Saturday, November 11, 2006

[olympiaworkers] 14th Annual Regional Tacoma Leonard Peltier March Statement

Please Post Widely

Tacoma Leonard Peltier Support Group
P.O. Box 5464
Tacoma, WA 98415-0464


The shadow of totalitarianism is slowly creeping across the land. Our civil
liberties are under attack. Our government has our country fighting a war of
aggression that is not in the interest of the people of this land. If you
take a close look at all that is taking place you will be able to see direct
parallels to the case of Leonard Peltier and thus understand why all people
who believe in peace, justice and freedom should actively support Leonard.

The first connection can be found in whose interests the government is
acting in. There are few today that cannot see that the war in Iraq is about
oil and the interests of the multi-national energy corporations. Behind the
events that took place on the Pine Ridge Reservation were the interests of
the multi-national energy corporations wanting uranium that was found there.
In both cases armed force was used to seize control of those resources and
to suppress opposition.

In the pursuit of suppressing opposition, constitutional and human rights
were denied. Matter of fact, many things that the FBI did against AIM and
Leonard Peltier, which at the time were illegal, the government has made
legal by acts of congress. Though the government says that such denial of
human rights is justifiable for their war against "terrorism", the fact is
that the government has also targeted those who oppose its policies who are
clearly not terrorists. The case of Leonard Peltier clearly shows why such
power should never be given to the FBI and others in power. For it can be
seen clearly that Leonard's constitutional rights were denied him.

The reasons given by the government for the war in Iraq have been shown to
be fabrications to justify the war. Still the war continues. The evidence
that the government presented at Leonard's trial has all been disproved as
either fabricated evidence or intimidated witnesses, to the point that even
the courts have admitted it. Still Leonard is in prison and no new and fair
trial is granted.

The government has done all that it can to suppress the documents that it
has on both the war in Iraq and the case of Leonard Peltier. In Leonard's
case there are over 120,000 pages of documents that are still being withheld
for reasons of "national security." Whose national security is being
protected? In both cases the national security of the people is being
threaten by the withholding of the truth.

One year the police contacted us about our march and asked us if there will
be any anti-war people in our march. Our answer was, we don't believe that
there will be any pro-war people in the march. Even the police worried about
the connection between peace and justice.

For these reasons we are calling for all people who believe in peace,
justice and freedom to join us for the 14th Annual International Day in
Solidarity with Leonard Peltier Regional Tacoma March and Rally.
In The Spirit Of Crazy Horse
Tacoma Leonard Peltier Support Group
Susan Morales
Steve Hapy
Arthur J. Miller
As individual fingers we can easily be broken, but all together we make a
mighty fist.
-- Sitting Bull



12:00 NOON: MARCH FOR JUSTICE Portland Ave. Park (on Portland Ave. between
E. 35th & E. Fairbanks. Take Portland Ave. exit off I-5 and head east)

1:00 PM: RALLY FOR JUSTICE U.S. Federal Court House, 1717-Pacific Ave.

Performances by:
The Aztec Dancers
United Nations: Native Rap Activists
Albert Combs
Matilaja: Yu'Pik/Yakama, Tacoma LPSG: M.C.
Robert Robideau: Co-Director of the LPDC and Co Defendant
Shelly Vendiola: Indigenous Women's Network, Network
Steve Hapy: Tacoma Leonard Peltier Support Group
Arthur J. Miller, Tacoma Leonard Peltier Support Group
Juan Jose Bocanegra: Every Worker's Movement
Frank Reynolds: Native American Coalition
Bill Bichsel: Catholic Worker, JWJ
Zoltan Grossman: Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace, Faculty Evergreen's
Native American Studies


OLYMPIA: There will be a carpool leaving from the parking lot at Harrison
and Division at 10:30.
EUGENE: Drivers and people needing rides meet at the Grower's Market parking
lot (454 Willamette, by the Amtrak station) at 7:30 am. (The Eugene Caravan
will be meeting up with the Portland Caravan).
PORTLAND: Drivers and people needing rides, meet in the main parking lot
(entrance just north of Killingworth from Albina, parking lot entrance on
the right, behind the student services building) at PCC Cascade Campus at
9:30 am.

