Thursday, December 29, 2011
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Danny Glover Commits to Meet Peltier Walkers in DC - May 18
Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Currents.
Source URL: http://www.nativenewsnetwork.com/danny-glover-commits-to-meet-peltier-walkers-in-dc-may-18.html
OAKLAND - The long walkers from the Leonard Peltier Walk for Human Rights on their way to Washington DC gained support in their efforts on Monday from award-winning actor Danny Glover, who participated in a press conference at Occupy Oakland.
Chief Harry Kindness, Danny Glover and Dorothy Ninham Praying at Occupy Oakland
"Let us mark this day, December 26, as a day of reconvening. Let us mark this day as the day of recommitting to join forces in our efforts to bring Leonard home," Glover told the 50 people assembled.
“We have to continue in our efforts for Brother Leonard.”
Danny Glover at Occupy Oakland with Leonard Peltier Long Walkers
After the press conference, Glover spent several minutes by telephone with the Native News Network discussing his involvement.
"I am involved because of the great injustice that was committed against Leonard Peltier. I believe he is innocent of the crimes for which he was convicted. During the trial there were at least 25 violations of the US Constitution committed against him. This is a travesty of justice," said Glover to the Native News Network.
“Then I think about the other injustices committed against Indians in this country,”
“I feel I have to lend my support.”
"I plan on doing my part," Glover said when questioned about other Hollywood celebrities working on behalf of freeing Peltier. "I am really removed from Hollywood. I live in San Francisco, so I really don't hang with the Hollywood crowd. Marlon Brando is gone; I know he would have been here to help. Harry Belafonte is 85 years old and he probably cannot do much, but I know he has been supportive in the past."
"I plan on being in Washington on May 18," said Glover when asked about coming to Washington to greet the long walkers.
The Leonard Peltier Walk for Human Rights was launched on December 18 on Alcatraz Island by Dennis Banks, co-founder of the American Indian Movement. It will conclude in the nation's capitol on May 18, 2012.
Special thanks to Arthur Jacobs for photos and contribution to this story.
posted December 27, 2011 6:50 am est
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Greetings my friends, relatives, relations, supporters.
I wrote a statement the other day sitting here in my cell and I know that no one really cares to read something that is 6 pages long. So this is my effort to shorten it a little bit.
The first subject I want to touch on is being in prison for 36 years is hell. There are some folks who are planning to walk across America starting in California going to Washington D.C. to bring attention to the injustice that faces Indian people in the judicial system of America and of which I am some of the evidence of that. But first of all what I really want to say is I really appreciate and love the people that do things like this for those of us who are imprisoned. And if walking across America sounds like a lot try standing in an 8 by 6 cell for 36 years. But I want you to know as terrible and painful as this is in a strange way I am honored that the most powerful government has considered me a challenge that they would violate all their own laws to keep me imprisoned. In my standing I have stood for what’s right. I have stood for the right of a people invaded by emissaries of the corporations they ultimately represent; the right of a people to defend themselves in whatever way necessary to defend their women and children and elders and life itself when attacked with deadly force by this government.
For some of you who may recently come in contact with my case, my case is one where an Indian community that had been continually terrorized by FBI and a goon squad funded by them on the reservation, had opposed the sale of 1/8th of the tribe’s mineral resources and land. On June the 26th 1975, they attacked the village of Oglala on the Pine Ridge Reservation. It started with two FBI agents in unmarked cars and unmarked clothing, firing into an enclave of dwellings. The two agents numbers soon swelled to 250. In the ensuing battle the two initial agents were killed and one young Indian man, Joe Stuntz, was murdered by the FBI, shot between the eyes. Ultimately some 30 of us escaped. Two men, Bob Robideau and Dino Butler that were captured before I was, were put on trial and all the evidence of that day was allowed to be presented in their defense. And they were acquitted by reason of self-defense; the jury said they had the right to defend themselves with deadly force. I had escaped to Canada and was later apprehended there, the government perjured testimony, and they got someone to lie to bring me back from there. I was put on trial and all the evidence used to convict me was later proven false in court, as well as the lie to extradite me. And the same evidence used by the defense in the first trial was not allowed. They ultimately got a conviction saying I was guilty of murder.
Then later an individual whom some called Mr. X, on tape admitted he was the shooter. Bob Robideau, one of the original two men acquitted by reason of self-defense later told retired FBI Agent Ed Wood he was Mr. X and that he had shot the agents. Bob feared for his life. Bob didn’t make his statement for many years. Bob did all that he could do to help me over the years and later started living in Spain. And then he made a statement to a few people that he was going to come back and speak more about being the shooter and being acquitted of the offense. And within about a month’s time he was found dead in his apartment in Spain. He supposedly fell out of bed and hit his head and died. Having said that, my main point is that where all the evidence was allowed to be presented Indian people were found not guilty rightfully defended themselves by reason of self-defense.
There has not been a violation of human rights by America that wasn’t first practiced on Native Americans. America’s first biological warfare was against Indian people with small pox and measles infected blankets, the first concentration camps were against Indian people where they took their land and rounded them up. And Lincoln known for being against slavery, had 38 Indian men hung in unison in Mankato Minnesota for rebelling in the starving concentration camp they were confined to and there were camps all across this nation for American Indian people. The first atomic bomb was dropped on Indian land polluting it and destroying the water tables. To this day the result of their digging for uranium still pollutes parts of the Navajo reservation. They practiced sterilization of our women up until the late 1950s and even into the 60’s. Up in Alaska they experimented with various forms of hepatitis on the native people there. The list goes on and on. Our people to this day suffer generational trauma as a result of the concentration camps and invasions and starvation and boarding schools that tried to destroy our culture. The average death rate in the boarding schools was 50%.
To this day the unemployment rate for American Indians is 35%. What America calls “depression” has become a way of life for us. Bureaucrats scream and jump up and down about the Israelis right to claim their homeland, yet at the same time America still takes our land against our will, our homeland. The Black Hills of South Dakota was leased for 99 years. The lease has been up for some 20 years, but they will not return it. They have offered to pay some 3 billion dollars for the Black Hills. Why don’t they take that money and relocate the non-Indians from there? There have been people complaining of a mosque in the proximity of the former World Trade Center Towers yet our sacred hills have Abraham Lincoln’s face carved in the side of our sacred area; George Washington who practiced a scorched earth campaign against our people in the East is there along with others.
