see what's happening over there is what happened here and all down through North and South America.

I am just a common man and I am evidence that the powers that put me here would like to sweep under the carpet. The same way they did all of our past leaders, warriors and people they massacred. Just as at Wounded Knee the Fifth Cavalry sought its revenge for Custer's loss and massacred some 300 Indian men women and children then gave out 23 Medals of Honor and swept the evidence of their wrongdoing aside. Perhaps this statement is somewhat more lengthy than the others I've made; perhaps it is some things I should have said before and perhaps more, if so I hope you will forgive me. I recently was thought to be having a heart attack because of pain in my chest. After having been beaten and kicked and stomped in the last year, I am not quite sure what was causing the pain. I had never been beaten, kicked and stomped like that before. And also I have never been 64 years old before. The one thing all this did for me is it really brought home my sense of mortality. I don't want to spend the rest of my life in this prison. And I don't want you to spend the rest of your life in some prison of the mind, heart or attitude. I want you to enjoy your life.

If nothing else give somebody a hug for me and say, "This is from Leonard."

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,


Leonard Peltier