[sixties-l] Fwd: Leonard Peltier Statement

From: radman (resist@best.com)
Date: Tue Jun 27 2000 - 10:28:58 CUT

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    Forwarded message:

    >From: "LPDC" <lpdc@idir.net>
    >Subject: Peltier Statement and a note
    >Dear friends,
    >Below is Leonard Peltier's statement for the 25 year memorial and honoring
    >at Oglala. We will be unable to answer emails until June 29. If you need
    >to communicate with us, please send your messages after June 28th. Thank
    >In Solidarity,
    >June 26, 2000
    >Greetings Friends and Supporters,
    >Twenty-five years has passed since the fatal shoot-out on the Jumping Bull
    >Ranch occurred, and for twenty-five years I have been forced away from my
    >people and my home, which I consider Oglala to be. I miss being with all of
    >you as I have always loved and respected the Lakota ways. I have always
    >admired the Lakota people, especially the Oglalas for their strength,
    >determination, and courage to continue the struggle to maintain our
    >traditional ways and sovereignty. Not a single day passes when I do not
    >dream of being home with you. Twenty-four years is a long time to be in
    >prison, but if I was out and you were facing the same kind of brutality you
    >faced under the Wilson regime, I would not hesitate to stand next to you and
    >resist the violent oppression you were forced to endure.
    >But I am not out, I remain locked up in here, and it has not been an easy 24
    >years. Prison is a repulsive, violent place to exist in. But again, none
    >of this could stop me from standing with you until the great Oglala Nation
    >is free. I know a lot of problems continue to exist for you. Corrupt tribal
    >government officials are still taking advantage of the people and crimes
    >committed against Natives receive little if no priority. It makes me very
    >sad to know that after everything we went through in the 1970's our people
    >still continue to suffer so much. The memory of all of those who lost their
    >lives during that time also continues to haunt me
    >As we gather together during this time of remembrance, I am aware that the
    >FBI has also organized a 25-year memorial for their dead agents. I do not
    >fault them nor do I disagree with what they are doing. I think all people
    >should gather in memorial for any of their fallen. But, when you analyze
    >this whole event of theirs, you are slapped in the face with the cold
    >reality of racism. Not once have they, nor will they mention our fallen
    >warriors and innocent traditionalists slaughtered in the 70's after Wounded
    >Knee II. They will not even as much as mention Joe Killsright Stuntz. We
    >cannot even get an acknowledgement from them that they were wrong in
    >supporting such a cruel and corrupt regime as Dick Wilson's. They continue
    >to deny that any Indian people were killed as a result of their direct input
    >with the terrorist squad, the GOONS. The fact is they do not think of
    >Indian people as human beings. Whenever you deny that such atrocities
    >happen, and we know they did happen, it only means they don't consider the
    >people who died to be human. Hitler's regime felt the same about the Jews.
    >But please don't misunderstand my frustration for a lack of sympathy about
    >the loss of the agents' lives. I do feel for the families of the agents
    >because I know first hand what it is like to lose a loved one. I have lost
    >many loved ones through the years due to senseless violent acts. If I had
    >known what was going on that day, and I could have stopped it, I would have.
    >But in order for us to bring reconciliation to what was a very difficult
    >time we first must have justice. We must continue to ask when the lives of
    >our people will be given the same respect and value as others. When will
    >they stop carelessly locking up our people without applying the scrutiny and
    >care the judicial system is supposed to guarantee? When will guilty beyond
    >a reasonable doubt become a standard that applies to us? When will our
    >guilt have to be proven, rather than assumed? We suffer equally, but we are
    >not treated equally. There is hope for a better future and for peace. But
    >in order for us to live in peace, we must be able to live in dignity and
    >without fear.
    >In closing, I want to say that your voices are important and your
    >involvement in the effort to gain my freedom is crucial. You know the truth
    >and only you can express the reality of those brutal times. It is also
    >important that you explain to the youth what we stood for and why, because
    >they are our hope for the future. They can carry out our dream for our
    >people to have pride in their culture, good schools, food, and health care,
    >and most importantly, justice. Please know that I continue to be here for
    >you too, although I am limited in what I can do from behind these walls.
    >However, I will continue help in whatever I can from here. The one thing my
    >situation has brought me at least, is a voice, and my voice is your voice.
    >So please do not hesitate to write me or contact the LPDC to inform me of
    >what is going on.
    >I am growing older now and my body is beginning to deteriorate. I sometimes
    >wonder just how much longer I will be with you all on Mother earth. I hope
    >that it'll be a while longer because I long to be with you, my family and
    >friends, to share some time together. If not, and I don't make it home to
    >you, I will always be with you in spirit, at every Sun Dance and Inipi
    >Ceremony, remembering both the happy and the painful times we shared.
    >In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,
    >Leonard Peltier
    >Call the White House Comments Line Today
    >Demand Justice for Leonard Peltier! 202-456-1111
    >Leonard Peltier Defense Committee
    >PO Box 583
    >Lawrence, KS 66044

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