I’m sorry if I’m getting carried away, I want America to be a great nation, but I want it to be fair to all people. We don’t ask for anything that wasn’t agreed to by this government,. There’s three hundred and seventy something treaties that cover most of our concerns. I apologize if in reading this in some way it hurts your celebration of the holidays. Its very difficult to not be negative when you are unjustly imprisoned for this long and every day you look through an iron door when the true enemies and terrorists are free to terrorize the poor and the oppressed of America. When the resources of America and the labor of its people are used to enhance the lavish lifestyle of some 2 to 3 % of the population that owns 96% of America’s wealth or I should say owns and controls 96% of America’s wealth, then people like you and the people occupying Wall Street and those walking across America are needed more than you would ever know.
I said I wouldn’t make this too long and it seems I have gone back on my work. However in closing I would like to thank the National Congress of American Indians for passing a resolution supporting me in my bid for freedom. And I would especially like to thank Lenny Foster who has served as a spiritual leader in prisons throughout America who presented the resolution to the National Congress of American Indians. I would also like to thank all the others, too numerous to mention, who have supported me for so many years. I guess in some off handed way I have learned to live and exist by my contact with them over the years. This struggle has been long and difficult and I know at times I have offended people and hurt their feelings and for that I am deeply regretful. But rest assured I appreciate all of you in the deepest sense of the word. And I pray that this Holiday season brings joy to you and your families. There is no greater gift that we can give our children and our children’s children than freedom and a healthy earth.
I will close for now but unless they shut me up like they did Bob, you will hear from me again rest assured.
In the Spirit of Crazy Horse and all the others that have died for their people,
Thursday, December 15, 2011
But on December 1—just two weeks before Bill of Rights Day—Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The NDAA allows the indefinite military detention of US citizens without trial. It contains the most oppressive national security powers we’ve seen in our lifetimes, easily worse than any Bush administration policy.
In America, the right to trial is fundamental, as are the rights to freedom of speech and freedom of belief.
Add your voice to the thousands of Americans saying "NO!" to indefinite detention without trial.
Read more: http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/12/innocent-people-us-prisons
Monday, December 12, 2011
12 December 2011
Contact: Dorothy Ninham, Wind Chases the Sun, Inc., N5679 Skylark Drive, DePere, WI 54115; Telephone: 920-713-8114 or (920) 869-2641. Also Gina Buenrostro at (920) 713-2205 or Geronimo Powless at (920-713-3828) or by Web form: www.leonardpeltierwalkforhumanrights.com
Leonard Peltier Walk for Human Rights to Begin on December 18
With the goal of advancing the economic, social, and cultural rights of all people, the Leonard Peltier Walk for Human Rights will begin on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay on the morning of December 18, 2011. The Walk will follow a route across the southern United States to the east coast and end in Washington, DC, on May 18, 2012.
"Leonard Peltier planned this spiritual walk to give voice to all peoples of this continent," said Dorothy Ninham (Oneida), Wind Chases the Sun, Inc., coordinator of the Walk.
"We are all related. We all want peace in our lives. We all want an healthy environment for ourselves and the coming generations. We all want decent work, adequate housing, nutritious food, quality health care, and education for our children and grandchildren."
On Sunday, a diverse group of people from all over the United States will gather at Alcatraz for a Native American pipe ceremony and the blessing of those participating in the five-month Walk.
"According to Native American prophesies, the races will come together to create a better world. This Walk is an opportunity for all peoples to gather together, freely express our concerns, and participate in the decisions affecting all our lives."
Indigenous activist Leonard Peltier, an accomplished author and artist, is renowned for his humanitarian achievements. In 2009, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for the sixth consecutive year. Mr. Peltier also has been awarded the Human Rights Commission of Spain International Human Rights Prize (1986); North Star Frederick Douglas Award (1993); Federation of Labour (Ontario, Canada) Humanist of the Year Award (2003); Silver Arrow Award for Lifetime Achievement (2004); First Red Nation Humanitarian Award (2009); Kwame Ture Lifetime Achievement Award (2010); Fighters for Justice Award (2010); and First International Human Rights Prize, Mario Benedetti Foundation (2011).
Wrongly imprisoned since 1976, Leonard Peltier has been designated a political prisoner by Amnesty International. Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, the late Mother Theresa, the Dalai Lama, 55 Members of Congress and others—including a judge who sat as a member of the court in two of Peltier’s appeals—have all called for his immediate release.
"We walk as much for Mr. Peltier as with him. As a defender of our human and constitutional rights, President Obama must release Peltier. It's time."
A reception is scheduled for December 17 at 5:00 p.m., at the Inter-Tribal Friendship House, 523 International Boulevard, Oakland. Participants will gather the next day on Pier 33 beginning at 8:00 a.m. The ceremony will begin on Alcatraz soon after all have assembled on the island. A press conference will be help at Pier 33 at 1:00 p.m.
For more information, visit www.leonardpeltierwalkforhumanrights.com.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
White criminals seeking presidential pardons are nearly four times as likely to succeed as people of color, a ProPublica examination has found.
Last night, Rachel Maddow (MSNBC) sat down and had a riveting discussion with Dafna Linzer, senior reporter for Pro Publica, about her findings--breaking down exactly how this happens and how it can be changed.
Design by Denny Karchner
Based on original art by Chad Brady
Size S, M, L, XL, 3X
VISIONS OF FREEDOM
Design by Denny Karchner
Based on original art by Leonard Peltier
Sizes S, M, L, XL, 2X
Friday, December 2, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Greetings to all my friends, relations, and supporters.
Well, it's that time of year again, the time when America celebrates its fantasy about Indians and pilgrims. This is truly a day of mourning. So many paid so dear a price so that the People may live.
As an Indian man, this national “day of giving thanks” leaves so much to be desired. Like many of you, I think a seasonal recounting of the truth is in order. Perhaps we can call these truths the seven deadly Indian sins.
Fact-The first documented Thanksgiving was the celebration of an Indian massacre. Ask any Pequot.
Fact-Even the feast that is celebrated was followed by genocide, with those Indian participants and their descendants being virtually wiped out within a generation. Ask any Wampanoag.
Fact-Ninety-eight percent of American Indians, perhaps 150 million of our relations, were killed by the onset of reservation times. This is the largest holocaust in the history of the world.
Fact-Once on the reservation, our children were stolen and sent to boarding schools or adopted out. Many of them were abused. Some were never heard from again.
Fact-Reservation-bound Indian women were commonly sterilized without their knowledge or consent.
Fact-The life span for American Indians continues to be much shorter than for other Americans.
Fact-We continue to live with substandard housing, education, and healthcare.
