Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Leonard Peltier Moved to Florida

According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Leonard Peltier has been moved from Oklahoma City to the U.S. Penitentiary at Coleman, Florida.

The United States Penitentiary I in Coleman is a high security facility located in central Florida approximately 50 miles northwest of Orlando, 60 miles northeast of Tampa, and 35 miles south of Ocala.

P.O. BOX 1033

This is nearly 2,000 miles from Leonard's Nation, the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, in North Dakota! Tell the Federal Bureau of Prisons that the only acceptable transfer is one to a medium security facility in close proximity to (within a 500-mile radius of) his family and Nation. Ideally, Leonard should be moved to the medium security facility at Oxford, WI.

Dr. Thomas Kane, Acting Director
Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP)
320 1st Street, NW
Washington, DC 20534
Phone: (202) 307-3250 (Director); (202) 307-3198 (Switchboard)
Fax: (202) 514-6620

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Leonard Peltier Has Been Moved

Leonard Peltier has been moved from USP-Lewisburg. At this time, he is at the Federal Transfer Center (FTC) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. This is an administrative and "holdover" facility. That means he will be held in Oklahoma temporarily -- although "temporarily" could mean months -- after which he will be transferred to another facility.

Please continue your efforts on Leonard's behalf. Keep calling the White House -- 202-456-1111. Obama must free Leonard Peltier.

Keep demandng a transfer for Leonard that is within 500 miles of his home. Tell the Federal Bureau of Prisons that the only acceptable transfer is one to a medium security facility in close proximity to his family and Nation.

Please send e-mails, write letters and call BOP every single day. Make reference to Leonard Peltier #89637-132 and contact:

Dr. Thomas Kane, Acting Director
Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP)
320 1st Street, NW
Washington, DC 20534

Phone: (202) 307-3250 (Director); (202) 307-3198 (Switchboard)
Fax: (202) 514-6620

Monday, July 25, 2011

August 6 and 7: Vigil and Rally for Leonard Peltier in Lewisburg

Solitary Confinement is Torture!

Free Prisoners from Solitary! Free Leonard Peltier!

What: Candlelight Vigil and Rally
When: Saturday, August 6 and Sunday, August 7, 2011
Where: Corner of Route 15 (N. Derr Drive) and William Penn Drive, Lewisburg, PA

* Please Circulate Widely *

Join us at 7:00 p.m. on August 6th for a candlelight vigil to protest the use of solitary confinement in the U.S., and in solidarity with prisoners at the federal penitentiary at Lewisburg -- in support of Leonard Peltier, in particular.

Gather at 10:00 a.m. on August 7th for a Free Peltier Rally. Native American activist and political prisoner Leonard Peltier is currently being held in solitary confinement at USP-Lewisburg. Rally for his freedom -- from solitary, from prison. Demand clemency for Leonard Peltier!

Bring posters and banners, drums, candles, water, food-snacks, etc.

For updates and information on lodgings, visit

Donations welcome. Send a check or money order to the LPDOC, PO Box 7488, Fargo, ND 58106 or donate electronically. Click on the "Donate" button on our home page at

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Leonard Peltier placed in "Hellhole"

Monday, July 11, 2011

Mass Call-In for Leonard Peltier Today!

Young Leonard PeltierImage by Sheila Steele via Flickr Mass Call-In to CNN Monday, July 11, 2011

Join us in a coordinated mass call-in to CNN on behalf of Leonard Peltier. Shut CNN down until they realize they have a story.

On Monday, July 11th, at 10 a.m. (Eastern Time), start calling with your statement. It is important that the calls to CNN start promptly at 10 a.m. Insist that they cover the injustice posed by the continuing imprisonment of Leonard Peltier. Advise them of Leonard's current situation (see, and tell CNN personnel that they should contact the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee at 701-235-2206 for information and referrals.

Then call back and ask for specific news anchors to cover/respond. Remember to be firm, but polite. Tell them freedom for Peltier is the only solution to this 35+-year injustice.

They may tell you that they get their stories from their affiliates (local) channels. While this is true, it is also true that they cover both whatever they wish and stories that demand coverage. We MUST demand coverage.

Call CNN at 404-827-1500 at 10 a.m., Monday, July 11, 2011. Dial one for both of the first and second automated prompts/choices.

You also may submit story ideas online. Visit to submit a story idea or to submit a news tip.

Or Tweet them: @TeamCNN.


Launched into cyberspace by the
Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee
PO Box 7488, Fargo, ND 58106

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Alert: Leonard Peltier Needs Your Help!

On June 27, Leonard Peltier was removed from the general population at USP-Lewisburg and placed in solitary confinement. We know this was not done for Leonard's protection. We also are certain that Leonard has done nothing wrong. He should immediately be returned to the prison's general population. Our concern is two-fold. First and foremost, Leonard must not be railroaded by prison authorities as has happened in the past. Second, Leonard's age and health status are a concern. Leonard suffers from diabetes and other health conditions. He must have the means by which to monitor his blood sugar. He must receive the proper diet. Leonard otherwise must continue to receive his prescribed medications. He must immediately be returned to the prison's general population. For more information on how you can help, please visit

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

No justice for Native Americans: Leonard Peltier

News from Indianz.Com

Letter: Attorneys take excessive fees in trust fund settlement (6/28)
Turtle Talk Recap: Supreme Court is still bad for tribal interests (6/28)
Cherokee Nation says Chad Smith wins chief's post by 7 votes (6/28)
Court rejects challenge to Oneida Nation law enforcement deal (6/28)
Kalispel Tribe cancels Fourth of July celebration due to flooding (6/28)
Interview with Jarrid Whitney about Indian student recruitment (6/28)
Tigua Tribe purchases majority interest in minor baseball team (6/28)
Hualapai Tribe to meet with Skywalk partner after court ruling (6/28)
Recount confirms results of Little Traverse Bay Bands election (6/28)
Tuscarora Nation members upset over 'secret' council meeting (6/28)
Brothers from Sault Tribe to appeal fishing violation conviction (6/28)
Navajo Nation man pleads guilty in second degree murder case (6/28)
Osage Nation expects word on gaming applications 'this week' (6/28)
Pala Band seeks to renegotiate gaming compact with governor (6/28)
Editorial: Decision makes California play fair with tribal casinos (6/28)
Mark Trahant: Tribes and counties better off working together (6/27)
Vi Waln: Helping our tribal elders prepare for their last journey (6/27)
Wambli Sina Win: Pretendians -- the hostile takeover of tribes (6/27)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing on Native CLASS Act (6/27)
Editorial: Victory with $3.4B settlement of Indian trust lawsuit (6/27)
WPR: Lac du Flambeau chair hopes BIA improves trust system (6/27)
Upwards of 30K in Arizona to share in $3.4B Cobell settlement (6/27)
In These Times: Fractionation a big issue in Cobell settlement (6/27)
Patti Jo King: Truth and myth about Apache warrior Geronimo (6/27)
Tribes press for fix to land-into-trust ruling at nation's capitol (6/27)
Supreme Court won't accept Osage Nation diminishment case (6/27)
Turtle Talk: Indian law outcomes in Wisconsin Supreme Court (6/27)
WPR: Military officers forcing tribal soldiers to give up tobacco (6/27)
Cherokee Nation elects new leader by slim margin of 11 votes (6/27)
Non-Indians bragged about attack on Reno Sparks man online (6/27)
More headlines...

