Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Arvol Looking Horse speaks on White Buffalo Prophecy

Chief Arvol Looking Horse speaks on the White Buffalo Prophecy, of the time of change that mankind is now experiencing. The appearance of the white buffalo is a blessing and a warning on climate change and other changes. Chief Looking Horse calls for a spiritual unity and respect for the way of life.

Chief Arvol Looking Horse, 19th generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe. The leader of the Lakota Dakota Nakota Oyate, the great Sioux nation, is a man with a vision.



A Great Urgency: To All World Religious and Spiritual Leaders

My Relatives,

Time has come to speak to the hearts of our Nations and their Leaders. I ask you this from the bottom of my heart, to come together from the Spirit of your Nations in prayer.

We, from the heart of Turtle Island, have a great message for the World; we are guided to speak from all the White Animals showing their sacred color, which have been signs for us to pray for the sacred life of all things.

The dangers we are faced with at this time are not of spirit, mistakes that we cannot afford to continue to make.

I asked, as Spiritual Leaders, that we join together, united in prayer with the whole of our Global Communities. My concern is these serious issues will continue to worsen, as a domino effect that our Ancestors have warned us of in their Prophecies.

I know in my heart there are millions of people that feel our united prayers for the sake of our Grandmother Earth are long overdue. I believe we as Spiritual people must gather ourselves and focus our thoughts and prayers to allow the healing of the many wounds that have been inflicted on the Earth.

As we honor the Cycle of Life, let us call for Prayer circles globally to assist in healing Grandmother Earth (our Unc¹I Maka), and that we may also seek to live in harmony, as we make the choice to change the destructive path we are on.

As we pray, we will fully understand that we are all connected. And that what we create can have lasting effects on all life.

So let us unite spiritually, All Nations, All Faiths, One Prayer. Along with this immediate effort, I also ask to please remember World Peace and Prayer Day/ Honoring Sacred Sites day. Whether it is a natural site, a temple, a church, a synagogue or just your own sacred space, let us make a prayer for all life, for good decision making by our Nations, for our children¹s future and well-being, and the generations to come.

Onipikte (that we shall live),

Chief Arvol Looking Horse sees a great danger threatening "Grandmother Earth" and a great hope for restoring her wholeness. So he is calling all nations to prayer of any kind in an effort to return the planet to balance, the people to spirit. I asked him why this path is the right path to take. "A man or a woman without spirit is very dangerous," Looking Horse explained in a recent phone interview. According to this Sioux chief, the absence of spirit is causing suffering everywhere. "We are in a time of survival," he said. "But we don't want to believe it because we have forgotten our spirits. We have forgotten that Grandmother Earth has a spirit." Disconnected souls are hurting others without even knowing they are hurting others." Those being hurt include animals, trees and waterways. The Sioux have an inclusive worldview, but it was not shared by the transplanted Europeans who undertook genocide on Indian land, culminating in the Wounded Knee massacre of 1890. That final brutality broke the "hoop" binding Indians together; however, Sioux prophecy foretold that in a hundred years the people would be reunited. Although surviving tribe members and their descendants were stripped of religious freedoms (returned to them only 32 year ago by the U.S. government), the rituals were kept and the prophecy not forgotten. So the Sioux nations set out on horseback to "mend the broken hoop" of their nation in 1986 at a sacred site known to non-Indians as Devils Tower or the Great Horn Butte; their ritual went on for four years and concluded in 1990, 100 years after Wounded Knee. During the course of that long ritual, Looking Horse was surprised by a vision that came to him of peace and unity that included not only the Indian nations but all the nations of the world, each gathering with ritual plants around sacred fires on every continent. The Sioux chief felt called to oversee a much broader mending. But who was going to listen even to the chief of a people largely ignored in the country where they lived? "It's everyday life for us that we hold Grandmother Earth sacred, we hold the trees and the plants, everything has a spirit. We need people to be really respectful for each other. The Great Spirit put us here all together. If we're going to survive, we need to have spirit and compassion. We're asking people to go to their sacred places or sacred spaces to pray." "Sioux Indian chief calls all nations to action on June 21" by Juliane Poirier
Music gifted by Tony Gerber

Forum recalls Native American occupation of Mount Rushmore

James Swan takes part in a drum circle while singing a song praising Leonard Peltier at the Tribal Sovereignty Forum at Mount Rushmore on Sunday, August 29, 2010. (Aaron Rosenblatt/Rapid City Journal).

Forty years ago, a group of Native American activists occupied Mount Rushmore for three months as a way to draw attention to the myriad problems facing Indian people in the United States. Yesterday, a reunion by some of the original participants recalled that time, and looked ahead to dealing with the problems that remain. The Rapid City Journal’s Jomay Steen has the story:

MOUNT RUSHMORE NATIONAL MEMORIAL — “Today is a lesson in history,” Robert Cook, former president of the National Indian Education Association, said Sunday at Mount Rushmore.

