Forwarded on behalf of the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee
September 6, 2010

Sisters, brothers, friends and supporters,

I wish I could sit across the table from each of you right now. We’d
share a meal and reflect on changes in this world over these 35 or
so years. Yes, I pay attention to things on the outside (as much as
possible). I know the world is in turmoil and I ache for the Native
people who languish in utter poverty on reservations and in inner
cities across America.

As a young man, all I wanted to do was make a positive difference
in the People’s lives. I’ll turn 66 years old next week and I
still want that. It’s difficult to have an impact in my current
circumstances, though. That’s a constant source of frustration for
me. On the outside, given the chance to roll up my sleeves once
again, I suspect I’d still be somewhat frustrated. All that must
be done is more than any one person can accomplish. I’d still like
the opportunity to do my part.

Thinking back to those days on Pine Ridge, what I remember is the
funerals. There were so many funerals… So many families lost
loved ones.

There was a powerful force at work on the reservation back then,
one with a single purpose-to stamp out the last resistance of the
Lakota people.

We (the Oglala traditionals and members of the American Indian
Movement) stood up because we were trying to defend our People. It
was the right thing to do. We had-have-the right to survive.

The land was being stolen, too… used for mining mostly. No thought
was given to the disposal of toxic waste. The rivers were full of
poisons. Not much has changed, I hear.

In those days, though, the reservation was torn apart by a
tribal dispute and the federal government armed one group against
another. The result was a long line of tragedies for the People
of Pine Ridge… and for the People who were there that day in
June 1975.

I honestly understand the pain and anguish suffered by all concerned
and I have been part of that suffering.

I have watched people lie on the witness stand countless times and
felt the doors closing on me.

I have heard judges admonish prosecutors for allowing false evidence
in and, in some cases, for participating in the falsification itself.

The government hid evidence, too.

Or manufactured it. Literally.

The courts say none of this is even in dispute anymore. So I wonder,
if the American standard of justice is still “beyond a reasonable
doubt,” why am I still here?

Some people have had their convictions overturned because of one
constitutional violation. The number of constitutional violations
in my case is staggering. Yet, I continue to wait here for the same
justice to be applied for me.

I hope that someday someone can put it all on the table and show
the enormity of the railroading I have been victimized by.

Last year, as you know, my parole was denied. That was a
disappointment, but I am not defeated. My fight for freedom-for
my People and myself-is not over. I am a pipe carrier and
a Sundancer. Abandoning The Struggle is not-never will be-a

I am an Indian man and proud of it. I love my People and culture
and spiritual beliefs. My enemies like to suggest otherwise and
seek to rob me of all dignity. They won’t succeed.

When I look back over all the years, I remember all the good people
who have stood up for me, for a day or a decade. Of course, many
have stayed with me all along the way. I think of the hundreds of
thousands of people around the world who have signed petitions for
me, too… people on the poorest of reservations to the highest of
political offices.

As we have learned over these many years, my freedom won’t come
quickly or easily. To succeed, the coming battle will have to be
hard fought. Please continue to help my Committee and legal team
as you have always done. Your support is more important now than
ever before. When freedom comes, it will be due in no small part
to the actions you take on my behalf.

Again, thank you for remembering me. You can’t know the comfort you
bring to an innocent man locked away from the world for so very long.


Leonard Peltier
US Penitentiary
PO Box 1000
Lewisburg, PA 17837

Launched into cyberspace by the Leonard Peltier Defence Offense
PO Box 7488, Fargo, ND 58106
Phone: 701/235-2206
Fax: 701/235-5045
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Time to set him free… Because it is the RIGHT thing to do.

Friends of Peltier

photo  7668710@N02/456006802/