28 June 2011: Today's Democracy Now!

"A Perfect Product of the Religious Right": Deconstructing Michele Bachmann’s GOP Presidential Bid

The rising star of the Tea Party movement, Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann, has launched her bid for the Republican 2012 presidential nomination. On the eve of her announcement, Bachmann was tied with Mitt Romney in The Des Moines Register’s Iowa Poll, the first survey of voters who plan to attend the Republican caucuses. The former tax lawyer identifies as a conservative Christian and is a fierce opponent of abortion and gay marriage. Bachmann also supports teaching intelligent design in public schools, and she’s claimed that global warming is a hoax. She has largely built her campaign around accusing Obama of favoring government intervention, pushing the U.S. toward socialism and having “anti-American views” and is particularly fierce critic of Obama’s healthcare overhaul. While Bachmann is known for advocating a limited government, she has recently come under scrutiny for allegedly accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in agricultural subsidies for her family farm in Wisconsin. We are joined by journalist Karl Bremer, who has covered Michele Bachmann’s political career for the last decade from Stillwater, Minnesota, which is where the Bachmanns currently reside. We also speak with journalist Michelle Goldberg, author of the book, "Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism.”
As Obama Quietly Pushes for a Nuclear Weapons Renaissance, Wildfire Threatens Los Alamos Nuclear Lab

In New Mexico, an out-of-control wildfire that began Sunday has already burned nearly 80-square miles and is a mile or less from Los Alamos National Laboratory, home to a nuclear weapons plutonium facility. Pieces of ash from the fire have dropped onto the laboratory grounds, sparking "spot" fires. A senior investigator with the Project on Government Oversight said a fire at the facility would be a "disaster" that could result in large and lethal releases of radiation. Officials insist explosive materials on the laboratory’s grounds are safely stored in underground bunkers made of concrete and steel. But the group, Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, told the Associated Press that the fire appeared to be about 3.5 miles from a dumpsite where as many as 30,000 55-gallon drums of plutonium-contaminated waste were stored in fabric tents above ground. The group said the drums were awaiting transport to a low-level radiation dump site in southern New Mexico. We speak with Greg Mello, the director of the Los Alamos Study Group, a citizen-led nuclear disarmament group based in New Mexico. “Los Alamos National Laboratory is becoming the center of plutonium manufacturing for the country,” Mello says, even though “it is a place with a lot of natural hazards, not just fires, but also earthquakes.”
It Takes People On the Outside: Prestigious Author Alice Walker to Confront Israeli Naval Blockade of Gaza on U.S. Aid Ship

Israel continues to threaten a group of international activists planning to sail to Gaza this week with humanitarian aid. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said participants in the 10-boat flotilla are seeking "confrontation and blood." Last year, Israeli forces killed nine people aboard the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara. Meanwhile, activists say one of the 10 boats scheduled to sail to Gaza has been sabotaged in a Greek port. Saboteurs reportedly cut off the propeller shaft of a ship shared by Swedish, Norwegian and Greek activist. Organizers say the boat will be repaired in time to sail to Gaza. One of the other ships that will try to reach Gaza from Greece is the "Audacity of Hope." It’s set to carry up to 50 U.S. citizens carrying letters to Gaza residents. One of the ship’s passengers is the acclaimed author, poet and activist Alice Walker. She has written many books, including “The Color Purple,” for which she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. On Monday, Alice Walker spoke at a Freedom Flotilla news conference in the Greek capital of Athens. “I am going to Gaza because my government has failed to understand or care about the Gazan people, but worse than that, it is ignorant of our own history in the United States,” Walker said. “For instance, when black people were enslaved for 300 years, it took a lot of people in the outside of our communities to help free us.”


•Thousands of Greeks Begin 48-Hour General Strike
•Japan: 15 Tons of Radioactive Water Leaked Into Ground Near Facility
•Los Alamos Nuclear Weapons Lab Remains Closed As Massive Wildfire Approaches
•Israel Continues To Threaten Gaza Flotilla Activists
•Libya Government Denounces International Arrest Warrants For Gaddafi and Aides
•Syrian Opposition Leaders Gather In Rare Public Meeting
•Number of Afghan U.S. War Refugees Reaches 250,000, Double Previous Year
•U.S. Drones Kill 21 in Pakistan
•Federal Judge Blocks Key Parts of Controversial Georgia Immigration Law
•Trial Begins For Former Khmer Rouge Leaders
•Wisconsin Bans Planned Parenthood Funds, Indiana Issues Injunction Against Blocking It From Medicaid
•Flood Waters Begin to Recede in North Dakota Following Widespread Destruction

26 June 2011 Statement from Leonard Peltier

Hello my friends and relations,

I always try to come to you full of good spirit and vigor. But I cannot lie. There are days when the ugliness of my situation weighs me down. I swear I never thought this could happen. I never believed law enforcement and the government of this country would go so far for so long to keep their dirty laundry hidden away.

Over the years, you my dedicated friends and believers have kept a vision of justice alive. That really is something special. Because of you, we have learned of hidden evidence, coerced testimony, and outright lies by the FBI and prosecutors. Because of you we have been able to uncover thousands of documents the government wanted to stay secret. And yet they have been able to squirrel away thousands more pages of their biggest secrets about me, about the theft of Indian land, their motives behind murder, and their operations to silence people like me. I am living proof that my case is about squashing Indian rights and Indian sovereignty, otherwise why would I be serving a sentence so much longer than what is normal for my so-called conviction?

Those that believe in law and order should be the loudest voices calling for my release! The fact is the day I walk free is the day they are forced to deal with my innocence, and they are so very afraid of doing just that! No matter what they say, the dirty little secret underneath all of this is America’s fear and loathing of Indian people. In over five hundred years, they have not yet learned how to deal honorably with us.

The burden is great sometimes, but the encouragement I get from you helps me to keep my faith that freedom will one day come my way. No matter what happens, on the day I draw my last breath I will be proud to have taken my place alongside my ancestors, knowing I did all I could do, and gave all I could for my people. For those FBI agents and prosecutors in my case, their last moments will include shame.

So remember all of you my friends and relations, this case is about much more than me. If you believe in truth, justice, honor, freedom, all of what is supposed to make America great, then help me open the door to my release. If you believe in Indian sovereignty, join my cause and in doing so help yourself. Take your place in the struggle and do all you can to eradicate injustice.

Thank you for your time. Thank you for your consideration. Thank you for your work. Thank you for your love.

Aho! Mitakuye Oyasin!


Leonard Peltier

Thursday, June 9, 2011

News from Indianz.Com


Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux Tribe falls victim to 'UN' scam (6/9)
Witness list for SCIA hearing on indigenous rights declaration (6/9)
Navajo Nation official to discuss sacred sites at SCIA hearing (6/9)
David Wilkins: Indigenous nations in immature United States (6/9)
Turtle Talk: Indian law rulings in South Dakota Supreme Court (6/9)
Two Apache tribes in Arizona threatened by a growing wildfire (6/9)
Seneca Nation will appeal latest decision in tobacco tax battle (6/9)
Trial of Crow Creek Sioux Tribe chairman delayed until August (6/9)
County joins investigation in Hoopa Valley drive-by shooting (6/9)
Coushatta Tribe sends youth to Missouri to help relief efforts (6/9)
Former chairman of Chitimacha Tribe told he can't run again (6/9)
Ex-Shinnecock Nation leader on Long Island Press Power List (6/9)
Opinion: Proposed iron mine poses a risk to Bad River Ojibwe (6/9)
Media Co-op: First Nations under surveillance by government (6/9)
Bizarre Crime: Man blamed wife's death on fallen totem pole (6/9)
Vincent Armenta: Santa Ynez Band shares gaming revenues (6/9)
Agua Caliente Band to spend $2.1M on renovations at casino (6/9)
Bill to legalize casinos in Massachusetts is back on the table (6/9)
Michigan man continues effort to lure off-reservation casino (6/9)
Tim Giago: Lakota people were pushed out of nest too early (6/8)
Stephanie Woodard: Yankton Sioux victims seek day in court (6/8)
Kevin Gover: First Lady takes on obesity among Indian youth (6/8)
Let's Move: Indian children help plant garden at White House (6/8)
Turtle Talk: Indian law success rate in Alaska Supreme Court (6/8)
Crow Tribe forced to eliminate 150 employees after flooding (6/8)
Ute Tribe runs out of funding due to flooding on reservation (6/8)
Omaha Tribe evacuates homes due to Missouri River floods (6/8)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe spared from Missouri River floods (6/8)
Poarch Creeks donate $25K for victims of Alabama tornado (6/8)
Terry Cross, Indian child welfare advocate, to receive honor (6/8)
Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes leadership dispute continues (6/8)
More headlines...