For this, we're supposed to celebrate? I don’t think so.
If Indians can be so marginalized, it can happen to anyone. We've said this for generations. Now it seems most everyone is feeling colonized.
In a time where corporate greed is so evident and 99 percent are falling behind, and in the Indian tradition of sacrifice, I ask all of you to observe a day of “(Un)thanksgiving”. Fast. Donate your meal to a person in need instead. In this America, there are forgotten people everywhere who could use a good hot meal. Helping others in need is the noblest practice of a truly thankful nation.
If the occupiers of America’s cities could do this, instead of participating in the overindulgence so common to the 1 percent, how much good might be done?
Fasting and praying is a powerful way for all of us to become centered, too.
I remain an Indigenous political prisoner. My sacrifice is for my People. If between the football games and turkey and dressing, you can remember me and those like me, I will be thankful as well.
May Wakan Tanka bless and keep you. Mitakuye Oyasin (All My Relations).
In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Saturday, November 19, 2011
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
18 November 2011
Dear President Obama,
In September, you invited Americans to interact with you and your Administration via the We the People component of the White House Web site. In good faith, We the People established a petition and thousands of signatories participated.
We the People took you at your word that we'd receive a response if we succeeded in reaching the benchmark of 5,000 or more signatures. We exceeded your benchmark, Mr. President. What is not generally known is that an additional 7,000+ hard copy signatures were sent to the White House, as well. In all, over 12,000 signatures were collected and delivered in a 30-day period.
We the People waited. Patiently. And then, today, we received your reply, i.e., a statement that you cannot comment on our petition.
We the People have read your Constitution, Mr. Obama. We are familiar with procedures related to the award of clemency, too.
We the People are aware of the clemency application review process (28 C.F.R. Part I, §§ 1.1-1.11). We also know that these guidelines do not bind the President. Congress and government operating units such as the Department of Justice (DOJ) cannot regulate or limit the presidential clemency power. You have the power to grant clemency to anyone, for any reason, regardless of whether they have submitted an application. The absolute authority to grant clemency to federal prisoners belongs only to the President of the United States (under Article II, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution).
We the People know that the Office of the Pardon Attorney advises the President and has been located within the DOJ since the 19th century. We respectfully suggest that past presidents have relied too heavily on the will of prosecutors. We see no reason for this trend to continue in light of what is known today, i.e., that prosecutorial misconduct is a leading contributor to the incidence of wrongful convictions in the United States.
We the People know that the Peltier case is the most egregious example of investigative and prosecutorial misconduct in U.S. history.
Leonard Peltier is a Native American activist accused in 1975 in connection with the shooting deaths of two agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Government documents show that, without any evidence at all, the FBI decided from the beginning of its investigation to 'lock Peltier into the case'.
U.S. prosecutors knowingly presented false statements to a Canadian court to extradite Mr. Peltier to the U.S. The statements were signed by a woman who was forced by FBI agents to say she was an eyewitness to the shootings. The government has long since admitted that the woman was not present during the shootings.
The first appeal of Mr. Peltier's conviction occurred in 1977 before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. In reference to the false affidavits discovered to have been used to extradite Leonard Peltier from Canada, Judge Donald Ross stated:
"But can't you see... that what happened happened in such a way that it gives some credence to the claim... that the United States is willing to resort to any tactic in order to bring somebody back to the United States from Canada? And if they are willing to do that, they must be willing to fabricate evidence as well."In Cedar Rapids, Iowa—in light of the terror on the Pine Ridge Reservation during the previous three years, the history of misconduct on the part of the FBI in cases involving Indigenous activists, and the reckless behavior of the agents on June 26, 1975—a jury decided that Mr. Peltier's co-defendants were not guilty by reason of self-defense. Had Leonard been tried with his co-defendants, he also would have been acquitted.
Unhappy with the outcome of that trial, prosecutors set the stage for Mr. Peltier's conviction. His trial was inexplicably moved to an area known for its anti-Indian sentiment—Fargo, North Dakota. The trial judge had a reputation for ruling against Indians, and a juror is known to have made racist comments during Mr. Peltier's trial.
FBI documents prove that the prosecution went so far as to manufacture the so-called murder weapon. A ballistics test shows that the gun and the shell casings entered into evidence didn't match, but this fact was withheld from the jury. Mr. Peltier was convicted and sentenced to two consecutive life terms.
Prosecutor Lynn Crooks, during oral arguments before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals on October 15, 1985, stated:
"We can't prove who shot those agents."The trial testimony on the Wichita AR-15 (claimed by the government to have been Leonard Peltier's weapon and to have caused their agents' fatal injuries) was the lynchpin of the prosecution's case. Allegedly, the Wichita AR-15 shell casing was found in the trunk of Agent Coler's vehicle. FBI documents released after Peltier's trial showed that two different FBI agents claimed to have discovered that shell casing—and on two different days. The judges of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals stated:
"There are only two alternatives... to the government's contention that the .223 casing was ejected into the trunk of Coler's car when the Wichita AR-15 was fired at the agents. One alternative is that the .223 casing was planted in the trunk of Coler's car either before its discovery by the investigating agents or by the agents who reported the discovery. The other alternative is that a non-matching casing was originally found in the trunk and sent to the FBI laboratory, only to be replaced by a matching casing when the importance of a match to the Wichita AR-15 became evident."In 1986, in its ruling on Mr. Peltier's 1985 appeal, the Eighth Circuit of Appeals acknowledged that the United States government had used dishonest means to effect his conviction. The court concluded that the government withheld evidence from the defense favorable to Mr. Peltier, "which cast a strong doubt on the government's case," and that had this other evidence been brought forth, "there is a possibility that a jury would have acquitted Leonard Peltier."
The author of the Eighth Circuit Court's decision, Judge Gerald Heaney, in a letter supporting an award of Executive Clemency to Leonard Peltier, wrote:
"The United States government must share in the responsibility for the June 26 firefight... It appeared that the FBI was equally to blame for the shootout... the government’s role can properly be considered a mitigating circumstance… At some point, a healing process must begin... Favorable action by the President in the Leonard Peltier case would be an important step in this regard."Before the Court of Appeals on November 9, 1992, Prosecutor Lynn Crooks again admitted:
"We don't know who shot those agents."Also in 1992, Crooks demonstrated his predisposition to achieve a conviction even if based on fraudulent evidence when, in an interview conducted by Steve Kroft on the television show "West 57th Street," he said:
"It doesn't bother my conscience one bit... Doesn't bother my conscience one whit. I don't agree that there's anything wrong with that, and I can tell you, it don't bother my conscience if we did."In 2002, an appeal was heard by the Eighth Circuit Court regarding a sentence reduction for Mr. Peltier. On December 12, 2002, the appellate court stated that the sentences imposed were themselves legal, but they "were imposed in violation of [Peltier's] due process rights because they were based on information that was false due to government misconduct."
