This blog maintained by and property of The Leonard Peltier Defense Committee

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

LEONARD HAS BEEN TRANSFERRED TO USP LEWISBURG

August 15, 2005

Aho My Relations,

On August 15, 2005 I was transferred to USP Lewisburg in Pennsylvania. Life has been extra difficult for me since I was transferred from Leavenworth. This system is designed to make one feel very powerless, and what they are doing with me now is definitely aimed to erode my body and spirit even more. My loved ones, and all of you, my friends and allies who continue to support me, keep me sane and hopeful.


They say that it is in times of crisis that one can really see who your real allies are. Those of you who have contacted the Terre Haute Prison and the Bureau of Prisons on my behalf, keep me in your prayers, and are supporting my Defense Committee, have made an enormous difference in my situation. I humbly thank each and every one of you, and firmly believe that your actions most certainly saved my life and prevented me from living in an institution that is well known for its extremely high crime and violence. Also, health problems continue to plague me and the conditions I was subjected to exacerbated them. I know deep within my heart, that if there had not been such an outpouring of support, concern and overall outcry regarding my arbitrary detention, I would have probably stayed in solitary confinement for an indefinite length of time, or worse I would not have survived in the general prisoner population. Although I have been forced to endure many hardships, I will never surrender, even if all that is left of me is my spirit. Your love and support inspire me to overcome everything.

I hope that here at Lewisburg I will be able to resume living in the general population, practicing the traditional ways and continuing with my artwork. My defense team is preparing to go through some major milestones. They need your support more than ever to re-establish our office and prepare for upcoming reviews and legal battles. Since Russ Redner, Paula Ostrovsky, and Toni Zeidan do not want to accept any salaries or remuneration of any kind, all of your donations will go directly to the office transfer and upcoming campaign.

I again want to express my sincere appreciation and tell you once more that without you I am not sure I could have survived this last month. Every day I think about and pray for a time when I will be among you, shoulder to shoulder, fighting for justice for my people and our Mother Earth.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse

Leonard Peltier

NOTE FROM THE LPDC:

Please contact USP Lewisburg to make sure Leonard regains all his hard earned prisoner rights, especially his religious rights, visitations, regular phone calls and ability to paint. Be polite and courteous, but let them know that a lot of us all over the world are concerned about Leonard’s wellbeing.

Warden

USP LEWISBURG
U.S. PENITENTIARY
2400 ROBERT F. MILLER DRIVE
LEWISBURG, PA 17837

Phone: 570- 523-1251
Fax: 570- 522-7745
E-mail address: LEW/EXECASSISTANT@BOP.GOV

Also please continue writing to Leonard but be mindful of his situation and respectful of his personal affairs.

Leonard Peltier # 89637-132
USP LEWISBURG
U.S. PENITENTIARY
P.O. BOX 1000
LEWISBURG, PA 17837

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

UPDATE FROM LEONARD PELTIER

July 30, 2005

Aho my relations,

As I sit here in my solitary confinement cell at USP Terre Haute, and reflect over the past month’s events, I can’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of love and gratitude for each and every one of you who have so diligently stood by me in this time of crisis. As you already know by now, on June 30, 2005, I was transferred from Leavenworth Facility, to Terre Haute USP. The reason for my transfer, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons Administrative staff was that the Leavenworth Facility was downgraded from maximum security level to medium, and therefore I could not remain at Leavenworth due to my illegal sentencing and consequent maximum security rank.

I was transferred without notification to my attorney, Barry Bachrach, and my family. Upon my arrival to Terre Haute I was placed in solitary confinement and was told that I would remain in solitary confinement until my personal file arrived. My personal file arrived, but I remain in solitary confinement allegedly for security reasons. I am confined to a cell that is 8’X 8’, it has a window that is covered from the outside with an elaborate shield that allows me to see 2-3 inches of the sky out of the top and 2-3 inches of the ground. All prisoners are supposed to get at least one hour of sunlight or outdoors and so I am taken from my cell to what is called a Recreation Room (Rec Cage), and the only sun or outdoors that I see is from some windows high up in this large room with a few air holes in them. I am able to walk up and down and this fulfills the one hour of sunlight or outdoors recreation time.

Whatever the system’s logic is, it seems that I won’t stay in Terre Haute for much longer and will be transferred again. I do not know when and where, nor do I know if this cruel game will be over after another transfer. After all, removal and relocation have been used to break our people from the beginning of this country’s history. This keeps my Defense Committee from taking the necessary steps to re-establish an office, but they are doing everything they can to help me in this most precarious and uncertain situation.

Before this situation developed, I asked Russ Redner to be the National/International Executive Director of the LPDC. Russ is a brother from our original Northwest AIM crew, a long time ally, and one of the original founders of the LPDC. I have trusted Russ with my life many times and he’s proven himself at every turn. I want him to be the last person I ever have to ask to guide the LPDC, and as such I have given him full authority to do whatever is necessary to prevent problems that have plagued us in the past from ever surfacing again. He and his wife, Paula, bring a renewed energy to the LPDC. It is essential that Russ, Barry Bachrach, Mike Kuzma, and the new team at the LPDC be supported so they can work most effectively to achieve my freedom and accomplish the things that need to be done for my people. I have confidence that all of you who truly support me will extend your vote of confidence to Russ and my new team.

A month in solitary is beginning to take a toll on me but your letters give me much hope and encouragement. Many of you have written, e-mailed and called USP Terre Haute, and other organizations. This has brought some improvement to my solitary confinement. I am now getting my medications on a daily basis, I can write out, I am receiving my mail, and I am allowed one phone call a month. I am allowed contact visits for those persons authorized on my visiting list. The contact visit is restricted to a two hour period, and is conducted through a glass pane and a phone. I am allowed to visit with my attorney without those restrictions.

At this time I am asking that you continue to call/write/e-mail the contacts below requesting that my security level be downgraded to medium due to my health, age and good behavior and that I be transferred to a medium security institution with all my hard earned prisoner privileges restored. In case I am transferred please add the new facility (keep checking our official website: http://www.leonardpeltier.org) to your contact list and ask them to respect my human rights and prisoner privileges. Again, I thank you for your support and prayers and hope that I may one day soon be among you.


In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,

Leonard Peltier


CONTACT LIST:
U.S. Penitentiary4700 Bureau Road SouthTerre Haute, IN 47802Phone-812-244-4400Fax----812-244-4789THP/EXECASSISTANT@BOP.GOVFederal Bureau of Prisons320 First Street NWWashington, DC 20534202-307-3198info@bop.gov

Amnesty International
5 Penn Plaza – 14th Floor
New York
NY 10001
Phone: 212-807-8400
Fax: 212-463-9193 / 212-627-1451
admin-us@aiusa.org


Human Rights Watch
350 Fifth Avenue, 34th floorNew York, NY 10118-3299 USATel: 1-(212) 290-4700, Fax: 1-(212) 736-1300hrwnyc@hrw.org

Senate Judiciary Committee:

Arlen Specter, Chairman
711 Hart BuildingWashington, DC 20510Tel: 202-224-4254
Senator Patrick Leahy, Ranking Member
433 Russell Senate Office Bldg Washington, DC 20510(202) 224-4242
senator_leahy@leahy.senate.gov


Senator Edward Kennedy
317 Russell Senate Office BuildingWashington, DC 20510
202/224-4543 FAX: 202/224-2417
Senator Joseph Biden
201 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510 Phone: 202-224-5042 Fax: 202-224-0139

Senator Dianne FeinsteinUnited States Senate331 Hart Senate Office BuildingWashington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-3841Fax: (202) 228-3954

Senator Richard Durbin332 Dirksen Senate Bldg.Washington, DC 20510Phone: (202) 224-2152Fax: (202) 228-0400

Senator Herb Kohl
330 Hart Senate Office BuildingUnited States SenateWashington, D.C. 20510Phone: (202) 224-5653Fax: (202) 224-9787

Sen. Charles E. Schumer313 Hart Senate BuildingWashington, DC 20510Phone: 202-224-6542Fax: 202-228-3027TDD: 202-224-0420

Congressional Judiciary Committee:

Honorable John Conyers, Jr. 2426 Rayburn Building Washington, DC 20515 (202) 225-5126
John.Conyers@mail.house.gov

Honorable Robert C. Scott 1201 Longworth House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 Phone: (202) 225-8351
Fax: (202) 225-8354
bobby.scott@mail.house.gov

Honorable Sheila Jackson Lee 2435 Rayburn Building Washington, DC 20515 (202) 225-3816

Honorable Maxine Waters2344 Rayburn House Office BuildingWashington, D.C. 20515202-225-2201 phone202-225-7854 fax

Honorable Martin Meehan2229 Rayburn House Office BuildingWashington, DC 20515Phone: (202) 225-3411Fax: (202) 226-0771TTY: (202) 225-1904

Honorable Bill Delahunt 2454 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3111
Fax: (202) 225-5658
William.Delahunt@mail.house.gov

Honorable Anthony Weiner 1122 Longworth House Office Building Washington DC 20515 (202) 225-6616
weiner@mail.house.gov


United Nations:

Louise Arbour, U.N. High Commissioner for Human RightsUnited Nations Office at Geneva
1211 Geneva 10SwitzerlandFax: 41-22-917-9022E-mail: tb-petitions@ohchr.org
U.N. Working Group on Indigenous PopulationsUnited Nations Office at Geneva
1211 Geneva 10SwitzerlandEmail: WGindigenous@ohchr.orgFax: 41-22-917-9008

The Special Rapporteur on human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous peoples: Mr. Rodolfo StavenhagenHis contact person is: Pablo Espiniella, Human Rights Officer: Tel. 41-22-917-9413 Fax 41-22-917-9008; email: indigenous@ohchr.org

U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions
c/o Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
CH-1211, Geneva 10
Switzerland
Fax: 41-22- 917-9006

Thursday, July 21, 2005

THE REIGN OF TERROR OPERATIONS: THE U.S. GOVERNMENTS IMPLACABLE IMPUNITY - MILITARY, PARAMILITARY AND COVERT ATTACKS

PREFACE

By Russ Redner, executive director of the Leonard Peltier Defense committee.


