Oświadczenie Leonarda Peltiera - 12.10.2001


Brothers, Sisters, Friends, and Supporters,

Today marks 509 years since Columbus arrived on the shores of Turtle Island, where he first staked claim to the cherished lands of our ancestors. Although Columbus is long dead, the legacy of injustice that he began continues. Whether it be relocation of the Dine at Big Mountain, the persecution of Indigenous Peoples throughout Latin America, the fishing struggles in Canada, or the dumping of toxic waste on reservations, the dehumanization of Indigenous Peoples remains pervasive throughout the Americas. As we see in the spirits of the grandmothers of Big Mountain, the Mi'Kmaqs of Burnt Church, or the Zapatistas of Chiapas, Indigenous resistance also remains alive. It is in this spirit of resistance that I am inspired to continue fighting for my own freedom after 25 years of unjust imprisonment.
I want to thank you all for your concern and continued support. I know that these are very difficult and unpredictable times for us all. Although the LPDC has expressed condolences and sympathy on my behalf, I would like a chance to personally say how sorry I am to any of you who lost loved ones on September 11. Please know that I have been praying for you and for peace ever since.
Despite the difficult times we are faced with, and despite this year's clemency defeat, I am feeling blessed. I have to admit that I feared being forgotten after I did not receive clemency. But instead of finding myself alone, I have been surrounded by more compassionate and talented people than ever before - and they have all expressed their determination to continue the struggle for my release. People who I greatly respect like Dr. Michael Yellow Bird, Nilak Butler, Thom White Wolf Fassett, Debra Peebles and Debra White Plume, to name only a small few, have joined the LPDC. I want to thank Jennifer Harbury, Pat Benabe, Gina Chiala, Jean Day, and Sylvain Duez-Alesandrini for bringing our new team together and sticking with me. I also want to thank all of you - I received hundreds of birthday cards last month and my spirits were greatly lifted knowing that you are still with us. Without you, I could have no hope.
I am also very encouraged by the new strategies the LPDC plans to pursue on my behalf. We have three new, very important cases to file and the lawyers in charge of them are very dedicated and talented. But I must say that without your active participation, these cases will mean very little. Public pressure is the key to fairness and justice. In closing, I would like to wish you all a happy "Indigenous Day" and encourage you to continue advocating for the rights of Indigenous Peoples. Although prison life becomes more and more difficult with age, my spirit remains unbroken, and I still dream of rejoining my people in freedom and continuing our work for human rights and justice.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,
Leonard Peltier

Until Freedom Is Won!
The New Peltier Justice Campaign


Zbiórka Funduszy Komitetu Obrony Leonarda Peltiera
Leonard Peltier Defense Committee Fund Drive 2001



Dear Friends,

Inspired by your tremendous outpouring of support during the clemency campaign, and uplifted by the flood of encouragement and compassion you expressed after clemency was lost, the LPDC spent the last months carefully preparing a new, reinvigorated campaign for Leonard Peltier's freedom. Leonard Peltier will not accept a fate that is unjust, and we know you won't either. We plan to proceed with more force, precision, and strength than ever before.
The LPDC has grown. Tribal leaders, professors, people of faith, Indigenous activists, experienced organizers, Oglala survivors, lobbyists, and talented lawyers have joined the committee, more determined than ever to carry on the struggle. Together we will continue, "until freedom is won." But we cannot do it without you.
As you can imagine, our financial resources dramatically diminished after the clemency defeat, and we are faced with the necessary task of raising funds to carry out the new campaign effectively. Here are some of the plans for which we need financial support:

New Legal Efforts: * We are preparing three very important cases: a civil rights case, which if won could ban the FBI and prosecutors from making false statements and obstructing Leonard's avenues for release; a FOIA lawsuit seeking the thousands of FBI documents still withheld, which if won, could reveal new exculpatory evidence; and a motion to reduce Leonard's sentence from consecutive to concurrent life sentences, which if won, could win his release.

* All of our lawyers believe deeply in justice for Leonard, and each has expressed their solid commitment to giving their best and full efforts to the new cases. However, these cases (especially the civil rights case) will be very demanding on their time, requiring numerous hours of attention. They have small, private, practices and families to feed. To fully enable them, we must raise money for their expenses and time.

Court Date Mobilizations: * We plan to coordinate massive mobilizations around each court hearing. We will need to fill the courtrooms with Native delegations, high level supporters, international human rights leaders, and the concerned public. At each hearing, we will hold press conferences with Leonard's attorneys and spokespeople and we will coordinate dignified public events. It is impossible to know in advance when hearings will be scheduled. Therefore, we need to be ready and able to act quickly. That means purchasing plane tickets for Pine Ridge delegates, lawyers, and coordinators, sending out emergency mailings, along with other costs.

Leonard Peltier Awareness Drive: * Leonard's lawyers emphatically encourage us to create high level public awareness and support around the Peltier issue - intensive public pressure is key to succeeding in the courts. As we saw in the past, the merits of Leonard's case dictated a new trial, but the courts failed to grant him justice. We must build upon the momentum gained from the clemency campaign, and see to it that substantial public pressure exists in support of justice.

* With your participation and support, we plan to launch an intensive media campaign, which will include outreach to news papers, radio and T.V., a new letter to the editor drive, and possibly ads in papers and on radio. We have broadened our speakers bureau, and we want to send our spokespeople to key events across the country and world. We will organize educational forums such as panel discussions, tribunals, and teach-ins. And finally, we will reach beyond our network for additional supporters through direct mail campaigns. Financial support is needed to carry out these plans.

The Office of the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee * The Leonard Peltier Defense Committee is the center of communication between Leonard, his advocates and family, as well as the driving force for his release. We need financial support to continue operating. During the new campaign, we will be building a broad coalition of organizations in support of Leonard Peltier, coordinating the awareness drive, assisting the lawyers, producing our bi-monthly newspaper, sending out updates and actions, lobbying officials, monitoring Leonard Peltier's treatment, managing the Kansas office, and much more. We count on donations to pay our office rent, printing, utilities, staff support, and all other operating costs. We count on you to keep the movement to free Leonard Peltier alive.

You can help! * If you would like to make a contribution, please fill out the form in the message following this one, and return it to our office. We are offering special gifts for donations of $25 or greater, including hand made crafts and art by Leonard Peltier, as well as newly designed "Until Freedom is Won" T-shirts and sweatshirts. We know donating, especially during this difficult time, is not easy. However, Leonard has thousands of supporters and if everyone contributes a little, it will add up and enable us to coordinate a strong and relentless campaign. Every amount counts. We deeply appreciate your support and thank you for your continued participation.

Until Freedom Is Won!
The New Peltier Justice Campaign

Leonard Peltier Defense Committee
PO Box 583
Lawrence, KS 66044