“It feels good that we had people who stood up and risked being arrested, losing their freedom at a place that represents freedom,” Cook said, recalling a group of Native American activists who protested and held a three-month-long occupation of the memorial 40 years ago, bringing national attention to Native issues. It wasn’t done on a whim, Cook said, but involved courage to stand up for their beliefs.

A group of the California-based United Native Americans climbed to the top of Mount Rushmore 40 years ago and began a their occupation to educate the nation about Native tribal sovereignty, treaty rights and poverty.

On Sunday, some of the original activists, their children and grandchildren gathered to commemorate the day that the group first scaled the mountain and to revisit those issues that still plague the people living on reservations in South Dakota.

Marlyce Miner of Rapid City was there Sunday. She had worked as a clerk in the gift shop, one of the only Native Americans working at Rushmore, when the occupation began. She watched as the activists abandoned their picket lines to scale Mount Rushmore as a political statement about disputed land claims to the Black Hills.

“They made people aware of Native issues in South Dakota. It all started a movement,” Miner said.

Quanah Parker Brightman began the day-long forum Sunday by singing the flag song and burning sage to purify the participants.

“It had not been since the Battle of the Little Big Horn, when we wiped out Gen. George Armstrong Custer, that we stood up again as a nation,” he said of the takeover of Mount Rushmore in 1970.

The occupation brought national media coverage of the non-compliance of treaty rights, suppression of Native religious ceremonies, the stealing of the sacred Black Hills and a lack of justice for Native Americans, he said.

“We were giving talks down at the amphitheater, while up in the gift shop, they were selling postcards of our dead at Wounded Knee,” he said.

His father, Lehman Brightman, a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, was an education doctoral candidate at University of California-Berkeley. The 80-year-old retired professor has worked as an activist throughout his life, participating in the occupations of Mount Rushmore, Alcatraz, Wounded Knee in 1973 and countless demonstrations throughout California.

Brightman had chartered a bus and brought students to the state to protest discrimination and the wrongs being done to the Lakota at that time, according to Gay Kingman, executive director of the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association.

“He believed in getting the Black Hills back for the people. He wanted to make a statement about that. It was one of the reasons he went up to the top of Mount Rushmore,” Kingman said.

Forty years later, she said, they have changed methods – holding a tribal sovereignty forum instead of a protest and working toward education about the ongoing effort to get land returned to the tribes rather than an occupation.

“The thing I thought that they did well was that they brought attention to the plight of the Lakota people,” Marcella Le Beau, 90, of Eagle Butte said. “I think they achieved that today.”

Friday, August 27, 2010

Q&A: In the Spirit of Crazy Horse

I know Leonard Peltier. I respect this man. When he lived here with us, he waked in the morning, he took part in spiritual ceremonies. He was sincerely committed to the land, to our unborn generations, and to the hope that all tribes will be united. He worked for his people -- not just for AIM, but for everyone who believes in the spiritual way. - Chief Leonard Crow Dog

Why "In the Spirit of Crazy Horse"?

Crazy Horse (Tashunka Witko), known among his People as a farsighted chief, is said to have stated his strong ties to his people and the land he loved by the quote, “One does not sell the earth upon which the people walk.” This is a quote still in use today with regard to the stewardship by the Lakota of the sacred Black Hills.

Consider the following:

“Before the Battle of the Rosebud on June 17, 1876, Crazy Horse tied his weapons and gear to his horse. He took one of his lances and jammed it point first into the earth. He swung onto his horse and headed to the east opening of the great circle of lodges, riding one horse and leading the other. There he turned right and slowly, silently began to circle the large encampment. Men hurried to join him as he continued around the outer edge of the camp. By the time he reached the opening again, a line of riders were strung out behind him. As he finished the second turn around the encampment and began the third, the old ones watching realized what Crazy Horse was doing… he had invoked the ancient ritual of Wica Mnaiciyapi, “Gathering the Warriors,” a ritual that had last been done eleven years before. Word spread quickly as more and more men joined the growing procession. It seemed as though everyone in camp stopped whatever they were doing to watch. Women began to sing the Strong Heart songs to encourage their fighting men. Elders took their grandchildren by the hand to witness the extraordinary event and so that the memory of it would live in the hearts of the next generations. As the fourth and final turn around the encampment began, it was difficult to see where the procession of fighting men started and where it ended. It encircled the entire camp. Drums pounded throughout the camp like the heartbeat of the land itself. As he finished the fourth turn, Crazy Horse pointed his horses south and the great procession followed, feathers and banners streaming, the very image of strength and invincibility.” (Marshall, Joseph. The Journey of Crazy Horse. New York: Viking Penguin, 2004.)

While it's true he was a great general who led his people in a war against the invasion of their homeland by the white man, Crazy Horse was much more.

Due to his outstanding leadership skills, Crazy Horse was one of the youngest Lakota men in memory to receive one of the highest honors and responsibilities accorded to males: the title of Shirtwearer. As such, Crazy Horse put others before himself. Throughout his life, he remained committed to safeguarding the tradition and principles of the Lakota way of life. This is why Crazy Horse is so admired by Indigenous Peoples and many seek to live as he lived.