09 June 2011: Today's Democracy Now!

Obama Hides Meeting with Top Bahraini Leader—And Mutes Criticism of Ongoing Crackdown

Amidst an intensifying crackdown on anti-government protesters in the tiny Gulf island kingdom of Bahrain, President Obama met Tuesday with Crown Prince Salman bin Isa al-Khalifa, a visit that was not announced beforehand. We speak with Nabeel Rajab, president of Bahrain’s Center for Human Rights, based in Manama. "On the ground, we don’t see anything, any signal, that makes us optimistic that the government has the willingness to go for a dialogue with the opposition and to listen to the grievances and the demands of the people," says Rajab, noting that soldiers from Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Bahrain continue to arrest protesters and the doctors treating those injured during pro-democracy demonstrations. [includes rush transcript]
Critics Dub Planned Puerto Rico Pipeline the "Death Route" for Alleged Threat to Environment, Public Health

President Barack Obama is due to visit Puerto Rico next week in what will be the first official U.S. presidential visit to the territory in 50 years. His trip comes as controversy grows over a proposed 92-mile natural gas pipeline that would cut across much of the island. Puerto Rico Governor Luis Fortuño has made the $450 million project a central goal of his administration and insists it is a safe and environmentally friendly way to lower utility bills. Called Vía Verde (Green Way), the pipeline has been dubbed Vía de la Muerte (Death Route) by critics who say it will expose people living near it to deadly explosions, and cause irreversible damage to the island’s environmental and cultural resources. We speak with Dr. Arturo Massol, a biology professor and director of the Scientific and Technical Commission of Casa Pueblo, a community-based organization in Puerto Rico that is leading opposition against the pipeline project. He calls for development of infrastructure that can harness the island’s solar and wind power to meet its energy needs.
Annie Jacobsen on New Book, "Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base"

Located some 80 miles north of Las Vegas, the secret U.S. military base Area 51 in Nevada was established in the 1950s to build and test hi-tech spy and war planes including the U2, the stealth bomber and surveillance drones. Located inside the Nevada Test and Training Range, Area 51 also played a key role in nuclear weapon tests. For decades, the government denied Area 51 even existed, but in recent years many CIA and military documents have been declassified. We speak with Annie Jacobsen, author of the new book, "Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base."

Today's Headlines:

•U.S. Increases Secret Yemen Bombings in Saleh’s Absence
•Clinton Meets With Libya Contact Group in UAE
•ICC Prosecutor: Gaddafi Sanctioned Rape Against Opponents
•U.N. Security Council to Debate Syria Censure
•Senate Panel Questions Afghan Spending
•Obama Expresses "Sorrow" for Afghan Deaths
•Al-Qaeda Leader Threatens U.S.
•Egypt-Gaza Border Reopens
•U.N. Convenes AIDS Session, Hundreds Protest for Universal Treatment
•Sudan Rejects New Genocide Allegations From ICC
•Prosecution of NSA Whistleblower Thomas Drake in Doubt


Wednesday, June 08, 2011
•Bill Moyers on His Legendary Journalism Career: "Democracy Should Be a Brake on Unbridled Greed and Power"

Tuesday, June 07, 2011
•Trapped in Gaza: Rafah Crossing Closed to Palestinians Soon After Egyptian Pledge to Reopen It
•“There is a Women’s Spring Beginning”: Playwright Eve Ensler and Congolese Activist Christine Schuler Deschryver on Gender Violence in Congo
•Eve Ensler Responds to Sexual Assault Charges Filed Against Former IMF Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn

Monday, June 06, 2011
•Yemenis Celebrate as President Saleh Flees to Saudi Arabia, Transfers Power to Vice President
•Former Black Panther Leader, Geronimo Ji-Jaga Pratt, Wrongfully Imprisoned for 27 Years, Dies in Tanzania
•Dr. Gabor Maté: Obama Admin Should Heed Global Panel’s Call to End "Failed" U.S.-Led Drug War

Tune in tomorrow:

Woman expected to plead guilty in 2001 UW arson

Woman expected to plead guilty in 2001 UW arson

Briana Waters, who was awaiting a retrial for her alleged role in the 2001 Earth Liberation Front arson attack on the University of Washington's Center for Urban Horticulture, is expected to plead guilty to federal charges next week.

By Mike Carter

Seattle Times staff reporter

A California woman who is awaiting a retrial for her alleged role in the 2001 Earth Liberation Front arson attack on the University of Washington's Center for Urban Horticulture is expected to plead guilty to federal charges next week.

Briana Water's change-of-plea hearing is scheduled for Tuesday before U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton. It comes as the Department of Justice prepares for the return of her one-time boyfriend and the attack's alleged ringleader, Justin Solondz, who faces extradition from China, where he's spent the last three years in prison on drug charges.

Waters, a 34-year-old violin teacher from San Francisco, was convicted in 2008 and sentenced to six years in prison in 2008 for her role in the arson at the center, which caused an estimated $6 million in damage. Waters allegedly helped secure the car used by the group and was a lookout the night the fire was set.

She was acquitted of or the jury couldn't decide on several other charges, including a count of manufacturing a destructive device, which carried a mandatory 30-year prison sentence.

However, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the conviction last year, saying her trial before U.S. District Judge Frank Burgess, now deceased, was riddled with judicial errors. The appeals-court judges said that, while the evidence against Waters may have been sufficient for a conviction, "our review of the record does not leave us convinced that her conviction was fairly obtained."

The government has since moved toward a retrial and Waters has been home after she was released pending her retrial.

Details of the plea arrangement were not immediately available.

Waters' attorney, Neil Fox, acknowledged a plea agreement was pending, but said he could not discuss the specifics. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Seattle did not immediately return telephone messages for comment.

Waters was reportedly part of a five-member Earth Liberation Front (ELF) cell that conspired to burn the center down. Prosecutors say it was part of an ELF-sponsored spree of arson attacks throughout the West from 1996 to 2001.

Damage to targets that included a slaughterhouse, timber-company headquarters and a ski lodge at Vail, Colo., was estimated in the tens of millions of dollars.

Two other women, Lacey Phillabaum and Jennifer Kolar, pleaded guilty to the UW arson and were sentenced to three and five years, respectively. Both testified against Waters.

Also charged in the UW arson were William C. Rodgers, who committed suicide in December 2005 in an Arizona jail, as well as Solondz. Solondz, who was on the FBI's most-wanted list, was a fugitive until his arrest in Dali, China, in 2009.

Michael Nance, the attorney appointed to represent Solondz in the U.S. proceedings, said he did not know when his client would be returned to the U.S., but suggested it would be "in the near, or relatively near, future."

Mike Carter: 206-464-3706 or

Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this report.

Transition of a Soldier / Geronimo ji jaga Memorial Info

Transition of a Soldier / Geronimo ji jaga Memorial Info
From Marina Drummer
A3 Newsletter
International Campaign to Free the Angola 3

Transition of a Soldier

On 2 June 2011 we lost a soldier....geronimo ji jaga. It's no exaggeration to say that without geronimo's initial efforts, the Angola 3 Coalition would have never existed. In 1997, Colonel Bolt, who had spent 20 years in CCR with Herman Wallace, Albert Woodfox and Robert King, went to geronimo's release party to talk to him about the Angola prisoners, and so the campaign to free the Angola 3 was born.

From that moment on, the effort took on a life of its own, but geronimo ji jaga was always there to support. In 2001, geronimo provided us with a statement of support for the Angola 3 Coalition's first newsletter. It barely seems possible that just a few weeks ago, geronimo attended the commemoration of Herman and Albert's 39th year in solitary confinement in New Orleans.

geronimo's generous nature and philanthropic efforts were given full reign during his fourteen years of freedom. His work through the Kuji Foundation, which he founded, and his deep ties to Africa are just two of the many highlights of what he contributed during his years in minimum security.

We are thankful that his passing was swift and know that those of us whose lives he touched will forever keep him in our hearts. To the thousands of political prisoners in America's Gulags his contribution is an inspiration and his warrior spirit lives on wherever freedom struggles continue.

(*His way of being humble, geronimo never capitalized his name, so out of respect for him here, we spelled it as he did.)

In 2001, geronimo issued the following statement in support of the Angola 3:

Robert King Wilkerson, Albert Woodfox, and Herman "Hooks" Wallace are very dear to me because they come from my home state of Louisiana. The Louisiana chapter of the Black Panther Party was one of the best chapters we organized and they were some of our best, most disciplined soldiers. They were the kind of soldiers who never cried out to anyone for help, even though they were facing life imprisonment.

