Saturday, December 10th, 2016. New York City.
Annual Indigenous Day Of Remembrance.
Harry Belafonte to President Obama: Free Native Activist Leonard Peltier Now.
PLEASE, LET THE PRESIDENT KNOW THAT THERE IS MUCH SUPPORT FOR LEONARD’S FREEDOM
PHONE THE WHITE HOUSE:
WRITE TO THE PRESIDENT:
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW.
Washington, DC 20500
PRESIDENT OBAMA LEAVES OFFICE ON JANUARY 20 — THERE IS NO TIME TO LOSE!
THANKS FOR YOUR HELP,
NYC FREE PELTIER
“There are numerous ways to communicate with the modern White House. In addition to writing those all important letters to the president, you can call the White House comment line; send an e-mail (as an individual or for your organization); and post to White House pages on many social networks. So don’t hesitate. Use all means available to urge President Obama to free Leonard Peltier. Do it and keep doing it until freedom is won!”
THIS IS AN OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA FROM MARTIN GARBUS, THE HEAD OF LEONARD’S LEGAL TEAM.
Time to Free Leonard Peltier: Open Letter to Obama.
Early this year I filed a petition for clemency and an application for compassionate release to President Barack Obama for the release of Leonard Peltier.
Mr. Peltier, now aged 72, has now served nearly 41 hard years, six in solitary confinement. Unless President Obama releases him, Leonard Peltier will die in prison.
Leonard Peltier is in poor health, and is a threat to no one. Mr. Peltier is next eligible for parole in 2024. The last months, at the pipeline demonstrations in North Dakota pictures and protests on behalf of Leonard have again shown the Native Americans reverence for Leonard. The Clemency Petition does not seek forgiveness or a pardon, it asks President Obama to commute Mr. Peltier’s sentence and to permit him to live his remaining years at home.
A Clemency Petition and an application for compassionate release are not about Leonard’s guilt or innocence – it is about all of the issues that Leonard Peltier has come to represent during four decades in prison, including among other things: the historic injustices against Native Americans; the distrust between Native communities and federal law enforcement agencies; the poverty and polarized conditions on Pine Ridge Reservation in the 1970s which were exasperated, in part, by an ineffective federal response; the ensuing violence that drove Pine Ridge to become the murder capital of the nation; and, the circumstances that led up to, contributed to and followed the June 26, 1975 shootout, in which two young FBI agents and one young American Indian lost their lives on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
One of the more chilling documents annexed to the Clemency Petition is a report of William Muldrow, who reported his observations to his superiors at the US Civil Rights Commission. He observed warrantless searches, detentions without cause, a military response with hundreds of agents swarming the Oglala Lakota community in an aggressive manner, and federal representatives making false and misleading statements to the press. He concluded that the complaints of over-reaching coming from the Oglala Lakota Nation (on Pine Ridge Reservation) were “sufficient[ly] credi[ble] to cast doubt on the propriety of the actions of the FBI, and raise questions about their impartiality and focus of their concern.”
Nearly twenty-five years ago, Judge Gerald Heaney of the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals, who presided on two appellate panels that considered Mr. Peltier’s appeals at different stages (and authored one of the decisions), wrote to the Senate Committee in 1991:
“Leonard Peltier was tried, found guilty, and sentenced. He has now served more than fourteen years in the federal penitentiary. At some point, a healing process must begin. We as a nation must treat Native Americans more fairly. To do so, we must recognize their unique culture and their great contributions to our nation. Favorable action by the President in the Leonard Peltier case would be an important step in this regard.”
There is no question that Mr. Peltier’s release would resound as a positive step towards reconciliation throughout Indian Country, and would demonstrate by Executive action that under today’s worldview American Indians are valued members of our society. As Professor James Anaya, former United Nations Rapporteur for Indigenous Rights wrote to you by letter dated October 28, 2015:
“In my opinion, if Leonard Peltier dies in jail, then he will likely die a martyr and the relationships and progress that you and your Administration have worked so hard to forge likely will be dealt a significant set-back… I respectfully submit that the time has come for the significant interests of law enforcement to yield to the significant interests of fundamental fairness and reconciliation and healing with America’s first peoples… There are very few things that a sitting President can do to signal significant and meaningful reconciliation for America’s first peoples, but as I pointed out in my 2012 [United Nations] report, granting Clemency to Leonard Peltier is one of them. Such action would resonate as a sign of singular importance for the equal application of the rules of the justice system to all indigenous peoples in this country.”
In addition, the National Congress of American Indians, the largest and most representative Indian organization in the nation, has urged reconciliatory action, as referenced in its October 12, 2015 letter, where it states:
“Mr. President, you are faced with a profound opportunity to build upon all of the wonderful work you have done addressing the inequalities that continue to face the first peoples across the nation and addressing the history of oppression and distrust. By granting Executive Clemency to Leonard Peltier you will be sending a statement to the world that going forward America will not sanction injustices and unfairness towards indigenous peoples.”
Viewing the case through today’s lens with the benefit of hindsight, a picture emerges of intolerance, misunderstanding, prejudice, lack of accountability and a disregard for the civil rights of a marginalized American Indian community.
Among the supporters of this Clemency Petition are globally respected scholars, activists, and professional organizations, Nobel Peace Laureates, Amnesty International, the National Congress of American Indians, representatives of the United Nations and many others. The fact human rights leaders in the United States and throughout the world remain committed to Leonard Peltier forty years later, is itself a compelling indicator that saving Leonard Peltier’s life is worthwhile and the American justice system failed in this case to live up to its standards.