Peltier is Crazy Horse... This man, Leonard Peltier, is a First Nations relation that was protecting the unborn generations and the elders of the tribes in what we call America. - Chief Leonard Crow Dog
In the Spirit...

Each of us must be Crazy Horse.






Thursday, August 26, 2010

Speak Up for the Cultural Rights of First Nations

The Universal Declaration of Human RightsImage by speakingoffaith via Flickr It is time for us to make our voices heard at the United Nations.

The Testify Project collects stories of injustice from throughout the United States through one-minute video and one-page written testimony. The top videos and stories will be screened for United Nations delegates in Geneva, Switzerland, in preparation for the United States’ Universal Periodic Review.

Today, we were informed that videos and written testimony submitted, to date, haven't addressed issues such as the American prison population and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

In addition, the report on human rights submitted to the UN on 20 August by the U.S. Department of State failed to address the U.S. abuse of prisoner rights and completely ignored many of the issues raised by Indigenous Peoples at the listening sessions hosted by the State Department earlier this year. Although highlighted by all Indigenous Peoples who participated at the listening sessions, for example, no mention was made with regard to religious rights and the protection of Sacred Places.

We cannot -- MUST NOT -- let this stand.

CALL TO ACTION

On 05 November, at the UN (Geneva, Switzerland), Secretary of State Clinton and Attorney General Holder will formally present the report on human rights on behalf of the United States. Are you going to count on them to tell YOUR story?

Write a one-page testimony about human rights abuses in your community and send your testimony to testify@ushrnetwork.org.

Submit a video to the Testify Project. For instructions, visit http://ushrnetwork.org/testify/?page_id=92.

Don't wait. Do it today. Tell UN delegates the REAL deal about human rights in the United States!



Wednesday, August 25, 2010

New Report: Prosecutorial Misconduct and Wrongful Convictions

Prosecutorial misconduct is a leading cause of wrongful conviction, and a new Innocence Project report released today provides evidence that appeals courts in the U.S. do not effectively identify and overturn these injustices.

Although countless instances of misconduct never come to light, the Innocence Project review found that 65 of the first 255 DNA exonerees raised allegations of prosecutorial misconduct in their appeals or in civil suits filed after exoneration. In about half of those cases, courts found either error or misconduct by prosecutors, but judges only found "harmful error" - enough to overturn a conviction - in 12 cases.

The rate of harmful error findings (18%) in wrongful conviction cases is nearly identical to the rate found in a much broader universe of cases examined in a 2003 study by the Center for Public Integrity. These cases weren't innocence cases (meaning they hadn't been overturned based on evidence of innocence), but the courts found harmful error by prosecutors in 17.6% of cases.

Based on this result, the new Innocence Project report finds that "innocent persons raising claims of misconduct on appeal are not much more likely to find relief than presumed guilty persons raising similar claims-a suggestion that raises questions about the ability of the appellate process to correct wrongful convictions."Among the findings in the new Innocence Project report are:

- Sixty-five of the first 255 DNA exoneration cases involved appeals and/or civil lawsuits alleging prosecutorial misconduct.

- In nearly half of those 65 cases, courts found prosecutorial misconduct or error.

- In 18% of the prosecutorial misconduct claims in wrongful conviction cases, courts overturned convictions or found harmful error

- a rate nearly identical to harmful error findings in a larger study of misconduct allegations, including thousands of cases where defendants did not claim innocence.

- Improper argument at trial and withheld evidence of innocence were the forms of misconduct alleged most commonly by wrongfully convicted defendants.

Read the full report here. (PDF)

Letters to the President: An FYI for Peltier Supporters

Every day, President Obama reads ten letters from the public in order to stay in tune with America's issues and concerns. "Letters to the President" is an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the process of how those ten letters make it to the President's desk from among the tens of thousands of letters, faxes, and e-mails that flood the White House each day.

Monday, August 23, 2010

US Submission for the UN Universal Periodic Review

The U.S. Department of State just issued its report to the United Nations for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). You can download the report here:

http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/146379.pdf.

Review the document thoroughly. If you feel you can refute any portion of the report, we encourage you to do so--in particular, in all your contacts with non-governmental organizations and Nation states (embassies) that participate in the UPR and will be involved with the oral presentation by the U.S. and Q&As in Geneva, Switzerland, on 05 November 2010.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Wrongful Conviction of Leonard Peltier: It's OK to be wrong

An interview with Innocence Project Co-Director Peter Neufeld at Slate.com explores the causes of wrongful convictions and the reluctance of some police and prosecutors to admit errors. Neufeld tells interviewer Kathryn Schulz:
If a prosecutor or a detective is totally unable to admit they’re wrong in one case, what that tells you is that they will be making dozens and dozens more erroneous decisions, because they’re not allowing new information to affect
their views…. I think generally speaking it’s difficult for people to admit they’re wrong, and the higher the stakes, the more difficult it becomes. So what you really want to do is educate people that it’s OK to be wrong. It doesn’t mean you’re a fool. It’s not going to be the end of your life.
Read the full Q&A here.