The incident at Oglala was a firefight, a snapshot, one event in a series of firefights that stemmed from Wounded Knee and attempted to quell any resistance to the U.S. government’s imperialist designs on our sacred land. In spite of the well disseminated and rehearsed official story, this confrontation was not a law enforcement matter but a carefully planned paramilitary operation on sovereign Lakota land. We intend to rectify the language and deconstruct the myths and lies of this history that has been imposed on us. The downed agents, highly trained in counterterrorism and tactical operations, were carrying out a “recon by fire” mission. They wanted to find out the strength of the compound at Tent City and opened fire. Indigenous warriors responded in kind. As in a well planned military operation, the intruders did not attempt to leave, knowing that reinforcements and backup were only a few miles away. They did not arrive in time to prevent the Oglala Akicitas and their allies from counting coup on them. This is not a civic matter but a case of people under siege protecting themselves from the invading forces. Still, Leonard Peltier, a Lakota-Anishinabe warrior, is paying with his life for protecting his people. We, the indigenous peoples in our occupied lands, have the inalienable right, under the law of the Creator and the man made international law, to defend ourselves in order to survive, and attempt to live with dignity in a society where we are still demonized and oppressed, where any reminder of the truth that we are the rightful stewards of this land is quickly dismissed by invalidating our own humanity.

The case of Leonard Peltier has been fraught with government misconduct since its beginning. Leonard was extradited into this country for trial only because the government knowingly filed fraudulent affidavits in the extradition proceedings. Then, when the trial was held in this country, the government, among other wrongful acts, manufactured false evidence, withheld exculpatory evidence, and coerced witnesses. That there is no dispute about the travesty of Leonard’s case is evidenced by a statement by the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in November 2003: “Much of the government conduct at the Pine Ridge Reservation and in the prosecution of Mr. Peltier is to be condemned. The government withheld evidence. It coerced witnesses. These facts are undisputed.”

The FBI has engaged in unprecedented abusive actions to keep Leonard in prison. During Leonard’s plea for clemency as former President Clinton was leaving office, the FBI took out a full page newspaper advertisement against clemency and marched en mass in protest before the White House. I suppose we should not be surprised by this abuse of governmental authority by the very agency which committed misdeed after misdeed to assure Leonard’s wrongful conviction. So, Leonard sits in prison as a result of wrongful government conduct which has been recognized by the courts, and remains in prison as a result of this government’s repeated wrongful abuse of power and intimidation.

Now, Leonard Peltier faces one of the gravest threats to his ever seeing freedom. To insure that Leonard never leaves a cell, the government, in conjunction with its use of other forces, are falsely implicating Leonard in the death of Anna Mae Aquash through viciously false innuendo which was introduced at the trial of Arlo Looking Cloud and has been reported by main stream media and other government puppets ad nauseum. These falsehoods are escalating and having their intended effect on the public. Leonard faces a loss of support and life in a cage if these forces are permitted to wrongly set him up as a patsy for the death of Anna Mae Aquash.

The time is now for the presentation of fact. Only through fact can we defeat the shadowy specters that threaten Leonard’s freedom. This article is important because it is based in fact, without the wild speculation engaged in by the government and its puppets. Only through fact will we be able to expose those who hide in the shadows and watch as Leonard becomes the patsy for their crimes. The facts will be revealed, and, with their revelation, will come justice. This article is the first of several in which we will present the facts to put an end to the extreme injustices suffered by Leonard. Read this and the following articles, as well as the primary documents and statements that support their truth. Armed with knowledge and truth, we will defeat these further attempts by the government and its puppets to imprison Leonard forever. Leonard will gain his freedom and those who have committed the egregious wrongs will have a day of reckoning.

In this first article, Bob Robideau writes an account of the facts surrounding the death of Anna Mae Aquash and the roles of those who have implicated Leonard Peltier, from his first-hand account and from interviews he himself carried out. While this document does contain a degree of personal opinion, identified as such, there is no hearsay in it and every statement has undergone grueling scrutiny.

FBI PUPPETS, PAWNS AND MURDERERS
PELTIER REMAINS THE TARGET

By Robert Robideau, National/International Spokesperson, Leonard Peltier Defense Committee; Case Consultant to Barry Bachrach, Attorney for Leonard Peltier and Co-defendant of Leonard Peltier in the incident at Oglala trial, Member of AIM


Although names have been revealed and one man declared guilty, the truth still remains hidden under a blanket of deceptions and lies. Did Arlo Looking Cloud become a sacrificial pawn for those who conspired and ordered the execution of Anna Mae Aquash? Even more significantly, why has the FBI paid the sum of $47,000 to target Leonard Peltier and why has he become a scapegoat? Two individuals stand in the forefront of these deceptions and lies, John Trudell and Kamook Banks Ecoffey.

After 29 years of covering up for those who ordered the execution of Anna Mae Aquash, John Trudell has suddenly decided to become a federal witness. Despite four previous grand juries in 1976, 1983, 1994, and 1999, Trudell did not come forward with any of his information until a fifth grand jury in March, 2003. Why did Trudell decide to expose his 30 year old conversation with Dennis Banks; and 17 year old conversation with Arlo Looking Cloud in 1988, connecting them both to Anna Mae’s execution? John also connected “Lorelei Means, Madonna Thunder Hawk and Thelma Rios, as persons guarding Anna Mae” in Thelma’s home in Rapid City. Why did he, after 27 years decide to expose AIM members for the crime, choosing not to expose other(s), he knows ordered the execution and their motives?

Trudell’s own testimony in the Looking Cloud trial establishes that he knew for over 17 years that John Graham, Arlo Looking Cloud and Theda Nelson Clark kidnapped Anna Mae and took her tied up from Denver, Colorado to Rapid City, South Dakota, where she was interrogated and ultimately murdered in cold blood. What Trudell has not revealed, but which he unquestionably knows, is who ordered the execution of Anna Mae.

Kamook wrote in one e-mail to me on February 17th, 2004, "I was initially upset with you when I read your statement that said I was a paid informant." I was not surprised that the FBI had paid Kamook Ecoffey $47,000 to target Leonard Peltier. What is surprising is that Trudell approved and encouraged Kamook to lie on the stand, involve Leonard Peltier in the death of Anna Mae, and cement his wrongful conviction by stating, unsolicited, that Leonard had confessed to her the killing the FBI agents. Norm Zagrossi, a lead FBI agent, in the CBC Fifth Estate program, “Execution of Anna Mae”, aired December 5th, 2000, exclaimed what we had always known, "…some agents wanted revenge." We know this because the FBI has organized many campaigns to maintain Leonard’s imprisonment. The hundreds of thousands of dollars the FBI spent during their anti-clemency campaign in the year 2000 on full page ads in major newspapers show once more how far they will go to keep Leonard in prison. Kamook simply represents the most recent of the FBI’s efforts to keep Leonard in prison- namely, to falsely implicate Leonard in the death of Anna Mae.

It is well known in the AIM community that Kamook, who has made many claims to have been a "close friend" of Anna Mae Aquash, was not. Many say that she absolutely hated Anna Mae, and many AIM women came to the defense of Kamook when they heard that Banks had an intimate relationship with her, his "... West Coast woman", (Anna Mae Aquash Chronology From 1945 to 1997 by Richard La Course) which may explain why so many AIM women, according to John Trudell’s testimony are alleged to have been involved with the Anna Mae murder (Trudell’s Testimony regarding AIM women, Arlo Looking Cloud Trial). "I had a short conversation with Kamook in Oglala in the summer of 1994, and her exact words about Anna Mae were that she was ‘glad the bitch [Anna Mae] was dead' “ recalls Russ Redner (personal communication, July 14th, 2005).

Several sources have stated that Trudell asked Mrs. Ecoffey to participate and gave her “strong words of support” to encourage her to take the witness stand to testify about an alleged confession she heard by Leonard Peltier. This, together with other testimony by another Trudell associate (Troy Lynn Yellow Wood, see below), also cleverly implicated Peltier in the Anna Mae murder drama. Why is Trudell supporting Mrs. Ecoffey’s testimony of lies against Peltier, a person for whose freedom he publicly rallied for more than 20 years? Why has Trudell now turned on Leonard to encourage the proffering of lies that could result in his permanent incarceration? Candy Hamilton, a prosecution witness, commented, "I didn’t think that Leonard should have been dragged into it. I mean, god, how could he had anything to do with it, he was all so broken.” She said further, "...Leonard was not really considered high up in AIM, I think that it came from the top. For sure the Bellecourts and probably Banks, and after that I don’t know" (taped conversation, August 28, 2004). Mrs. Ecoffey’s sister, Bernie Lafferty, in another taped phone conversation, said: "Oh yeah, that is why I couldn't understand why they were trying to involve Leonard in this ..." (August 4, 2004). Paul DeMain, in a phone conversation in regard to Leonard’s civil suit against him stated, "I would have never said that Leonard Peltier ordered Anna Mae's death because first of all I don’t believe that is the way that happened and second of all even if Peltier wanted her dead there was no authority to have ordered something like that in the apparatus of AIM. He wouldn’t have been able to do that. But the first proposition is that I never would have said that" (taped phone conversation May 2005). “The way I understand how things went John T (Trudell) contacted Kamook about telling the truth. So why he has come out of this smelling like a rose and Kamook takes the label of informant is beyond me,” expressed Denise Maloney after the Looking Cloud trial. She has also described odd behavior by Trudell just before the Looking Cloud trial: “When I ran into John Trudell in San Francisco in 2002 he ran around the room like a chicken with his head cut off …talking in code and not really saying anything” (e-mail, February 11, 2004).


If, as Kamook would have us believe, “Leonard threatened Anna Mae with truth serum”, why didn’t she ask for police protection when she was arrested during the Brando motor home shoot out? According to Russ Redner, who had rejoined Leonard and Banks' group right before that, "Anna Mae had enough influence on the leadership at this point to veto my request for more firepower, I was afraid that if they stopped us they’d shoot to kill trying to get Leonard, and I wanted to be prepared for that". This is not how a victim behaves under the thumb of her perpetrator. The fact is that neither Kamook nor Anna Mae were ever threatened by or afraid of Leonard Peltier. Bernie Lafferty said that, “Leonard treated Anna Mae no different than the rest of us, “… “I never once heard Leonard accuse Anna Mae of being an informant.” Bernie also stated, “We was always real close to Anna Mae…well, we had to be…I know deep in my heart that she was no FBI agent. She would never say anything to anybody” (taped phone conversation, August 4th, 2004).

