August 6: Day of Action for Leonard Peltier

From freepeltiernow.blogspot.com:

Clemency for Leonard Peltier

Call President Obama for Leonard Peltier: 202-456-1111;
Email President Obama: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/submit-questions-and-comments;
Send a tweet to President Obama: @POTUS
Write a letter: President Barack Obama, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500

August6

Some Reflections on Comrades, The Spirit of Resistance, Struggle and Death

Sacramento Prisoner Support:

jaan

by Jaan Laaman – 4sm editor

January 27, 2015

2015 is almost a month old and my overall outlook has been optimistic and energized.  With a months long new movement in the streets, fighting against government repression and police killings of unarmed men, boys and women too, mostly of color, for me it has been a time of gathering information and supporting and contributing to this new movement.

It is within this context, that I just received somber and hard information about two comrades of mine, two very good human beings, steadfast brothers and courageous fighters in the Freedom Struggle.  I am talking about two friends of mine, both long held political prisoners — Phil Africa and Bill Dunne.

William Phillips Africa died on January 10, 2015, in the Pennsylvania state prison system, at SCI Dallas.

Phil Africa was one of the Move 9, all of whom have been in captivity since August 8, 1978.  On that day, the Philadelphia police and other government forces launched an unprovoked assault on the Move home.  The Move 9 are completely innocent women and men who were thrown into prison for 30 to 100 year sentences.  They are all still in prison, except for Merle Africa who died in 1998, and now Phil.

Phil Africa never stopped struggling for justice and freedom, not only for the Move Family and his co-defendants, but for poor and oppressed people of all colors, across this country  and around the world.  Phil was a good man, intelligent and brave, thoughtful and caring.  He could make you laugh and he was self disciplined and worked to stay in shape.  He was a father figure, as well as a boxing teacher and sports coach to many younger men.

Phil’s death in the Pennsylvania state correctional institution at Dallas, came under very questionable and suspicious circumstances.  See a more detailed posting on Phil’s death at www.4strugglemag.org.

My political prisoner brother and friend, Phil Africa, died in that Pennsylvania prison cell in his 37th year of captivity.  Phil’s hardships and deprivations are now over.  Phil was never a man who bemoaned the harsh, inhumane and injust realities he and other prisoners were forced to endure.  Dying in prison is always a sad reality.  Phil’s hardships are now over and that is a good thing, even while we mourn his passing.  We should also question the circumstances surrounding his death and demand answers from Pennsylvania prison officials.

Continuing in this journey of hard news and harsh realities, let me share some information on another friend and fellow political prisoner, Bill Dunne.  Bill is alive and I’m pretty sure in decent health.  Like other political prisoners, Bill stays fit, in fighting shape, because it doesn’t matter how old you are or how many decades you have been imprisoned, the government and its agents never cease in their efforts to defeat you, break you and stop you in your/our struggle for justice, freedom and a revolutionary future of peace, equality and protection of our planet.  So Bill, like all political prisoners, try’s to keep the Spirit of Resistance firm and his body and mind fit.

Bill has been in captivity since 1979, that is for 36 years.  He has been held in maximum security penitentiaries and special lock-down control units for all these years.  In 2000, when he already had spent 21 years in prison, the United States parole board gave Bill a 15 year hit!  That is, he was ordered to spend 15 more years in prison.  Two months ago, Bill again appeared before the parole board and in a vicious act of inhumanity and hatred for the Freedom Struggle and Freedom Fighters, the U.S. parole board hit Bill with another 15 year set off!  He is not eligible to see the parole board again until 2029.  See www.4strugglemag.org, for a more detailed report on Bill Dunne’s parole hearing.

The ugly reality is that there are political prisoners, courageous and noble leaders like Sundiata Acoli and Leonard Peltier, who have been locked up even longer; Sundiata has been in captivity for 43 years, Leonard for 39 years, and there are others like them.

The parole board’s primary questions, as well as its ‘justifications’ for ordering Bill to, quite likely, spend the rest of his life in prison, was his “continuing association and affiliation with anarchist organizations”, which was, “evidence you still harbor anti-authoritarian views…”

The U.S. government, through its parole board, made very clear that Bill’s real offense, like the so called crimes of all U.S. held political prisoners, was his political beliefs and associations.  The activities Bill and other political prisoners may have taken in support of liberation and justice based political views is not the main “crime” in the eyes of the United States government.  The ultimate “crime” is Freedom and Justice based revolutionary thinking and beliefs.  Anarchist; socialist; communist, National Liberation for Puerto Rico, the Black Nation in the usa, the Native/Indigenous Nations; the Green ecological ideology of protecting our Earth and all its life against imperialist plunder, these are the “crimes” of political prisoners.