Other quotes:
The primary cause [of wrongful conviction] is mistaken identification. Actually, I wouldn't call it mistaken identification; I'd call it misidentification, because you often find that there was some sort of misconduct by the police. In a lot of cases, the victim initially wasn't so sure. And then the police say, "Oh, no, you got the right guy. In fact, we think he's done two others that we just couldn't get him for." Or: "Yup, that's who we thought it was all along, great call."

The second most common cause [of wrongful conviction] is the misuse of forensic science other than DNA. In most of our cases, DNA [identification] didn't exist at the time of the conviction, so prosecutors relied on other types of forensic science. It could be serology, which was the old A/B/O blood typing. It could be bite marks. It could be fingerprints. It could be other forensic disciplines: tire marks, shoe print comparisons, fiber comparisons [, ballistics]. None of these is bulletproof—some of them aren't even credible—so we see a lot of wrongful convictions stemming from those.

And there are several other very common causes as well. You have police and prosecutor misconduct. You have incompetent defense attorneys. You have jailhouse snitches, who as you can imagine are not the most reliable sources. And you have false confessions. Twenty-five percent of wrongful convictions involve false confessions. Most people can't imagine why anyone would ever confess to a crime they didn't commit, unless they were beaten into it. But these people weren't beaten. They wouldn't even meet the legal definition of coercion. It's just that the [interrogation] methods that are effective for getting confessions from guilty persons are so powerful that they net innocent people as well—particularly innocent people who are juveniles or have some kind of intellectual impairment or mental health problem.

I think what happens is that prosecutors and police think they've got the right guy, and consequently they think it's OK to cut corners or control the game a little bit to make sure he's convicted. The thinking goes, "God forbid a guilty guy go free because of smart lawyering by the defense" or what have you. They're so convinced that they are right that they feel exempt from behaving right. They don't realize that it's wrong to be unethical. And not just because it could convict an innocent person. It's simply wrong to be unethical.



Sunday, August 15, 2010

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Seattle: Peltier Must Go Free

On Friday, August 13, the 3rd Circuit Common Law Court convened in Seattle, WA, to hear evidence in the Peltier case. This action on the part of activists in Seattle demonstrates that Peltier enjoys support from across the entire political spectrum. As we have said before, Peltier's case isn't a matter of left vs. right, but of right vs. wrong. Regardless of one's politics, upon hearing all the facts of the Peltier case, people most often conclude that Peltier's case is fraught with injustices and that Peltier's conviction should not be allowed to stand.

The issue addressed at Friday's hearing was whether or not Peltier's civil rights have been violated. Presided over by Chief Justice Patricia Johnson-Holm Shupe, the jury decided that Peltier's rights have been violated and he should be immediately released. The jury also decided to proceed with the Grand Jury to bring indictments on multiple charges against those who violated Peltier's civil rights.

Caveat: Federal and state governments do NOT recognize common law courts. However, do you agree that the courts, politicians, and government officials have followed the tenets of the U.S. Constitution when it comes to the case of Leonard Peltier? If you don't, then demand that the officers of the courts, politicians, and government officials uphold their oath to defend the Constitution. Let your voice be heard. (And don't be afraid of being called "silly" by Ed Woods, the former FBI agent who runs the No Parole for Peltier Association. He is one of those folks who took an oath to defend the Constitution. Nice to know he thinks that responsibility -- everyone's civic responsibility -- is "silly". That kinda tells the tale, doesn't it?)

We'll share more information on the findings of the jury as it becomes available.

Common law activists argue that "common law" is independent of other legal systems, rather than all being part of a whole. According to common law doctrine, the common law originated in the Middle Ages to protect property rights. The American Revolution destroyed allegiance to the British crown, but kept common law rights of property. This situation made every man "sovereign" over his own property. Neither Congress nor state legislatures nor county or city ordinance nor judicial ruling by any courts could deprive people of their common law rights and grievances were to be settled by common law juries which decided the facts and the law of the case.

Reading List

Have You Thought of Leonard Peltier Lately? by Harvey Arden
In the Spirit of Crazy Horse by Peter Matthiessen
Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance by Leonard Peltier
The Trial of Leonard Peltier by Jim Messerschmidt

Thursday, August 12, 2010

September is Peltier Month: Attend an Event Near You

September Calendar of Peltier Events


September 12

Celebrating Leonard Peltier
34 Years of Standing Strong

Honor Leonard Peltier for his 66th birthday
Help build the movement to bring about
Leonard's release from prison.

American Indian Education Center (AIEC)
749 Story Rd. (at Remillard)
San Jose, CA 95122

Program:

-- Update on Leonard Peltier
-- Statement by Leonard Peltier
-- Sign birthday cards to Leonard
-- Join us for a birthday meal & cake

Save the date! Bring your family & friends!

Sponsored by LPDOC Chapter - Silicon Valley, CA, USA. For more information, contact Donna (h) 408-293-4774 or (cell) 408-569-6608; also email: FreeLeonardPeltier@hotmail.com.

