RN: Leonard Peltier, other native issues


Jan Slakov

Dear RN List,    Jan. 29

Viviane Lerner just sent us news of the upcoming Day of Protest to Free
Leonard Peltier (FEB. 6).

I am pleased to have this opportunity to invite you to join the struggle for
justice for Leonard Peltier and for indigenous people in general.

Someone who has not forgotten Leonard Peltier and who speaks movingly on his
behalf is a good friend of mine, Jennifer Wade. Jennifer has been involved
in many, many social justice causes, from the civil rights movement in the
US, to helping found Amnesty International groups, to helping homeless
children, prisoners' rights; the list could go on forever! 

She is urging people to write Hilary Clinton, to press for clemency for Peltier:

To: •••@••.••• (Jan Slakov)
From: "C.Kline" <•••@••.•••>
Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 11:26:49 -0800

Dear Jan:
Perhaps by nopw you have heard that WILPF-BC's Jan. 9th programme meeting
was [...] about Leonard Peltier who has been held in an
American prison for 21 years.  Jennifer gave an impassioned documented
account of this  Lakota Sioux Indian and leader of the American Indian
Movement who was found guilty  of killing two FBI agents (despite strong
evidence suggesting that the trial was a travesty of justice).
        She pointed out that Ramsey Clark, Jesse Jackson and many other
knowledgeable and informed people from around the world have been urging
that the case be re-opened or that the the US simply grant him executive
clemency. Condemning Canada for not lodging a formal complaint with the
U.S. authorities, Jennifer said that Leonard Peltier's situation is known
around the world and is seen as a symbol of the mistreatment of native
people in America.
        She has launched a "Hillary Campaign for Leonard," and urges all of
us committed to human rights and justice to write to the US First Lady
asking her to intercede on his behalf. Hillary's e-mail address is
<•••@••.•••>. (The unusual puncuation is correct!) Mailing
address is The White House, 1600 Pennsyylvania Ave., Wsashington, D.C.
20500, US. Another action Jennifer suggested is to send a card to Leonard
Peltier: POW #89637-132, Box 1000, Leavenworth, Kansas  66048  USA.
          Leonard Peletier now is very ill and wants only to be reunited
with his family and friends for the time he has left.

Carolyn Kline, WILPF-BC
It is because of my friendship with Jennifer that I know about and have
become involved in what is known as the "Kevin Annett case". Kevin Annett
was a United Church minister until he was "de-listed" by that Church after
he began helping native people bring to light stories of abuse in Canada's
residential schools.* Jennifer sat through the United Church hearings which
ended up with Kevin's de-listing and was appalled at the unfairness of the
whole process. With time, it has become apparent that very powerful people
in B.C. (Britich Columbia) want Kevin Annett silenced, even to the extent of
arranging for the brake lines of his car to be cut!

(*The extent of this abuse is truly shocking: According to the Report of the
Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, some 40% or 50,000 children sent to
residential schools DIED there. And many of those who lived have the sequels
of horrible abuse to live with.)

To find out more about this case, please write to me or to Kevin himself at
Kevin Daniel Annett <•••@••.•••>. You can also check out
this month's _New Internationalist_, which has an article about the case.

all the best, Jan

X-Sender: •••@••.•••
Date: Thu, 28 Jan 1999 18:49:09 -0800
From: viviane lerner <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Fwd: International Day of Protest to Free Leonard Peltier

>Date: Thu, 28 Jan 1999 22:39:37 -0500 (EST)
>To: •••@••.•••
>From: Leonard Peltier Support Group <•••@••.•••>
>Subject: International Day of Protest to Free Leonard Peltier
>International Day of Protest to Free Leonard Peltier  - February 6th 
>Contacts:   Leonard Peltier Support Group / Greater New England
>            P.O. Box 1999                   Jonathan Mark   978-544-7862
>            Wendell Depot, MA 01380         Rebecca Tidwell 203-634-8247
>Leonard Peltier Defense Committee   Attn:Gina Chiala or Keith McHenry
>P.O. Box 583, Lawrence, KS 66044    Tel: 785-842-5774, Fax: 5796
>"I have never lost my strong belief in the Creator. I know that he has asked
>me to sacrifice to aid my people and I am doing that. I pray that this is
>not a lifelong obligation. Perhaps I am here to call attention to the plight
>of Indian people or maybe I am here to further the fight for our religious
>and cultural freedom. Perhaps my imprisonment will expose this country's
>dual judicial system and maybe it will help to unite people all races and
>religions in the crucial quest for peace and justice."
>- Leonard Peltier
>Groups in over 30 cities plan to unite for an International Day of Protest
>to Free Leonard Peltier on February 6, 1999. Among the locations* where the
>protests will take place are London; Amsterdam; Brussels; Washington, D.C.;
>San Diego; Tacoma, WA; Rapid City SD; and Springfield, MA. The Leonard
>Peltier Support Group / Greater New England will be rallying and
>distributing literature on Peltier's case outside the Federal Building at
>1550 Main Street in Springfield, Massachusetts, beginning at noon.
>February 6, 1999 marks the twenty-third anniversary of Native American
>leader Leonard Peltier's incarceration for allegedly killing two FBI agents
>on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 1975. With a profound hope that he
>will be free before the millennium, numerous groups have planned events
>about Leonard's plight on this anniversary. As supporters of Leonard's
>innocence, right to freedom, and valued leadership, we are determined to
>work for his release.
>There is overwhelming evidence that his imprisonment is a gross injustice:
>(1) U.S. Prosecutors have admitted they cannot prove Peltier fired the shots
>that killed the agents; (2) The FBI withheld information from the Peltier
>defense on key ballistic tests pointing to Leonard's innocence.
>And there is much more indicating that Peltier is essentially a political
>prisoner of the United States.  At the time of the shootout in which the two
>agents and a Native American died, traditional Lakota Native Americans were
>resisting the seizure of their land for uranium mining.  In the two years
>before the incident, over 60 resisters had been murdered, without
>investigation, by a death squad directed by a Native American Council leader
>known to be armed, trained, and directed by the FBI.
>Moreover, Leonard Peltier was extradited to the United States from Canada on
>the basis of affidavits acknowledged to be false by the Supreme Court of