The deaths of Special Agents Jack A. Coler and Ronald A Williams was a tragedy, and nothing in this letter or in Mr. Peltier’s Petition is meant to minimize the gravity of the offense or the pain that their families have endured. Mr. Peltier has repeatedly expressed his remorse, regret, and sadness that the events of June 26, 1975 led to the deaths of young men engaged in their official duties. He is particularly sad that the events of that day led to continuing pain for the families of Agents Coler and Williams.
Whether President Obama grants Clemency or fails to “reckon with the past,” his decision will be a star and will set a precedent about law enforcement’s treatment of America’s first peoples. By supporting this Petition, you have an opportunity to stand on the side of history that sends an unambiguous message to Indian Country and the world that our nation respects and values its first citizens and that we are ready to seize a better future.
Attorney at Law
Emergency Health Update on Leonard Peltier.
December 5, 2016
Greetings my friends and relatives,
Early this morning I was taken out of my cell in chains and taken to the infirmary where I was told to wait, sitting up in a chair which was very uncomfortable.
After about an hour an outside doctor came in and talked to me. He said that they need to do surgery on my prostate right away. As you know I have been complaining about prostate symptoms for years. He described what is usually a very long and painful recovery period, but then said that he does a new procedure that is much less difficult.
I do not know when or where this will take place. All I know is that he said it has to be done ASAP.
I would like to thank all of my friends who reached out to ask that my health issues be addressed I believe that without that help I would not be seeing an outside doctor now.
I will ask that people keep me in their prayers going forward.
I will try to let someone know as soon as I hear more if there is time.
In Loving Memory of Wahacanka Paul Peltier.
To all of our relatives and friends,
It is with a deeply sad heart that I write this. Today my dear younger brother Wa Ha walked on. He was with us here in Washington DC as we pray and work for clemency for our father Leonard Peltier. He was my little brother and I cannot believe his is gone from us. His name was Wahacanka.
His english name was Paul Shields-Peltier and he was born and raised on the Pine Ridge Oglala Lakota reservation. He had been sick for many months and was having dialysis for four hours a day three days a week and although his wife and family suggested him not to make this trip, he would not be turned back. In true Oglala way he said he wanted to go on this journey to help bring his father home.
He adored his wife Emily Two Lance-Peltier and his five children (four daughters and one son) and his mother Audrey Shields, his sisters and brothers and other family members and the Oglala Oyate. He was a quiet man who was known for his soft good humor and kind spirit. He never missed an event or a ceremony for our father. He was never one to stand up and speak but always there to help and support.
He lived the very hard life that is life on the Pine Ridge but in recent years he joined a company that was building environmentally sustainable housing for the people of the reservation and it was something he loved to do because it knew he was helping his people.
He suffered a very damaging stroke while working and has been trying to recover since.
Our dad had wished to donate one of his kidneys to Wa Ha but because of his imprisonment and his own failing health that was not possible. I will never forget my fathers words when he found out. He said, “Oh No. My Son has died. My baby has died.” I wish we could console him now as we try to console each other.
We will let people know the details of his ceremonies as we find them out. Please keep him and his family in your prayers.
To help with the funeral expenses, please donate at www.gofundme.com/wa-ha-paul-shieldspeltier
With Love to all of you,
Elder son of Leonard Peltier
Statement by Leonard Peltier on the passing of his son Wahacanka Paul Peltier.
It’s taken me a while to get over this shock of my son’s passing. I keep thinking this did not happen and then I realize no one is going to tell me something like this IF it didn’t happen. Damn, as all parents, we expect to go before OUR children. I’m so upset. I want to lash out, blame “someone” or “anything”!! BUT I can only blame myself for not being a better father. I’m so happy that, some time ago Now, when I last spoke to him about this that we told each other we loved one another and that I would try to be a better father. BUT it is SO damn hard to be a good father from prison especially when you’re in a situation like mine when all you think about is going home and being able to just sit with them and talk about life.
Now my baby son is gone and I will never be able to tell him in person again I love him, only through the spirits. I want to thank all of YOU FOR YOUR CONDOLENCES. Thank you very much. You supporters have been more than awesome. You’re good people and I love all of you very much.
Since I was unable to be a better father to Wahacanka (Medicine Shield), and he has left five children (three young children) I feel it is my responsibility to take care of them at least until they are grown. He also had a grandchild with another on the way, so I will need to look after these babies too. I will need your help to set up a foundation or whatever to care for these children. I don’t know what it will take, but I’m thinking maybe I could fund this through my art (paintings and prints). So if anyone has ideas, etc., please help me with this. I don’t know what to do or even begin to do with something like this.
When it rains it pours, they say. I just heard an old friend and ally Warren Allmand has passed too. Last week I’m told, and I just heard about it yesterday. This man fought hard for me to try and get justice for the fraud the USA committed in Canada’s courts, against a sovereign government, to get me back here to the USA. But Canada was involved with the fraud, too. Then we found out they were also threatened by the DOJ that they would withhold multiple millions of dollars for their joint agriculture laboratory if they ruled against the USA in the extradition investigation Warren and supporters demanded. So I need to send my condolences to his family also.
I will be going for a prostate operation shortly. With modern medicine and treatment, it should be successful and quick. They will not tell me when, so stand by for results if all goes well or if not. Again, thank you.
In the Spirit Of Crazy Horse…
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“WARRIOR The Life of Leonard Peltier.”
This is the definitive feature documentary about American Indian activist, Leonard Peltier. His story is told within the context of the American Indian Movement, the US federal government, and the multi national companies interested in mining the land in South Dakota.
Produced and directed by Suzie Baer. 1992
For more information about Leonard Peltier please contact http://www.whoisleonardpeltier.info/
For more information about the film / posters contact Suzie Baer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Former Prison Guard Speaks: Leonard Peltier Must Be Free.
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