Leonard Peltier is a native american activist, who has been locked up since 1976, sentenced to two consecutive terms of life imprisonment, for murder of two FBI agents. Leonard did not get a fair trial and he has always claimed his innocence. Leonard is 79 years old. Lately Leonard has struggled with health problems, he has diabetes and an aortic aneurysm.

Recently Leonard applied for parole. But on July 2th the US Parole Commission announced that they denied Leonard freedom. The fact that Leonard was not granted parole, and that he won’t be eligible for another parole hearing until June 2026, possible means that the last chance for him to be free, is that President Joe Biden will pardon him, so that he can be reunited with his friends and family, spending the last days of his life in freedom, outside the prison walls.

We stand in solidarity with Leonard, with love and respect for the fight that he waged and the price that he has payed. We continue to spread information about his case, and in various ways fight for a world without prisons.

Leonard has written a statement about him being denied parole:

“Greetings my Friends, Family, Loved Ones and Supporters. Hope is a hard thing here. But I always hold hope in you, My People. Pay attention. The parole decision on July 11 may show you what justice truly means to this nation and to whom it is meant for.

Living in lockdown, time has twisted into something that has nothing to do with minutes, hours or years. They have taken what little freedom I have outside this box. Art — gone. Ceremony — gone. Yet they will never take the Spirit of a Sundancer. I have never given them my integrity. I remain undestroyed.

I am counting on you if this decision does not go my way. I always need your prayers. I need you to demand that this country finally commit one act of Justice. My attorney assures me the battle is not over until it is over — she will not back down. I am counting on you not to back down. My time is running out here, with no medical care. I do not fear death, returning to Mother Earth’s womb, but I do not want to die in lockdown.

In my solitude, my mind often returns to Raymond Yellow Thunder. The profound tragedy of Raymond’s murder sparked change in our people and showed them who the American Indian Movement is.

Raymond was a hard-working man. When he came into town to give money to his sisters, it was not enough for the Hare brothers to humiliate Raymond, strip him and parade him around an American Legion Dance.

Raymond was shoved into the trunk of a car and died the next day. The Hare brothers were charged with second-degree manslaughter and released with no bail. [The Hare brothers were arrested as the primary assailants of Raymond Yellow Thunder, a member of the Oglala Nation, who died from his injuries in February 1972, in Gordon, Nebraska. (Lakota Times, Feb. 23, 2017.)]

Raymond’s sisters were distraught that even that small charge may not stick. The authorities would not release the autopsy report. They would not allow Raymond’s sisters to see his body. The sisters sought help from the BIA [Bureau of Indian Affairs], the Tribal government and private attorneys.

In desperation, they turned to the American Indian Movement. AIM members are Spirit Warriors, not merciless savages. We organized 200 carloads of people and demanded justice. With dignity, we demanded justice. Sheriff’s deputies, state troopers and FBI agents agreed that serious charges should be filed against the Hares and that the local police chief should be dismissed.

Indigenous people started holding their heads up after that victory. They started speaking out against abuses by the BIA and Tribal government and white ranchers profiting off their land. We must not allow Raymond’s fate to befall others.

My mother used to ask with dismay, “Why is it so bad to be Indian?” I find myself wondering why they hate us so. We will triumph over the misguided hate of others. Never, ever, forget who you are. We are the First People.

Mother Earth herself fires the blood that runs through our veins. Protect each other, protect Mother Earth for future generations, and stand with oppressed peoples everywhere. Remember that true strength does not reside in holding power over others. Strength comes from living out of a place of humility and integrity, inspiring others to find their unique strengths.

Oppression is rising, running like black mold through every facet of society. We must stand together and let society know that Indigenous lives are not cheap. The lives of our oppressed brothers and sisters are not cheap. All people are worthy of basic human dignity. Colonialism has all but destroyed us. We must do nothing less than transform society into a place where human beings are not disposable.

Do not weep if I am not granted parole. Cry freedom. Coalesce yourselves, galvanize your relationships, establish alliances.

In the power of our people we find strength. Hold your head up high. It is not over, until it is over.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse. Doksha,

Leonard Peltier”

Read more about Leonard, how you can support, write letters to, him. https://unoffensiveanimal.is/prisoner-support/


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