Regarding Leonard’s feelings about Anna Mae, one source reported: "In mid May 1999 I [Peter Worthington] visited Leonard Peltier, In Leavenworth federal prison, in Kansas and asked him about Anna Mae. Leonard, who was in charge of AIM security, together with Dino Butler and Robert Robideau, questioned Anna Mae about being an informant. All were convinced she was clean. Peltier to Worthington "Anna Mae was dedicated to our cause." (June 13, 1999) (http://www.mailarchive.com/nativenews@mlists.net/msg03002.html). Other sources that uphold the same opinion that Leonard and members our group trusted Anna Mae can be found in the following books: In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, by Peter Matthiessen, Agents of Repression, by Churchill and Vander Wall, and many other media journals, and books.

Yet, another "close friend" of Trudell’s, and federal witness, Troy Lynn Yellow Wood, who wasn’t even present during the questioning of Anna Mae by Leonard, alleged in the "Fifth Estate" program, that Leonard “put a gun to Anna Mae’s head” during the AIM convention in 1975. Kamook also testified that Anna Mae had told her the same story at the said AIM conference (Arlo Looking Cloud trial transcript), but I never saw Kamook at the Conference and Bernie Lafferty corroborated she was not there (taped phone conversation, August 4th, 2004). I was present and I never saw Leonard with a gun when Banks and Vernon Bellecourt ordered us to take Anna Mae out to question her. While I did not witness Leonard’s questioning of Anna Mae, I witnessed them return over a bluff laughing and acting as they normally did. Moreover, if Yellow Wood’s allegations were true, why would Aquash make a special effort to volunteer to become a member of our group after the Oglala firefight? Indeed, there were two occasions when Anna Mae became a member of our group, one when she had asked me to become a member of my group one day prior to the Crow Dog raid. The other when she joined Bank’s group in Denver, just before the October 12 bombings on Pine Ridge. Both actions on her part are indicative that she had no fear of Banks, Leonard, Dino Butler or me. So this leaves the question as to just what have the feds offered Troy Lynn for her deceptions and lies?

In regard to the AIM convention in June 1975, the prosecution asked Trudell at the Looking Cloud trial:
Q. Was she [Anna Mae] concerned about anything at that time?
Trudell. She was concerned because she had been accused of being an informant, and because we had some discussion about that, but at the time my feeling was, what I got out of it, she was just more angry. I didn’t sense really it was about fear, but she was really upset that people were making this accusation to her.

If it was not about fear, but about anger, and since Anna Mae voluntarily chose to join our group on two different occasions, when she obviously had many opportunities to escape to safety after her release from jail in Pierre, South Dakota, in September of 1975, it becomes clear, based on her actions, that Anna Mae had no fear of and trusted Leonard Peltier totally; and when she choose to run to the safe house provided by Trudell’s "close friend," Troy Lynn Yellow Wood, in Denver, it was her second or third effort to escape prosecution and get back to Banks.

On November 24th, 1975, after being released in connection with the Oregon charges and the FBI Crow Dog arrest, Anna Mae decided to go to Denver, Colorado. “She knew she was going to get indicted on the Oregon charges no matter what, [and, I add, she knew there was no chance she would receive justice from the scheduled trial on November 25th, 1975 in Pierre, SD] so she split," Nilak Butler stated (In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, by Peter Matthiessen). Anna Mae also believed that she would, as she had done on another occasion, re-join Dennis Banks in Denver where AIM members had been provided safe houses. It is evident that Evelyn Bordeaux and Ray Hand Boy drove Anna Mae to Denver at her own request.

According to the testimony of Troy Lynn Yellow Wood and Angie (Begay) Janis, soon after Anna Mae arrived at Troy Lynn Yellow Wood’s safe house, it became her prison. Within hours after Dennis Banks´ name appeared on the November 26,1975 indictment for illegal arms violation charges arising from the Oregon shoot out, the paranoia and old suspicions which he and Vernon Bellecourt had at the AIM convention came back to haunt him, Banks ordered the imprisonment of Anna Mae Aquash. “Banks knew many AIM members, including those working at the WKLD/OC, had already formed suspicions Anna Mae was an informant." According to Candy Hamilton they “wanted to know why everywhere Anna Mae had been people got arrested” (taped phone conversation, Sept. 2004).

Was Banks’ old confederate, John Trudell, a part of this in any way? Trudell was one of the few Banks trusted. Trudell revealed to Ken Stern in his book, Loud Hawk, (p. 288.) that he had been one in AIM with privileged information about Dennis Banks' group; that Mark Banks had purchased $4,000 worth of weapons with $100 bills that he knew came from Marlon Brando. In spite of Stern himself having been most instrumental in making a deal with the U.S. government to drop the case and prevent in this way the unmasking of the informants (Russell Redner, personal communication, July 14th 2005), he writes at length about Trudell's and his lawyer friend’s ideas of who the informants could have been that turned in Banks’motor home. According to Dennis Banks, “John Trudell and another friend picked me up in Nevada after my escape from the Brando motor home shoot out and took me to Lee Brightman’s home in San Francisco, California.” The history of John Trudell’s close ties to Dennis Banks during this time is well recorded.

Mr. Stern listened tentatively as Trudell explored all the AIM members who could have possibly been informants. Yet, Trudell said nothing to Stern about the letter Anna Mae had sent him about informants "A" and "B". Did Trudell also speak with Banks about who the informants might have been? According to Stern, in support of Banks and others who had been arrested in the Oregon shoot out, "...visiting AIM leaders Vernon Bellecourt and John Trudell were interviewed on radio and television stations." Trudell and Vernon became close traveling companions for Banks during this period.

Trudell claims to know nothing about the death of Anna Mae. Yet, statements he has made over the years highlight the incredulity of his alleged lack of knowledge and that he has associated with and given aid to the right AIM leader(s) to cover up the parties who committed the crime and to create patsies to take the fall for these people. Indeed, before Anna Mae left the jail in Vale, Oregon, for Pierre, South Dakota, she wrote Trudell a letter warning him about an FBI agent’s affidavit of informants “A” and “B”.

Candy Hamilton, who named Bruce Ellison as the attorney who was at Thelma Rio’s home and participated in the WKLD/OC meeting against Anna Mae, in the Looking Cloud trial said, "Somebody said something about her [Anna Mae] being a snitch. I said, I’ve seen how she worked and lived in Oglala and I know that she is not a snitch. They stood there a minute; either Lorelei or Thelma looked at Bruce Ellison and said, 'Well, what do you think?' Bruce said, 'Well, everywhere she goes somebody gets arrested' (taped phone conversation Sept. 2004). Trudell’s attorney buddy believed Anna Mae to be a "snitch". This is the same attorney Trudell knows took part in the WKLD/OC meeting that condemned her; and this is the same attorney Trudell has conspired with for the last 29 years to cover up for those who ordered and killed Anna Mae. Beginning in 1976 both Trudell and Ellison began making public statements accusing the FBI of being totally responsible for the death of Anna Mae, while in fact they both knew the part in which AIM members and themselves had played. In 1979, both Ellison and Trudell, in Lan Brookes Ritz's documentary, "Brave Hearted Woman," parroted the same words Candy Hamilton reported allegedly came from Anna Mae after the September 5, 1975 FBI raid on Crow Dogs, "Agent David Price told her that he would see her dead within a year." said Ellison. Trudell further stated, "And it worked out that way." In the Looking Cloud trial, Trudell said nothing about the FBI's involvement.

Ron Schiffman, an attorney representing one of the defendants in the Oregon shoot out said, "We may never know who the snitches are, although, guaranteed, we’ll find out. There may have been no snitches at all. The FBI might be making this up to justify the stop of the vehicle..." (pg. 45, Loud Hawk, by Kern Stern).

The FBI affidavit was never proven to be truth or fiction because not one case went to trial, but based on previous experience of FBI documents in the Leonard Peltier case, it is my strong opinion that it was another FBI fabrication. The FBI affidavit then became one of the documents used by certain AIM members to accuse Anna Mae of being an informant. According to one source that was present, this affidavit was used in Denver, Colorado, by Theda Nelson Clark and other AIM members, and used again in South Dakota to interrogate Anna Mae and purportedly evidenced to these people that she was an informant.

John Trudell, National Chairman of the American Indian Movement during that period, began an early campaign to cover up for those he knew were directly responsible for the execution of Anna Mae. The question is why? For more than a decade, Trudell became the central figure in the media who spoke exclusively about the FBI’s involvement in Anna Mae’s murder, saying nothing of AIM's involvement. Even after I had publicly confronted him in 1994, with the murder of Anna Mae, at the “Salt of the Earth Book Store”, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, (when Bob Ecoffey was carrying an active investigation) he continued to say nothing of what he knew of AIM‘s involvement. To the contrary, he accused me of being part of the FBI cointelpro program stating, “…a Cointelpro operation is being directed at me…to neutralize me. I have been waiting for the attack.”

Significantly, during the “Salt of the Earth” bookstore confrontation with Trudell about Anna Mae in 1994, Trudell admitted knowing “that she had been taken to a protected area”. Clearly, someone, in the know, had contacted him. If Trudell, was not an important part of Banks’ support network, why was he contacted to “protect Anna Mae” in California? Why was Trudell the only one Banks called to pick him up in Nevada after escaping the Oregon shoot out? Why was Trudell contacted and told the location of Anna Mae‘s safe house? Banks knew that “after Pierre Anna Mae went to Colorado” (In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, by Peter Matthiessen). Was it Banks who told Trudell that Anna Mae had gone to the safe house of Troy Lynn Yellow Wood’s? Trudell’s knowledge that Anna Mae “had been taken to a protected area,” that she had “been taken prisoner” leads many to believe he knew much more.

