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Retribution and Persecution
ALBUQUERQUE - Representatives of the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee were on the radioblog.com last week to discuss the current status of Leonard Peltier, who is serving a life sentence at the US Penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.
Peltier was convicted of the 1975 murders of two FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Reservation. He was convicted in 1977. Peltier is considered to be a political prisoner of war by many American Indians throughout the United States and others worldwide. Through the years, Peltier's supporters have included: the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa and Bishop Desmond Tutu, among other prominent individuals.
Below is an update from Peter Clark, a coordinator of the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee in Albuquerque, New Mexico:
The long retribution and persecution of Leonard Peltier continues. Mr Peltier is detained in disciplinary solitary confinement. He may remain that way for the foreseeable future. Leonard is being disciplined for the latest prison setup against him.
The Bureau of Prisons may transfer Leonard to a harsher situation. He may be transferred to a super maximum prison or moved to the "other side" of Lewisburg, which is the control unit. This would mean continued solitary confinement Monday through Friday. Leonard will suffer twenty three hours a day in solitary with only one hour of exercise time in a larger cell.
On weekends Leonard is only out of the hole for visits. No exercise time is given on the weekends. He is only allowed visits from approved legal team personnel. Leonard can't properly maintain his diet as necessary to control his diabetes, and is at dangerous risk from complications with high blood pressure and heart disease. Leonard still has undetermined issues with his prostate.
In regards to freedom for Leonard Peltier, President Barak Obama is quoted as saying, "Get me the political support." Support from all tribal nations and from members of both parties in the Congress would be the support Mr. Obama requested.
The Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee believes that public outcry and action are necessary to gain the political support for President Obama to free Leonard Peltier.
For the past two years President Obama has invited leaders and representatives from all Tribal Nations to the White House Tribal Nations Conference in Washington DC.
The Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee will again be holding a Vigil outside the expected, but as yet unannounced, 2011 White House Tribal Nations Conference.
A large and peaceful presence of Peltier supporters at the White House Tribal Nations Conference vigil will be very effective. In past years, supporters were able to get the attention of the President, as he drove to and from the conference several times throughout the day. An important purpose of the Vigil is to respectfully remind the Tribal attendees to speak out for Leonard inside the conference. The vocal support of Tribal leaders on Leonard's behalf is vital to the effort seeking President Obama's release of Leonard Peltier from prison. Members of Tribal nations are urged to make their support know to their Tribal government.
Leonard's freedom is at the President Obama's discretion.
An important way to help keep Leonard Peltier on President Obama's radar is to stay on the top list of comments sent by letter, call and email from the public to the White House. Calling 202.456.1111 and telling them to free Leonard Peltier USP # 89637-132 is all it takes. And a weekly hand written letter by each supporter to the White House is important.
Likewise, supporters must keep pressure on the BOP directly by writing and calling them with a firm request that they release Leonard to general population, expunge his prison record of these bogus charges, and move him to a medium security facility. That facility should be closer to Leonard's home and family.
Federal Bureau of Prisons
301-1st Street, NW
Washington, DC 20534
Phone: 202-307-3198 or 202-514-6650(direct line to his secretary)
Fax: (202) 514-6620
Much work is underway with events and efforts to raise the awareness and momentum needed in the push for freedom. The Leonard Peltier Walk for Human Rights is scheduled to begin December 18th at Alcatraz Island. The Walk will end in Washington DC. More details will be announced very soon here at the Native News Network.
posted August 29, 2011 6:30 am edt
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