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Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Benefit For Freedom - Toronto

Tickets available now to support 2005 Leonard Peltier Freedom Campaign

Toronto - The Ontario Federation of Labour and the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee Canada are launching a renewed bid to free the American Indian Movement activist who has spent more than 25 years imprisoned in the United States for a crime that he did not commit.

A Benefit for Freedom memorial tribute and dinner to support Peltier will be held March 4 at Ellas Banquet Halls, 35 Danforth Road, Toronto (west of Warden Avenue).

The occasion begins with a reception at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m. The contact is Judy Chow: Phone 416-443-7653 or 1-800-668-9138 or e-mail jchow@ofl.ca. Tickets are available now.

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) has been a strong supporter of efforts across Canada and beyond to win freedom for Peltier.

Peltier is serving two consecutive life sentences in the United States for the 1975 double murder of two FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Reservation of South Dakota. Even U.S. federal authorities admit they have no proof that Peltier committed the crimes and that they do not know who is responsible.

Despite his long imprisonment, Peltier has demonstrated an intense commitment to achieving justice for his people. He continues to be an outspoken and effective advocate for the Pine Ridge Reservation.

One of the highlights of the dinner will be a tribute to the late Prof. Dianne Martin, Canadian legal counsel for Leonard Peltier and founder of The Innocence Project at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto.

Guest Speakers will include Warren Allmand, a former Canadian solicitor-general and former director of Rights and Democracy in Montreal; James Lockyer of the Association in Defense of the Wrongly Convicted (AIDWYC); Robert Robideau, a national and international spokesperson for the Peltier defence committee; Bruce Ellison, an American civil rights attorney and Ethel Birkett-LaValley, an OFL executive member.

Entertainment at the dinner will include performances by well-known musicians Greg Keelor and Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo. Also highlighted during the evening will be a Nadjiwan Showcase of Leonard Peltier artwork. NUPGE