February 4th: International Day of Action for Leonard Peltier

As posted on Infoshop News:

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’. Continue reading

Taking AIM and Wounding Justice Through the Incarceration of Leonard Peltier

By Karla Fetrow at Subversify.com

The Elements of Special Prosecution

June 26th. marked the anniversary of one of the greatest infamies committed in contemporary times by the U.S. Government against its own First People. On that day, in 1975, federal agents entered the Sioux Reservation, purportedly to question a crime suspect. Their invasion dissolved into mayhem and overt violence. Their primary motivation, however, was as it has been since 1870; to coerce or persuade the property owners to sell their land for industrial and natural resource development; primarily in heavy minerals, including Black Hills gold. A gunfight broke out and two of the F.B.I. agents were killed. Three of the inhabitants were later arrested and charged with murder. Two of the defendants were acquitted through a self-defense plea. One was not. He was tried, found guilty, and given two consecutive life sentences. His name was Leonard Peltier.

Attempts to free Leonard Peltier of the charges that occurred under the same circumstances with the same anxiety to defend his own life, have repeatedly failed. His initial arrest and confinement caused a flurry of interest in Native American affairs. “Free Leonard Peltier” posters decorated the homes of political activists, protests lined the streets of major Universities, and a copy of “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” lay on the coffee table of every informed household.

What does the book, which is a historical account of the 1870′s US Government’s battle with the Sioux Nation have to do with Leonard Peltier? Quite a bit. In the late 1960′s, frustrated by decades of discrimination and intrusive federal policies, Native American community activists led by George Mitchell, Dennis Banks, and Clyde Bellecourt met with 200 other tribal members to discuss these issues and the means of taking over their own destiny. Together, they created a new entity, a powerful voice speaking out against slum housing, joblessness and racist treatment among the First People. They became the foundation for the American Indian Movement (AIM).

Read the rest at Subversify.com

June 26: 35th Anniversary of the Pine Ridge Firefight

Pine RidgeStatement fron Leonard Peltier for June 26, 2010:

Greetings,

I want to first say thank you—thank you for taking the time and making the commitment to come to this place—but thank you mostly for remembering. Sometimes I sit in this cage and I find myself wondering if anyone really remembers. Many days, remembering is all my mind allows me to do. So, again, thank you. Thank you for bearing witness and being a part of a living memory.

But maybe the most important thing I’d like to say is don’t forget. Not ever.

You must be the historians who keep this lesson alive because this story isn’t about one day, one event, one person, or even one lifetime. This is a story that goes all the way back to the day a misguided fool, whose name I won’t even mention, led his troops in an attack on innocent people at the Greasy Grass, and in the process got himself and over two hundred of his troopers killed. And while the victors on that day had no choice but to defend themselves, we have been the victims of a genocidal revenge that continues until this very moment. So don’t forget. Not ever.
Continue reading

Leonard Peltier’s statement to the 2010 US Social Forum

June 22, 2010

Leonard PeltierWelcome to the traditional lands of my people, the Anishinabe. Greetings, my brothers and sisters. Greetings also to my relations from the many different Indigenous Nations who now call this place “Home.” Thank you for your warm welcome.

Hello to all the people of conscience in attendance at the US Social Forum. Thank you for taking the time and expense to attend an event that people will talk about for years to come. I know if you focus and believe, this event can be a major step in the development of a new society—one that turns away from fossil fuels, war and the rampant destruction of our universal home and, instead, focuses on the betterment of all… as opposed to the enrichment of a select few.

I ask that you work this week, in particular, toward full recognition of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as an essential component of a just and honorable U.S. human rights policy. As many of you may know, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was developed over many years with the participation of thousands of Indigenous Peoples. It is consistent with human rights principles as contained in international law, as well as the U.S. Constitution. And, yet, two nations with the largest Indigenous populations—Canada and the United States—have failed to endorse the Declaration. We call upon the United States government to finally endorse the Declaration in its entirety—without qualifications or exceptions—and to work in full partnership with Indigenous Peoples, Tribal governments and Nations to ensure its implementation.

I am Leonard Peltier, an American Indian political prisoner who fought against some of the same ideas and mechanisms many of you are fighting against today. Perhaps it was in a different way and a different time, but many years ago we were warning against the very realities many of you face today. The energy companies were raping Indian Country years ago—long before the oil spills, the mining disasters, and the poisoned waters America has come to know so well. So perhaps you can spare a few minutes to listen to the admonitions of an old man, an old warrior whose wisdom has come at a very high price.
Continue reading

Wednesday April 7th: Indigenous Resistance Prisoners letter writing night

Oka, 1990'sWed. April 7th, 6:30pm
ABC Monthly Letter Writing Night
April: Indigenous Resistance Prisoners
6th Ave UCC, 6th and Adams, Denver

In February, Denver ABC began hosting themed letter writing nights, beginning with prisoners of ICE and immigrant political prisoners. In March we wrote to Earth and Animal Liberation Prisoners.

In April, we will remember and honor over 500 years of anti-colonialist struggle in the Americas by writing and supporting prisoners of U.S. based indigenous self determination struggles.

Last year, Leonard Peltier, an organizer and warrior of the American Indian Movement was denied parole yet again. He sits in prison still, some 35 years after two FBI agents were killed in what was proven in previous trials of other AIM members as legitimate self defense.

Housed in the same prison as Leonard, is another indigenous comrade, Oso Blanco (White Bear) who is serving 80 years for robbing dozens of banks to funnel the money to another indigenous resistance movement, the Zapatistas. His actions show quite clearly that the long legacy of indigenous resistance is alive in cross-border actions of solidarity.