(If anyone can set up other caravans/car pools in other areas like the
Bellingham area please contact us at:

These are very important times for Leonard Peltier. A new lawsuit has been
filed to get all the documents the government has withheld. There are many
parallels between Leonard's case & the war in Iraq. Both were created upon
the foundation of lies. In time many of the fabrications were revealed. In
both cases the government resisted releasing documents that revealed the
truth. Behind both are the same reasons for what took place, the interests
of multi-national energy corporations. This year our call is for: PEACE

We need help getting the word out for this event. Please forward this and
other messages we send out to web sites, blogs, e-mail lists, organizations
and friends. If you can help handout fliers or post fliers and posters
please send your mailing address to:

WE NEED DONATIONS. We are a grassroots organization with no outside funding.
All our donations for our marches for the last 14 years have come from
supporters like you. Any amount helps. All money donated goes to printing
and mailing.

(Donations Needed! Please send to:)
Tacoma Leonard Peltier Support Group
P.O. BOX 5464
TACOMA, WA 98415-0464

For up-dates and notices on helping Leonard Peltier please sign up on the NW
Peltier Support e-mail list by sending an e-mail to:

"I have no doubt whatsoever that the real motivation behind both Wounded
Knee II and the Oglala firefight, and much of the turmoil throughout Indian
Country since the early 1970s, was-and is-the mining companies' desire to
muffle AIM and all traditional Indian people, who sought-and still seek-to
protect the land, water, and air from their thefts and depredations. In this
sad and tragic age we live in, to come to the defense of Mother Earth is to
be branded a criminal."
-- Leonard Peltier, Prison Writings --

"I'M STILL HERE. I am all at once saddened, exhilarated, angry, proud,
defiant, and puzzled by that fact. Here in prison, after 28 years (30 years
now) of unjust incarceration, I am a living example of the injustice,
racism, fear, and inequity that still exists in some parts of the United
States of America. This is particularly true when it comes to America's
views and actions towards Indian people. Residing in the best hopes of all
of us is the dream that America has moved away from the days of hostility
towards the Indigenous people of this land. And yet, we are shown with daily
regularity, a reality that defies this dream. A reality that American
Indians are incarcerated at a disproportionately high rate. A reality that
American Indians are denied decent health care, housing, and education. A
reality so dire, that the United States Civil Rights Commission has had to
address it, calling it "A Quiet Crisis."
Leonard Peltier

Leonard Peltier, a citizen of the Anishinabe and Lakota Nations, is a
father, a grandfather, an artist, a writer, and an Indigenous rights
activist. He has spent more than twenty-seven years in prison for a crime he
did not commit. Amnesty International considers him a "political prisoner"
who should be "immediately and unconditionally released."

The Case Of Leonard Peltier

After a conflict between the Lakota people and the U.S. government and
corporate interests a peace treaty was signed and the great Lakota
reservation was created in the late 19th century. That peace treaty meant
nothing to U.S. interests, for its terms were violated from almost the
moment it was signed. Those interests continued to steal more Lakota land
wherever they found gold and other minerals that they wanted. At the same
time, they sought to destroy the Lakota way of life. U.S. interests outlawed
Lakota religion and massacred the Lakota at Wounded Knee in an act of
religious suppression. U.S. interests kidnapped Lakota children and placed
them in internment, in schools where they were held for years away from
their families, while their language and traditions were being beaten out of
them. U.S. interests carried out a secret forced program of sterilization of
Lakota women. Then, in the 1920s, acting upon the interests of oil and
mineral companies, the U.S. forced a 'government' entity upon the Lakota
people, to be controlled by those corporate and U.S. interests.

In the late 1960s uranium was found in the northwest section of the Pine
Ridge Lakota Reservation. The U.S. interests wanted that uranium for their
weapons of mass destruction and nuclear power plants.