---

Berkeley, CA: Peltier birthday event @ La Pena Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA‎ - (510) 849-2568‎ - from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m. Sponsored by AIM-WEST and the LPDOC Chapter - Northern California, USA. For more information: http://aimwest.info/.

---

Albuquerque, NM: Birthday Party for Leonard Peltier sponsored by the Jericho Chapter of Albuquerque and the LPDOC Chapter - Albuquerque, NM, USA. 5:00 to 9:00 pm. @ Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice, 202 Harvard, SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106.

It's a Potluck! Bring a dish to share and your "spare" coins for Leonard's commissary account.

Contact Paulette D'auteuil at albq.jericho@gmail.com or Peter Clark at lpsupport@whoisleonardpeltier.info for more information.


September 20-28

Bergen Community College, Paramus, NJ, and the LPDOC Chapter - Toms River, NJ, USA Present: Native American Heritage Week and Intertribal Pow Wow

Speakers:

Sep 20 - Clyde Bellecourt, Co-Founder, AIM
Sep 21 - Bill Means, International Indian Treaty Council
Sep 22 - Bruce Ellison, Leonard Peltier Legal Team
Sep 23 - Chief Duane Perry, Ramapough Lenape Nation
Sep 24 - V. Blackhawk Aamodt, Film Maker, The Ghost Riders

Pow Wow on 24-25 Sep 2010

For information, contact Raymond Rubiano, LPDOC Chapter -Toms River, NJ, USA at 732-644-1682 or Ray@allamericancrow.com.

More announcements to come or visit our Calendar of Events.






Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Call to Action: Support COINTELPRO Political Prisoners, Prisoners of War, and Exiles

DISTRIBUTE WIDELY! ENDORSEMENTS NEEDED!

Efia Nwangaza, Co-Author UN Reports on COINTELPRO/Civil Rights Era Political Prisoners, Prisoners of War, and Exiles (PP/POW/Exiles), State Repression

On November 5, 2010, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Attorney General Eric Holder will represent the United States in its first human rights compliance assessment by the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group of the United Nations Human Rights Council. The review will be a public, interactive dialogue between Clinton and Holder and member and observer States of the Council based on reports submitted by the U.S. government, the UN's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and individual and organizational U.S. stakeholders. The Working Group, sits in Geneva and is composed of 47 regional member States (countries) of the Human Rights Council.

At the end of the review, the Working Group adopts an outcome document with recommendations. It is subsequently considered and adopted by the Human Rights Council at a later session. The United States will indicate which recommendations it supports or accepts and these, among other things, become the basis for future evaluations. Under the auspices of the U.S. Human Rights Network's UPR Project, COINTELPRO/Civil Rights Era Political Prisoners, Prisoners of War, Exiles and Domestic Repression, among other issues, has been submitted for the United States' examination.

Unlike the Bush administration which walked out of the 2001 UN World Conference Against Racism (WCAR) and Obama's failure to appear at the 2009 WCAR Review, the U.S. will be present with cabinet level representation for its UPR review. Hillary Clinton and Eric Holder's presence suggests that the Obama Administration sees the UPR as a useful forum in which to advance its global charm offensive. Clinton, "elevating the role of diplomacy along with defense" in foreign relations abroad, and Holder, symbolizing the embodiment of human rights enforcement at home, will attempt to maintain the myth of the U.S. as human rights standard bearer. On one hand lecturing African governments about corruption rather than acknowledging the continuing impact of colonialism and, on the other, holding a 3 day "Young African Leaders Forum" at the White House challenging them to "bring change to their countries by standing up for freedom, openess, and peaceful disagreement."

Both Clinton and Holder have dealt with the issues of political prisoners and state repression before. Holder, as assistant attorney general under Bill Clinton, processed the well deserved commutation of the sentences of 16 FALN (Puerto Rican Independistas) and 2 North American Anti-imperialists. Hillary Clinton, running for U.S. Senate from New York, intially then later withdrew her support for their commutations. Although it continues to hold political prisoners, the Obama Administration chided Cuba for its agreement to release 50 "dissidents," "expressed concern over government repression" in Sudan, Zimbabwe, and North Korea, demanded an investigation of Scotland's humanitarian release of Libya's Abdelbaset Magrahi (so-called Lockerbie bomber), privatized U.S. prisons and allocated funds for "more humane" Afghan and Pakastani prisons to reduce "radicalization" of internees, and continued the Bush adminstration policy of withholding court ordered documents, and crack downs on whistle blowers and journalist.

As the United States attempts to re-brand itself, we must seize the moment to expose its continuing human rights violation, wrest the freedom of our comrades, and reclaim the dignity of our struggle.

TAKE NEEDED ACTION

1. Review, endorse, gather endorsements for the reports (www.ushrnetwork.org/campaign_upr;
http://www.ushrnetwork.org/sites/default/files/US_Political_Prisoners_Joint_Report_USA.pdfhttp://www.ushrnetwork.org/sites/default/files/Political_Repression_Joint_Report_USA.pdf), individually and organizationally, by end of business, Wednesday, August 11, 2010. CONTACT: lbaum@ushrnetwork.org and enjericho@aol.com

2. Share your human rights story with the UN through the USHRNetwork's Testify! Project (http://www.testifyproject.com/).