Understand that after being in that kinda situation for so long, I can personally attest to the highly disciplined and dedicated nature of these askaris. They endured, and they survived, over all the years, with very little help from the outside world. They are the kind of unsung heroes who we must come forward to help, because they never asked for anything from us in exchange for suffering what they have suffered.

To Struggle for the People and not expect anything selfish in return is a rare thing and this is what King, Wallace, and Fox have personified throughout all those hard years. They most certainly deserve our strongest salute.

There will be a memorial service at 10AM on June 18 at the Morgan City Auditorium in Morgan City, Louisiana, geronimo's hometown. For more info call Jones Funeral Home at: (985) 384-8643.

There will also be a memorial service for geronimo at the Eastside Arts Alliance in Oakland on July 15th at 6pm. This is a celebration of the life of a Revolutionary. East Side Arts Alliance is located at 2277 International Blvd. For more info call Billy X at (916) 455-0908.

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Congressional Hearing Today: Domestic Policy Implications of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

OVERSIGHT HEARING on Setting the Standard: Domestic Policy Implications of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Thursday, June 9 2011
2:15PM (Eastern Time)
Dirksen Senate Office Building 628


The hearing will explore the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) as an international policy goal to which the United States is signatory, the current ways existing domestic policy achieves the UNDRIP goals, and additional domestic policy considerations to make the United States a world leader in indigenous rights and implementation of the UNDRIP.


Panel I

MR. DONALD “DEL” LAVERDURE, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, DC

Panel II

MR. ROBERT T. COULTER, Executive Director, Indian Law Resource Center, Helena, MT

MR. JAMES ANAYA, Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, United Nations, Tucson, AZ

MR. LINDSAY G. ROBERTSON, Professor of Law / Faculty Director of the American Indian Law and Policy Center / Judge Haskell A. Holloman Professor / and Sam K. Viersen Presidential Professor, University of Oklahoma College of Law, Norman, Oklahoma

MR. RYAN RED CORN, Filmmaker / Member, 1491s, Pawhuska, OK

Panel III

THE HONORABLE FAWN SHARP, President, Quinault Indian Nation, Taholah, WA

MR. FRANK ETTAWAGESHIK, Executive Director, United Tribes of Michigan, Harbor Springs, MI

MR. DUANE YAZZIE, Chairperson, Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission, Window Rock, AZ

MS. MELANIE KNIGHT, Secretary of State, Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Tahlequah, OK

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Friday, June 3, 2011

Change for Change

Transmitted on behalf of the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee

03 June 2011

The Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee (LPDOC) is sending two delegates, including Attorney Robert R. Bryan, to the Ligue des droits de l’Homme (Human Rights League) 86th Congress to be held in Reims, France, June 11-13. We need to quickly raise funds for air fare, lodgings, meals and incidental expenses.

How to Help

> Donate what you can. No amount is too small.

> Send your donation to the LPDOC, PO Box 7488, Fargo, ND 58106.

> Or donate online. (Click on the donate button at the top of our home page at

Leonard is counting on you to make this important trip possible.

Time is short, so please make that donation today.

Thank you.

Launched into cyberspace by the
Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee
PO Box 7488, Fargo, ND 58106

03 June in Oakland: COINTELPRO 101

The term "Cointelpro" refers to the official FBI Counter Intelligence Program carried out to surveil, imprison, and eliminate leaders of social justice movements and to disrupt, divide, and destroy the movements themselves. Understanding the history and continuing impact of Cointelpro is absolutely central to understanding the U.S. government's wars and its suppression of progressive movements. COINTELPRO 101 opens the door to understanding this complex history.

Panel discussion follows with:

Ward Churchill - author and Native American activist,

Ericka Huggins - activist, former political prisoner & leader in the Black Panther Party &

Claude Marks - director of the Freedom Archives & former political prisoner.

Sponsored by Eastside Arts Alliance & Freedom Archives


A New Film from Freedom Archives
Friday, June 3, 2011 7pm
EastSide Cultural Center
2277 International Blvd, Oakland

Indigenous, Community and Spiritual Leaders Affirm Commitment to Protect Holy San Francisco Peaks‏

Owners of the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort last week began construction of a wastewater pipeline on the San Francisco Peaks, a volcanic mountain range held sacred site by more than 13 Indigenous Nations. Following the unwelcomed move by the resort company, Indigenous representatives, local NGOs and others came together to affirm their commitment to protect [...] Continue Reading:

25 June: BBQ for Native American Prisoner of War Leonard Peltier

BBQ for Native American Prisoner of War Leonard Peltier

Saturday June 25, 2011

(Rain Date: Sunday June 26, 2011)

From 1 pm-4 pm

Dias y Flores Community Garden
(13th Street between Avenues A & B)

Native American Flute by Franc Menusan

Potluck BBQ: To arrange what dish to bring for the potluck, call MD (our food coordinator) after 7 pm: 347-731-9947.

Since we are unable to accept monetary donations at the Garden, we strongly encourage YOU to bring a dish in the true spirit of a potluck!

The three years following the occupation of Wounded Knee are often referred to as the Pine Ridge “Reign of Terror” because anyone associated with the American Indian Movement was targeted for violence. People’s homes were burned and their cars run off the road. People were struck by cars, shot in drive-by shootings and beaten. Between 1973 and 1976, over 70 traditionalists were murdered and scores more were assaulted.

As the situation worsened, the traditionalists asked AIM to return to the reservation to offer protection. Leonard Peltier was among those who answered the call. He and a dozen others set up camp on the Jumping Bull ranch at Pine Ridge, the home of a number of traditional families.

In Native American history, June 26th is a day of anguish. On that date in 1975, two FBI agents in unmarked cars pursued a red pickup truck onto the Jumping Bull ranch. Gunshots rang out. While mothers fled the area with their children, other residents started to return fire. A shootout erupted between the FBI agents and the residents. Law enforcement immediately mobilized. Within a couple hours, over 150 FBI swat team members, Bureau of Indian Affairs police and GOONs surrounded the ranch.

Peltier helped lead a small group of teenagers out of the Jumping Bull area, barely escaping through the hail of bullets. He fled to Canada and was illegally extradited to the U.S. in 1976 based on false information provided by the FBI.

This assault has not ended. For 35 years, Leonard Peltier, a Lakota/Anishinabe organizer of the American Indian Movement (AIM), has been in prison, falsely accused of killing the FBI agents. U.S. prosecutors have publicly admitted that they do not know who actually fired the shots that killed the agents, but they have refused to consider Peltier for parole or to turn over thousands of pages of documents that could prove his innocence.

This event is honoring AIM warrior Leonard Peltier, so no alcohol or drugs are permitted

NYC Chapter of the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee • • 718-325-4407

18 June: COINTELPRO 101

Film and Discussion

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Brecht Forum, 451 West Street
(between Bank & Bethune Streets, Manhattan)

4 to 6 pm

We have tight time constraints, so we WILL be starting sharply on time!

Former Political Prisoners
Shaba Om, Laura Whitehorn, Francisco Torres

Beginning in the 1950s with a focus on the Puerto Rican independence movement and continuing through the 1960s and into the 1970s when much of its focus had shifted to the Black Liberation, Chicano Liberation and American Indian Movements, COINTELPRO racked up a number of assassinations, false imprisonments and ruined lives. No government official was ever punished for actions taken under the program’s auspices. The film by Freedom Archives details this history through the artful use of still photos and moving images of the period covered. Films of police attacks and protests; still photos of revolutionary leaders and police murders graphically remind the viewer of Washington’s willingness to do whatever it takes to maintain its control. Organizers who began their political activity during the time of Cointelpro discuss the effect the program had on them and the organizations and individuals they worked with. Indeed, several of the interviewees were themselves targets and spent years in prison (some under false accusations, as in the case of Geronimo ji-Jaga Pratt) or on the run.