According to Trudell’s testimony in the Looking Cloud trial, he supposedly found out about Anna Mae’s murder in 1988, when Looking Cloud allegedly told him the story of Anna Mae’s murder. This is simply not true based on Troy Lynn‘s words from October 2nd, 1994 (taped conversation) that, "John Trudell has known about all this from the time Anna Mae was taken from my house”, and Trudell’s own admission, during CBC the Fifth Estate program aired in December 2000, that “Troy Lynn called me from Denver and told me that Anna Mae had been at her house and these people had come and took her away as prisoner.”

An ex- girl friend of Dennis Banks, Angie (Begay) Janis testified, in the Looking Cloud trial, that, 'they took Annie Mae tied up'. Troy Lynn Yellow Wood denied that Anna Mae had left her home tied up. She also denied, Janis's contention that Aquash had been kept in the basement. But it is instructive that on cross-examination Troy Lynn Yellow Wood said that Arlo Looking Cloud “was not in the meeting room. I don’t know at what point he came in.” and, “I never saw him. I have heard from others that he came in and went down into the basement.”

Trudell stated: "... And I got this message that...Annie Mae was in trouble and could I help her. I couldn't because they had a warrant for my arrest in Nevada on a charge that was later dropped. I could do nothing about it. The next time I …Dennis told me she had been shot in the back of the head. He told me this in California. This is when he was out on bail there...I know it was within two days or so after they found the body and I knew nothing about that" (trial transcript of the Butler -Robideau trial, Cedar Rapid, Iowa, 1976, http://www.dickshovel.com/trurspn.html). Paul DeMain, editor of News From Indian Country, claims in his “Anna Mae Aquash Time Line” that Trudell was unable to travel out of the state of Nevada, because he had been accused of shooting a .32 caliber pistol into the ceiling of the trading post on the Duck Valley Reservation in July 1975, the same type of gun used to kill Anna Mae (FBI Memorandum. 7/18/75, From: SA John M. Estes To: SAC Held, Pine Ridge, 70-10239 ; testimony of SA Even Hodge, in the Looking Cloud trial). Trudell’s words contradict his own testimony at Looking Cloud’s trial, where he testified that he had been in Los Angeles in late September and early October, he said: “…one of us always stayed with her as much as possible just to act in the capacity of being security.” He also drove from California to Nevada in November to pick Banks up and took him back to California. The fact is that even if Trudell was unable to travel in December, as DeMain contends, he still had all the phone numbers of AIM members in Rapid City, as well as the lawyers’ who worked at the WKLD/OC office. The information was just a phone call away. Why didn’t he intervene to save his “friend” Anna Mae? He knew exactly what was occurring. Trudell's long time friend and close associate, Bruce Ellison, who participated in the interrogation of Anna Mae when she was brought from Denver to South Dakota, said that Anna Mae had been brought into the WKLD/OC office tied up, "I told them to untie her", he said (Conversation with Bruce Ellison during the March 4th, 2005, "Benefit for Freedom" in Toronto, Canada).

Why did Trudell align himself for 29 years with Bruce Ellison, a person he knew participated in the WKLD/OC “meeting” that undoubtedly condemned Anna Mae as an informant? In my conversation with Trudell 1994 at “Salt of the Earth”, I asked him, "Did you know that Bruce Ellison was involved?" Trudell answered: "Yes, I knew about that". Did those at the WKLD/OC “meeting” call Trudell, who they knew was not only a long time “friend” of Anna Mae‘s, but also a person who was a very close associate to Banks? Why does Trudell continue to maintain close ties to Bruce Ellison, who he knew took part in the interrogation of Anna Mae at the WKLD/OC? The same attorney he has conspired with for 29 years in covering up the true circumstance of her death. Both Trudell and Bruce Ellison had taken the position that they “do not know who pulled the trigger…” But “the responsibility clearly rests with the federal bureau of investigation”. In, Rolling Stone, April 7, 1976, Banks was the first to utter this position stating, “…even if AIM members had killed Aquash, the FBI bore responsibility because it had helped launch rumors about her.” Banks stated in the Rolling Stone article that, “All kinds of strange things have been happening in our movement, I suppose it is 99% infiltrated by now“. Banks said he had “…sent three people back to the reservation to find out…”, and that after talking with his three emissaries he was satisfied that AIM members were not responsible for her (Anna Mae’s) murder.” According to Banks, Trudell had been one of those people that took part in the meeting with him in California. (In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, by Peter Matthiessen). Was Trudell, also one of the three “emissaries” Banks had sent back to the rez to conduct this investigation for him?


In a tape recorded interview, Candy Hamilton alleges Anna Mae told her that "Price told me he would see me dead within a year." In the Lan Brookes Ritz documentary, "Anna Mae, Brave Hearted Woman," Trudell said, "Agent Price told Anna Mae if she did not cooperate she would be dead before the end of the year...and it worked out that way!" Just before leaving the jail in Vale, Oregon she told one reporter, obviously speaking about the FBI, "They’ll execute me. That’s what they do to Indians who fight for their people". In the Looking Cloud trial, Trudell said nothing of these threats by FBI agents as he had done in my trial. Why?


Denise Maloney wrote to me: "Please keep in touch it is people like yourself and others who are the true warriors who loudly condemn and contest the injustices that hold us up and keep us moving forward. Thank you"…“It saddens me when all these people who have spent so many years celebrating their professed friendships with my mother would end up defending the very people who took her life in the name of brotherhood.” “…I think we really need to band together collectively for my mother’s sake,” Denise wrote, “…and put our differences aside and remember that the reason most of us see things in different ways IS because of the lies and deception (s)” (e-mail: February 21, 2004)

I am comforted by the fact that I am not alone in my quest for truth and justice. Lakota Oyate expressed in a September 28, 1999, statement: “…John Trudell - please end your silence. We know your paranoia is awful, but you MUST tell us everything and clear yourself before the Spirits. It’s the only way. Wakan Inyan will forgive you, even if men do not….Truth is everything. Hau.”

There are many unanswered questions concerning John Trudell’s motives for joining the federal prosecution of the Anna Mae Aquash case and giving comfort and aid to Kamook´s lies about Peltier. It has become clear that John Trudell has known, from day one, why Anna Mae Aquash was taken prisoner, and executed; and as a witness for the prosecution, sheltered himself from possible prosecution for wrong doings he played in the cover-up and killing of Anna Mae. On the other hand, Arlo Looking Cloud and John Boy Graham may have been the instruments used to kill Anna Mae, but they had, from the beginning been pawns to be sacrificed to do the bidding of those AIM leader(s) that ordered Anna Mae’s execution. Anna Mae was a member of Banks’ group, everyone in the movement knew this. According to our unwritten code of behavior in the American Indian Movement, absolutely no one would have touched Anna Mae Aquash without the express order of Dennis Banks. Leonard Peltier has become the fall guy for Trudell and those other AIM leader(s) who ordered the execution; and actual target in the ongoing saga of FBI’s deception and lies. What appears to have materialized is an unspoken, silent hidden unity between the FBI, and John Trudell.

Note: I have offered the main players in this article the opportunity to read it and comment on its content, in order to include their opinion. These are the responses I obtained:

Denise Maloney has objected to my use of her written expressions that appear in this article pertaining to Kamook and Trudell.
Mr. Bruce Ellison’s responses to my statement were: "Again, Bob, none of the allegations about what you claim occurred at the WKLD/OC house ever happened there." and, "I can only address the more than subtle references to me. You continue to accept BS rather than reality."
John Trudell, has not responded.

Dennis Banks´ only comment in a taped phone conversation was: "Who is going to believe you Bob?”

Bob Robideau,
National/international spokesperson, for the LPDC;
Case Consultant to Barry Bachrach, Attorney for Leonard Peilter
And Leonard Peltier Co-defendant in the incident at Oglala trial
Member of AIM

For questions and verification of information used in this article Please e-mail: americanindianm@telefonica.net or Phone/fax: 011-34-93-815-0424

Appendix:

Trudell's testimony in the Looking Cloud trial, section about AIM women:

Q. You didn’t know him (Arlo Looking Cloud) at that time?

A. No, I may have met him. But, no, I didn’t know him. So he told me that he and John Boy and Theda, they had taken her from Troy Lynn’s house in Denver, and that they brought her to a place in Rapid City, they took her to one house, one place, and then from there to an empty apartment or house, and that this house belonged to Thelma Rios, and that they kept Anna Mae there for maybe a day. And that while she was there that Laurelie Means and Madonna Thunder Hawk and Thelma Rios and John Boy and himself, between them, somebody always stayed with her, and she was kept in that house not free to leave.

Q. Did he ever mention to you why Anna Mae had been taken to South Dakota?

A. To be questioned.

Q. About what?

A. Being an informant.


Bob Ecoffey’s recorded video of his conversation with Arlo Looking Cloud, presented at the trial: (http://jfamr.org/compile.html)
"..., Looking Cloud denied that AIM leader Vernon Bellecourt ever visited him after the murder, although Ecoffey tells Looking Cloud he has a witness who says otherwise. However, near the very end of his interview, Looking Cloud tells Ecoffey, if he wants to talk to somebody who knows everything, "talk to Bellecourt.... Vernon Bellecourt”.

Interesting fact: John Trudell has never made public or performed a single poem or song about his “friend” Anna Mae.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

A LOYAL SUPPORTER AND TIRELESS WORKER FOR INDIGENOUS JUSTICE NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT AND PRAYERS

Andrea Cameroni, IPF secretary for KOLA, an indigenous rights organization who has supported Leonard Peltier for decades, has recentlyfound out he has a brain tumor and according to his physicians only a fewmonths to live.

Els Herten, head of KOLA, his friend and comrade in the strugglefor justice for indigenous people, describes Andrea as "a fantastic guy!!!Sweet, very funny, elegant as only an Italian can be, and he never stopsworking. Without him we would never have been able to contact all those celebs [he is also fashion designer Vivienne Westwood's assistant]. He is the one working on getting ARTE television tobroadcast "Incident at Oglala". Two years ago, he had never heard aboutLeonard Peltier; but once he did, he just became like the rest of us:living and breathing the struggle for justice. At work, at home, on holiday..."

