Sunday, December 14, 2008

Friends Digest Vol. 2, No. 15

"Indifference elicits no response. Indifference is not a response. Indifference is not a beginning; it is an end. And, therefore, indifference is always the friend of the enemy, for it benefits the aggressor--never his victim, whose pain is magnified when he or she feels forgotten. The political prisoner in his cell--not to respond to [his] plight, not to relieve... solitude by offering a spark of hope is to exile [him] from human memory. And in denying [his] humanity, we betray our own. Indifference, then, is not only a sin, it is a punishment."--Elie Wiesel, 1999.

* January 20: Inauguration Day *

Eight years ago, on January 20, then President Bill Clinton left office without taking action to free Leonard Peltier. On this Inauguration Day, folks around the country will celebrate change. We encourage you not only to celebrate what we hope will be a new beginning for all, but to actively work for Leonard's freedom.

A shout out to supporters in the Mid-Atlantic region: Plan to attend festivities in Washington, DC, during the 4-day celebration there. Create a presence for Leonard... Along the parade route, on the Mall, adjacent to the National Museum of the American Indian. Carry signs, wear shirts.

Take a clipboard or two along. Why? Carry a sheaf of spare clemency letters with you. See Educate people face-to-face and get one signature per letter. Because personal letters often are more effective, also carry spare paper and pens. Encourage folks to write their own brief letters. They can use your sample letter as a guide.

Leave notes, flowers, and tobacco ties inside the National Museum of the American Indian. An inscription for Leonard Peltier is located at Panel 2.04 (line 28) on the Honor Wall inside the museum.

What can the rest of us do? Host an Inaugural party of your own to celebrate new hope for Leonard Peltier. Gather with friends, family members, and people in your community to educate others about Peltier's case. Show "Incident at Oglala," or read from "Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance". Motivate everyone to get and stay involved.

The incoming Administration has announced that one day of the four-day Inauguration celebration will be a Day of Service. So, take ACTion. Some ideas:

+Chalk It Up--Assemble your group of supporters, hand out chalk, and spread out around your town. Write slogans in support of Leonard's freedom on sidewalks, e.g., "Free Peltier NOW. You can add a web address, too:, for example. (CAUTION: We recommend that you consult graffiti ordinances in your area and use only chalk because such markings are not permanent.) Also leaflet nearby to generate more awareness. Select handouts at

+Personal Touch--Instead of signing a petition or writing letters of support, try a more personal approach in communicating your message. Make a big sign that says "I Stand with Obama on Freeing Peltier." Take a photograph of each person in your group--with the sign being held by the supporter or hung as a background for the photo. Make certain that the supporter's face and the sign's message are clearly visible, and make certain to record the name and address of the person photographed. (That information can and should be written on the back of the photo once it is developed.) If we all do this, tens of thousands of photographs can be assembled and delivered to the White House in the months ahead. But, for now, let's stockpile the photos for delivery to the White House en masse. And don't stop there. Keep collecting photos!

You can find other ideas at Don't hesitate. Start planning your Inauguration activities now.

Also remember that the 33rd anniversary of Leonard's arrest is February 6. It's never too soon to begin planning events/actions for that date. Recommit yourself to the Struggle and to bringing attention to Leonard's case.

But don't restrict yourself only to commemorative occasions. Make Leonard's freedom a 24/7/365 endeavor. Friends, our time is now. Stand up. Move your lips and agitate your tongues. Make a noise. Whatever it takes. Do it and keep doing it until Leonard is free!

* Op-Ed *

Read "12,000 Days" at

* Raffle for Freedom *

First Place, Painting by Leonard Peltier
Second Place, Poster-size Lithograph of Painting
Third Place, "Incident at Oglala" DVD, "Songs for Leonard Peltier" CD, and T-Shirt

Cost: $5 ea. or 5 tickets for $20. Send checks or money orders (be sure to indicate it's for raffle tickets) to: LP-DOC, Box 7488, Fargo, ND 58106. The drawing will be held at the end of December.

* Last Call *

Remember to ship your gift for a child at the Pine Ridge and/or Turtle Mountain. Mail gifts to:

Tamara Patneaud
PO Box 308
Rolla, ND 58367

Rosyln Jumping Bull
Box 207
Oglala, SD 57764

* Remember Leonard, Too *

This season is a difficult time for all prisoners. You are all working hard for Leonard's freedom, we know, as well as being busy with your lives and preparing to spend the holidays with friends and family. But with a simple gesture, you can bring comfort and joy to someone who is very far from home and missing his family and friends. Let's all take a minute out of this day to each send a holiday card, newsy letter, or note of encouragement... The address:

Leonard Peltier #89637-132
US Penitentiary
PO Box 1000
Lewisburg, PA 17837-1000

"Never cease in the fight for peace, justice, and equality for all people. Be persistent in all that you do and don't allow anyone to sway you from your conscience."--Leonard Peltier

Please circulate to family and friends and otherwise widely post our listserv announcements. Also frequently visit our Blog at or receive our blog postings by Web feed (download a free newsfeed reader at



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Time to set him free... Because it's the RIGHT thing to do.

Friends of Peltier

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