ink artwork: "Leonard Peltier- Ink Story", by:Bruno Leyval
PAROLE HEARING DATE ANNOUNCEMENT
This hearing has been scheduled for July 28, 2009. All supporters are encouraged to step up their efforts in support of parole for Leonard Peltier. Groups are forming now with plans to show support for Mr.Peltier on July 28th.
If able, you're welcome to gather in Pennsylvania to support Peltier's hearing, For more information, contact the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee: email@example.com . More information on the event can be found here. For those planning of trekking to PA:
LOCAL DAYS INN OFFERING SPECIAL RATE TO PEOPLE ATTENDING PAROLE HEARING VIGIL AT LEWISBURG
United States Parole Commission
5550 Friendship Blvd., Ste. 420
Chevy Chase, MD 20815-7286
Re: LEONARD PELTIER #89637-132
I am writing in behalf of support for Parole for Leonard Peltier . While I am aware of the seriousness of the conviction I am also aware that people have the ability to go forward out of the past and give to the larger society. I believe that is the case with Leonard Peltier. I ask you to consider the humanitarian work he has done during his 33 years of incarceration.
More than most people can ever do who are not locked up. I ask you to consider his nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize for the 6th straight year. There are those who make light of this but who else among us have had that honor.
He consistently donates his art work for charities such as battered women's shelters, half way houses, alcohol and drug treatment programs, and Native American scholarship funds. Mr. Peltier has won several awards including the North Star Frederick Douglas Award; Federation of Labor (Ontario, Canada) Humanist of the Year Award; Human Rights Commission of Spain International Human Rights Prize; and 2004 Silver Arrow Award for Lifetime Achievement.
He has expressed sadness for the tragedy that occurred that day at Oglala and pain for the families of the two agents and the Indian man that died that day. Thirty-three years is a long time. I ask you to look with empathy upon a 64 year old man who over the 33 years has done so much good while in prison, and I think has the ability to do even more good for the community if he were to be allowed parole.
While I know of the misconduct by government officials in his case, I will not bring details up because I am certain that you are aware of the misconduct, and will consider that as you have the discretion to rule above or below the guidelines. I would hope that you will exercise that discretion in favor of Leonard Peltier. It seems to me it would be a gross miscarriage of justice if he were left to die in prison. Please grant parole.
About Leonard Peltier: www.whoisleonardpeltier.info
Leonard Peltier -- a great-grandfather, artist, writer, & indigenous rights activist -- is a citizen of the Anishinabe and Dakota/Lakota Nations who has been unjustly imprisoned since 1976.
A participant in the American Indian Movement, he went to assist the Oglala Lakota people on the Pine Ridge Reservation in the mid-70s where a tragic shoot-out occurred on June 26, 1975. Accused of the murder of two agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Peltier fled to Canada believing he would never receive a fair trial in the United States.
On February 6, 1976, Peltier was apprehended. The FBI knowingly presented the Canadian court with fraudulent affidavits, and Peltier was returned to the U.S. for trial.
Key witnesses were banned from testifying about FBI misconduct & testimony about the conditions and atmosphere on the Pine Ridge Reservation at the time of the shoot-out was severely restricted. Important evidence, such as conflicting ballistics reports, was ruled inadmissible. Still, the U.S. Prosecutor failed to produce a single witness who could identify Peltier as the shooter. Instead, the government tied a bullet casing found near the bodies of their agents to the alleged murder weapon, arguing that this gun had been the only one of its kind used during the shootout, and that it had belonged to Peltier.
Later, Mr. Peltier’s attorneys uncovered, in the FBI’s own documents, that more than one weapon of the type attributed to Peltier had been present at the scene and the FBI had intentionally concealed a ballistics report that showed the shell casing could not have come from the alleged murder weapon. Other troubling information emerged: the agents undoubtedly followed a red pickup truck onto the land where the shoot-out took place, not the red and white van driven by Peltier; and compelling evidence against several other suspects existed and was concealed.
At the time, however, the jury was unaware of these facts. Peltier was convicted and sentenced to two consecutive life terms. He is currently imprisoned at the U.S. Penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.
photo: "Leonard Peltier", by Paul Lowry.