Andrea is home now, in Italy, where his parents are taking careof him. He will soon start chemo therapy. Please let him know weappreciate his dedication to justice and that we pray for a miracle thatwill allow us to keep him among us a little longer.

You can e-mail your message of support for Andrea Cameroni toipforum@skynet.be

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Premiere of Opera about Leonard Peltier

Premiere of Opera about Leonard Peltier
Hi, my name is Matt Walton. I'm a young composer in Syracuse, NY and I've recently written an opera about the trial and incarceration of Leonard Peltier (a Native American political prisoner), entitled Sundance. The Syracuse Society for New Music is producing the world premiere of this historic event on July 7th and 8th at the Cazenovia College Theatre in Cazenovia, NY. I'm writing to you because I think this may be an event you and your subscribers would be interested in. Fortunately, even if you can't make it to the performance, the premiere will be broadcast on the internet, so people all over the world can see it. We're very excited about this, as it's one of the first (if not the first) live audio and video webcasts of an opera.And you don't even have to watch it live. The opera will be archived on the internet for viewing at any time.
I'm writing to ask if you would be willing to help spread the word about Sundance by posting this information on your website and sending an email announcement to your listserv. I've attached a file that can easily be used for this purpose. You can even create a banner ad by copying one of the pictures from the links below and creating a link to our website.
We're hoping to reach a wide audience with this opera, so please help us to spread the word. Thanks for your help and feel free to email me with any questions.
Sincerely,
Matt Walton

There's an electronic version of our poster at http://photos15.flickr.com/22848899_5980b7e5f3.jpg?v=0>http://photos15.flickr.com/22848899_5980b7e5f3.jpg?v=0Feel free to copy it to create a link to our site.You can check out an alternate version of the poster (also free tocopy) at http://student.maxwell.syr.edu/ajnocell/index.html>http://student.maxwell.syr.edu/ajnocell/index.htmlFeel free to cut and paste any of the info here.The official site for the opera is athttp://www.societyfornewmusic.org/concerts.cfm>http://www.societyfornewmusic.org/concerts.cfm

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

THE TORTURE OF CHIEF IRON THUNDERHORSE

THE TORTURE OF CHIEF IRON THUNDERHORSE
by Tom Big Warrior

On June 7th, 2005, ranking officers of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), at the Polunsky Unit in Livingston, Texas, attacked an elderly and legally blind inmate, Iron Thunderhorse, while he was attempting to go to the chowhall. They knocked the glasses and UV shields from his face and sprayed chemical pepper spray directly in his eyes. They proceeded to spray him all over with the chemical irritant, kicking him and wrenching his crippled arm behind his back.

For weeks, Iron had been denied entry into the chowhall, or any food at all, as the TDCJ was attempting to starve him into complying with an order to submit to a haircut, despite the fact that a federal court had recently upheald that his civil rights were being violated. This was the latest outrage in a struggle that has been going on for almost thirty years.

After being railroaded by the FBI's COINTELPRO program, along with many other dissidents and activists around the country, in the early 70s, Iron went to court to assert his rights as a Native American spiritual practicioner. He got off the bus from jail to prison armed with a court order requiring the TDCJ to respect these rights, including his right to wear long hair. He was met by the warden and a "goon squad" of inmate "building tenders" armed with baseball bats and axe handles. The warden tore up Iron's court order and had his "goons" beat Iron unconscious and then forcibly cut his hair.

Year after year, Iron has suffered repeated beatings and torture, including years in solitary confinement in the sweltering Texas heat. His blindness stems from repeated gassings and being sprayed in the eyes with pepper spray. His body is covered with scars, only a few of which he received as a soldier in Vietnam.

Iron is the hereditary chief of the Quinnipiac Renapi, a branch of the greater Lenape Nation, whose homeland runs along the Quinnipiac River in Connecticut. His people have the dubious distinction of being the first North American tribe to be placed on a reservation by the English settlers at New Haven, in the early 1600s.

Iron's long ordeal began when he stopped at a diner for a cup of coffee on his way home from work, more than thirty years ago. Some of the local Connecticut white boys, who saw him pull up on his classic Indian motorcycle, thought it might be fun to give this long-haired Indian a hair cut.

After years in the rough and tumble Indian boarding schools, his muscles now hardened by long hours of construction work, Iron defended himself well. It was a clear case of self-defense, but the white boys were sons of the local establisment, and so the cops arrested Iron. But this was the least of his problems, as the white boys, enraged by their deserved ass-whipping, began to stalk Iron waiting for a chance to get revenge. It happened one winter night when two of them spotted his car and gave chase. They ran the car off the road, but Iron wasn't in it.

After the highway patrol informed him that his young wife and child had been killed in the resulting "accident," Iron begain drinking heavily. Then he donned his war-paint, got on his motorcycle, and went looking for revenge. He found the boys before the police did, and when they arrived, they arrested Iron for aggravated assault. It was then that the Army stepped in, and Iron was released into the custody of a coloniel recruiting for special service in Vietnam.

Having frequently run away from boarding school, Iron fine-tuned the woodlands skills he had been taught as a child by living off the land in wilderness areas. These skills, coupled with the rage he was going through, made him an ideal candidate for the covert operations he was groomed for at Fort Bragg and other army training schools. Placed under the direction of the CIA, Iron was sent to Vietnam, where he took part in secret operations, as well as elsewhere in S.E. Asia. But eventually, he and his team refused to obey an illegal order, and they were sent back to California and discharged.

Iron gravitated to the American Indian Movement (AIM) and to others standing up to the system, and he became a target of COINTELPRO, the FBIs illegal campaign to infiltrate, entrap, frame-up, assassinate and otherwize suppress activists in the anti-war and other movements for social justice that had emerged in the 60s. Their intent was to lock him up and throw away the key.

Iron went into prison in top physical condition and highly trained in martial arts. Over the years, he fended off several attempts to assassinate him, but now his health is precarious and he is virtually blind. "I suffer from corneal dystrophy and have cataracts and open angle glaucoma, my corneas no longer produce tears," Iron wrote in a complaint over the June 7th attack, explaining the excruciating pain he was in when he was at last taken to the medical unit. "Lt. Lawrence and Sgt. Sheffield refused to allow the duty nurse to conduct a proper PHD exam....Officers refused her admonishment to un-handcuff me due to excruciating pain in [my] shoulder." Iron had a pass, repeatedly renewed by doctors since 1992, prohibiting his being cuffed behind his back due to his crippled arm. This was confiscated after the attack.

"Officers refused to allow the nurse to flush my eyes with water or otherwise decontaminate my person from the pepper spray. The OC pepper spray saturated both eyes, face, head, ear canals, neck, torso, arms, palms, buttocks and thighs. Officers kept saying, 'LET HIM BURN!'"

Iron also suffers from rhinitis and sebhorric dermatitis, both of which are specifically mentioned on the precautions list for use of OC pepper spray. This was known by the officers prior to this premeditated attack, and Iron had reported that he had been repeatedly threatened with this type of assault. It was obvious that an allergic reaction was taking place to the pepper spray, yet Iron was prevented from showering until more than 12 hours later.

This torture is compounded by medical neglect. Iron suffers from high blood preasure, heart arrhythmia, sleep apnea, recurrent shingles and only has one functioning lung. All of these conditions were aggravated by the assault, yet his requests to see a doctor were not only denied, so were his regular prescribed medications for these conditions.

According to his wife, Ruth Thunderhorse: "The warden tells me that Iron's glasses were lost in the property confiscation after the 'assault,' but if they cannot find them, they will get new ones. Anything to keep Iron from his legal work, I assume. Since the warden hemmed and hawed when I asked if Iron had his fan, that probably is not in his possession, either. He also ignored my question as to whether Iron has his magnifier." Meanwhile, Iron's glasses, UV shields and his navigational cane, which were confiscated, have not been replaced, and his typewritter has been confiscated. Basically, the TDCJ is doing all it can to frustrate Iron's efforts to defend his civil rights, including deliberately endangering his health.

President Bush, who was formerly the Governor of Texas, can claim all he wants that, "We do not condone torture," but the facts show otherwise. The torture of Iron Thunderhorse continued throughout his term as governor and it continues today. The federal court had more than enough justification to put Iron in federal protective custody while he is litigating against the TDCJ. The very essence of this case is the suppression of religious freedom for Native Americans here in the USA, the history of which spans the whole history of the US.

Ruth asks for letters of support addressed to Iron.
His adddress is:

Iron Thunderhorse, #624391

Polunsky Unit, 3872 FM 350 South,

Livingston, TX 77351.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

IN SOLIDARITY WITH MR.LEONARD PELTIER

Authorities at the US Federal Bureau of Prisons:
We send you this letter in solidarity with Mr. Leonard Peltier.

Menchú Tum Foundation
Guatemala City, July 8th, 2005

US Federal Bureau of Prisons: Director

Dear Director:
With great concern I have received the news about Mr. Leonard Peltier'ssituation in the Terre Haute prison, in Indiana.

There is no need to adopt such measures of solitary confinement, no postmail, or phone calls, lack of medicines- with him. He is elder, he was amodel prisoner in the Leavenworth jail and he is sick.

I appeal to your conscience, to your sense of humanity, so that the basichuman rights of Mr. Peltier are fully respected. Moreover, it is necessarythat Mr.Peltier, a very well known and respected Native American leader, be transferred to a better penitentiary.Many indigenous leaders andmembers of indigenous peoples all around the worldare very worried aboutMr. Peltier's treatment, which we have found very indignant and inhumane.We send you a call to urgently revise the condition in which Mr. Peltierremains in jail.I do hope that the authorities hear of this humanitariancall. The entire world,especially the Indigenous Peoples, will thank you.