Former Black Panther member Kathleen Cleaver states toward the end of the film that Cointelpro represented the efforts of a political police force making the decision as to what is allowed politically and what is not. Anything outside the parameters set by this force was fair game. Nothing that was done by government officials or private groups and individuals acting on the government’s behalf was perceived as wrong or illegal. As Attorney Bob Boyle makes clear in his final statement in the film, Cointelpro is alive and well. The only difference now is that most of what was illegal for the government to do during Cointelpro’s official existence is now legal. The PATRIOT Act and other laws associated with the creation of the Department of Homeland Security have insured this.

Cointelpro 101 is a well made and appealing primer on the history of the US police state. Produced, written and directed by individuals who have themselves been the target of tactics documented in the film, it has an authenticity and immediacy that pulls the viewer in. Although too short to cover the history in as full detail as some may desire, the film’s intelligence and conscientious presentation of the historical narrative makes it a film that the student, the citizen and the activist can all appreciate.

Light Refreshments will be Served!

Sponsored by:
NYC Jericho Movement, Malcolm X Commemoration Ctte, NYC Chapter of the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee, ProLibertad, NYC Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition

For more information: • • 718-325-4407

Call to Action: The 5th of June for the Cuban 5

THIS 5TH OF JUNE, MAKE A CALL, OR SEND A FAX, OR AN E-MAIL, OR A TELEGRAM to the WHITE HOUSE to demand President Obama free the Cuban 5 imprisoned in the United States for defending their homeland. Ask all your friends to do the same.

Let's continue to demand President Obama to make use of the rights conferred upon him by the US Constitution, as a lawyer, as a father, as a son, as a husband, and as a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, to END THIS COLOSSAL INJUSTICE AND TO FREE THE 5 NOW!!!

Read the details.

News from Indianz.Com


Native Sun News: Protecting sacred Bear Butte at all costs (6/3)
Steven Newcomb: Military compares Seminoles to al Qaeda (6/3)
Russell Means: Republic of Lakotah demands treaty respect (6/3)
Flooding expected to hit Fort Peck Reservation on Saturday (6/3)
Echo Hawk refuses to meet with Indian protesters at forum (6/3)
Lavina Washines, first woman to lead Yakama Nation, dies (6/3)
BIA asked to intervene in Cayuga Nation leadership battle (6/3)
Cabazon Band seeks to protect rights in enviromental flap (6/3)
Leech Lake Band due in court over reservation power line (6/3)
OKC: A 25th anniversary celebration at Red Earth Festival (6/3)
Editorial: Agua Caliente wind turbines will have big impact (6/3)
Western Front: Klallam people celebrate removal of dams (6/3)
Sault Tribe hires governor's former attorney as its counsel (6/3)
Investigation into death of man at Blood Tribe's police cell (6/3)
Winnebago Tribe taking precautions for flooding at casino (6/3)
Tenants take Seminole Tribe to court over casino dealings (6/3)
Local officials surprised by Gun Lake Tribe revenue sharing (6/3)
Native Sun News: Ride honors modern-day Lakota warriors (6/2)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee to take up UN declaration (6/2)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee plans hearing on NAGPRA (6/2)
DOI to announce consultation process on land consolidation (6/2)
DOJ submits brief for Osage Reservation diminishment case (6/2)
Kevin Abourezk: Therapist to speak about historical trauma (6/2)
Evacuees from Crow Tribe to relocate to reservation center (6/2)
Fort Peck Tribes asks about 40 families to evacuate homes (6/2)
Editorial: Sac and Fox Nation changes the game on highway (6/2)
Hundreds evacuated at Hatchet Lake First Nation due to fire (6/2)
Police treating death of 13-year-old Native boy as homicide (6/2)
EPA takes action against another business on Cabazon land (6/2)
Judge extends temporary order over New York's tobacco tax (6/2)
Two council members for Cayuga Nation forced to step down (6/2)
More headlines...

03 Jun 2011: Today's Democracy Now!

Seymour Hersh: Despite Intelligence Rejecting Iran as Nuclear Threat, U.S. Could Be Headed for Iraq Redux

In his latest article for the New Yorker magazine, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh says the United States might attack Iran based on distorted estimates of Iran’s nuclear and military threat – just like it did with Saddam Hussein’s government in Iraq. Hersh reveals that despite using Iranian informants and cutting edge surveillance technology, U.S. officials have been unable to find decisive evidence that Iran has been moving enriched uranium to an underground weapon-making center.
Seymour Hersh on the Arab Spring, "Disaster" U.S. Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the Looming Crisis in Iraq

Veteran investigative reporter Seymour Hersh assesses the popular uprisings sweeping the Middle East and North Africa amidst ongoing U.S. wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. Despite touted gains and an upcoming U.S. military withdrawal deadline in Iraq, Hersh says: "Whatever you’re hearing, Iraq is going bad ... It’s sectarian war, and the big question will be whether we pull out or not." On the uprisings, Hersh says Saudi Arabia—fearing an overthrow of the regional order—is driving the embattled regimes’ attempts to crush the protests.
WikiLeaks Cables Reveal "Secret History" of U.S. Bullying in Haiti at Oil Companies’ Behest

The Nation magazine, in partnership with the Haitian weekly newspaper, Haïti Liberté, has launched a series of reports based on more than 19,000 classified U.S. diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks. Called "The PetroCaribe Files," the series begins with an exposé of how the United States—with pressure from Exxon and Chevron—tried to interfere with an oil agreement between Haiti and Venezuela that would save Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, $100 million per year. "It is really amazing to see an ambassador pushing around a president, and all his officials telling them what to do, trying to tell them what Haiti’s interests are. It is the epitome of arrogance," says the report’s co-author, Kim Ives. We are also joined by veteran Haiti correspondent, Dan Coughlin.


•NATO Strikes Hit Tripoli
•Clashes Continue in Yemeni Capital
•23 Civilians Reported Dead in Syria Gov’t Attacks
•Exiled Syrian Opposition Calls for Assad Departure
•E. Coli Strain Could Be Deadliest; Bacterium Would Be Legal in U.S.
•U.S. to Probe Hacking of Email Accounts
•Pentagon: Cyber-Attacks Could Constitute Act of War
•Panel: "War on Drugs" a Failure
•Civil Rights Groups Challenge Georgia Anti-Immigrant Law
•Ex-Black Panther, Political Prisoner Geronimo Pratt Dies at 63

Thursday, May 26, 2011

News from Indianz.Com


Native Sun News: 8th Circuit rules against Oglala Sioux man (5/26)
Fairness hearing in Cobell settlement scheduled for June 20 (5/26)
United Keetoowah Band hails BIA action on land-into-trust (5/26)
Crow Tribe starts assessing damage after massive flooding (5/26)
Cheyenne-Arapaho family lost home in Oklahoma tornado (5/26)
Shelly Crow, former 2nd Muscogee Nation chief, dies at 63 (5/26)
Deaths of Spirit Lake Dakotah children treated as homicide (5/26)
Column: Ojibwe man speaks out on fetal alcohol syndrome (5/26)
APRN: Hearings start on Alaska Native corporation land bill (5/26)
Conference looks at preserving Native languages, culture (5/26)
WUWM: First Lady launches Let's Move! in Indian Country (5/26)
Eight from Spirit Lake Dakotah Nation charged for stealing (5/26)
Energy company withdraws federal suit against Crow Tribe (5/26)
Sault Tribe won't hold special election to replace chairman (5/26)
Construction company offers settlement to Navajo Nation (5/26)
Tribes awarded over $7M for wildlife conservation projects (5/26)
Seminole Tribe asking public to help name two baby otters (5/26)
RCR Wireless: Hopi Tribe works to improve telecom service (5/26)
Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community installs fence (5/26)
Business sues Pojoaque Pueblo over casino management (5/26)
Saginaw Chippewa Tribe shares $2.9M in casino revenues (5/26)
Eastern Cherokee leader looking to restart compact talks (5/26)
Narragansett Tribe questions push for gaming referendum (5/26)
Mohegan Tribe to start work on gaming facility in Catskills (5/26)
Native Sun News: IHS criticized for service in South Dakota (5/25)
Dorgan announces Center for Native American Youth board (5/25)
Conditions on Crow Reservation treacherous after flooding (5/25)
Blackfeet Nation declares emergency due to rising waters (5/25)
Parts of Cherokee Nation report damages from tornadoes (5/25)
Mary Pember: Traditional healers to be part of NIH exhibit (5/25)
Tribal leaders worried about future of Navajo Nation plant (5/25)
More headlines...

