Friday, July 25, 2008

The Longest Walk II: Free Leonard Peltier

The Longest Walk 2
“All Life is Sacred. Clean Up Mother Earth.”
Resolution # LW2-08-14

TITLE: Free Leonard Peltier

WHEREAS, in 1978, the Longest Walk prayed and walked for the freedom of Native American political prisoner Leonard Peltier, wrongfully sentenced to two consecutive life sentences; and

WHEREAS, in 2008, 32 years after Peltier’s arrest, the Longest Walk 2 once again has added our thousands of miles of footsteps and prayers to the campaign for justice and freedom; and

WHEREAS, in the wake of a tense standoff at the Pine Ridge reservation in 1972, the situation for the community was one of war, under siege from Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) harassment and State repression in general; and

WHEREAS, as a participant in the American Indian Movement (AIM), Leonard Peltier went to support the Oglala Lakota at Pine Ridge in the mid-1970s, but was later falsely accused of the murder of two FBI agents in a shoot-out that occurred on July 26, 1975; and

WHEREAS, after fleeing to Canada, Peltier was arrested on February 6, 1976 and later extradited to the United States to stand trial, after the FBI knowingly presented false affidavits; and

WHEREAS, the conviction itself was based on hearsay and sworn affidavits, which were later proven to be erroneous and fabricated; and

WHEREAS, the ballistics test, which the government used to testify that the bullets that killed the FBI agents matched the rifle purportedly belonging to Leonard Peltier, has been disproven by a trial document that clearly reveals that there was no evidence whatsoever to show that the bullets were from Peltier’s weapon because the rifle in question was destroyed in a fire and no ballistics could be performed; and

WHEREAS, sixteen years after his conviction, the issue of the identity of the shooter was raised in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, in which the government responded by saying they “did not know who the shooter was,” to which the Judge angrily replied: “You said Peltier was the shooter in the summation of the Peltier trial. Now you say you don’t know who the shooter was”; and

WHEREAS, regardless of the myriad of inadmissible and manipulated evidence, Leonard Peltier was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences in prison, where for decades he has been active as a writer, artist, prison rights activist, mentor for youth, along with many other roles and activities; and

WHEREAS, there is widespread acknowledgement that there was no evidence to convict Leonard Peltier and that he was targeted and jailed because of his political beliefs and involvement with the American Indian Movement (AIM), including recognition of Leonard Peltier as a political prisoner by Amnesty International, the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights, the European Parliament, former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, Rigoberta MenchĂș, Nelson Mandela, and countless other notable individuals and institutions;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Native political prisoner Leonard Peltier be granted amnesty by the U.S. government and freed immediately.


CERTIFICATION

The foregoing resolution was adopted unanimously by the National Committee of the Longest Walk 2 on July 10, 2008.

ATTEST:

______________________________________
for the National Committee, Longest Walk 2



______________________________________
for the National Committee, Longest Walk 2


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