Forwarded on behalf of the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee
Call to Action: UN Universal Periodic Review to assess U.S. compliance with human rights obligations
The United States is a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) and will be reviewed for the first time this year by the HRC's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process in November 2010. Under the UPR all 192 UN member States (countries) are reviewed every 4 years to assess compliance with their obligations to respect and implement human rights for all. The review is based on each country's national report as well as independent submissions from "civil society stakeholders," including Indigenous Peoples.
The Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee is participating in the national report in a number of different ways, but we can't be in all places at one time. Therefore, we're asking supporters to attend the U.S. State Department's "listening sessions" around the country and speak up on Leonard's behalf. While five sessions have already occurred, there are still five locations where sessions will occur during the next several weeks. These are unique opportunities to bring attention to Leonard's case and the human rights violations to which he has been subjected by the U.S. government.
-- El Paso, TX, on March 8-9; Location: Camino Real Hotel
-- Birmingham, AL, on March 11-12, Location: Miles College
-- New Mexico, on March 16 and 17; Locations: UNM Law School (16th); Window Rock, Navajo Nation (17th). The NM sessions have been planned specifically for Indigenous Peoples and Nations, to receive input for its national report. Focus themes for the Albuquerque session will include Sovereignty and Self Determination, Nation to Nation Relations, Lands, Territories and Natural Resources, Treaty Rights and Sacred Sites among others.
-- Chicago, IL, Date TBC, Location: TBC
-- San Francisco, CA, on March 25-26, Location TBC (USF Law School and/or Boalt Hall, UC Berkeley)
Although these cities have been confirmed, in some cases the meeting sites and/or local contact organizations are still being worked out with the onsite hosts and Coordinating Committees. The best contact at this time for specific information about the rest of these listening sessions and who you can contact for more information about participation is Sarah Paoletti, Senior Coordinator for the US Human Rights Network UPR Project. She can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org . You can also contact Laura Baum, USHRN Staff Coordinator at email@example.com.
A word from Leonard: He's pleased that supporters are stepping up to speak on his behalf this way. He thanks you and asks only that you do your homework. It's imperative that you relay complete and accurate information.
If you need assistance with preparing your statement for a session, contact us. We'll be happy to brainstorm with you. Otherwise, we recommend that you use "In the Spirit of Crazy Horse" by Peter Matthiessen as your source material.
Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee PO Box 7488 - Fargo, ND 58106 (701) 235-2206 (Phone); (701) 235-5045 (Fax) www.whoisleonardpeltier.info firstname.lastname@example.org
Time to set him free... Because it is the RIGHT thing to do.
Reminder: Tomorrow (Friday, February 5), in recognition of Leonard's arrest on February 6, 1976 (and 34 years of imprisonment), please contact the Attorney General to demand an Executive Review of the Peltier case.
Attorney General Eric Holder 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20530
You also can fax your letter to (202) 307-6777.
Call: (202) 514-2000.
E-Mail: email@example.com. (Be sure to mark your e-mail to the attention of AG Holder.)
The February 4 issue of the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee newsletter is online.
-- Parole Appeal -- Benefit for Haitian Children -- February 6: 34 Years!
Greetings from the Iron House. It has come to my attention that a rumor has been circulating about my death. Sorry to disappoint the Trimbachs, Ed Wood, and all the other vermin, but I am still alive and kicking. I continue to struggle for the truth about my case-much of it hidden in the over 6,000 documents they are afraid to release-to see the light of day.
I have been monitoring the case with the Crow Creek tribe's land issues, and have been asked my opinion. As in nearly all things, I come down on the side of the tribe. Sovereignty and self determination are the lynchpins to Indian freedom. I want the people of Crow Creek to know they have my fullest support in their endeavors. This case affects all Indians, and should matter to all people of conscience. Everyone should monitor this case to its fullest conclusion, and know it is yet another example of Indian people's daily reality. The Indian wars are not over; they just are fought more in the courtrooms and the boardrooms these days. But the issues are mostly the same-the land, resources, and freedom. Freedom to think. Freedom to live as we wish. Freedom to be who we are. Don't for a second allow yourself to think that the conspirators aren't working. They're out there, and as always they're plotting ways to dispossess and marginalize Indian people at every opportunity.
We were all sad to learn of the passing this past week, of Howard Zinn. A brilliant author, researcher, activist, not to mention a fine human being and a friend to my cause, his loss is a blow to all of us who struggle against oppression. Please send up prayers for his family and loved ones, and that his spirit has a good journey.
As always, a big thank you to my family and everyone else helping out at the office, and all my supporters' world wide. Through your efforts, one day we'll win my freedom.
In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,
Leonard Peltier Time to set him free... Because it is the RIGHT thing to do.
34 years. It doesn't even sound like a real number to me. Not when one really thinks about being in a jail cell for that long. All these years and I swear, I still think sometimes I'll wake up from this nightmare in my own bed, in my own home, with my family in the next room. I would never have imagined such a thing. Surely the only place people are unjustly imprisoned for 34 years is in far away lands, books or fairy tales.
It's been that long since I woke up when I needed to, worked where I wanted to, loved who I was supposed to love, or did what I was compelled to do. It's been that long-long enough to see my children have grandchildren. Long enough to have many of my friends and loved ones die in the course of a normal life, while I was here unable to know them in their final days.
So often in my daily life, the thought creeps in -- "I don't deserve this." It lingers like acid in my mouth. But I have to push those types of thoughts away. I made a commitment long ago, many of us did. Some didn't live up to their commitments, and some of us didn't have a choice. Joe Stuntz didn't have a choice. Neither did Buddy Lamont. I never thought my commitment would mean sacrificing like this, but I was willing to do so nonetheless. And really, if necessary, I'd do it all over again, because it was the right thing to do. We didn't go to ceremony and say, "I'll fight for the people as long as it doesn't cost too much". We prayed, and we gave. Like I say, some of us didn't have a choice. Our only other option was to run away, and we couldn't even do that. Back then, we had no where left to run to.
I have cried so many tears over these three plus decades. Like the many families directly affected by this whole series of events, my family's tears have not been in short supply. Our tears have joined all the tears from over 500 years of oppression. Together, our tears come together and form a giant river of suffering and I hope, cleansing. Injustice is never final, I keep telling myself. I pray this is true for all of us.
To those who know I am innocent, thank you for your faith. And I hope you continue working for my release. That is, to work towards truth and justice. To those who think me guilty, I ask you to believe in and work for the rule of law. Even the law says I should be free by now, regardless of guilt. What has happened to me isn't justice, it isn't the law, it isn't fair, it isn't right. This has been a long battle in an even longer war. But we have to remain vigilant, as we have a righteous cause. After all this time, I can only ask this: Don't give up. Not ever. Stay in this fight with me. Suffer with me. Grieve with me. Endure with me. Believe with me. Outlast with me. And one day, celebrate freedom with me. Hoka hey!
In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,
Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee PO Box 7488 Fargo, ND 58106 Phone: 701/235-2206 Fax: 701/235-5045 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Time to set him free . . . Because it is the RIGHT thing to do.
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