Call to Action: UN Universal Periodic Review to assess U.S. compliance with human rights obligations
The United States is a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) and will be reviewed for the first time this year by the HRC's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process in November 2010. Under the UPR all 192 UN member States (countries) are reviewed every 4 years to assess compliance with their obligations to respect and implement human rights for all. The review is based on each country's national report as well as independent submissions from "civil society stakeholders," including Indigenous Peoples.
The Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee is participating in the national report in a number of different ways, but we can't be in all places at one time. Therefore, we're asking supporters to attend the U.S. State Department's "listening sessions" around the country and speak up on Leonard's behalf. While five sessions have already occurred, there are still five locations where sessions will occur during the next several weeks. These are unique opportunities to bring attention to Leonard's case and the human rights violations to which he has been subjected by the U.S. government.
-- El Paso, TX, on March 8-9; Location: Camino Real Hotel
-- Birmingham, AL, on March 11-12, Location: Miles College
-- New Mexico, on March 16 and 17; Locations: UNM Law School (16th); Window Rock, Navajo Nation (17th). The NM sessions have been planned specifically for Indigenous Peoples and Nations, to receive input for its national report. Focus themes for the Albuquerque session will include Sovereignty and Self Determination, Nation to Nation Relations, Lands, Territories and Natural Resources, Treaty Rights and Sacred Sites among others.
-- Chicago, IL, Date TBC, Location: TBC
-- San Francisco, CA, on March 25-26, Location TBC (USF Law School and/or Boalt Hall, UC Berkeley)
Although these cities have been confirmed, in some cases the meeting sites and/or local contact organizations are still being worked out with the onsite hosts and Coordinating Committees. The best contact at this time for specific information about the rest of these listening sessions and who you can contact for more information about participation is Sarah Paoletti, Senior Coordinator for the US Human Rights Network UPR Project. She can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact Laura Baum, USHRN Staff Coordinator at email@example.com.
A word from Leonard: He's pleased that supporters are stepping up to speak on his behalf this way. He thanks you and asks only that you do your homework. It's imperative that you relay complete and accurate information.
If you need assistance with preparing your statement for a session, contact us. We'll be happy to brainstorm with you. Otherwise, we recommend that you use "In the Spirit of Crazy Horse" by Peter Matthiessen as your source material.
Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee
PO Box 7488 - Fargo, ND 58106
(701) 235-2206 (Phone); (701) 235-5045 (Fax)