Thursday, October 22, 2009

Friends Digest Vol. 3, No. 13

"I would like to ask you why when we speak you do not listen, and when you listen, you do not hear, and when you hear us, you do not choose to understand what we say. This is one time that I ask you to listen carefully and understand what we have to say."--Frank Fools Crow

* Call to Action *

What: Peaceful rally in support of Leonard Peltier's freedom
When: 05 November 2009; 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Where: Washington, DC

President Obama will host his first annual White House Tribal Summit on 05 November 2009. The Nations will be given the opportunity to interact directly with the president and other top administration officials. All of the 564 federally recognized tribes are invited to send a representative. This is a prime opportunity to be seen and heard on the issue of Leonard Peltier's wrongful conviction and imprisonment. Please plan to attend.

Supporters will gather in Lafayette Park on Pennsylvania Avenue (across from the White House) at 6:00 a.m. Bring signs and banners, wear Peltier T-Shirts, etc. From Lafayette Park, supporters will walk to the Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street, NW, where tribal leaders will assemble for their meeting with President Obama.

In support of this action, tribal members are asked to (1) urge your Tribal Chairpersons to speak to Obama on Mr. Peltier's behalf - Free Peltier NOW; and (2) lobby your Tribal Councils to pass resolutions calling for freedom for Peltier, the release of all case-related documents still withheld by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and a congressional hearing on the government's role in the turmoil on Pine Ridge Reservation during the 1970s.


Rob at (919) 596-2100 or

* Do It and Keep Doing It *

Clemency is one path to freedom for Leonard Peltier. However, there are other issues that deserve as much attention - an Executive Review by Attorney General Eric Holder, for example. We've pushed for a review recently, as you know. But there are other important initiatives that we all need to work on:

--> Congressional Hearing - In the early 70s, the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, or the Church Committee, investigated the counterintelligence activities of the FBI. The FBI conducted more than 2,000 COINTELPRO operations before the programs were officially discontinued in April of 1971. (While the programs themselves were discontinued, the FBI's practices that the Church Committee found so objectionable were not.) The Church Committee had intended to investigate the American Indian Movement as another dissident group targeted by the Bureau. Witnesses had been investigated by congressional staff and called to provide testimony. However, one day after the firefight at Oglala, the Church Committee cancelled the hearings. We need to work hard to see that official misconduct in Indian Country - past and present - is finally addressed.

--> FOIA Documents - The FBI continues to withhold tens of thousands of documents related to the RESMURS investigation. These documents are over 25 years old and, at minimum, should be turned over to the National Archives. Why are the documents important? You have all heard about information uncovered after Mr. Peltier's trial. Given the nature of that evidence - the withheld ballistics report, for example - there is every reason to expect that other evidence is contained in the documents that may allow Mr. Peltier to appeal his conviction.

On his first full day in office, President Obama signed an Executive Order with regard to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). He encouraged accountability through transparency, and said FOIA should be administered with a presumption of openness. Due to subsequent guidelines established by AG Holder, the Peltier Legal Team may succeed at getting Peltier documents released. But the attorneys need your help to make that happen.

We host online petitions on these issues, of course. We urge you to sign them. That's easy. However, petitions are not as effective as letters and phone calls to your senators and representative in Congress, or to the congressional committees and subcommittees responsible for oversight of government agencies and their activities. Mr. Peltier needs everyone to work hard toward achieving movement in the above areas.

You'll find Guidance on the above issues on our home page at We'll provide more information in our upcoming digests.

* Events *

Philadelphia, PA: Native American Rights and Spirituality--And the Case of Leonard Peltier. A Forum by Lenny Foster, Navaho. Sunday, 01 November 2009, 1:00-3:00 p.m., at the Arch Street Meetinghouse, 4th and Arch Streets, Philadelphia.

Berkeley, CA: AIM-West will host a benefit in acknowledgement of the 40th anniversary of the occupation at Alcatraz on Wednesday, 04 November 2009. Come to honor and commemorate those warriors who sacrificed and gave of their time and placed themselves in social turmoil to help re-claim the destiny for all Indians of the Americas.

* Urgent *

Winter has already settled on the South Dakota reservations. Donations for heat are critical; every year there are deaths from freezing to death in the night. This is preventable!

* Xtra *

21 Oct 2009, LPDOC Newsletter

"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

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

Friends of Peltier

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