Leonard Peltier Denied Parole
On August 21, the U.S. Parole Commission again turned down the parole request of Leonard Peltier, a prominent member of the American Indian Movement who was framed up on charges of killing two FBI agents during the federal assault "on the Pine Ridge Reservation in 1975." The commission coldbloodedly declared Peltier would not be considered for parole for another 15 years!
For the 64-year-old Peltier, who suffers from diabetes, high blood pressure, partial blindness and a heart condition, this is a declaration by the racist rulers that this courageous man will die in prison.
Grotesquely, U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley gloated, "Leonard Peltier is exactly where he belongs: federal prison, serving two life sentences."
Wrigley added the claim that Peltier "has neither accepted responsibility for the murders nor shown any remorse," a standard ruse for denying parole to those imprisoned for crimes they did not commit. As the PDC pointed out in a June 29 letter to the Parole Commission demanding freedom for Peltier (see Worker Vanguard No. 940, 31 July):
One court proceeding after another has laid bare the evidence of his innocence and of massive prosecutorial misconduct. In a 1985 appeals hearing, the government's lead attorney admitted, 'We can't prove who shot those agents.'
In 1986, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that "the trial jury could have acquitted Mr. Peltier if records improperly withheld from the defense had been made available." In November 2003, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals stated, In 2001, in response to requests under the Freedom of Information Act and lawsuits, the U.S. government admitted it Yet again, the depraved capitalist rulers have demonstrated there is no justice for fighters for the oppressed like Peltier. We join with millions worldwide in demanding:
"Much of the government's behavior at the Pine Ridge Reservation and in its prosecution of Mr. Peltier is to be condemned. The government withheld evidence. It intimidated witnesses. These facts are not disputed."
"had withheld a staggering 142,579 pages of evidence of its secret COINTELPRO efforts to persecute and convict Mr. Peltier".
!!!Free Leonard Peltier now!!!
(Peltier lleva en la carcel mas de tres decadas por un crimen que no cometio. Es, segun nuestro conocimiento, el prisionero politico mas antiguo del mundo. Y ahora, a sus 64 an~os, tendra que esperar 15 an~os para que su 'caso' pueda ser 'reconsiderado' de nuevo, lo cual implica morir en la prision sin poder respirar de nuevo en libertad)
("In the Spirit of Crazy Horse"
'The History of Leonard Peltier and the FBI's
War on the American Indian Movement',
"We may have been happy with the land that was originally reserved to us. But continually over the years more and more of our land has been stolen from us by the Canadian and U.S. governments. In the 19th century our land was stolen from us for economic reasons because the land was lush and fertile and abounded with food. We were left with what white society thought was worthless land. . . .Today, what was once called worthless land suddenly becomes valuable as the technology of white society advances."
"White society would now like to push us off our reservations because beneath the barren land lie valuable mineral and oil resources. It is not a new development for white society to steal from nonwhite peoples. When white society succeeds it's called colonialism. When white society's efforts to colonize people are met with resistance it's called war. But when the colonized Indians of North America meet to stand and resist we are called criminals. What could be more clear than that to treat us as criminals is a farce? We are an Indian nation and the governments of Canada and the United States and the dominant white society they represent have made war against our people, culture, spiritual ways and sacred Mother Earth for over 400 years."
Leonard Peltier (Ojibwa-Sioux)