As late as November 2003, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals acknowledged that:
"…Much of the government’s behavior at the Pine Ridge Reservation and its prosecution of Leonard Peltier is to be condemned. The government withheld evidence. It intimidated witnesses. These facts are not disputed."Although the courts have acknowledged evidence of government misconduct—including forcing witnesses to lie and hiding ballistics evidence reflecting his innocence—Mr. Peltier has been denied a new trial on a legal technicality.
Leonard Peltier applied for a commutation of sentence in 1993. The Department of Justice investigation was thorough and its recommendation well-considered. That application remained active until 2009. The fact that this application gathered dust in the Oval Office for over 15 years (according to the Office of the Inspector General, on average, petitions for commutation are decided in 1.57 years) clearly indicates that the application provided compelling reasons to grant an award of clemency to Leonard Peltier.
The facts of U.S. v Peltier (CR No. C77-3003) have not changed, Mr. Obama. You already have the means by which to make an informed decision in favor of Leonard Peltier.
We the People have waited a long time for justice for Leonard Peltier—nearly 36 years. On constitutional and overriding human rights and compassionate grounds, we await the fulfillment of the promise of justice for all—including the Indigenous Peoples of this hemisphere.
Show us, Mr. Obama, that the Bill of Rights isn't just another broken treaty.
Give effect to Judge Heaney's expression of support for an award of clemency to Mr. Peltier, a position based on his thorough review of Mr. Peltier's case.
On behalf of all of your constituents, signal disapproval of the particular investigative or prosecutorial practices that afforded only an unfair trial to Mr. Peltier and resulted in his wrongful conviction and imprisonment.
Respect the sovereignty of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians by transferring Mr. Peltier into his Nation's custody.
Send home a seriously ill and elderly man who can only receive adequate care from his family and Nation.
According to your oath of office—and your obligation to enforce, protect and defend the U.S. Constitution—you must act to right this wrong.
Free Leonard Peltier, Mr. Obama. It's time.
We the People
Friday, November 18, 2011
42nd NATIONAL DAY OF MOURNING
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Cole's Hill (the hill above Plymouth Rock)
Join us as we dedicate the 42nd National Day of Mourning to our brother, Native political prisoner Leonard Peltier. Add your voice to the millions world-wide who demand his freedom Help us in our struggle to create a true awareness of Native peoples and demonstrate the unity of Indigenous peoples internationally. Help shatter the untrue glass image of the Pilgrims and the unjust system based on racism, sexism, homophobia and war.
For more information, contact:
UNITED AMERICAN INDIANS OF NEW ENGLAND/LPDOC Chapter
Phone: (617) 522-6626 • firstname.lastname@example.org • http://www.uaine.org
Absolutely No Drugs or Alcohol Allowed
Pot-Luck Social to Follow
Please send Donations via
Metacom Education Project
284 Amory Street
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
FOR BUS INFORMATION FROM NYC:
Contact the IAC, 212 633-6646. The bus leaves at 6 a.m. Thursday morning, November 24, 2011.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Roselyn Jumping Bull
PO Box 207
Oglala, SD. 57764
Saturday, November 12, 2011
The Oglala Commemoration Auction raises about 90% of the funds needed for the annual event and the Commemoration Committees other projects, including but not limited to the school supply drive, scholarship, and community dinner. Most items are donated; auction donations are accepted year round.
Visit http://www.oglalacommemoration.com/auction.html and place your bid. Stay tuned for new auction items, too.
And join us at the 2012 Oglala Commemoration.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Visit www.LeonardPeltierArt.com and check out the selection of high-quality reproductions of Leonard Peltier's artwork.
Now until December 31, receive a 20% discount for any open edition reproduction. (This discount does not apply to original paintings, limited edition reproductions, or greeting cards.)
Monday, November 7, 2011
"The Struggle Continues to Free Leonard Peltier"
Featuring LIVE Hip Hop & Traditional Native Music!
November 16, 2011 - 8PM
2111 Mission Street 3rd floor #300, San Francisco, CA
$5 Cover - No one turned down due to lack of funds.
Free CD/DVD Combo for first 15 guests.
Peace Pipe Lounge & outdoor seating available.
-Chief Ernie Longwalker
Special Performances (Artist line up subject to change)
-Pam the Funktress (The Coup) on the 1's and 2's
-iamani i. ameni
Art presented by Rtysk
Special Invited Guest: Talib Kweli
From EAST BAY: Take BART to 16th and Mission. Walk 1 block south,cross 17th, entrance next to Fabric Outlet and Thrift Town.
From San Francisco: Walk, Bike or Take bus to 17th and Mission. Buses 14 and 49 run along Mission; The 22 and 33 also cross Mission nearby coming from the Haight or 3rd Street areas.
Driving: Take 101 (N or S) to Cesar Chavez exit. Take Cesar Chavez West to Mission St. Right on Mission, park near 17th.
Sponsored by www.HipHopRevolutionary.com, www.FreeLeonardAlbum.com, and PCG Records.
Friday, November 4, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
04 November 2011
Contact: Delaney Bruce, Legal Team Liaison, Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee, PO Box 7488, Fargo, ND 58106; 701-235-2206, email@example.com
National Congress of American Indians unanimously supports freedom for Leonard Peltier
During its annual conference this week in Portland, Oregon, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) unanimously passed a resolution in support of freedom for Leonard Peltier.
An innocent man, Native American activist Leonard Peltier was wrongfully convicted in connection with the shooting deaths of two agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1977. Imprisoned for nearly 36 years—currently at the federal prison in Coleman, Florida—Peltier has been designated a political prisoner by Amnesty International. Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, 55 Members of Congress and others—including a judge who sat as a member of the court in two of Peltier’s appeals—have all called for his immediate release. Widely recognized for his humanitarian works and a six-time Nobel Prize nominee, Peltier also is an accomplished author and painter.
The NCAI has adopted resolutions on behalf of Leonard Peltier in the past. In 1999, the NCAI also supported the Assembly of First Nations in Canada in an historic joint resolution.