>Canada and by the U.S. government in June 1989. In a 1989 decision, the
>Supreme Court of Canada called the affidavits "suspect to the point of
>fraud," and urged the Canadian government to "seek immediate and effective
>diplomatic redress."
>As of June 1998, the internal review of the facts concerning Leonard's
>extradition from Canada was cleared for release to the public, at the
>discretion of Canada's Minister of Justice, the Honorable Anne McLellan.
>There is little doubt the report will clearly state that the U.S.
>fraudulently obtained Leonard's extradition -- and that under the terms of
>our countries' extradition treaty, the U.S. must return him to Canada, where
>he will finally be freed. So far, Justice McLellan has refused to release
>this report.
>Leonard Peltier is currently suffering from complications of maxilla-facial
>surgery he underwent at the Springfield, KS, Medical facility in 1996. He is
>in excruciating pain, and his health is in peril. Though prison physician
>Dr. Collins recommends Leonard be treated at the Mayo clinic in Rochester,
>N.Y., prison officials refuse to temporarily transfer Leonard. Many of the
>February 6 protesters are fasting and writing letters to help pressure the
>Bureau of Prisons, Leavenworth prison, and the U.S. Congress to permit
>Leonard's immediate transfer to the Mayo Clinic to relieve his agony.  
>We are also actively lobbying President Clinton to finally abide by his 1992
>campaign promise to give Leonard Peltier's case "a fair and impartial
>review."  Peltier filed a petition for Executive Clemency on November 19,
>1993, citing the support of such world leaders as Nelson Mandela and Jesse
>Jackson, 55 members of Congress, and resolutions passed by several European
>Parliaments. Meanwhile, 20 million people have written the U.S. Government
>on behalf of Leonard Peltier, and Amnesty International has cited the
>Peltier case as a glaring example of FBI tampering with the judicial process
>in a political trial. More than five years after the petition was filed,
>President Clinton said the Justice Department hasn't given him their
>recommendation yet. This process normally takes six to nine months.
>In the first trial regarding the 1975 shoot-out with the FBI on the Pine
>Ridge Reservation, two American Indian Movement (AIM) members were found not
>guilty by the jury for reason of self-defense. After losing that case, the
>FBI seemed to have crossed ethical and legal boundaries to capture and
>convict AIM leader, Leonard Peltier. Now, twenty-three years later, the
>February 6 events will be an opportunity to inform more people about the
>gross injustices of this case and how to further the support of Leonard
>Peltier for justice and human rights.
>* "International Day of Protest to Free Leonard Peltier" 6 February 1999
>will be found in the following locations:
>Amsterdam, Netherlands; Brussells, Belgium; Paris, France; Helsinki,
>Finland; London, England; Derby, England
>South America
>Lima, Peru
>Toronto, Ontario;  Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario; Victoria, British Columbia;
>Regina, Saskatchewan 

>United States
>Albany, NY; Atlanta, Ga;  Boston, MA; Baltimore, MD; Chicago, IL; Portland,
>OR; Eugene, OR; Cincinnati, OH; Kent, OH; Lawrence, KS; Houston, TX; San
>Diego, CA; San Francisco, CA; Nashville, TN; Rapid City, SD; Springfield,
>MA; Washington, DC; Portland, ME; Tacoma, WA; Denver, CO; Pontiac, MI;
>Louisville, KY; Lincoln, NE; Starkville, MS; Jewett City, CT; Hyannis, MA;
>Hilton Head, SC; Milwaukee, WI