Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Freedom for Leonard Peltier and justice for all aboriginal communities, says CUPE Ontario

Freedom for Leonard Peltier and justice for all aboriginal communities, says CUPE Ontario

Union joins other supporters to mark 36 years of Peltier's false imprisonment

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 6, 2012) - The struggle for freedom for American Indian activist Leonard Peltier, wrongly extradited from Canada to the US in 1976, reminds Canadians that the struggle for justice for all aboriginal peoples is ongoing, CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn said today on the 36th year of Peltier's false imprisonment.

"CUPE Ontario stands with all those gathering today to call for freedom for Leonard Peltier," Hahn said. "And we are reminded today that the call for freedom extends to a demand for social and economic justice for all aboriginal communities."

Hahn, along with CUPE Ontario Diversity Vice-President representing Aboriginal Members Joanne Webb, and National Diversity Vice-President Brian Barron attended today's events organized by the Canadian Human Rights Committee for Justice and Freedom for Leonard Peltier and the Indigenous Education Network of OISE/UT. The groups gathered to take part in the annual community vigil in honour of Leonard Peltier, North America's longest-serving, indigenous political prisoner.

As Canada's largest union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is part of a large number of organizations and individuals that believes that Leonard Peltier was convicted on fabricated and suppressed evidence, as well as coerced testimony. Hahn encouraged CUPE members and all Canadians to call or email US President Barack Obama to support Peltier's long bid for freedom.

"From the wrongly imprisoned Leonard Peltier to the challenging socio-economic conditions for aboriginals across Canada, the issues facing aboriginal people are concerns for all Canadians," Hahn said.

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