Rigoberta Menchú Tum
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

Thursday, July 07, 2005

LEONARD PELTIER DENIED BASIC RIGHTS-UN, HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS INTERVENTION SOUGHT

July 7th, 2005

FROM THE LEONARD PELTIER DEFENSE COMMITTEE HEADQUARTERS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

LEONARD PELTIER DENIED BASIC RIGHTS-UN, HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS INTERVENTION SOUGHT

After learning that at the sixth day of his solitary confinement, Leonard Peltier is being denied phone privileges, religious rights, visitation privileges, cannot write out, cannot even breathe fresh air, and is running out of medication, his Defense Committee has launched a national and international campaign asking human rights bodies and advocates to intervene on his behalf. Leonard Peltier is an internationally known Native American political prisoner who has been incarcerated in the United States for almost thirty years for defending his people on sovereign Indian land. His conviction came about as a result of well known, and proven, outrageous government misconduct in which documents were withheld, witnesses intimidated, and false testimony was allowed as evidence, among many other irregularities.

The Leonard Peltier Defense Committee (LPDC) with the invaluable help of the International Indian Treaty Council (an organization working for protection of the sovereignty and human rights of indigenous peoples in the Americas and the Pacific) has appealed to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, its Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions, Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Human Rights, The Special Representatives of the Secretary General on Human Rights Defenders, members of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous issues, the National Native American Prisoners Rights Coalition, the Office of Multi-Lateral Affairs, Democracy, Human Rights and Labor of the United States State Department, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the American Civil Liberties Union National Prison Project, among others. They are asking for urgent assistance in response to the new crisis situation, which has further violated Peltier's rights and is currently threatening his health.

Last Thursday, June 30th, in a move that Russell Redner, Executive Director of the LPDC, describes as "extraordinary domestic rendition", Mr. Peltier was transferred without notice to his attorneys or his family from the United States Federal Prison at Leavenworth Kansas to the United States Federal Prison at Terre Haute Indiana. He is arbitrarily being held there in solitary confinement indefinitely with the resulting suspension of all his prisoner privileges and basic human rights. He was a well-respected model prisoner at Leavenworth, he is an elder, has many serious health problems, and poses no threat to the system. "There is no real basis for subjecting him to this kind of treatment" affirms Barry Bachrach, his lead counsel.

The International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) had already submitted a communication to the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions in 2004 regarding Peltier's wrongly obtained conviction and imprisonment. In yesterday's communication, IITC urges the U.N. Group to exercise its mandate and visit Mr. Peltier in prison.


FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
RUSS REDNER, LPDC DIRECTOR, 866-534-6151 (TOLL FREE)
BARRY BACHRACH, LPDC ATTORNEY, 508-926-3403
ALBERTO SALDAMANDO, IITC GENERAL COUNSEL, 415-641-4482

Letter to IITC

July 6, 2005
Mrs. Andrea Carmen, Executive Director
Alberto Saldamando, General Counsel
International Indian Treaty Council
2390 Mission Street. Suite 301
San Francisco, CA 94110


Dear Mrs. Carmen and Mr. Saldamando,

We are appealing to you on behalf of Leonard Peltier, an internationally known Native American political prisoner who has been in prison in the United States for almost thirty years. We recognize the work of the International Indian Treaty Council over many years to present the profound miscarriage of justice and human rights violations to which he has been subjected by the United States government at United Nations, in particular to the UN Commission on Human Rights and its Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions.

We are requesting your urgent assistance in response to a new crisis situation, which has further violated his rights and is currently threatening his health. Last Thursday, June 30th, Mr. Peltier was moved without notice to his attorneys or his family from United States Federal Prison at Leavenworth Kansas to United States Prison at Terre Haute Indiana. He is arbitrarily being held there in solitary confinement indefinitely. He was a well-respected model prisoner at Leavenworth, he is an elder, has many serious health problems, and poses no threat to the system. There is no basis for subjecting him to this kind of treatment. At Terre Haute he gets no fresh air, no phone privileges, he cannot write out because they give him no stamps, his medications will run out in a couple of days (he is a diabetic). USP Terre Haute does not have a good record of taking care of prisoners' medical needs. We are asking with great urgency that you pass on this report on his status and ask for intervention on his behalf to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions, and any other Human Rights bodies or Rapporteurs you deem relevant.

Thank you in advance for your efforts.

Respectfully,



Russell J. Redner Barry A. Bachrach
Executive Director Lead Counsel
Leonard Peltier Defense Committee Leonard Peltier Legal Team

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Condolences for the Jumping Bulls

On behalf of Leonard Peltier and his Defense Committee, I would like to extend my condolences to the Jumping Bull family for the passing of Calvin Jumping Bull onto the spirit world. I also speak as a relation, since it was Calvin’s parents, Cecilia and Harry Jumping Bull that named me and sang the Hunka song when I became a relative of the Loud Hawk family. I will always remember Calvin as a tough taskmaster, who dedicated his life to The People and lived his life in reverence and free of vices. Calvin was a strong looking man with piercing eyes, and was always impeccably dressed with his ever present cowboy hat. He was one of the last survivors of the Porcupine singers, a drum group that counted amongst it members some of the key elders of the contemporary Oglala: Harry Jumping Bull (Calvin’s father), Max Blacksmith, Ambrose New Holy, Mathew Two Bulls, Russell Loud Hawk , Weasel Bear, Kills Enemy, Siebert Young Bear, Philip Wright, and Francis Menard, among others. Together they brought the social aspect of traditional singing to Pow Wows the way we hear it today. This developed after they performed as guests in Vermillion, SD., the first time a Native traditional singing group was ever invited to perform at a college, thousands of people listened spellbound. Calvin was an outstanding athlete and sports referee, which is a hard position to be in the Lakota reservation. He was the heart and soul of the Lakota Studies Program in the Oglala Lakota College and a tireless worker. A strict teacher, he told his students that if they were looking for a romanticized version of Native people, they were in the wrong class because they were going to learn traditions, the sacred ways, and that although they are tough, strict and unyielding, if you follow them, it will be evident, and that is how he lived his life. The Creator took him at the same time that Leonard was being removed and placed in solitary confinement. In the traditional way, the warriors do the hardest work and the holy men look after them. As he soars towards true freedom, I hope Calvin’s strong and immaculate spirit brings comfort and strength to my brother Leonard in this time of darkness and solitude.

Respectfully,

Wanbli Watakpe (aka Russ Redner)
Executive Director
Leonard Peltier Defense Committee

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Leonard's new address

Leonard Peltier #89637-132
USP-Terre Haute
PO Box 12015
Terre Haute, IN 47801

Write to your senators, congress people, asking them to look into Leonard's case, its improprieties and the additional torture that it means for a sixty year old man who is not well to be transferred at this stage in his sentence and be held indefinitely in solitary confinement.

http://www.senate.gov

http://www.house.gov

Write to the prison commission to let them know that older prisoners like Leonard who pose no risk to the system do not deserve this kind of treatment:

http://www.prisoncommission.org

Write to the following organizations to report this unnecessary hardship added onto the punishment for a crime Leonard did not commit:

American Civil Liberties Union
National Prison Project
915 15th Street, NW, 7th Floor
Washington, DC 20005

Amnesty International-USA
5 Penn Plaza, 14th Floor
New York, NY 10001

Human Rights Watch
350 Fifth Avenue, 34th Floor
New York, NY 10118

Monday, July 04, 2005

Sample Letter for Terre Haute in regards to Peltier

Dear, federal bureau of prisons.
In personal care for Leonard Peltier.

I understand That Leonard Peltier, an innocent man. Has been moved from his Government home in Leavenworth Kansas. As the prison in Leavenworth is being shut down or changed. I also understand that he has been moved to Terre Haute , In. Leonard Peltier is an Indigenous man who has been abused by the justice system.

I realize that innocence is no defense. That there is no witness or item of proof that can link Leonard with the crime. I realize that any other human man or woman would have been released after serving the time in Leavenworth he has served. I understand that as an American citizen, the right to justice is born in us, and we are entitled to the truth, and this has never been the case in this situation. I understand his abuse continues even now in Terre Haute.

He is being kept in the hole and unable to inform his own family of his situation. He is a political prisoner and his rights are being violated once again. I urge the Bureau of Prisons to do the right thing and let Leonard, speak with his family.

Allow a doctor in to check his health and allow him his right to pray in his personal way. I request a letter in reply to address these concerns and request to meet with Leonard or a proxy in my stead. This in the person of his Lawyer [Bachrach, Barry A]. There are many who have reason to believe his health and religious freedoms are at risk, and would like this addressed upon receipt of this letter.

I ask this respectfully.
Regards In Peace
Keith Rabin

America: No fireworks bright enough to illuminate the shame of your history of injustice

At a time when this country seeks understanding for its obvious wrongs around the planet and cannot understand why the global village mistrusts it, the U.S. government is mistreating and using extraordinary domestic rendition upon the most beloved contemporary Native American warrior. Leonard Peltier, whom - again in defiance of the global opinion - this country refuses to acknowledge as a political prisoner, today sits in a tiny cell without windows and human contact as the American people prepare to celebrate their myth of justice and freedom for all.

After twenty nine years in prison for a crime he didn't commit he was moved without rhyme or reason, and without notification to his family and attorney, from Leavenworth USP to Terre Haute Indiana USP. He was immediately placed in solitary confinement, "the hole". Leonard is sixty years old, he suffers from arthritis, bone spurs, all the discomforts associated with diabetes, and recently had a stroke.

The Bureau of Prisons may argue that placing a transferred prisoner in solitary confinement is a routine procedure until all the appropriate paperwork is processed, but the timing of this action adds to its cruelty since it was carried out right before the long weekend preceding this 4th of July. In addition, this development comes at a time when Peltier’s legal team is successfully arguing very important motions and the US Courts might be obligated to release him. It is no too far fetched to imagine that to prevent his release, he is subjected to this psychological and physical torture in hope that it will break his body and spirit, and literally kill him.