26 May 2011: Today's Democracy Now!

Vermont Poised to Become 1st State to Enact Single-Payer Healthcare

Today Vermont is set to make history by becoming the first state in the nation to offer universal, single-payer healthcare when Gov. Peter Shumlin signs its healthcare reform bill into law. The Vermont plan, called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, will attempt to stem rising medical care prices and provide universal coverage. We speak with Dr. Deb Richter, president of Vermont Health Care for All. She moved from Buffalo, New York, to Vermont in 1999 to advocate for a universal, single-payer healthcare system in the state. Gov. Shumlin calls her the “backbone” of the grassroots effort that helped persuade the Democratic-led state legislature to pass the bill this spring. [includes rush transcript]
Bill McKibben: From Storms to Droughts, Devastating Extreme Weather Linked to Human-Caused Climate Change

2011 has already become the deadliest year for tornado outbreaks in the United States since 1953, with more than 500 people killed. Extreme weather has made headlines across the world, as well, with megafloods occurring in Colombia, Vietnam, Pakistan and Australia, even as the Amazon just faced its second hundred-year drought in the past five years. News audiences are seeing the warning "severe weather" increasingly flash across TV screens, but little connection has been made to the role humans have played in driving climate change. We speak with environmentalist Bill McKibben, founder of the grassroots climate campaign, "We’re making the earth a more dynamic and violent place," McKibben says. "That’s, in essence, what global warming is about." [includes rush transcript]
"Toma la Plaza": Frustration with Unemployment, Budget Cuts Fuels Grassroots Protests in Spain

Tens of thousands of Spanish protesters are demonstrating across the country calling for better economic opportunities, a more representative electoral system, and an end to political corruption. The pro-democracy protests started on May 15 in Madrid when people gathered in the central plaza to advocate for change, calling the budding movement “Toma la Plaza,” or “Take the Square.” In the past week, protests have spread to more than a dozen cities across Spain. The country has the highest unemployment rate in Europe—nearly half of its population under 30 years old is jobless. Protesters are sustaining their decentralized movement through donations of food, fuel and even computers. Daily assemblies democratically vote on all decisions, and local committees are assigned different tasks, from cleanup operations to legal affairs. We speak with independent journalist Maria Carrion and protest spokesperson Ivan Martinoz in Madrid. [includes rush transcript]


Fugitive General Ratko Mladic Arrested in Serbia
U.S. Pulls Diplomats as Yemen Clashes Grow
U.S. Arming NATO Attack on Libya
Pakistan Requests Scaled-Back U.S. Military Force
Egypt to Open Rafah Border with Gaza
Obama Presses Rejection of Palestinian Statehood Campaign
Obama Praises U.S. Ties to U.K.
Loughner Declared Unfit for Trial
Senate Rejects GOP Budget Bill
Groups Seek Halt to Antibiotic Use in Farm Animals
Activists Confront Chevron at Shareholders Meeting
Greek Demonstrators Protest Austerity Measures
Anti-Gov’t Protests Erupt in Georgia
Husband-Wife Amazonian Activists Killed in Brazil
CBS Pulls Jumbotron Ad Calling for End to Haiti Deportations

Activists Get $50,000 for FBI and St. Paul Police Raid

For Immediate Release: May 26, 2011
Contact: Plaintiff Kris Hermes 510-681-6361

Activists Get $50,000 for FBI & St. Paul Police Raid Prior to 2008 Republican Convention
Preemptive, politically motivated raids are emblematic of police tactics used to suppress dissent

St. Paul, MN -- Three activists and their attorneys won a $50,000 settlement today in a lawsuit that challenged an August 30, 2008 police raid on a St. Paul home in advance of that year's Republican National Convention (RNC). The plaintiffs in the case -- Sarah Coffey, Erin Stalnaker and Kris Hermes -- are giving most of the award to the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, the Institute for Anarchist Studies, and the formation of a national legal defense fund for political activists. The St. Paul house raid was one of several police actions taken against protesters days before the RNC began, including the search and seizure of a central political meeting space, which is also the subject of pending litigation.

"The City of St. Paul and the federal government were forced to pay for their politically-motivated attack on organizers," said Sarah Coffey, one of the plaintiffs. "Rather than spend years in court fighting the government over its political surveillance program, we decided to use settlement money to invest in projects that oppose such repressive tactics." The lawsuit, which was filed in August 2009 and accused the St. Paul Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of violating plaintiffs' First, Fourth and Fourteenth amendment rights, is so far the largest settlement of its kind stemming from the convention protests. "We hope this sends a message to law enforcement officials who would enter homes illegally or suppress political dissent," said Coffey, "there is a cost to their actions."

The raid garnered significant media attention at the time due to an hours-long standoff between 10 activists and residents and a heavily armed police force that had surrounded the duplex. Because the police attempted to raid the home without a search warrant, those inside refused them entry. After allegedly getting verbal authority from a local judge, the police used force to enter 949 Iglehart Avenue and detained everyone inside. The owner, several tenants and activists, including members of the I-Witness Video collective were detained for hours. No illegal items were found, no one was arrested and nothing was visibly seized, although computers and camera equipment were searched.

The search warrant affidavit, which was under seal until a month after the raid in a likely attempt to avoid media scrutiny, relied solely on a confidential informant who made the claim that weapons were being shipped to 951 Iglehart using the U.S. Postal Service. In a sensationalist move, the police also tried to tie property owner Michael Whalen to a defunct 1970s political group, the Symbionese Liberation Army, in order to bolster the warrant's outrageous claim of arms shipments. However, once inside 951 Iglehart, police discovered that the boxes contained only vegan literature. Unsatisfied, police broke through a locked attic door to enter the neighboring but separate 949 Iglehart, which plaintiffs claimed was the operation's true objective.

St. Paul Police Officer David Langfellow was in charge of the operation as a cross-deputized FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) agent. Langfellow testified during a deposition that although the FBI had been surveilling the duplex for more than a week before the convention, the investigation was not targeting Whalen, the main subject of the search warrant affidavit. Langfellow either was not told or refused to reveal details about the underlying investigation, which plaintiffs speculate had nothing to do with the shipment of boxes.

Plaintiffs' attorneys also contributed a portion of the award to the Impact Fund, which provides money to small law firms and nonprofits for lawsuits involving issues of civil rights, environmental justice, and poverty.

Further information:
Settlement agreement:
Lawsuit complaint:
Deposition of JTTF agent Langfellow:
Search warrant affidavit:
AP photo of raid (Matt Rourke):

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Inhumanity: New Tribute CD for Leonard Peltier

For more information, contact the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee at

Showing of COINTELPRO 101 in Oakland

Cointelpro 101 - a new documentary which exposes illegal surveillance, disruption, and outright murder committed by the FBI and other police agencies.

Friday - June 3rd 7pm
Eastside Arts Alliance & Cultural Center

Film screening & program with

Ward Churchill - author and Native American activist
Liz Derias - Malcolm X Grassroots Movement
Ericka Huggins - activist, former political prisoner & leader in the Black Panther Party
Claude Marks - director of the Freedom Archives

Donation $10, $5 youth - no one turned away

Eyewitness Misidentification

Eyewitness misidentification is the single greatest cause of wrongful convictions nationwide, playing a role in more than 75% of convictions overturned through DNA testing.

While eyewitness testimony can be persuasive evidence before a judge or jury, 30 years of strong social science research has proven that eyewitness identification is often unreliable. Research shows that the human mind is not like a tape recorder; we neither record events exactly as we see them, nor recall them like a tape that has been rewound. Instead, witness memory is like any other evidence at a crime scene; it must be preserved carefully and retrieved methodically, or it can be contaminated.

When witnesses get it wrong

In case after case, DNA has proven what scientists already know — that eyewitness identification is frequently inaccurate. In the wrongful convictions caused by eyewitness misidentification, the circumstances varied, but judges and juries all relied on testimony that could have been more accurate if reforms proven by science had been implemented. The Innocence Project has worked on cases in which:

• A witness made an identification in a “show-up” procedure from the back of a police car hundreds of feet away from the suspect in a poorly lit parking lot in the middle of the night.