3. Organize local committee to learn and follow the UPR Process (http://www.upr-info.org/) and lobby, call/fax/e-mail elected representatives and the president, blog, write letters to editors of local newspapers and magazines and serve as a local organizing/response committee beyond November 5th.

4. Plan November 5th actions at embassies and consulates of UPR Working Group member States and U.S. federal buildings.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Attention Washington State: Peltier Gets His Day in Court on Friday, August 13

Yes, Leonard Peltier will get his day in Court--Common Law Court, that is. The Tribunal of the Third Circuit Common Law Court will hear and review evidence and present said evidence to the jury on Friday, August 13, at 2:00 p.m. (Pacific). All interested parties are welcome and may actively participate. The hearing will be held in the Little Lake City Hall Room, Lake City Library, 12501 28th NE, Seattle, WA.

The one true Constitution for the State of Washington (1878), Article VIII, Section 9, states: “The circuit courts shall have original jurisdiction in all matters, civil and criminal, within this state, not excepted in this constitution and not hereafter prohibited by law...” The decision of the Common Law Court is final and no other court in the land can overturn the Common Law. Read the 7th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution: “In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.” (Note: Common Law is NOT only a matter of civil litigation.)

Be a part of this historic event as the Court decides if Leonard Peltier’s civil rights and person productivity have been violated and denied him.

For more information, contact Patricia at whitebuffalocalfwin@yahoo.com.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Interview with Buggin Malone

Buggin Malone 8/5/2010 - Judy Lopez Internet Radio Blog Talk Radio
By Judy Lopez

Buggin's political influences and views shaped the direction of Birth of A Warrior which contains his most requested song to date, Dedication to Leonard Peltier. In September of 2005 Buggin released Spirit World.

Catch the interview:
DreamCatcher Entertainment - http://www.blogtalkradio.com/dreamcatcherentertainment

Thursday, August 5, 2010

International Day of the World's Indigenous People 9 August


International Day of the World's Indigenous People 9 August


By resolution 49/214 of 23 December 1994, the General Assembly decided to celebrate the International Day of the World's Indigenous People on 9 August every year during the International Decade of the World's Indigenous People. In 2004 the Assembly proclaimed a Second International Decade by resolution 59/174. The goal of this Decade is to further strengthen international cooperation for the solution of problems faced by indigenous people in such areas as culture, education, health, human rights, the environment, and social and economic development.

In April 2000, the Commission on Human Rights adopted a resolution to establish the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues which was endorsed by the Economic and Social Council in resolution 2000/22 of 28 July 2000. The mandate of the Permanent Forum is to discuss indigenous issues related to culture, economic and social development, education, the environment, health and human rights.
Links to UN and UN System sites:



International Fund for Agricultural Development
Indigenous Peoples
Indigenous Peoples and Sustainable Development

International Labour Organization
Indigenous Peoples

United Nations Development Programme
Indigenous Peoples
Community Action 2015



Additional resources: The additional resources links on this page are provided for information purposes only and do not necessarily represent an endorsement by the United Nations.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tribal Law and Order: Response to NYT Editorial

'free LEONARD PELTIER' / Trumbullplex (Anarchi...Image via Wikipedia

This is in response to a recent New York Times editorial: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/02/opinion/02mon3.html?_r=1&ref=opinion


To the Editor:

Thanks for your informative August 2 editorial, “Tribal Law and Order.”

I didn’t realize years ago when I was coordinator for the Atlanta Leonard Peltier Support Group, or when I worked one summer at his defense committee, that tribal police were there to fulfill a treaty we had with Indian people.

Leonard Peltier was the leader of an American Indian Movement group that was invited to the Pine Ridge, South Dakota, Indian Reservation by the traditional people and their chiefs to protect them from tribal police. He was convicted of the murder of two FBI agents in a shootout on the reservation in 1975. Since his conviction, his prosecutors have admitted that they fabricated evidence, withheld evidence, coerced witnesses and don’t know who killed the agents. This was during the energy crisis of the 1970’s, when huge subsidies were given to energy companies to search for alternative energy on that reservation.

The Indians’ protests of the rape of their land and other abuses led to oppression and to the election of Dick Wilson, a corrupt tribal chairman. That election was later investigated by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which determined that Russell Means had actually won. The Commission also documented 60 murders and over 300 beatings of Indian people on Pine Ridge in the three years surrounding the shootout, mostly attributed to the tribal police, and supported with arms, training and direct support from the U.S. government. The funding for that investigation was cut when Peltier was convicted.

He is a scapegoat, plain and simple. It’s encouraging that the Obama administration wants to fulfill its obligation to uphold our treaties with Indian people, but they must also take steps to prevent further abuses of those treaties. On February 6, 2011, Leonard Peltier will have been in prison for 35 years. Obama has taken a good first step. A good second step would be to set Leonard Peltier free. America needs to know his story.