As seen in the world stage today, the U.S. concepts of freedom fighters, terrorists, illegal combatants, murders, and battle casualties, are relative at their best, and duplicitous, deceptive, and capricious in their application. The same government that manipulated Canadian sovereignty and false affidavits to obtain the extradition of Leonard Peltier, our freedom fighter, today protects Jose Posada Carriles, a real terrorist, and denies his extradition to Venezuela where he was involved in the bombing of a Cuban airliner resulting in the murder of all its passengers. On the other hand, the “crime scene” in which they have framed Peltier is a battle in which armed and trained US government combatants, illegally entered non-US territory, and attacked a group of armed civilians defending their land and families, and they, as well as one of those civilians (Joe Stuntz), became casualties of war. Why must then Peltier pay with his life?
Does the FBI feel any remorse for any of its victims: Joe Stuntz, Buddy Lamont, or Frank Clearwater? How about Pedro Bissonette or the Jimmy Little Incident? Both murdered by US backed forces, using deadly force, and bludgeoning Jimmy Little in front of his family. His son Jimmy, Jr. witnessed this terrible act and when he reached 21 committed suicide--a note revealed that he missed his Dad and saw no reason to live. Jimmy, Jr was an Olympic cross-country talent when he was at Loneman School as a 7th grader. He was the next Billy Mills but the trauma of the US invasion and its violence killed him before he had a chance to mature, he really was dead before he lived.

Who pays for our dead? Or are our lives still as worthless to the American people as when they would pay money for our skins red with our blood (hence the term redskins so celebrated by this culture). Our wounds are deep, and the torment that created them is unforgettable.

We know we cannot go back in time, but what can be done today is to put an end to the assault on indigenous people, that has been taking place without reprieve since the beginning of this country. Enough is enough America! Basta ya! Honor our treaties, stop taking and destroying our land and resources, respect our sovereignty and our culture, rectify the language of your history, and free our warriors! Free Peltier!

LEONARD PELTIER MOVED TO TERRE HAUTE INDIANA USP

July 2, 2005

FROM THE LEONARD PELTIER DEFENSE COMMITTEE HEADQUARTERS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

LEONARD PELTIER MOVED TO TERRE HAUTE INDIANA USP


Without notice to his family and attorney, Native American political prisoner Leonard Peltier was moved to Terre Haute, Indiana, Thursday June 30th, 2005. He has been placed in solitary confinement indefinitely. Peltier has been in prison for twenty nine years, he is sixty years old, and his health is frail. His Defense Committee, family, and friends are extremely concerned about his well being, his health, and safety and the status of the privileges (religious rights, painting privileges, visits, phone calls, etc.) he earned after decades of good behavior in Leavenworth and other prisons.

LPDC, Executive Director, Russ Redner confirms this and adds that Leonard Peltier is still a targeted individual for this U.S. government. “Leonard Peltier is the only prisoner in U.S. history that the FBI personally took time and money to campaign against and purposely derailed the judicial process through a series of unauthorized and, by now, known tactics: withholding documents, intimidating witnesses, inciting tactics among other actions not covered under any job duties legally sanctioned—this is strictly black bag/SOG operations like in the illegal war on other indigenous peoples in the middle east”, he emphasizes. With respect to the concern over Peltier’s well being he adds: “Leonard Peltier is not just an ordinary prisoner when he rates this kind of treatment. This is the domestic version of rendition as a means to break and derail political dissent. The US Prison system is the system that reservations were also a pattern for and it has been used to kill those prisoners of conscience throughout time. It is also responsible for perpetrating crimes of all manners and descriptions. The US Prison system is the most inhumane system using the latest technology to mask its brutal treatment of prisoners—maximum security and super-max prisons are merely death camps in disguise so the American People will not think of themselves as cruel and inhumane. We pray that our brother is strong enough to tolerate this evil and that The Creator protects him now more than ever.”

The Leonard Peltier Defense Committee has closed its Lawrence, Kansas, office and is in the process of moving to Terre Haute, Indiana, to continue to struggle for the freedom of the beloved indigenous warrior and for justice for his people. They appeal to all supporters, friends, allies, and people of conscience to support Leonard Peltier in whatever way possible at this most critical time.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
RUSS REDNER, LPDC DIRECTOR, 866-534-6151 (TOLL FREE)
BARRY BACHRACH, LPDC ATTORNEY, 508-926-3403

OR CONTACT THE PRISON AT

USP Terre Haute
U.S. Penitentiary
4700 Bureau Road South
Terre Haute, IN 47802
Phone-812-244-4400
Fax----812-244-4789
THP/EXECASSISTANT@BOP.GOV

Federal Bureau of Prisons
320 First Street NW
Washington, DC 20534
202-307-3198
info@bop.gov

Friday, July 01, 2005

URGENT ALERT! PELTIER HAS BEEN MOVED!!!

LEONARD WAS MOVED TO TERRE HAUTE, INDIANA, THURSDAY JUNE 30TH, 2005. HE HAS BEEN PLACED IN SOLITARY CONFINEMENT INDEFINITELY. OUR OFFICE IN LAWRENCE KANSAS IS CLOSED AND WE NEED ALL THE SUPPORT YOU CAN GIVE TO MOVE AND REVITALIZE THE ORGANIZATION AT THIS TIME OF DIREST NEED.

PLEASE SEND DONATIONS TO:
LPDC C/O TONI ZEIDAN
2626 N. MESA # 132
EL PASO, TX 79902

FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL TOLL FREE: 866-534-6151

Leonard's speech at Oglala

Hau Kola,I know this is a dictated speech that is going to be read to you, however, I want to speak to you as if I were there, or should I say here with you. Every year someone or some people at Oglala remember the sacrifices of the people who were there trying to make a difference for our people. And every year I remember the ones who aren't with us, the ones who can no longer be with us, and the sacrifices that they made. Sometimes I'm at a loss for words for the heartfelt appreciation I have - that you would remember all of those that gave their lives - as Joe Stuntz did; and, all of those who continue to strive in so many different ways to serve the people.

I deeply regret that I can't be there with you. But yet in a way, I have to count my blessings. I have lived to see changes take place for our people. Though they are not as good as I would wish, there have been changes brought about by Joe Stuntz and others who have sacrificed in some way for our people. As I said, I have to be grateful because, although in a limited way, I have had the chance to get to know my children, some of my grandchildren, and they in turn have gotten to know me; something that my brother Joe and so many others who lost their lives fighting for the people, did not have an opportunity to do.

When I first came here, I was considered a young warrior and now within my circle, I am looked upon as an Elder- Something that hopefully all of you will come to be a part of in your lifetime. I had a friend once, an Elder who has since gone on, who once said to me that every person that he had consulted with on their death bed had spoken of the Creator and their family. That became the highest priority in their life and what was left of it. And he spoke to me of many because he had been an emergency room technician at one time. In thinking and remembering this, it always reminds me of the Sundance and the Sweat lodge and how the extremes of pain and sacrifice always seem to bring those same concerns to mind. Each of us - from the day we are born, to the time that we pass on, should remember to talk to the Creator and pray for our relatives.

Forgive me if I sound a little sentimental or dramatic, but I've experienced thirty years of dying, thirty years of hearing that some of my relatives have gone on, thirty years of praying for our people, and I am so grateful that the Creator has allowed me to talk to you in some way and let you know that you are my family. You are my relatives. You are my young warriors and my Elders. And, if I am remembered for anything at all, I want it to be that I never gave up - for you. I want you to know that I have faith in you, that one day your efforts will bring about a stronger nation; a nation where alcoholism, diabetes, suicide, and poverty do not control the lives of our people.

I know lately there has been a lot of concern and rumors about various individuals who have collaborated in some way with the government against their own people, people who are giving away some of our sovereignty; giving away our right to determine our own destiny and to handle our own affairs. With this in mind, I want to encourage you to remember always who we are and I want to ask you to remind yourselves that this is our land, given to us by the Creator, and our freedom was given to us by the Creator. The forest, the trees, the animals, the prairie – were all given to us by the Creator. No man of any nation or color or origin has the right to take that away. We have the right, given to us by the Creator, to resist; to protect our own; to stand firm on the principles and the teachings the Creator has given our people for thousands of years.

We are a beautiful people; we have a beautiful culture, and we should seek to join with all our brothers and sisters and relatives of other Indigenous nations who are faced with the same dangers of loss. There is an old Cheyenne saying I once heard that a Nation is never defeated until the hearts of it's women are on the ground. The hearts of our women may be low, but they are not on the ground and I damn sure ain't gonna let it happen on my shift. I love you to the nth degree. I always will. You will always be in my prayers. Do what you can, where you can, from where you stand and - to quote Sitting Bull - let's see what kind of nation we can make for our children. I don't say I love you easily but I want you to know that I love you - my heart is with you and never, never, never give up!

Before I finish, I want to say thank you, though I was told by an Elder that it was better to show your thanks with your deeds and your gifts, rather than just speaking it with your mouth. I apologize that I have nothing to give but I want you to know that you have my prayers, my thoughts, and what is left of my life. I will always be with you.

Your relative!
In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,
Leonard Peltier

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Leonard's defense team returned in person to Fargo this week (June 15, 2005).

It has been nearly 30 years since Leonard was a captive in Fargo. Years later after the trial, Amnesty International declared that Mr. Peltier is a political prisoner.

About three weeks ago, Mr. Barry Bachrach, Leonard’s counsel, contacted me stating that Leonard had given my name to him. Mr. Bachrach said he was not getting cooperation from the federal court in securing a certified copy of the jury decision in the case of North Dakota C77-3003. It turned out to be relatively straightforward for me to get the copy. Because the case is nearly 30 years old, I expected that it would take a fair amount of time to find it.

At the clerk’s office , I stated that I was looking for a copy of a jury decision from 30 years ago and was told that it would be housed in the Denver archives. I mentioned that it was the Leonard Peltier case and the clerk said, “Oh, we have that here. Have a chair and I will get it and make a copy for you.” I found it interesting that the case of Leonard Peltier would be easily recognizable by someone, who may only have been born about 1977 or perhaps 10 years prior. It took about 10 minutes. She apologized when she came back and said she had to wait because a judge was using the library.

I went to the hearing this week. We listened to the federal prosecutor explain how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. At the end of the hearing, Leonard, who had been listening by phone, asked if he could speak. I watched the body language of the judge. He seemed surprised. He hesitated for a fairly long time; for what reason, only he really knows. Leonard reminded the judge that Mr. Crooks, who was present at this hearing, had admitted (at a previous hearing or challenge to the conviction) that the government convicted on the basis of aiding and abetting.