John Graham, another former AIM member sits in jail in South Dakota after being extradicted from Canada, in much the same manner as Leonard Peltier, while Luis V. Rodriguez, an Apache community organizer sits in prison in California after being framed for the murder of two police officers.

In April, we will remember this five century long legacy of resistance by supporting those that have paid the price for resisting, and yet still resist.

Please join us.

Envelopes, prisoner addresses and information, postage, childcare, educational information, and a FREE SPAGHETTI DINNER will all be provided! Just bring your self and your friends!

More information:
denverabc@rocketmail.com
denverabc.wordpress.com
Facebook Event

Feds drop charges against John Graham, state charges remain

From http://ourfreedom.wordpress.com/:

Federal prosecutors waited until the last minute, a February 3 deadline, to file a motion requesting the dismissal of the federal charges against John Graham, saying it would serve the best interests of justice. Judge Lawrence Piersol granted the motion, but Graham still faces newer state charges and a trial date of July 6, 2010. According to the corporate press, Graham’s co-accused Thelma Rios has had her case seperated from Graham’s and will have a different trial with a different judge. She is out on bond.

Richard Marshall, formerly Graham’s co-accused on the federal charges, is still expected to go to trial on February 16.

Graham’s lawyer in the federal case, John Murphy, who hasn’t been appointed yet as Graham’s state lawyer, had this to say in the corporate press:

“Twice before, charges brought by the government were dismissed. Twice before, the government waited until the last possible moment to appeal those dismissals. The government lost both appeals[...] After losing both appeals, the government waited for months before asking the Court of Appeals to reconsider its prior rulings. The Court refused to reconsider its prior rulings.”

A Call to Action for Leonard Peltier

Leonard PeltierA Call to Action
February 8, 2010

Attention, Supporters! February 6 has come and gone. We’ve had a day of rest, too. It’s time to get busy once again.

As you know, Leonard’s application for parole was denied in August 2009. Leonard has appealed that decision and needs our support. Leonard has not given up. We can’t give up, either. In fact, let’s intensify our efforts on Leonard’s behalf.

Actively support the parole of Leonard Peltier as you did last summer. Insist on a fair reconsideration of Leonard’s application for parole.

Write a brief and to-the-point letter to the U.S. Parole Commission at 5550 Friendship Boulevard, Suite 420, Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815-7286, Re: Leonard Peltier #89637-132.

You can fax your letter to (301) 492-6694, if you wish.

The Commission has no public e-mail.

Once you’ve sent off your letter to the Commission, please also call President Obama’s comment line at (202) 456-1111 or (202) 456-1112. Tell the President to support the parole of Leonard Peltier.

There was a crippling snow storm in the Washington metropolitan area this past weekend. Service at the White House may be disrupted as a result. Be patient and keep calling until you get through to the comment line. Generally, the White House comment line is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., EST.

Remember also that if the lines are busy, you can call the switchboard at (202) 456-1414. Ask for the comment line. You may be placed on hold until the next available staffer can take your call.

We thank you in advance for your attention to this urgent matter — as well as your time, effort, and commitment.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,

The Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee

Contact:

LP-DOC – PO Box 7488 – Fargo, ND 58106
(701) 235-2206 (Phone); (701) 235-5045 (Fax)
www.whoisleonardpeltier.info
contact@whoisleonardpeltier.info

Happy Holidays from Leonard Peltier

LeonardGreetings and happy holidays. I hope this letter finds you all enjoying the spirit of the season with family and friends.

My August parole denial was appealed in short order. We are expecting a response to that appeal sometime very soon. It has occurred to me that the viciousness of this system knows no bounds, and so I believe strongly in the coming days we will hear of another loss, another denial. This one will be timed and intended specifically as a twisted Christmas present for me, such is the nature of those in charge. With no sense of balance, fairness, or decency, I await my own personal stocking stuffer.

We all know the so-called justice system of this country is more about revenge and retribution than finding true and just resolution. It doesn’t take into account the plight of the wrongfully convicted, nor does it allow flexibility as human endeavors always require. This system has always been about making money at the top, furthering careers in the middle, and forgetting those at the bottom.

Their reason for denying my parole is that I refuse to admit guilt and show remorse for the deaths of two FBI agents. I know the righteousness of my situation. I know what I did and didn’t do. I will never yield.

I also know what this country did and continues to do to me and many others. While they demand I make a false confession for the sake of my freedom, they show no remorse for the loss of much of my life, or the lives of Joe Stuntz and countless others they have murdered over the generations simply for being who they were. Those lives are meaningless when compared to their precious FBI, I guess. And now, some of the very ones responsible for the deaths and suffering of so many of my people, are peddling books and claiming to be a friend of the Indian. We’ve seen this before, and I’ll speak more about this soon.

I remain proud of what I have stood for and mindful of what real justice is. In this season of love and forgiveness, please say a prayer for all of those who never knew justice and others who have such difficulty in finding it still today.

My love and my prayers go out to all of you.

Happy Holidays.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,

Leonard Peltier

40th Anniversary of the Indigenous occupation of Alcatraz

AlcatrazIn 1969 a group of Native American students and urban Indians began the occupation of Alcatraz island in the San Francisco bay. Eventually joined by thousands of Native Americans, they reclaimed “Indian Land” for the first time since the 1880′s, forever changing the way Native Americans viewed themselves, their culture and their sovereign rights. This occupation paved the way for a number of changes in U.S. policy with regards to Native Americans.

The takeover of Alcatraz was one of the most successful American Indian protest actions of the 20th century, fueling the rise of modern Native American activism. In fact, many of the 74 Indian occupations of federal facilities that followed Alcatraz were either planned by or included people who had been involved in seizing the island. The occupation also brought Indian rights issues to the attention of the federal government and American public, changing forever the way Native people viewed themselves, their culture and their inherent right to self-determination.

Full story

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