"It's long past time for the healing to begin between Indigenous Nations and the U.S. government—with regard to the Peltier case, as well as other tragic incidents of the past. The NCAI is eager to work with the Obama Administration to work towards that end," said a spokesperson for the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee in Fargo, North Dakota.
The Peltier case has been examined by renowned author Peter Matthiessen ("In the Spirit of Crazy Horse") and by a documentary film produced and narrated by Robert Redford ("Incident at Oglala"). Although the courts have acknowledged evidence of government misconduct—including the coercion of witnesses, the intentional use of false testimonies, and the concealment of ballistics evidence reflecting his innocence—Peltier has been denied a new trial.
The power to commute Peltier's sentence of two life terms rests with President Obama.
"Mr. Peltier is 67 years old and in poor health. This is the very time for renewed commitment and unity. We're very pleased that the Indigenous Nations have taken this action on Mr. Peltier's behalf and are actively involved in securing his freedom."
The Peltier resolution was unanimously approved in committee on November 2 and presented in the plenary session earlier today.
Informed of the NCAI's decision, Leonard Peltier stated, "This means so much to me. I'm grateful for the support of my People. I thank the NCAI for their efforts."
To learn more about the Peltier case, visit www.whoisleonardpeltier.info. Also view "US Versus Leonard Peltier: Evidence of a Wrongful Conviction. From the files of the Federal Bureau of Investigation" at http://www.whoisleonardpeltier.info/download/CriticalFBIDocs.pdf.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Boone, NC--Over the last two weeks, Forrest Yerman has sat in Plemmons Student Union during his lunch break behind a table and a trifold that read “Free Leonard Peltier.”
Yerman, an English graduate student, said his goal was to raise student awareness of the wrongful imprisonment of a Native American activist.
“Very few people know about him,” he said. “You don’t learn about him in high school classes or most college-level history courses. You have to be in a specific environment to hear about him.”
Yerman said he is trying to bring that specific environment to Boone by helping to promote the Free Leonard Peltier movement.
Read more >>>
The White House announced today that a “White House Tribal Nations Conference” is scheduled to take place on Friday, December 2 at the U.S. Department of the Interior.
“As part of President Obama’s ongoing outreach to the American people, this conference will provide leaders from the 565 federally recognized tribes the opportunity to interact directly with the President and representatives from the highest levels of his administration,” according to a statement from the White House. “This will be the third White House Tribal Nations Conference for the Obama Administration, and continues to build upon the President’s commitment to strengthen the nation to nation relationship with Indian country.”
As in the past, each federally recognized tribe is being invited to send one representative to attend the meeting.
The White House said additional details about the conference will be released at a later date.
NOTE: The LPDOC will establish a presence at the Department of the Interior on Leonard Peltier's behalf again this year. Stay tuned for further details.
Friday, October 21, 2011
From Occupy Vancouver:
We, the Ninety-Nine Percent, come together with our diverse experiences to transform the unequal, unfair, and growing disparity in the distribution of power and wealth in our city and around the globe. We challenge corporate greed, corruption, and the collusion between corporate power and government. We oppose systemic inequality, militarization, environmental destruction, and the erosion of civil liberties and human rights. We seek economic security, genuine equality, and the protection of the environment for all.
We are inspired and in solidarity with global movements including those across the Middle East, Europe, and the Occupy Wall Street / Occupy Together movement in over 1000 cities in North America. Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere.
We humbly acknowledge that Occupy Vancouver is taking place on unceded Coast Salish territories.
We are committed to an inclusive and welcoming space, to addressing issues of oppression and discrimination, and to creating an environment where all the 99% can be heard and can meaningfully participate. We are also committed to safeguarding our collective well-being – including safety from interpersonal violence and any potential police violence.
PLEASE NOTE: This is a working statement that we know will evolve as #OccupyVancouver grows and flourishes. Our demands and our dreams are not limited to this statement as we have many ideas and solutions. As stated by #OccupyTogether, no one group, person, or website could ever speak for this diverse gathering of individuals.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
The Keystone XL pipeline is one of the dirtiest and most dangerous projects on the planet. If built, it would be a fuse to the second-largest store of carbon in the world, the Canadian tar sands -- and potential spills along the pipeline route would threaten the largest freshwater aquifer in the United States. Indian Country will be affected in catastrophic ways--the Nations in South Dakota, in particular.
But here's the good news: we have a fighting chance to stop this pipeline. The decision to build -- or cancel -- the Keystone XL lies with President Obama alone. This time, he can't hide behind a dysfunctional senate or a broken political system.
The campaign is reaching a tipping point: in the last week there was a front-page article in the Washington Post, an amazing video op-ed from Robert Redford in the New York Times, and grassroots activists are taking a stand against the pipeline just about everywhere Obama goes.
In the San Francisco Bay Area
What: President Obama "YES YOU CAN Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline" rally
Where: 3rd St. and Howard St., across from the W Hotel
When: Tuesday, October 25th - 11:30 am
Why: Because Keystone XL isn't CHANGE!
For more information, visit TarSandsAction.org.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
October 19, 2011
by Jean Casella and James Ridgeway
The UN’s torture investigator, Juan Mendez, yesterday called on UN members nations to ban nearly all uses of solitary confinement in prisons, warning that is causes serious mental and physical harm and often amounts to torture. Juan Mendez, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment, presented a written report on solitary confinement to the UN General Assembly’s Human Rights Committee, which singled out for criticism the routine use of supermax isolation in the United States. He also gave a press conference and participated in a forum with American civil rights and human rights groups.
As Reuters reports, Mendez stated that solitary confinement “‘can amount to torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment when used as a punishment, during pretrial detention, indefinitely or for a prolonged period, for persons with mental disabilities or juveniles.’” He continued, “‘Segregation, isolation, separation, cellular, lockdown, supermax, the hole, secure housing unit…whatever the name, solitary confinement should be banned by states as a punishment or extortion (of information) technique.’”
Mendez was precise in defining solitary confinement, and in outlining the limitations that should be placed on its use. He stated:
“I am of the view that juveniles, given their physical and mental immaturity, should never be subjected to solitary confinement. Equally, in order not to exacerbate a previously existing mental condition, individuals with mental disabilities should be provided with proper medical or psychiatric care and under no circumstances should they ever be subjected to solitary confinement. My recommendations are, first, to see if we can have a complete ban on prolonged or indefinite solitary confinement. And I more or less arbitrarily defined that as anything beyond 15 days of solitary confinement, meaning someone being confined to a cell for at least 22 hours a day.”