Leonard Peltier’s self-taught style is an outgrowth of drawing and carving lessons he received as a child from tribal elders.
Leonard began working with pastels in 1983, proving he had talent to put what he saw on paper. His spirit began to know a freedom he had never before experienced.
Although limited by the prison environment, Mr. Peltier has emerged as a master of Indigenous Art.
Leonard’s artwork reflects his beliefs and commitment to Native American culture. It is The People’s struggle to survive and his desire to portray their cultural beauty that inspires Peltier to paint.
In 1986, Leonard suffered a stroke and lost about eighty percent of his sight in his left eye. "My eye problem has slowed me down considerably, but I am still inspired."
Leonard’s paintings are collected by such noted personalities as Oliver Stone, Peter Coyote, Jane Fonda, Val Kilmer, Michael Apted, Shep Gordon, and Oliver Shanti, as well as many other international celebrities & luminaries.
photo: "Protect Sacred Sited! Defend Human Rights! Free Leonard Peltier", by bettina escauriza
Advocate of peaceful resolution of all issues that deal with Native Americans; always taking a non-violent approach and argued for respect for rights of others.
Has helped several prisoners rehabilitate themselves by advocating drug and alcohol free life styles while encouraging pride and knowledge in their cultures and traditions.
Has been key in getting people from different tribes, with a history of animosity, to come together in peace.
Has worked with Dr. Steward Selkin of New York (ear, nose, and throat specialist) on efforts to restructure health delivery systems on reservations. A pilot program on Rosebud was undertaken in order to document needs and requirements for delivery and care. This is known as the Leonard Peltier Health Care Reform Package, and the ultimate intent is to fundamentally alter health care delivery on reservations throughout the US. Substance abuse programs are an important part of this program.
Has worked with professor Jeffery Timmons on a job creation/job training program to stimulate reservation based economics and investments in Native American business enterprises.
Also worked with Professor Timmons on a youth entrepreneur program for reservation kids to teach them to learn how to establish and run their own businesses.
In 1992 he established a scholarship at New York University for Native American students seeking law degrees.
Instrumental in the establishment and funding of a Washington (state) Native American newspaper by and for Native young people.
Has been the sponsoring father of two children in Childreach, one in El Salvador, and the other in Guatemala.
Has worked to have prisoners’ artwork displayed around the country and the world in art galleries in hopes of starting art programs for prisoners and increasing their self-confidence.
Has sponsored several clothing and toy drives for reservations.
Distributes to Head Start and halfway houses, as well as women’s centers.
Every year he has sponsored a Christmas gift drive for the children of Pine Ridge, SD. Organized and emergency food drive for the people of Pohlo, Mexico in response to the Acteal Massacre.
Serves on the board of the Rosenberg Fund for Children.
Donates his artwork to several human rights and social welfare organizations in order to help them raise funds. This most recently includes the ACLU, Trail of Hope (a Native American conference dealing with drug and alcohol addiction), World Peace and Prayer Day, the First Nation Student Association, and the Buffalo Trust Fund.
By donating his paintings to the Leonard Peltier Charitable Foundation, he was able to supply computers and educational supplies such as books and encyclopedias to libraries and families on Pine Ridge.
By donating his paintings to the LPCF, he was also able to raise substantial supplies for the people of Pine Ridge after last year’s devastating tornado hit and caused a multitude of damage on the reservation.
He has been widely recognized for his efforts and has won several human rights awards, including the North Star Frederick Douglas Award, Humanist of the Year Award, and the International Human Rights Prize.
Leonard can only receive letters, cards, postcards, photos (not polaroid), and postal money orders for his commissary account.
US Postal Money Orders can be sent to Leonard for his commissary account at:
Federal Bureau of Prisons
PO BOX 474701
Des Moines Iowa 50747-0001
Leonard can not receive gifts or cds. Books / magazines must be sent from a bookstore. Newspaper articles are not allowed however xerox copies of the articles are allowed.He loves to hear from all of you!!!. Write! Write often! He will respond as he has time and materials.
Live your values. Love your country.
And, remember: TOGETHER, We can make a DIFFERENCE!