• A witness in a rape case was shown a photo array where only one photo of the person police suspected was the perpetrator was marked with an “R.”

• Witnesses substantially changed their description of a perpetrator (including key information such as height, weight and presence of facial hair) after they learned more about a particular suspect.

• Witnesses only made an identification after multiple photo arrays or lineups — and then made hesitant identifications (saying they “thought” the person “might be” the perpetrator, for example), but at trial the jury was told the witnesses did not waver in identifying the suspect.

Variables impacting accuracy of identifications

Leading social science researchers identify two main categories of variables affecting eyewitness identification: estimator variables and system variables.

Estimator variables are those that cannot be controlled by the criminal justice system. They include simple factors like the lighting when the crime took place or the distance from which the witness saw the perpetrator. Estimator variables also include more complex factors, including race (identifications have proven to be less accurate when witnesses are identifying perpetrators of a different race), the presence of a weapon during a crime and the degree of stress or trauma a witness experienced while seeing the perpetrator.

System variables are those that the criminal justice system can and should control. They include all of the ways that law enforcement agencies retrieve and record witness memory, such as lineups, photo arrays and other identification procedures. System variables that substantially impact the accuracy of identifications include the type of lineup used, the selection of “fillers” (or members of a lineup or photo array who are not the actual suspect), blind administration, instructions to witnesses before identification procedures, administration of lineups or photo arrays, and communication with witnesses after they make an identification.

More >>

"Stolen Identities: The Impact of Racist Stereotypes on Indigenous People"

OVERSIGHT HEARING on "Stolen Identities: The Impact of Racist Stereotypes on Indigenous People"

Thursday, May 5 2011

View Webcast here.


Chairman Statement


Panel # 1

The Honorable Tex Hall
Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, and Great Plains Tribal Chairman's Association, New Town, ND

Ms. Suzan Shown Harjo
The Morning Star Institute, Washington, DC

Ms. Charlene Teters
Studio Arts, Institute of American Indian Arts Santa Fe, NM

Panel # 2

Ms. Stephanie Fryberg
Associate Professor of Psychology
University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Mr. Chaske Spencer
Actor/ Producer, and Partner
Urban Dream Productions, New York, NY

Mr. Jim Warne
Warrior Society Development, San Diego, CA

News from


Native Sun News: IHS criticized for service in South Dakota (5/25)
Dorgan announces Center for Native American Youth board (5/25)
Conditions on Crow Reservation treacherous after flooding (5/25)
Blackfeet Nation declares emergency due to rising waters (5/25)
Parts of Cherokee Nation report damages from tornadoes (5/25)
Mary Pember: Traditional healers to be part of NIH exhibit (5/25)
Tribal leaders worried about future of Navajo Nation plant (5/25)
Spirit Lake mother confirms identities of two slain children (5/25)
Chairman of Chippewa Cree Tribe pleads guilty to stealing (5/25)
BIA approves United Keetoowah Band land-into-trust bid (5/25)
Ho-Chunk Nation sees more opposition on land-into-trust (5/25)
Peter d'Errico: UN forum looks at the doctrine of discovery (5/25)
Ex-police officer for White Mountain Apache Tribe indicted (5/25)
First Nations police officer charged for assault of teen girl (5/25)
Grand Traverse Band cuts budget amid national recession (5/25)
Menominee Nation launches Let's Move! in Indian Country (5/25)
EPA spending $6M to clean up Navajo Nation uranium site (5/25)
Navajo Nation man pleads guilty for sexual assault charge (5/25)
Opinion: Observe Aboriginal History Month with film series (5/25)
DOJ submits brief to Supreme Court in Rincon gaming case (5/25)
Sheila Morago joins Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association (5/25)
Sycuan Band announces members of gaming commission (5/25)
California Assembly backs Habematolel Pomo compact bill (5/25)
Dry Creek Rancheria makes changes to gaming agreement (5/25)
Witness list for SCIA hearing on Native language education (5/24)
DOJ submits brief to Supreme Court in tribal court dispute (5/24)
Nebraska lawmakers approve tribal tobacco compact bill (5/24)
Father suspected for deaths of two children at Spirit Lake (5/24)
Choctaw Nation to celebrate Choctaw Days at NMAI in DC (5/24)
Peoria Tribe collects donations to help victims of tornado (5/24)
South Dakota governor plans meetings with tribal leaders (5/24)
More headlines...

25 May 2011: Today's Democracy Now!

Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress Dashes Palestinian Hopes of a Just Mideast Peace Agreement

The future of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations remains in doubt after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address Tuesday before a joint session of the U.S. Congress. Netanyahu insisted Jerusalem will not be divided and that Israel’s internationally recognized 1967 borders are "indefensible." He also said Israel must “maintain a long-term military presence along the Jordan River” and condemned the recent Fatah-Hamas reconciliation deal. Netanyahu’s speech came five days after President Obama called for the creation of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, with mutually agreed land swaps. We speak with Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, secretary general of the Palestinian National Initiative. “Netanyahu yesterday blocked every possibility for negotiations for a two-state solution,” Barghouti says. “Practically, he took away any possibility for peaceful resolution, because he wanted to impose unilaterally the outcome on every issue... He wants us to live as slaves in a system of apartheid and segregation.” [includes rush transcript]

“Netanyahu is the Main Obstacle to Peace”: CodePink Activist Disrupts Israeli PM Speech to Congress

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech was warmly received by Democrats and Republicans in Congress on Tuesday. According to ABC News, he received 29 standing ovations during his address—four more than President Obama received during his State of the Union address earlier in the year. However, there was at least one dissenting voice inside the halls of Congress on Tuesday. Rae Abileah, a Jewish-American activist of Israeli descent with the peace group CodePink, disrupted Netanyahu’s speech. Standing in the congressional gallery, she yelled, “No more occupation! Stop Israel war crimes! Equal rights for Palestinians! Occupation is indefensible!” As she screamed, members in the audience tackled her to the ground, and undercover security forces later dragged her outside. She was taken to George Washington University Hospital where she was treated for neck and shoulder injuries. At the hospital, police arrested Abileah and charged her with disorderly conduct for disrupting Congress. Her protest came as part a week-long series of actions organized by CodePink called Move Over AIPAC. We speak to Abileah about why she used nonviolent civil disobedience to disrupt Netanayahu’s speech. [includes rush transcript]

Obama to Make First Presidential Visit to Puerto Rico Since 1961

President Barack Obama has announced he will visit Puerto Rico next month, fulfilling his 2008 campaign promise and making him the first U.S. president to visit to the island since John Kennedy’s trip almost 50 years ago. A task force recently called on the United States to resolve the issue of Puerto Rico’s statehood by 2012. “All the four million people living on the island, as well as those Puerto Ricans who are here in the U.S., are U.S. citizens, but they inhabit a territory that is separate and distinct from the rest of the United States that has its own language, culture and history,” notes Juan Gonzalez, who writes about the country in his newly revised book, Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America. “It’s this identity problem that really is a reflection of the continuing colonial—Puerto Rico is the last major colony of the United States. It’s one of the last remaining colonies in the world.” [includes rush transcript]

“Harvest of Empire”: New Book Exposes Latino History in America as Obama Campaigns for Latino Vote

President Obama’s trip to Puerto Rico was announced at a time when he is making a concerted push to win the Latino vote in 2012. Earlier this month, Obama gave a major address to a mostly Latino audience in El Paso, Texas, calling for immigration reform. Juan Gonzalez joins us to discuss the history of Latinos in the United States and how it relates to U.S. political and military intervention in Latin America. Gonzalez, a Democracy Now! co-host and New York Daily News columnist, has just published an updated edition of his book, Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America. Originally released in 2000, the book explores the stories of Latinos from Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and around the region. We air a few clips from a new documentary in production based on Harvest of Empire. [includes rush transcript]


•Mubarak to Face Trial in Egypt for Protester Deaths
•NATO Continues Strikes on Tripoli; U.S. Bolsters Rebel Ties
•Congress Applauds Netanyahu for Rejecting 1967 Borders
•Tornado Toll Hits 123 in Missouri
•21 Die in Yemen Clashes
•Human Rights Groups: Over 1,100 Killed in Syria Crackdown
•Muhammad Ali Calls for Hikers’ Release in Iran
•U.S. Sanctions Oil Firms for Iran Dealings
•Japan Urged to Widen Evacuation Zone
•Reporter Subpoenaed for Whistleblower Trial of CIA Officer
•Study: Lawmakers Outperform on Stock Investments
•Democrat Scores Upset Victory in N.Y. Congressional Race

Monday, May 23, 2011

2012 elections important for Indian Country

Mark Trahant: 2012 elections important for Indian Country
Monday, May 23, 2011

Canada just finished its national elections and the governing Conservative Party expanded its majority in parliament. Last week Prime Minister Stephen Harper also announced the historic appointment of two Native Canadians to that country’s cabinet.

