TRUE   DEMOCRACY     SPRING 2001     TABLE OF CONTENTS
political prisoners

Leonard Peltier



- Trial Transcripts (9 pages)
- Why Peltier Didn't Get ClemencyPrison
- Authorities Cracking Down On Peltier And All Federal Prisoners
- Clinton's Abuse Of Clemency Process Betrayed Native Peoples
- A Typical Example Of What Organizations Do To Attempt To Obtain Positive Results
- Statement Of Fedelia Cross Citizen Of The Oglala Lakota Nation
- Leonard Peltier Quote Of The Day
- Resolution Of Councillor Scondras - City Council Of Boston
- More Positive Developments In The Effort To Free Leonard Peltier
- Countdown To Clemency For Leonard Peltier
- Statement Of Leonard Peltier On The FTAA
- Expose FBI Misconduct In Peltier Case



LEONARD PELTIER #89637-132
NATIVE AMERICAN, IN PRISON FOR A CRIME HE DID NOT COMMIT


This article will expose the fact that Mr. Peltier is a kind and gentle man who was arrested and convicted for a crime that he did not commit. Instead it was the FBI which purposefully decided to create trouble on the Pine Ridge Reservation on the 26th of June, 1975 in South Dakota.

In The Spirit of Crazy Horse: The Story of Leonard Peltier and the FBI's war on the American Indian Movement BY PETER MATTHIESSEN 1992 Penguin Press, documents this entire tragic story including a history of the Native American people. It is superb in its effort to teach the reader of not only what happened on the Pine Ridge Reservation that day but a history of the United States' action against Native peoples who inhabited the United States when the European man arrived. It is a book well worth reading because it captures the heart of the problem between "white" man and red man. If I may be allowed to quote from page 142-4 so you understand who Leonard Peltier is I will be very grateful.

"'In Oglala, everybody knows him, respects him, especially the older people, because he doesn't drink. He is a real good man,' said Russell Loud Hawk, a cousin of Sarah Bad Heart Bull and an Oglala leader whose family owned the log cabin used by Dennis Banks. Loud Hawk recognized that these Indians from other tribes had brought protection gave a little money to June Little to pass along to them for the group's support. Della Star Comes Out also recognized what Peltier and his people had contributed. 'He has really done a lot for us. He helped us in organizing our communities, like social, you know, and he helped elderly people a lot, and he was a spiritual...well, in the Indian way. we believe in our pipe, and we have ceremonies, and he was always there.... He was always good to everybody, not only me but the community. He's always helping people, you know. (In what Peltier still laughs about as 'the poster caper,' Della Star Comes Out, Roslynn Jumping Bull, Agnes Lamont, and other brave-hearted Oglala women made a game of tearing down the Peltier 'Wanted' posters at BIA [Bureau of Indian Affairs] headquarters, until finally the posters were specially glassed and framed.)

'He was respected a lot,' Jean Day said. 'People listened to what he said, and I don't know more than that to say. For you to gain respect in the community like that is one of the highest honors you can have.' Nilak Butler agrees. 'I've always respected Leonard. When I met him in '74 [1974], I thought, Gee, this is a crazy guy. Crazy guy. But fun, good crazy, not nuts, really fun to be around him. We took a trip one time to Rapid, we were going down these back roads, and I mean they're barely cut out. And they're potholes and they're dirt and they're rugged. And Leonard took us at about eighty miles an hour through that road. That guy really knows how to drive! So we went up to Rapid and we all went to the movies and there was about fifteen of us stuffed in a car.

'I remember one time when were living at Oglala, we were all living in a log house at that time. The people came to visit us at our house, and one of the guys there-there was a girl who came, and Leonard was sort of checking out that situation, right? And he started teasing that guy about that girl. And she was a real tall girl, so Leonard was sitting there and he's going [this means he said], Yeah, in the morning, you know, we don't want to see no footprints on the ceiling! Just like that, and it really got rugged, but it was fun, you know. And when you're doing a lot of serious work like that, it's really important that you can joke around-that's what makes us different, I guess. You see all these war movies and all these dramatic situations and everybody's just always at each other's throats or having hysterics. But it was just never that way with us. We're just not that way.'

'Because Oglala was so violent at that time, we were asked to be like a peacekeeping force. When there were community events, we would be asked to make sure that people, if they were drinking around, partying that they would go somewhere else and do that. And sometimes people would come to us and their homes had been broken into and things stolen, and they would ask us to help recover that property, things like that. Part of the work we did was just helping people with funerals. We worked at a whole lot of levels. We also met with the elders and the traditional people, and many, many families, and we discussed the realities of sovereignty.'"

Testimony at the Trial in the killing of FBI Agents Williams and Coler

Excerpts from -- if anyone wishes to have the entire transcript, please advise Leonard Peltier's organization


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