Reid Freeman Jenkins

Reading List

Have You Thought of Leonard Peltier Lately? by Harvey Arden
In the Spirit of Crazy Horse by Peter Matthiessen
Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance by Leonard Peltier
The Trial of Leonard Peltier by Jim Messerschmidt



Call to Action: Endorse the UN Coalition Reports by 11 August

The following is a list of coalition reports submitted to the United Nations in April 2010. All reports are currently open for additional endorsements.

To add an organizational or individual endorsement, please send your name, affiliation, and email address, stating your wish to be added to the endorsements, before Wednesday, August 11th at 5 PM EST. These should be sent to Sarah Paoletti, paoletti@law.upenn.edu and Laura Baum, lbaum@ushrnetwork.org.

The updated list reflecting additional endorsements will be provided to the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights and should be substituted for the initial list of endorsements prior to the posting of reports on their website. These additional endorsements will also be reflected in the USHRN’s compilation publication of coalition stakeholder reports that will be circulated among State delegates, the media, international NGOs and INGO’s, as well as the US Department of State to call attention to the full scope and high level of civil society engagement around these important human rights issues.

These include an overarching report seeking to highlight the rights and recommendations made by the submitting stakeholders.

US Human Rights Network Overarching UPR Report (Summary)

Civil Rights
The coalition of stakeholder submitting this report is calling for the full recognition and fulfillment of the United States’obligations under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (“ICERD”) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (“ICCPR”), particularly in areas of racial discrimination, voting rights, housing and community development, education, employment environmental justice and healthcare. The coordinating organization, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, is a non-profit civil rights organization established in 1963.

Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD)
The CERD Task Force, a subgroup of the US Human Rights Network, was formed in 2007 to coordinate a national civil society shadow report that was submitted to the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in 2008. The Task Force is made up of organizations that represent the leading voices in human rights and racial justice. Our core mission is to ensure the effective implementation of the ICERD and its key obligations at the nationaland local level.

Corporate Accountability
The stakeholders coordinating this submission are dedicated to ensuring the U.S. discharges its obligations to respect and protect human rights in the context of transnational business activities, and analyzes U.S. legislative, regulatory, adjudicative, administrative and policy measures to respect and protect in cases where the actions, decisions or failures of companies under the U.S.’ effective control (or incorporated or organized under US law) have lead to human rights abuses in other countries.

Criminal Justice
The organizations submitting this report are dedicated to promoting fair juvenile and criminal justice policies in the United States that are consistent with international human rights standards.

Death Penalty (Summary)
This cluster report provides information on the application of the death penalty in the United States, with particular focus on discrimination, arbitrariness, violations of the ICJ's judgment in Avena and Other Mexican Nationals, executions of individuals with mental disabilities, and death row conditions.

Disability (Summary)
This report was prepared by organizations of people with disabilities working at national and local levels for human rights and individual self-determination.

Economic & Social Rights (Summary)
The coalition of stakeholders submitting this report are calling for the recognition, protection and fulfillment of social and economic rights in the United States, including the rights to education, health, housing, work, and social security. The coordinating organization, the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative, is a non-profit human rights organization established in 2004.

Education (Summary)
The coalition of stakeholders submitting this report, many of whom have worked collaboratively in the past, is dedicated to the promotion of the right to education and educational equity throughout the United States. The coordinating organization, the Poverty Race Research Action Council, was established in 1989.

Environmental Justice
This report is submitted by a coalition of stakeholders dedicated to the implementation of human rights obligations in the area of environmental justice, and addresses how communities of color and low-income communities in the United States are disproportionately burdened by environmentally harmful human activities and their adverse health consequences. The main submitting organizations for this report are the Center on Race, Poverty, and the Environment (CRPE) and New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI). Founded in 1989, CRPE is an environmental justice litigation organization dedicated to helping grassroots groups across the United States attack head on the disproportionate burden of pollution borne by poor people and people of color. Founded in 1976, NYLPI is a nonprofit, civil rights law firm that strives for social justice through impact litigation, community organizing and advocacy.

Foreign Policy
This report is submitted by a coalition of stakeholders concerned that U.S. foreign policy relationships and assistance to Colombia, Haiti and Puerto Rico have caused human rights violations.

Gender and Racial Inequalities in the Right to Decent Work (Summary)
The coalition of stakeholders submitting this joint report are dedicating to ensuring that the government take specific steps to ensure the human right to work, and account for the needs of women and racial and ethnic minorities in securing decent work. The coordinating organization, the Urban Justice Center, was established in 1984.

Housing (Summary)
The coalition of stakeholders submitting this report are dedicated to promoting the full respect for, protection of, and fulfillment of the human right to adequate housing on the basis of non-discrimination. The coordinating organization, the National Law Center on Homelessness Poverty, was established in 1989 to serve as the legal arm of the nationwide movement to prevent and end homelessness in the United States.