I am certain Bill Dunne will challenge and litigate this unprecedented second 15 year hit.  I am also sure Bill will continue to work with the ABC collectives and other outside groups the parole board listed; the groups they so hated and feared.

I wanted to express my complete solidarity and support for Bill in his harsh ongoing struggle for justice, life and freedom.  And I wanted to convey my heartfelt solidarity and revolutionary love to all the Move Family and Phil Africa’s closest people.  We will always remember and be inspired by Phil Africa.

Sharing this information and reflecting on the types of realities that all political prisoners confront and have to deal with, I hope, gives you people outside, a little more understanding of revolutionary struggle and life behind prison walls.  I do have some  concern that perhaps some of you activists and people of conscience, may be overly intimidated by these realities of prison life.  Engaging in the Freedom Struggle always has the potential of confrontation with the state and its abusive police power.  This can include being thrown into prison.  People should be clear about this.  You should also be clear though, that even in extreme examples, like the heroic lives and struggle of Phil Africa and Bill Dunne, imprisoned Freedom Fighters can and do maintain their principles, their dignity and their will and ability to struggle.  The more that people and the media, including the non-corporate media, are aware of and supportive of political prisoners and prison struggle generally, the more protection this provides us.

In the Spirit of Phil Africa —

let us remember,

Freedom Is A Constant Struggle!

Jaan Laaman
#10372-016
USP Tucson
P.O. Box 24550
Tucson, AZ 85734

International Day of Solidarity with Leonard Peltier: February 4, 2012

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 illegally 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 here and on our master calendar.

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. Continue reading

Leonard Peltier Update

In September, Leonard was transferred to USP Coleman in central Florida.  His conditions initially appeared to be an improvement over the penitentiary in Lewisburg. but it seems his living conditions may indeed be much worse.  For example, Leonard still isn’t being allowed visitors. Family members have to reapply to be put on Leonard’s visitors list. Even the attorneys (for the first time) have to be put on his visitors list. The attorneys have another level of approval to navigate, as well, but are finding it difficult to contact prison officials to make all the necessary arrangements. It took one attorney over one month to gain access to his client. Leonard is being
isolated as never before. In addition, Leonard has been assigned to a top bunk. Due to a torn ligament which has never been repaired, Leonard’s ability to climb safely is diminished. Mr. Peltier also should be placed in a unit with other older prisoners, but Coleman has Leonard listed as being 57 years of age when, in fact, he is 67 years old. All of Leonard’s prison records over these many years clearly indicate his correct date of birth.

Curious, right?

Contact:

Dr. Thomas Kane, Acting Director
Federal Bureau of Prisons
320 1st Street, NW
Washington, DC 20534
E-Mail: info@bop.gov
Phone: (202) 307-3250 (Director); (202) 307-3198 (Switchboard)
Fax: (202) 514-6620

http://www.whoisleonardpeltier.info

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

Leonard Peltier Changes Legal Team

Supporters should know that Mr. Peltier has recently decided on a legal strategy that best suits his needs and that is a departure from the strategy presented by Attorney Robert R. Bryan some months ago. Consequently, Robert Bryan no longer represents Leonard Peltier. Mr. Peltier enjoys the support of other attorneys who will continue to represent him. Please do what you can to support their efforts to free Leonard Peltier.

As a reminder, the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee (LPDOC) is the center of communication between Leonard Peltier and his program coordinators, the general public, government officials, political and tribal leaders, the media, and his supporters worldwide.

The international headquarters of the LPDOC is located in Fargo, North Dakota. Our contact information is as follows.

LPDOC
PO Box 7488, Fargo, ND 58106
Phone: 701/235-2206
E-mail: contact@whoisleonardpeltier.info

Feel free to contact us with questions or concerns.

Donations should be sent to the above address. Alternatively, you may contribute securely online. Only our authorized partners and credentialed support chapters (listed at our Web site at www.whoisleonardpeltier.info under the “Chapters” tab) are authorized to conduct direct fundraising in your community. If you have questions about fundraising or wish to report suspected abuses, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Thank you for all you do on Leonard’s behalf.