As Reuters reports, “Mendez told reporters he conceded that short-term solitary confinement was admissible under certain circumstances, such as the protection of lesbian, gay or bisexual detainees or people who had fallen foul of prison gangs. But he said there was ‘no justification for using it as a penalty, because that’s an inhumane penalty.’”
Mendez made reference to the case of accused WikiLeaker Bradley Manning, who spent after eight months in solitary at a military brig in Virginia before being moved to general population to await court-martial. Mendez said he “planned to issue a report on Manning and other cases in the next few weeks.”
Mendez also told reporters that he himself had spent three days in solitary in the 1970s in his native Argentina, then under military dictatorship, and they were “the three longest days in my life.”
Friday, October 14, 2011
Diane Sawyer travels to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation where some of the proudest Americans, living in unthinkable conditions, refuse to be defeated: a young girl filled with “American Idol” dreams, yet facing a life-changing reality; a high school quarterback whose strength and spirit knows no bounds; a magical little girl filled with hope. For over a year, as she has done with the poverty-stricken children from parts of Appalachia and Camden, New Jersey, Sawyer and her team followed young fighters and dreamers, this time from the Lakota Indian Tribe in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, living in the shadows of Mount Rushmore. A once-mighty people desperately trying to hold on, Sawyer finds that even with all of its grinding poverty and alcoholism, it’s a place from which warriors can still rise. Diane Sawyer Investigates – “A Hidden America : Children of the Plains” airs on “20/20″, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. Read More… http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2011/10/diane-sawyer-reporting-a-hidden-america-children-of-the-plains-on-friday-october-14/
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Monday, October 10, 2011
BEST SPOKEN WORD RECORDING:
My Life Is My Sun Dance
Harvey Arden and Leonard Peltier
An Indigenous Platform Proposal for "Occupy Denver"
"Now we put our minds together to see what kind of world we can create for the seventh generation yet to come." --John Mohawk (1944-2006), Seneca Nation
1. To repudiate the Doctrine of Christian Discovery, to endorse the repeal of the papal bull Inter Caetera (1493) to work for the reversal of the U.S. Supreme Court case of Johnson v. M'Intosh 1823), and call for a repeal of the Columbus Day holiday as a Colorado and United States holiday.
2. To endorse the right of all indigenous peoples to the international right of self-determination, by virtue of which they freely determine their political status, and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural futures.
3. To demand the recognition, observance and enforcement of all treaties and agreements freely entered into `between indigenous nations and the United States. Treaties should be recognized as binding international instruments. Disputes should be recognized as a proper concern of international law, and should be arbitrated by impartial international bodies.
4. To insist that Indigenous people shall never be forcibly relocated from their lands or territories.
5. To acknowledge that Indigenous peoples have the right to practice and teach their spiritual and religious traditions customs and ceremonies, including in institutions of the State, e.g. prisons, jails and hospitals,, and to have access in privacy their religious and cultural sites, and the right to the repatriation of their human remains and funeral objects.
6. To recognize that Indigenous peoples and nations are entitled to the permanent control and enjoyment of their aboriginal-ancestral territories. This includes surface and subsurface rights, inland and coastal waters, renewable and non-renewable resources, and the economies based on these resources. In advancement of this position, to stand in solidarity with the Cree nations, whose territories are located in occupied northern Alberta, Canada, in their opposition to the Tar Sands development, the largest industrial project on earth. Further, to demand that President BarackObama deny the permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline, proposed to run from the tar sands in Canada into the United States, and that the United States prohibit the use or transportation of Tar Sands oil in the United States.
7. To assert that Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions. They have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their intellectual property over such cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions.Further, indigenous peoples have the right to the ownership and protection of their human biological and genetic materials, samples, and stewardship of non-human biological and genetic materials found in indigenous territories.
8. To recognize that the settler state boundaries in the Americas are colonial fabrications that should not limit or restrict the ability of indigenous peoples to travel freely, without inhibition or restriction, throughout the Americas. This is especially true for indigenous nations whose people and territories have been separated by the acts of settler states that established international borders without the free, prior and informed consent of the indigenous peoples affected.
9. To demand that the United States shall take no adverse action regarding the territories, lands, resources or people of indigenous nations without the free, prior and informed consent of the indigenous peoples affected.
10. To demand the immediate release of American Indian political prisoner, Leonard Peltier, U.S. Prisoner #89637-132, from U.S. federal custody.
Read more at http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2011/10/occupy_denver_american_indian_movement.php
RESOLUTION: Memorandum of Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples
WHEREAS, those participating in “Occupy Boston” acknowledge that the United States of America is a colonial country, and that we are guests upon stolen indigenous land that has already been occupied for centuries, Boston being the ancestral land of the Massachusett people; and
WHEREAS, members of the First Nations have continued to resist the violent oppression and exploitation of the colonizers since they first arrived on this continent, and as a result have a great amount of experience that could strengthen this movement; and
WHEREAS, after centuries of disregard for the welfare of future generations, and the consistent disrespect and exploitation of the Earth, we find ourselves on a polluted and disturbed planet, lacking the wisdom to live sustainably at peace with the community of Life; therefore be it
RESOLVED, That we seek the involvement of the First Nations in the rebuilding of a new society on their ancestral land; and
As a signal to the national “Occupy” movement and to members of First Nations who have felt excluded by the colonialist language used to name this movement, it shall be declared that “Occupy Boston” aspires to “Decolonize Boston” with the guidance and participation of First Nations Peoples; and
Extending an open hand of humility and friendship, we hereby invite members of the First Nations to join us in this popular uprising now taking place across this continent. We wish to further the process of healing and reconciliation and implore Indigenous Peoples to share their wisdom and guidance, as they see fit, so as to help us restore true freedom and democracy and initiate a new era of peace and cooperation that will work for everyone, including the Earth and the original inhabitants of this land; and
We hereby declare that Columbus Day should be referred to as “Indigenous Peoples’ Day.”
Source URL: http://occupyboston.com/2011/10/09/occupy-boston-ratifies-memorandum-of-solidarity-with-indigenous-peoples/
Friday, October 7, 2011
The International Indian Treaty Council and American Indian Contemporary Arts cordially invite you to attend "Indigenous Peoples Day - Commemorating 519 Years of Indigenous Resistance and Honoring Struggles to Protect our Sacred Places". This event will be held at sunrise on Monday, October 10, 2011, on Alcatraz Island in the Ohlone Territory (San Francisco).