The U.S. interests knew that the Lakota people would not give up any more of
their land willingly: they had already refused to take payment for the Black
Hills, stolen from them for its gold. U.S. interests then set out to
suppress all possible resistance to further theft. That led the resisters'
to request the help of the American Indian Movement (AIM). Upon a request by
Lakota Elders, a stand was taken at Wounded Knee, on the Pine Ridge
reservation of the Lakota people.

In the two and a half years after what became known as Wounded Knee II there
was a 'Reign of Terror' the resisters on Pine Ridge was forced to suffer.
Whole villages were shot up, people were run off the road, many Native
people were wounded and over 67 of them were murdered. The Lakota people
again asked AIM for help and an AIM encampment was set up. Most of the
people in that encampment were from Northwest AIM. And Leonard Peltier was
one of them.

The AIM people were under considerable oppression and lived there daily in
danger from the death squad (they called themselves the Goon Squad). One day
two cars came speeding onto the land of their encampment, in the same manner
that earlier drive-by shootings by the death squad had taken place on Pine
Ridge. The AIM members there that day defended themselves from what they
saw as another murderous attack. In the firefight that took place two FBI
agents and one AIM member died.

Norman Zigrossi, head of the local FBI office at the time, defended the
illegal actions, saying, "Indians are a conquered nation and the FBI is
merely acting as a colonial police force." He went on, "When you're
conquered, the people you're conquered by dictate your future."

It is clear that the attack upon the AIM encampment was planned to start a
conflict to draw away resistance to the illegal signing away of Lakota land
that had taken place in Washington, D.C. at that time. Before the
firefight, hundreds of U.S. Government agents were brought on to Pine Ridge
reservation, the roads leading to the AIM encampment were blocked before the
firefight and local hospitals were given notice to expect casualties.

In the first trial of two AIM members, who had been in the firefight at
their encampment, the jury came back with a verdict of not guilty by reason
of self-defense.

The U.S. interests then put all their efforts into convicting Leonard
Peltier. They fabricated evidence, intimidated witnesses and illegally
changed judges, settling on one who would not allow Leonard's lawyers to
present his case of self-defense.

Through appeals, Leonard's lawyers have been able to disprove the case
against him to the point that the U.S. Government prosecutors have stated
that they don't know what role Leonard played in the firefight -- he was
just there that day and thus by default aided and abetted in the deaths of
the agents. It can be reasoned that since the first two AIM members were
found not guilty by reason of self-defense, then Leonard has been in prison
all these years for aiding and abetting an act of self-defense!

Much of our focus should be on FBI political repression, COINTELPRO, and how
they are connected to Leonard's case, for the FBI has been and continues to
be used as the U.S. Government's and corporate interests' Political Police

As you read this, Leonard's lawyers struggle to get all the documents that
the FBI has withheld in his case. The FBI claims it needs to withhold those
documents to protect national security. We need to ask, "Whose national
security needs to be protected from the truth?" Given that documents already
received by the defense team have exposed the U.S. Government's frame-up of
Leonard to the point that the government's lawyers have had to admit that
there is no evidence connecting him directly to the deaths of the FBI
agents, and have shown that the FBI took illegal, aggressive actions to
suppress the right of Native people to organize to air their grievances,
there is no doubt that documents still withheld will show further evidence
of FBI illegal actions.

Even the courts have recognized the repressive nature of the government
actions against AIM and Leonard. Judge Heaney stated, "The United States
Government overreacted at Wounded Knee. Instead of carefully considering the
legitimate grievances of the Native Americans, the response was essentially
a military one, which culminated in the deadly firefight on June 26, 1975."

And in 2003 the Tenth Circuit Court found that, "Much of the government's
behavior at the Pine Ridge Reservation and in its prosecution of Mr. Peltier
is to be condemned. The government withheld evidence. It intimidated
witnesses. These facts are not disputed."

