Posts Tagged ‘American Indian Movement – AIM’

USA: Leonard Peltier – seit über 35 Jahren als politischer Gefangener in Haft

Freitag, April 15th, 2011

“Writings from Jail

Lewisburg, February 6, 2010




Greetings to everyone,

Thirty-four years. It doesn’t even sound like a real number to me. Not when one really thinks about being in a jail cell for that long. All these years and I swear, I still think sometimes I’ll wake up from this nightmare in my own bed, in my own home, with my family in the next room. I would never have imagined such a thing. Surely the only place people are unjustly imprisoned for 34 years is in far away lands, books or fairy tales. It’s been that long since I woke up when I needed to, worked where I wanted to, loved who I was supposed to love, or did what I was compelled to do. It’s been that long – long enough to see my children have grandchildren. Long enough to have many of my friends and loved ones die in the course of a normal life, while I was here unable to know them in their final days.

So often in my daily life, the thought creeps in – “I don’t deserve this”. It lingers like acid in my mouth. But I have to push those types of thoughts away. I made a commitment long ago, many of us did. Some didn’t live up to their commitments, and some of us didn’t have a choice. Joe Stuntz didn’t have a choice. Neither did Buddy Lamont. I never thought my commitment would mean sacrificing like this, but I was willing to do so nonetheless. And really, if necessary, I’d do it all over again, because it was the right thing to do. We didn’t go to ceremony and say, “I’ll fight for the people as long as it doesn’t cost too much.” We prayed, and we gave. Like I say, some of us didn’t have a choice. Our only other option was to run away, and we couldn’t even do that. Back then, we had no where left to run to.

I have cried so many tears over these three plus decades. Like the many families directly affected by this whole series of events, my family’s tears have not been in short supply. Our tears have joined all the tears from over 500 years of oppression. Together our tears come together and form a giant river of suffering and I hope, cleansing. Injustice is never final, I keep telling myself. I pray this is true for all of us. To those who know I am innocent, thank you for your faith. And I hope you continue working for my release. That is, to work towards truth and justice. To those who think me guilty, I ask you to believe in and work for the rule of law. Even the law says I should be free by now, regardless of guilt. What has happened to me isn’t justice, it isn’t the law, it isn’t fair, it isn’t right. This has been a long battle in an even longer war. But we have toremain vigilant, as we have a righteous cause. After all this time, I can only ask this: Don’t give up. Not ever. Stay in this fight with me. Suffer with me. Grieve with me. Endure with me. Believe with me. Outlast with me. And one day, celebrate freedom with me. Hoka hey!

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,

Leonard Peltier

~ ~ ~

September 6, 2010

Sisters, brothers, friends and supporters,

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

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

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

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

We (the Oglala traditionals and members of the American Indian Movement) stood up because we were trying to defend our People. It was the right thing to do. We had — have — the right to survive. The land was being stolen, too… used for mining mostly. No thought was given to the disposal of toxic waste. The rivers were full of poisons. Not much has changed, I hear. In those days, though, the reservation was torn apart by a tribal dispute and the federal government armed one group against another. The result was a long line of tragedies for the People of Pine Ridge… and for the People who were there that day in June 1975.

I honestly understand the pain and anguish suffered by all concerned and I have been part of that suffering. I have watched people lie on the witness stand countless times and felt the doors closing on me. I have heard judges admonish prosecutors for allowing false evidence in and, in some cases, for participating in the falsification itself. The government hid evidence, too. Or manufactured it. Literally.

… Last year, as you know, my parole was denied. That was a disappointment, but I am not defeated. My fight for freedom — for my People and myself — is not over. I am a pipe carrier and a Sundancer. Abandoning The Struggle is not — never will be — a consideration. I am an Indian man and proud of it. I love my People and culture and spiritual beliefs. My enemies like to suggest otherwise and seek to rob me of all dignity. They won’t succeed.

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

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

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


Leonard Peltier

[February 6, 2010 marked the 34th year of Leonard Peltier’s imprisonment for a crime he did not commit: the killing of two federal agents. Peltier observed his 66th birthday on September 12.]


(Quelle: The Nuclear Resister.)


Friends of Peltier
American Indian Movement

USA: Leonard Peltiers Krebsbehandlung wird verschleppt

Mittwoch, November 24th, 2010

“Peltier family accuses U.S. government of medical neglect

Peltier family accuses U.S. government of medical neglect‏ on Betty Tuininga’s TwitWall

‘A man dies from prostate cancer every 16 minutes in this country. Why does my brother have to wait over a year to receive even a diagnosis?’

Native American activist Leonard Peltier, who maintains his innocence, was wrongfully convicted in connection with the shooting deaths of two agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1977. Imprisoned for 35 years-currently at the federal prison in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania-Peltier has been designated a political prisoner by Amnesty International. Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, 55 Members of Congress and others-including a judge who sat as a member of the court in two of Peltier’s appeals-have all called for his immediate release. Widely recognized for his humanitarian works and a six-time Nobel Prize nominee, Peltier also is an accomplished author and painter.

Sister Betty Solano says Peltier began exhibiting symptoms commonly
attributed to prostate cancer over a year ago. His age (he is 66 years old) and family history are risk factors for the disease. Pressured by Peltier’s attorneys, the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) ran standard blood tests in June. Peltier received the results last week, over four months later. A physician only now says a biopsy is needed to make a diagnosis.

Prostate cancer affects 1 in 6 men in the United States. Medical experts agree that the cure rate for prostate cancer is high, but only if detected early.

Even if Peltier doesn’t have cancer, the symptoms indicate a serious medical condition and one that could lead to serious complications
if left untreated.

A physician who conducted an independent review of Peltier’s medical
records in 2000 concluded that Peltier’s overall medical treatment is below a reasonable standard of care. Decades ago, Peltier suffered a stroke which left him nearly blind in one eye-damage physicians say could have been prevented had he been treated sooner. In the 1990s, there was international outrage after the BOP botched surgeries to correct a jaw problem. Only then was Peltier transferred to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota for treatment. Subsequent procedures were recommended by a specialist, but never performed by the BOP.

‘Last week, at the United Nations, the United States claimed that it is unequivocally committed to the humane treatment of all individuals in detention, including criminal detention. Delaying tests, avoiding a diagnosis, and preventing proper medical treatment for a potentially life threatening disease is not humane by anyone’s definition,’ a spokesperson for the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee said. ‘Unfortunately, this situation isn’t unique to Mr. Peltier. Many U.S. prisoners die prematurely because treatment is delayed or denied.’

Family members want the government to release Peltier who was denied parole in 2009. His North Dakota tribe has twice passed a resolution asking the government to transfer Peltier into their custody. Peltier’s many supporters believe his release from prison is the only way Peltier will receive humane treatment.”

(Quelle: Aboriginal News Group.)