Why celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day? This celebration allows us to redefine what popular society now calls "Columbus Day" and change a celebration of colonialism and genocide into an opportunity to share and educate about the true impacts of colonialism on Indigenous Peoples and express our solidarity with Indigenous struggles for rights and survival in California and throughout the continent. It is also an opportunity to honor the vibrancy and resiliency of Indigenous Peoples cultures and ways of life. This celebration of 519 years of resistance features Aztec and Pomo dancers, drummers, performers and speakers and an honoring of the defenders of Sogorea Te (Glen Cove).
The ticket box office opens at 4:15 a.m. and the first boat will depart Pier 33 for the island at 5:15 a.m. Tickets are $11 for adults and children under the age of 5 are free. This event is wheelchair accessible and we encourage you to dress warmly. You can purchase tickets in advance by clicking HERE. Local radio station, KPFA 94.1 will be simulcasting from 6-7 a.m. and online at: http://www.kpfa.org.
For more information or media inquiries, please contact Mark Anquoe by phone: (415) 641-4482, by email: Mark@treatycouncil.org, or visit http://www.treatycouncil.org.
No sales of any kind will be allowed at this event. No leafleting permitted. Absolutely NO alcohol or drugs of any kind.
Friday, September 30, 2011
Thursday, September 29, 2011
The Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee calls on supporters worldwide to protest against the injustice suffered by Indigenous activist Leonard Peltier. Gather on February 4, 2012, at every federal court house and U.S. embassy or consulate worldwide to demand the freedom of a man wrongfully convicted and illegal imprisoned for 36 years!
Leonard Peltier is a Native American activist wrongfully accused in 1975 in connection with the shooting deaths of two agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Government documents show that, without any evidence at all, the FBI decided from the beginning of its investigation to 'lock Peltier into the case'.
U.S. prosecutors knowingly presented false statements to a Canadian court to extradite Mr. Peltier to the U.S. The statements were signed by a woman who was forced by FBI agents to say she was an eyewitness. The government has long since admitted that the woman was not present during the shootings.
Meanwhile, in a separate trial in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Mr. Peltier's co-defendants were acquitted by reason of self defense. Had Leonard been tried with his co-defendants, he also would have been acquitted.
Unhappy with the outcome of the Cedar Rapids trial, prosecutors set the stage for Mr. Peltier's conviction. His trial was moved to an area known for its anti-Indian sentiment—Fargo, North Dakota. The trial judge had a reputation for ruling against Indians, and a juror is known to have made racist comments during Mr. Peltier's trial.
FBI documents prove that the U.S. government went so far as to manufacture the so-called murder weapon, the most critical evidence in the prosecution's case. A ballistics test proved, however, that the gun and shell casings entered into evidence didn't match. The FBI hid this fact from the jury. Mr. Peltier was convicted and sentenced to two consecutive life terms. According to court records, the United States Attorney who prosecuted the case has twice admitted that no one even knows who fired the fatal shots.
Leonard Peltier is 67 years old and in poor health. An accomplished author and artist, Mr. Peltier is renowned for his humanitarian achievements. In 2009, Leonard was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for the sixth consecutive year.
Although the courts have acknowledged evidence of government misconduct—including forcing witnesses to lie and hiding ballistics evidence reflecting his innocence—Mr. Peltier has been denied a new trial on a legal technicality. Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, 55 Members of Congress and others—including a judge who sat as a member of the court in two of Mr. Peltier’s appeals—have all called for his immediate release.
The Courts may not be able to act but Barack Obama, as President, can. Please join with us to free an innocent man. On February 4, 2012, tell Obama to grant clemency to Leonard Peltier.
Scheduled events will be announced and details provided at http://www.whoisleonardpeltier.info/.
Launched into cyberspace by the
Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee
PO Box 7488, Fargo, ND 58106
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
We want to thank you in advance for helping with the Leonard Peltier Walk for Human Rights. We appreciate everything that you can do: Some of the immediate needs are as follows:
• Book or confirm camping sites and places for lodging for the walkers
• Book schools or churches that would be willing to accommodate lodging for the walkers
• Book or confirm help with people that can cook for the walkers
• Donations of paper products such as plates, bowls, cups for the sites that the walkers stop
• Food donations
• Gas card donations
• Monetary donations
• Camping equipment such as tents, sleeping bags, laterns, umbrellas, rain gear
• Permits for walking through the various counties & cities & highways
• Venues that can hold a free concerts
• Places to hold sweat-lodges and ceremonies
• Venues to hold viewings of “Incident at Oglala” and “Warrior”
• Access to Press to communicate the Walk, whether it be TV, Radio, Newpaper, Internet
• First Aid Supplies and Kits
Any help and all donations are much appreciated by “Wind Chases the Sun”. As more information comes up, we will keep you informed. Again, thank you for your support.
Wind Chases the Sun, Inc.
N5679 Skylark Drive, De Pere WI, 54115
Dorothy Ninham Hm (920)-869-2641 Cell (920) 713-8114
Gina Buenrostro Cell (920) 713-2205
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
The CD features readings of Peltier's words, by best-selling author and former National Geographic writer/editor of 23 years, Harvey Arden, with musical accompaniment by Rev. Goat Carson & the New Orleans Light.
Harvey Arden is also up for nomination for the "Native Heart" award for his tire-less work to share the stories, lives, history, and messages of the Native & Indigenous People, worldwide!
Please vote for all three categories!!!! We need your votes today!
Please register at the following page to vote:
Once you are registered, you can vote here:
If you would like to learn more about the CD and Harvey Arden, please visit the following websites:
If you are on faceoobk, please visit and "like" the following page for info and updates:
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
The United States Penitentiary I in Coleman is a high security facility located in central Florida approximately 50 miles northwest of Orlando, 60 miles northeast of Tampa, and 35 miles south of Ocala.
LEONARD PELTIER #89637-132
USP COLEMAN I
P.O. BOX 1033
COLEMAN, FL 33521
This is nearly 2,000 miles from Leonard's Nation, the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, in North Dakota! Tell the Federal Bureau of Prisons that the only acceptable transfer is one to a medium security facility in close proximity to (within a 500-mile radius of) his family and Nation. Ideally, Leonard should be moved to the medium security facility at Oxford, WI.
Dr. Thomas Kane, Acting Director
Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP)
320 1st Street, NW
Washington, DC 20534
Phone: (202) 307-3250 (Director); (202) 307-3198 (Switchboard)
Fax: (202) 514-6620
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Please continue your efforts on Leonard's behalf. Keep calling the White House -- 202-456-1111. Obama must free Leonard Peltier.