Katrina Aftermath
The coalition of stakeholders submitting this report are concerned with decisions, policies, and actions by the US Government and its political subdivisions in connection with Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and subsequent storms that have violated and continue to violate the human rights of people who lived or live in states bordering the Gulf of Mexico, including Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. The coordinating organizations are the Advocates for Environmental Human Rights, a non-governmental public interest law firm based in New Orleans, Louisiana that is dedicated to upholding the human right to live in a healthy environment, and the Gulf States Human Rights Working Group, a coalition of non-governmental organizations dedicated to advocating for adoption by the US Government of the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement as a domestic legal standard.

Labor (Summary)
The coalition of stakeholders submitting this report are trade unions, union representatives, organizations, and individuals dedicated to ensuring workplace rights through the protection and promotion of the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining for all workers.

Macroeconomics (Summary)
This submission focuses on the human rights implications of the financial crisis and subsequent domestic policy responses. In particular, it focuses on the human rights obligation to protect and fulfill economic and social rights as well as the need for transparency, accountability and participation in the making of macroeconomic policy. The coordinating organization, the Center for Women's Global Leadership, was established in 1989.

Migrant Labor
The coalition of stakeholders submitting this report are organizations, entities, and individuals committed to ensuring that all workers, regardless of the industry in which they work and regardless of their migration status, are entitled to all workplace rights and other fundamental rights connected to their status as migrant workers, without discrimination.

Migrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers (Summary)
The coalition of stakeholders submitting this report are civil society organizations that provide services to or advocate on behalf of the rights of immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers in the United States. The report was coordinated by The Advocates for Human Rights, which was established in 1983.

Police Misconduct in New York City
This report looks specifically at police brutality, racial profiling and racial disparity in policing practices in New York City, hilighting international calls for accountability, investigation, and reform, and noting the U.S.'s obligation to exercise due diligence in preventing police misconduct.

Political Repression
The submitting organizations and individuals are NGOs, professional, lay, and grassroots organizations and individuals committed to advancing freedom of speech, religion, and association.

Race and Health
The stakeholders submitting this report are dedicated to the elimination of racial health disparities in the United States.

Racial Profiling
The Rights Working Group (RWG) is a national coalition of over 260 organizations working at the national, state, and local/community level to ensure that everyone in the U.S. is guaranteed due process and human rights protections, regardless of citizenship or immigration status, race, national origin, religion or ethnicity. This report was prepared with contributions from a number of RWG members and allies in the fight against racial profiling.

Reproductive Rights
The coalition of stakeholders submitting this report work to advance women's sexual and reproductive health. The coordinating organization, the Center for Reproductive Rights, is a global legal organization founded in 1992 and dedicated to advancing women's reproductive health, self-determination and dignity as basic human rights.

Treaty Ratification (Ratification Summary) (Implementation Summary)
The coalition of stakeholders submitting this report are dedicated to promoting U.S. ratification of, and full compliance with, international human rights treaties. The coordinating organization, the Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute, was established in 1998.

US Political Prisoners (Summary)
The coalition of stakeholders submitting this Report are dedicated to the freedom of political activists who were targeted by the United States Government through its COINTELPRO and to the criminal prosecution of those governmental officials involved in this governmental conspiracy. One of the coordinating organizations, The National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL), is an association formed in 1968 to serve as the Black Liberation movement's legal arm. It is made up of judges, law students, lawyers, legal activists and scholars. Noted clients included, Angela Davis, Assata Shakur, the Attica Brothers, Geronimo Pratt, and Mumia Abu Jamal. NCBL was also active in the anti-colonial, anti-apartheid movements in Africa. The co-coordinating organization, Malcolm X Center for Self Determination, is a community based, action center for grassroots human rights advocacy, training, and capacity building.Political prisoner work by the Center's membership dates back to 1965, Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), civil rights/anti-war/anti-apartheid agenda. Since1991, it has brought together theoreticians, practitioners and consumers to identify and promote human rights of the descendants of Africans formerly enslaved in North America (African Americans). It, and its longer-standing human rights activists membership, are among those initiating, lobbying, providing material support and organizing demonstrations essential to successful legal and political strategies for self determination.

Institutional Report Summaries:
Indigenous Rights by the International Indian Treaty Council

UPR REPORTS (in PDF)
US Human Rights Network Overarching UPR Report
CERD Joint Report USA
Civil Rights Joint Report USA
Corporate Accountibility Joint Report USA
Criminal Justice Joint Report USA
Death Penalty Joint Report USA
Disability Joint Report USA
Economic & Social Rights Joint Report USA
Education Joint Report USA
Environmental Justice Joint Report USA
Foreign Policy Joint Report USA
Housing Joint Report USA
Katrina Aftermath Joint Report USA
Labor Joint Report USA
Macroeconomics Joint Report USA
Migrant Labor Joint Report USA
Migrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers Joint Report USA
Political Repression Joint Report USA
Race and Health Joint Report USA
Racial Profiling Joint Report USA
Reproductive Rights Joint Report USA
Right to Work Joint Report USA
Treaty Ratification Joint Report USA
US Political Prisoners Joint Report USA