I saw the certified copy of the jury decision with my own eyes and it definitely reads first degree murder on two counts. There is nothing about aiding and abetting. You have to dance angels on the head of a pin to draw that conclusion.

To convict, someone has had to manufacture evidence, which the Peltier defense team has shown to be the case through the Freedom of Information Act over these many, too long years for Leonard. To keep Leonard in prison, those agents of our government keep jigging and rigging the dancing angels.

I remain convinced the trial was rigged. I wrote the following piece in 1977. It was intentionally written with very stark contrasting words of contextual meaning. In 2005, someone may be offended by them. You also must remember that when this was written, none of the Freedom Of Information Act files had been released. The description of the vehicle that I wrote about in 1977 is what was placed into my mind by the prosecution and into the minds of the jurors. That description was wrong because the prosecution and Judge Benson made sure that no one that day understood what kind of vehicle Leonard drove.

These words are offered with the request that you will work hard for the release from prison of the One Who Stood Alone.

He Stood Alone
Two duly-sworn law enforcers, who were white, are now dead. Led by an all white prosecution team, one red man now stands convicted by an all white jury. The cause is racism. The issue remains the treaty obligations signed by the U.S. Congress and the Headmen of the Oglala Nation of 1868.

A racist remark in a bar. The theft of a white man’s cowboy boots. The warrant for the arrest of a 15 year old reservation male. Violence on the reservation repeated--this time one red and two white die.

Who owns the water? Who owns the precious ores-the coal and uranium? Liberal or conservative bears no relationship to who controls the land.

The red-skinned people came to Fargo to support a brother in his trials. They pray for him. The white press, in a photo caption, labels the prayer ceremony a prayer demonstration. Here again, a failure to understand cultural differences fosters the cause of racism.

The issue remains the treaty obligations. The courts from time to time have spoken. Over the years, case by case, native peoples have retained their rights before the law as obligated by the U.S. Congress.

Testimony and then the counter testimony--the adversary system in action.

Your Honor, the agent’s own radio transcription, as monitored by another law officer, states that there was a red pickup truck present at the start of the shooting.

OBJECTION, your Honor.

Counsels will approach the bench. Bailiff, dismiss the jury. Objection over ruled. Counsel for the defense will refer only to a red vehicle. Bring in the jury Bailiff.Leonard Peltier drove a red AND WHITE VAN.

Your Honor, the agent who was under fire radioed a message, which was monitored by another law officer, stating that he would be killed if fellow officers did not direct protective gunfire onto the top of the hill.

OBJECTION, your Honor.

Counsels will approach the bench. The jury is dismissed. Objection sustained. Bailiff, bring in the jury.

Leonard Peltier, according to the government theory, raced ahead of agent Williams in his red vehicle (red and white van) stopped the vehicle (van) on the road ahead of the agent’s vehicle (car) and got out firing. He did not fire from the top of the hill according to the government’s own theory.

Was it racism that caused these deaths. Was it racism that caused this conviction. The issue remains the treaty obligations.

Who owns the land, who owns the grazing rights on that land, who profits from ranching, who controls the precious resources?

In an all white court room--judge, jury, prosecution, defense and media--on advice from the U.S. Marshal, the judge bars Leonard Peltier’s wife and children, mother and father, sisters and brothers from hearing the verdict read. Guilty in the first degree. Pre meditated with malice and forethought, and there was no living blood relation to turn to and share that moment. He stood alone.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

FIVE GENERATIONS OF PELTIERS COME OUT TO SUPPORT LEONARD

“Everyday that Leonard sits in prison, we grow stronger; everyday the oppressor lies they grow weaker.”


The FBI and U.S. government always portray their fallen combatants as family people and just as Joe Stunz, our fallen warrior in the same battle, is never mentioned, Leonard Peltier is dehumanized by making it seem as if he arose from a vacuum. Nothing could be further from the truth. Together with friends and supporters, the Peltier family made a strong presence at the court hearing in Fargo, North Dakota, June 15th 2005. From Tiny, Leonard’s stepmother (in a wheel chair), to little Leighton and Precious, Linda’s (Leonard’s sister) great-grandchildren, there were five generations of Peltiers' represented. “We want Leonard home, it’s been too long,” exclaimed Leonard’s sister Julie. Other Peltier siblings present were: Sheila, Pucksie, Irvin (with children Moose, Josh, and Amy), Betty, and John Sack (with children Andrea and Baby John). Leonard’s cousins Troy, Leona and her daughter Melody, were also present. Supporters and Defense Committee members traveled from the four directions, and from as far as Olympia, Washington; Lawrence, Kansas, and Boston, Massachusetts, to be present. Singer Buffy Saint Marie, actor Peter Coyote and Hank Gottfriedson of the Frank’s Landing Indian Community in Washington State, made generous donations for people traveling long distances to attend.

People gathered in front of the Courthouse two hours before the hearing started. Russ Redner, Director of the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, summoned the crowd with a drum and talked about the need for Native people to unite and continue the struggle for which Leonard is imprisoned. Before entering the Courtroom, Paul Schultz and his daughter Lira, of the White Earth Indian Reservation, sang a song calling the spirit of the eagle in his native Anishinabe, and exhorted all indigenous people to not be afraid to speak what is in their heart.

In a full courtroom, the hearing was presided over by Judge Ralph Erickson and lasted approximately two hours. Barry Bacharach, Peltier’s attorney, presented arguments supporting his motion on the U.S. Court’s lack of jurisdiction over acts committed on Indian Reservations, while attorneys for the U.S. government, with special prosecutor Lynn Crooks, tried to dismiss the motion calling it frivolous. However, according to Bacharach the argument went well, with the judge being both inquisitive and open to fully allowing issues to be aired. The judge will evaluate the arguments and precedents brought up and will make a decision in the near future. His demeanor showed partiality towards the U.S. governments’ arguments. Judge Erickson even went so far as to cite the Federal Supreme Court case of Worcester v. Georgia (1832) as a precedent supporting federal jurisdiction over Indian territories even though that decision actually reaffirmed the sovereignty of the Cherokee Nation. Furthermore, this decision was ignored by President Andrew Jackson who uttered the infamous words “John Marshall [the Justice leading the majority vote] has made his decision; now let him enforce it”, and proceeded to evacuate-by-force the Cherokee people in the infamous Trail of Tears. “This is not just about Leonard, all the laws affecting our people are being put into question to keep him in prison, to suppress all of us, a continuation of the genocidal policies that gave rise to this country” commented Russ Redner. “They are stretching their judicial system so thin, it will never go back to its original shape, their house of cards is crumbling”, he added.

As people came out of the grueling hearing, they looked somewhat changed, a new or renewed bond amongst them could be felt. It was as if unity had been created through enduring together the arrogance of the U.S. judicial system, not only through the unjust suffering allotted to our beloved warrior, but also through the revisiting of the trauma all indigenous people in this land have been carrying generation after generation, represented by the historical landmark cases mentioned. “Confronting the oppressor is the most healing thing we can do”, explained Russ Redner. If the suffering transforms into unity, this sacred unity will give rise to healing and empowerment, and nothing will have been in vain.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Reminder - Hearing for the validity of Leonard Peltier's Conviction - June 15, 2005

This is a reminder that the hearing on the legality of Leonard's conviction by the United States on sovereign territory of another Nation -namely that of the Oglala Nation will be heard in will take place on Wednesday June 15th, 2005 at 2:00 PM at the Quentin N. Burdick U.S. Courthouse in Fargo, North Dakota (655 1st Ave. North - 4th Floor, Courtroom 1).

Please make an effort to attend and show solidarity for Leonard.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: RUSS REDNER, LPDC DIRECTOR, 915-533-6655 or TOLL FREE 866-534-6151 BARRY BACHRACH, LPDC ATTORNEY, 508-926-3403 RAQUEL ROBLES BURNET, LPDC HEADQUARTERS, 785-842-5774 THE COURT DOCUMENTS WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON FOR VIEWING AT: www.leonardpeltier.org

Dave Yakima Chief

Dave Yakima Chief (Wakinyan), age 74, journeyed to the spirit world on Friday evening, June 10, in Medford, Oregon surrounded by family. A respected Lakota elder, warrior, spiritual advisor, and member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, Dave was born on June 25, 1930 at Rapid Creek, South Dakota. He grew up at Red Shirt Table on the Pine Ridge Reservation. His parents were Albert Chief and Hattie Fills the Pipe Chief. Dave worked for the people and for treaty rights for decades, traveling to the United Nations, the White House, the U.S. Congress, and other continents. In 1972 Dave participated in the Trail of Broken Treaties, which culminated in the takeover of the BIA in Washington, D.C. In 1978 he was in the Longest Walk from Alcatraz Island to Washington, D.C. that brought about the Freedom of Religion Act (P.L. 95-341), allowing Native people the legal right to practice traditional spirituality. In 1984, he ran in the Jim Thorpe 54-day run from the Onondaga Nation in New York to Los Angeles, after which Jim Thorpe's nine gold Olympic medals were returned to his family.

Dave served for many years as the spiritual advisor to Leonard Peltier, political prisoner, traveling around the country in this capacity. For over twenty years, Dave worked with Arvol Looking Horse, the 19th generation keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe, and served as his spiritual advisor since the death of Arvol's father, Stanley Looking Horse. Dave supported Arvol in his work for world peace and protection of sacred sites. Dave said that his job was "to pray for the people." Dave stressed the importance of daily prayer, respect, service, and honoring the seventh generation.

Gratefully sharing his life were his wife Mary Jane of Ashland Oregon, sons Waverly of Rapid City, Burton of Porcupine, Martin (and Irene) Lechuga of Eagle Butte, and Wakinyan of Chico, CA., one daughter, Wase of Chico, stepchildren Sarah Cedar Face (Reuben Elias) and Jessica Cedar Face (Benjamin John) and countless grandchildren and relatives that loved him. He was proceeded in death by daughters Doris Chief and Arlene Chief and an infant son.

Wake is scheduled for Thursday and Friday, June 16 and 17, at the Red Shirt Table Gymnasium. Traditional services are planned for Saturday, June 18 with burial at St. Bernard Catholic Cemetery at Red Shirt Table.