Keep demandng a transfer for Leonard that is within 500 miles of his home. Tell the Federal Bureau of Prisons that the only acceptable transfer is one to a medium security facility in close proximity to his family and Nation.
Please send e-mails, write letters and call BOP every single day. Make reference to Leonard Peltier #89637-132 and contact:
Dr. Thomas Kane, Acting Director
Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP)
320 1st Street, NW
Washington, DC 20534
Phone: (202) 307-3250 (Director); (202) 307-3198 (Switchboard)
Fax: (202) 514-6620
Supporters demand Peltier's release
Monday, 12 September 2011
Al Van Zee
Supporters of long-time prison inmate Leonard Peltier gathered in Rapid City Monday to once again protest what they see as the wrongful incarceration of the American Indian Movement activist. This day was chosen for the demonstration because Leonard Peltier turns 67 years old. He has been in a federal penitentiary for 34 years, after being convicted in 1977 for the murder of two FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Reservation. His supporters believe Peltier is a political prisoner, and has been the victim of abuse at the federal facilities where he has been held. James Swan says, "It's time he is free. He's been sick. He's been harassed in prison. And it's time this all comes to an end. He's a political prisoner, everybody knows it. That's his purpose in prison. We want him to be free. And we will continue this until the day he's free." Peltier is currently serving two life terms. His conviction has been upheld by several courts of appeal. In 2009, Peltier was granted a full hearing before the U.S. Parole Commission, which denied his request for release.
See video at
When: Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011, at 6:00 pm
Where: UO Many Nations Longhouse (on Columbia St off E. 17th)
Enjoy potluck, birthday cake, update and letter writing information. Bring stamps and envelops if you have them.
See you there!
Contact LPDOC Chapter - Eugene, OR, USA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
For more information contact LPDOC Board members Dorothy Ninham at 920-713-8114 or Gina Buenrostro at 920-713-2205.
Are you hosting an event, but it doesn't appear on our calendar? Send details to email@example.com. We'll be happy to announce your event.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Visit www.LeonardPeltierArt.com for more information.
Offer ends September 30.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
The group called Peltier, a Native American activist convicted in 1977 for the murder of two US FBI agents, the longest serving political prisoner in the Americas. The case stemmed from a shootout at a reservation in the US state of South Dakota.
"Leonard Peltier, who on September 12, 2011 will turn 67, has spent more than half his life in prison. He is a symbol of resistance to repressive state policies by the United States, where there are people in jail for ethnic, racial, ideological and religious reasons," a foundation statement said.
Ricardo Elena, a member of the foundation's honorary board, said Peltier's case "is one that is repeated over and over: violation (of rights); persecution, eviction, invasion and expropriation of the indigenous people from the time it was 'discovered' until now.
"It did not just happen in the United States; it is happening in southern South America with the (indigenous) Mapuche people, and with indigenous people in North America," he stressed.
Peltier, whose family is indigenous Chippewa and Lakota, fled to Canada after the shooting and was later extradited. He was convicted in part based on the testimony of a woman, Myrtle Poor Bear, who claimed she was his girlfriend and witnessed the shootings. Poor Bear however admitted later she was pressured to make the testimony, but a judge blocked her testimony.
Elena took a swipe at the United States saying it "likes to think it is the seat of democracy, but it has political prisoners just like a dictatorship might have."
The Mario Benedetti Foundation was set up to support human rights and cultural causes in synch with the work of the Uruguayan writer who died in 2009.
Friday, August 26, 2011
On Thursday, August 25, some forty persons from diverse regions of the world gathered in front of the US Consulate in Hamburg, Germany, to protest against Leonard Peltier being placed in solitary confinement and being denied the neccessary medical care. During the hour long action the political activists held a banner with the wording "Yes you can Set him free" and distributed flyers. Speakers highlighted the case of Leonard and his more than 35 years of unjust incarceration, but also spoke about the situation of Mumia Abu-Jamal and the general plight of political prisoners in US dungeons.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Getting it Right
Click on the tabs below to learn more about the central causes of wrongful convictions and suggested reforms to prevent future injustice.
Getting it Right is a joint project of the Innocence Project and Brandon Garrett, author of "Convicting the Innocent." The project was supported in part by a grant from the Foundation to Promote Open Society.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
By Editorial, Published: August 21
The Washington Post
DOZENS OF INMATES at California’s Pelican Bay facility went on hunger strikes for several weeks this summer for what seemed like pitifully modest demands: “Allow one photo per year. Allow one phone call per week. Allow wall calendars.”
What would prompt such drastic measures in the quest for such modest goals? Answer: The protest was an exasperated and understandable reaction to the invisible brutality that is solitary confinement. Some of the Pelican Bay inmates have been held in “security housing units” for years; those tagged as gang members can expect to stay there for six years, with no certainty that they will be reintegrated into the general population even if they renounce gang membership.
When an inmate is holed up alone in a cell for up to 23 hours a day with no meaningful human contact, a photograph of a loved one or a weekly telephone call can help to forge a connection with the outside world. With little or no exposure to natural light, a calendar can help forestall losing all track of time, all sense of reality. These simple privileges, in short, can help ward off insanity.
California prison officials accepted some of the inmates’ demands. But the concessions are minor. Elimination of the prolonged use of this tool is the better option.
At any given time, 25,000 to 100,000 inmates are held in solitary confinement throughout the nation. Contrary to popular belief, these inmates are often not the “worst of the worst”; some are in solitary confinement to separate them from fellow gang members. While in solitary, most are kept from participating in group educational programs or counseling sessions.
Short periods of isolation are unlikely to cause serious or permanent damage. But stays of months or years can trigger psychosis and debilitating depression. Inmates kept in solitary confinement for long periods also display higher levels of hostility than those in the general prison population and tend to carry this hostility with them after they are returned to the prison population at large or released back into the community.
There may be times when segregating an inmate is necessary for the safety of others or to protect the inmate. Keeping an inmate away from the general population may at times be appropriate discipline. Such an approach may be required in extraordinary cases to prevent convicted terrorists or gang leaders from devising plots or communicating with comrades.
But solitary confinement costs roughly twice as much as housing in less restrictive conditions — an expense that California and other fiscally challenged states can’t afford. Subjecting the average prisoner to the trauma of prolonged solitary confinement is inhumane. It comes perilously close to the “lock ’em up and throw away the key” mentality that has been long discredited as a legitimate prison management tool.
Source URL: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/solitary-confinement-should-be-a-last-resort/2011/08/11/gIQAxys6UJ_story.html
- Editorial: Cruel Isolation (nytimes.com)