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

Monday, February 14, 2005

Report on the 12th Annual Tacoma March

The 12th Annual Tacoma Leonard Peltier March, Rally, and Potluck
was a great success as we all were able keep Leonard Peltier's case aliveout in the public view in the northwest and build additional support. That has been the Tacoma LPSG's direction and commitment for the past 12years and we will carry on that commitment for how ever long it takes to wake up America to the truth of what happen at Pine Ridge, the case of Leonard Peltier and through the united spirit of the people finally free Leonard at long last. We carry on in the unity of common cause with theunderstanding that this work is both about Leonard as a person who hasstood strong over the years and that Leonard's case effects allmovements for social justice.

We wish to pay our respects to a long-time supporter of Leonard and long-time personal friend of mine who passed away a short time before ourevent. His name was Carlos Cortez and he was a great artist, poet,writer, activist and a Wobbly since 1947. I had known him since 1970. Myfondest memory of him is when he came to speak at the Leonard PeltierMarch and Rally in Leavenworth in 1984 (yea, been helping to organize Leonard Peltier marches for many years in different parts of the country) and he stayed at our Leonard Peltier Support House in Kansas City.

The march was strong and went well with only a few problems created by the police this year. We guess that after the struggles of the past few years the City of Tacoma has now accepted our right to march in support of Leonard without trying to stop us or harass us. We hope that this continues to our future marches. So far only two problems have been reported back to us. First the police harassed a photo journalist. Later a cop on a motorcycle driving too close to the edge of our march almost hit a marcher. If anyone else saw anything happen please contact us.

When the march reached the courthouse we were met by the Aztec Dancersand then the NW Drum did the opening drum songs. Harold Belmont was our MC and he was able to carry on even though he was ill. After the spiritual opening Jeannette Bushnell spoke very good opening words for the rally. Then our speakers from throughout the Northwest spoke, they all gave us very good words to remember.

Then when the rally ended we headed up to the church where our After Rally Potluck and Get Together took place. This is an important part of our event because it gives activists throughout the Northwest a chance to meet and network. Because Harold was ill Jeannette Bushnell took Harold's place as the MC at the Potluck We are so thankful to Jeannette who did a great job filling in for Harold. Matter of fact she did such a great job you would have thought it was planned this way. We had other good speakers and the event was closed by words from Steve Hapy, Jr wrapping things up for the Tacoma LPSG, then Lakota Elder Dorothy Ackerman gave everyone moving words to take home with them. Then we ended with everyone coming around the NW Drum for the Peltier Honor Song.

Video and Photographs
It would really help us if people could send us copies of video andphotographs take of the march and rally. This helps us show to all what type of event we have every year if the City of Tacoma tries to stop or harass our event again. Also video is used by other supporters around the country and we send some of the photos to Leonard. Please send copies to: Tacoma LPSG, P.O. Box 5464, Tacoma, WA 98415-0464. Thank you.

Acknowledgements
It is important for us to give thanks to everyone who helped. Our events are not just the work of one group but are in fact the work of many different groups and people. No amount of help given to our events is viewed as small but rather we view all of the help as important parts that when placed together make up what our events have become. It would be impossible to thank by name each person because we don't know each person who helped by name. First let us give thanks to the many peoplewho helped get the fliers and posters out. We give thanks to those that sent our e-mail statements on the event to others. We give thanks to Jim Roberts for posting the event on the Northwest Powwow Web Site. We give thanks to Indymedia of Seattle and Portland for posting information on the event on their front page. We give thanks to Washington State Jobs For Justice for posting event information on their e-mail list. We give thanks to the different people who helped proof-read and edit our march statement. We give thanks to Vivi Bartron for setting up the speaking event with FOR Tacoma. We give thanks to Hali Panneton and Peter Bohmer from Olympia for their help year after year for so many years. We give thanks to OMJP and Larry Mosqueda, also from Olympia, for their help and for the Olympia caravan. We give thanks to Russell Houle for coming out from Montana to be with us again. We give thanks to Paul Benz for his help. We give thanks to Donna Wallach of the San Jose LPSG who came up to join with us. We give thanks to Marie for once again helping us. We give thanks to the students from Western Washington University for their help and the caravan from Bellingham. We give thanks to Jack for the sound system and other help. We give thanks for the help from Inbal who along with Red, who we give thanks to also, got us the power for the sound system. We give thanks to the NWAF for all the help they gave us.We give thanks to the Chief Seattle Club for helping us again this year.We wish to give thanks to the LPDC for their help. We give thanks to Barry Bachrach (one of Leonard's lawyers) and Delaney Bruce for the legal article and Barry we thank again for his donations. We give thanks to all who made donations before the event and at the rally. We give thanks to Juan Jose Bocanegra for his long time support, help and for getting us a donation from the Every Workers Movement that helped get the mass mailing out. We give thanks to the Native People's Alliance for their help again this year. We give thanks to local Tacoma group People for Peace, Justice and Healing. For the great job they did in hosting the potluck. We give thanks to the Legal Observers who kept an eye on things for us. We give thanks to the security team made up of Native folks from Bellingham, Seattle, Portland, Tacoma, and other places and thanks to Steve, Albert and Willie for always being there to look out for the well-being of our marchers. We give thanks to Harold Belmont forhis spirit, guidance, help and for being our MC again this year. We give thanks to all the speakers for their important words, Dorothy Ackerman, Pete Sanchez, Michael One Road, Jeannette Bushnell, Kerwin Hemlock, Larry Mosqueda, Juan Jose Bocannegra, Steve Hapy, Jr and Arthur J. Miller. We also give thanks to three speakers who could not make it because of illness: Matilaja, Wolverine and Kil yaa tuk, we hope they are all better now. And we give thanks to everyone who came out for the event.

Petitions
The petitions handed out at the rally and potluck are very important. Please if you can pass them around and after they are filled out please return them to Tacoma LPSG. Thank you

Finances
We received $1,235 in donations before our event. We had $583.45 indonations at our rally; total $1,818.45. Our costs of were: $754.83printing; $835.06 mailing; $20 phone card; $40 for power for soundsystem. Total costs; $1,589.89. I have left $500 in our account so thatwe have money to continue and have made as a donation from me the difference. Anyone who wishes to make a donation for our continuing efforts please send it to: Tacoma LPSG, P.O. Box 5464, Tacoma, WA98415-0464. The mass mailing, postering and handing out fliers is not just to let people know about our event, it is also important to keep Leonard's name out there as much as possible so that his case is never forgotten.

In To The Future
The Tacoma LPSG will continue to work in support of the legal efforts and to continue to keep informing new people about Leonard's case. Wewill support the Native People's Alliance With Friends and Allies in their annual organizing of the Indigenous People's Day event up at the border. And we will start our organizing of the 13th Annual Tacoma NW Regional next fall.

Community
The annual events and the work that has gone into them is not that of some great political organization. Rather it is the coming together in unity and common cause of a diverse community of people. All of you are setting an example of not only a good direction in the work to free Leonard, but also a good example of the type of world we all wish to help create. One where the well-being of all is the first moral value and through communities working together we can reach that goal. Thank you all.

In Unity and Solidarity,
Arthur J. Miller
Tacoma LPSG

Those who wish to sign up on the NW Peltier Support e-mail list can do so by sending an e-mail to: nwpeltiersupport-subscribe@lists.riseup.net