Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Danny Glover Commits to Meet Peltier Walkers in DC - May 18

Leonard Peltier Walk to DC
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,”

continued Glover.

“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

Actor Danny Glover speaks in support of the Freedom of Leonard Peltier and The Walk for Human Rights

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Statement from Leonard Peltier: From Behind the Iron Door

Hau Kola.

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,

Leonard Peltier
December, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Bill of Rights Under Attack

Our nation celebrates Bill of Rights Day every December 15, the anniversary of the ratification of the first ten amendments to the Constitution.

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.


How Many Innocent People Are in Prison?

Before we talk about how many people may be behind bars for crimes they did not commit, we must acknowledge that it's nearly impossible to know—only broad estimates are possible. There are several key reasons, experts say, why a number is so hard to ascertain. Because the sprawling criminal justice system is a patchwork of federal, state, county, and municipal courts, prisons, and jails—each with its own system (or lack thereof) of record-keeping and data-reporting—we don't even know how many people are convicted, let alone wrongfully convicted, of crimes in the United States. "We don’t even have a denominator," says University of Virginia law professor Brandon Garrett. "But the wrongful convictions we do know about suggest that there's a big problem."

Read more: http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/12/innocent-people-us-prisons

Monday, December 12, 2011

Media Advisory: Leonard Peltier Walk for Human Rights

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

Presidential Pardons: Shades of Mercy

Presidential Pardons: Shades of Mercy

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.

Watch below.


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Friday, December 2, 2011