Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Occupy DOJ: Statement by Leonard Peltier

Greetings and Hoka Hey! to my brother Mumia Abu Jamal, his family, friends, and supporters. Happy Fifty Eighth birthday, my friend. To you people of conscience I extend to you my support and enthusiasm for your efforts as you Occupy the Department of Justice on this day. As a person likewise denied justice and living in an iron cage purely for defending my own people, I want to thank you for taking ownership of the very concept of justice. They may call themselves the department of justice, but what they dispense is anything but. If you are black or brown or red what you get is obstruction, oppression, suppression, depression, and the INjustice of a system still afraid to acknowledge what it has historically done to minorities, and finds itself unable to change its destructive behavior.

What is justice? Is it a system where an overwhelming number of those arrested, tried, and convicted all look very similar? NO. Is it a system where one man or woman pays more for a similar crime than another because of what they look like? NO. Is it a pattern of historically violating the human rights of those who do not descend from Europeans? NO. Is it the quashing of the voices of those who stand up and heroically work to change the world for the better? NO. No it is not justice but it is injustice in the name of racism, and social and political deconstruction of communities already ravaged by the scoundrels of history.

And today I cry out to you my righteous brother and sisters, take ownership of this word justice. Explore the true meaning of the word not in some dictionary, but in your hearts, your homes, your neighborhoods, your cities, and finally in this country we live in. Express justice in every hall, and courthouse and capitol from California to Maine, from Texas to Montana and all points in between. Stand up together as one and show the authorities that justice is NOT based on fear, it is NOT based on marginalization, it is NOT based on holding down one to raise another, it is NOT about being afraid of our differences. Justice, TRUE justice is about being my brother’s keeper. It is about forging a common existence in the sight of the Creator as men and women living together, toiling together, playing together, worshipping together, and governing together without fear of being trampled on because of age old fears and deceptions.

You carry forth for those of us who cannot. Do not be afraid and do not grow weary. Our spirits are with you in every word you speak and every step you take. Carry on in the face of despair and sorrow and all that history has shown us. You are the face of change this country and this world must have if we are to know real justice and real harmony. I thank you. Thank you so much for your time, your faith, your energy, and your voice. And please, save me a piece of birthday cake for the day justice is served, and we are all free.

Mitakuye Oyasin (We are all related).

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse and Geronimo,

Leonard Peltier