Even with this acknowledgment Leonard has been in prison for over 28 years.
Leonard is not in prison based upon the laws of this land, for the courts
have stated over and over again that the U.S. government has violated those
laws in Leonard's case. Leonard Peltier is in prison for one reason and one
reason alone, and that is because it is in the interests of the few to keep
him locked up: because he represents the essence of this land, the wrong
upon which the United States was established, a simple truth which has to be
recognized before the country can ever be sound. Leonard suffers under the
same interests that hung Chief Leschi, the same interests that massacred the
Lakota at Wounded Knee, the same interests that are behind many of the wars
around the world, the same interest behind the WTO, the World Bank, the
International Monetary Fund, the same interests that strips our schools of
basic funds, that strip you of your unemployment benefits and overtime pay,
and the same interests that we all find ourselves struggling against in our
common pursuit of peace and well-being. Justice for Leonard and the end to
political repression by the FBI will only come from the organized spirit of
solidarity of all people struggling in their true interests.

Illegal actions by the FBI should be the concern of all American people who
believe in social justice, because Leonard was not and will not be the only
victim of political repression. Among those that were targeted by the FBI's
COINTELPRO were: Martin Luther King, Jr. and other civil rights activists
and organizations including the National Association for the Advancement of
Colored People (NAACP) and Jesse Jackson (note that the FBI also carried out
intimidation of Jackson supporters in the south when he ran for U.S.
president), Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers (UFW), the National
Lawyer's Guild, antinuclear weapons campaigns (SANE-Freeze), the National
Council of Churches, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), antiwar
organizations, the alternative press, student organizations including the
National Students Association (TNSA) and Students for a Democratic Society
(SDS), environmental, anti-racism and feminist organizations, GI
organizations, socialist and communist parties, the Industrial
Workers of the World, organizations of self-determination for people of
color such as the Black Panthers, the Young Lords, the Brown Berets, and
Native organizations such as the American Indian Movement (AIM).

The political repression carried out by the FBI has never ended. It was seen
this year with the FBI's intimidation of antiwar protesters who planned to
protest at the national conventions of the two major political parties.
Though the FBI claimed it needed more power, money and agents to deal with
the threat of terrorism after 9-11, the agency still had the time, money,
and forces to harass people who questioned
the war in Iraq.

The same drive to acquire enormous profits that keep this country in Iraq
over the opposition of its own people is also what led to the U.S.
Government's suppression of traditional indigenous people, AIM and in its
frame-up of Leonard Peltier.

And as to making connections, the infliction of war on Iraq was justified by
using false documents, lies about weapons of mass destruction and sham
connections to terrorists. That is the same tactic the U.S. Government used
in its suppression of AIM and in its frame-up of Leonard Peltier. The
government used the war in Iraq in the interest of bringing global U.S.
company's huge profits, and on the Pine Ridge reservation that same
government carried out its repression in the interest of U.S. energy

The Oglala People are unconquered -- We will not, and Leonard Peltier will
not give up the fight for justice.

Our annual focus for 14 years has been to hold a peaceful march in
solidarity with Leonard Peltier's struggle. We will not stop marching, we
will not be intimidated and we maintain the right to come out in public in
support of Leonard Peltier without persecution.

We call on you as sisters and brothers to join us at our Annual Regional
Tacoma March and Rally in Solidarity with Leonard Peltier, as we send the
message: We will not give up! We will not surrender! We will continue to
stand for justice for Leonard Peltier and for justice for all that he
represents for as long as it takes to set him free! Our strength is building
and time is on our side, the sweep of justice is moving throughout the world
and we are a part of that great wave of truth and justice. Please join with
us on Feb.4, 2006 for a tremendous show of solidarity, a march and rally in
Unified Solidarity for Justice for Leonard Peltier. All of us working
together will free Leonard Peltier.

In The Spirit Of Crazy Horse
Tacoma Leonard Peltier Support Group
Susan Morales
Steve Hapy
Arthur J. Miller

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