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo said it was the first time the cabinet would include both an Inuit member and a First Nations member, returning Health Minister Leona Aqlukkaq and Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Peter Penashue.

This Canadian record-breaker is worth thinking about in the United States. There is a deep pool of Native American talent already working at federal agencies such as Bureau of Indian Affairs or the Indian Health Service, so it’s time to see the promotion of an American Indian or Alaska Native to the post of Surgeon General, as a member of the Federal Communications Commission, or better yet, to run another cabinet agency? (We’ll save the “who” on this list for another day.)

But will President Obama even have a second term? And will Indian Country be as excited about Obama in 2012 and it was in 2008?

It’s way too early in the process to answer the first question. We don’t even know yet which of the Republican challengers is the strongest contender making it hard to compare philosophy, record and approach to governing. And, answering the second question is also complicated. Many in Indian Country saw the last election in terms of immediate change. Some are disappointed because President Obama didn’t do this or that. But the U.S. government is slow. Real change needs to be a sustained effort over time. The president has done a solid job working with tribal leaders on core issues, ranging from consultation to protecting the budget from sharp congressional cuts. And the idea that U.S. policy could be worse -- far worse, at that -- is not a message that excites voters.

After the last election, Wizi Garriott, a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, who was then working for the Obama campaign, told Indian Country Today, “For us, the campaign has always been about community empowerment. We’ve tried to put as many resources as possible into Indian communities so we can help our own people organize and empower themselves. That’s what this is all about.”

That’s still what it is about. The type of change that’s required is not going to come from any presidential administration. It will require more people to organize and empower themselves at the community level. To my way of thinking the Obama administration’s policies have complemented that very notion. If that message is clear -- especially if it is accompanied by specific Obama administration policies and actions -- then there is a good chance Indian Country will turn out and vote again.

I write opinion and not straight news. So I will be blunt. It’s critical for Indian Country to re-elect President Obama. We also need a Democratic-controlled Senate (if not House).

But to make that happen it’s important that Indian Country look for reasons to get excited about a second term for President Obama, instead of simply being against a Republican candidate. That excitement (not anger) is what will stir a stronger turnout. This was true in 2008. It was true in Alaska’s Senate race. And it could be true again in 2012.

An energized Indian Country could make a difference and decide the outcome in Alaska, Arizona, Montana, New Mexico, Wisconsin and Washington. This one voting bloc could be the difference in a Republican Senate and a Democratic one.

Why does this matter? The House Republican budget is a template for what that party would like to do to the federal budget. Its impact on Indian Country would be catastrophic. We cannot let this happen -- so winning the next election is critical.

And, like Canada, perhaps a second Obama administration will break the record when it comes to federal cabinet appointments. ‘Course it’ll only take one appointment to do that.

Mark Trahant is a writer, speaker and Twitter poet. He is a member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and lives in Fort Hall, Idaho. Trahant’s new book, “The Last Great Battle of the Indian Wars,” is the story of Sen. Henry Jackson and Forrest Gerard.

23 May 2011: Today's Democracy Now!

Massey Energy Guilty: West Virginia Probe Finds Coal Giant Systemically Failed to Comply with LawAn independent state probe in West Virginia concludes that mining giant, Massey Energy, was responsible for the April 2010 explosion that killed 29 underground coal mining workers. It echoes preliminary findings by federal investigators earlier this year that Massey repeatedly violated federal rules on ventilation and minimizing coal dust to reduce the risk of explosion, and rejects Massey’s claim that a burst of gas from a hole in the mine floor was at fault. The report also notes Massey’s strong political influence, which it uses "to attempt to control West Virginia’s political system" and regulatory bodies. We speak with J. Davitt McAteer, who oversaw the probe and is a former top federal mine safety official. [includes rush transcript]

The Fight over Coal Mining is a “Fight About Democracy”: New Documentary with Robert Kennedy, Jr. Chronicles Campaign to Halt Mountaintop RemovalWe speak with environmental activist Robert Kennedy, Jr., and filmmaker Bill Haney about the new documentary, The Last Mountain, which premiered this year at the Sundance Film Festival. The film chronicles the fight against coal mining across Appalachia and Massey Energy’s devastating practice of mountaintop removal to extract layers of coal. "They have to break the law to do this. They cannot survive in the marketplace without violating the law. They violate labor laws. They violate health and safety laws. And by their own records, they’ve had some 67,000 violations of just one of the environmental statutes," says Kennedy of the coal giant that has tremendous political influence at the state and federal level. “It’s not just about the environmental destruction, it’s also about subverting democracy.” [includes rush transcript]


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Monday, May 16, 2011

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16 May 2011: Today's Democracy Now!

“Sing Your Song”: Harry Belafonte on Art & Politics, Civil Rights & His Critique of President Obama

Legendary musician, actor, activist and humanitarian Harry Belafonte joins us for the hour to talk about his battle against racism, his mentor Paul Robeson, the power of music to push for political change, his close relationship with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the U.S. role in Haiti. A new documentary chronicles his life, called Sing Your Song. The son of Jamaican immigrants, Belafonte grew up on the streets of Harlem and Jamaica. In the 1950s, he spearheaded the calypso craze and became the first artist in recording history with a million-selling album. He was also the first African-American musician to win an Emmy. Along with his rise to worldwide stardom, Belafonte became deeply involved in the civil rights movement. One of Dr. King’s closest confidants, he helped organize the March on Washington in 1963. “Going into the South of the United States, listening to the voices of rural black America, listening to the voices of those who sang out against the Ku Klux Klan and out against segregation, and women, who were the most oppressed of all, rising to the occasion to protest against their conditions, became the arena where my first songs were to emerge,” Belafonte tells Democracy Now! [includes rush transcript]


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Time for a Really New Broom at the Federal Bureau of Prisons

Time for a Really New Broom at the Federal Bureau of Prisons
Margaret Love

Harley Lappin’s impending retirement as Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) provides an opportunity to step back and consider how his successor should be chosen. Since 1964, BOP’s director has been promoted from within the organization, and career management has been a source of institutional pride.

But the experience of the past two decades suggests it is time to try a different approach.

To begin with, there is the question of BOP's extraordinary growth. For the half century after BOP’s establishment in 1930, the federal prison population was stable at about 20,000 prisoners. When I was the liaison between Main Justice and BOP in the late 1980s, there were 45 federal correctional facilities holding about 45,000 prisoners. By then the federal prison population had begun the relentless upward trajectory produced by the abolition of parole, long mandatory sentences, and the federalization of crime.

This perfect storm has quadrupled BOP’s size in just 20 years, so that there are now 180 federal prisons and more than 212,000 federal prisoners.

But the dramatic change in BOP’s size has not been accompanied by the sort of corresponding changes in management philosophy and institutional culture that one might reasonably expect in a growth industry.

Paradoxically, rapid expansion seems to have induced a kind of organizational paralysis. Where BOP's policies and practices were once considered creative and compassionate, now they are regarded as bureaucratic and heartless.

When I worked with BOP some 20 years ago, the federal system was considered the gold standard in progressive American corrections. Not any more. One need look no further than the regulations recently proposed by the Attorney General to implement the Prison Rape Elimination Act, heavily influenced if not dictated by BOP, which reflect a far less enlightened approach to sexual abuse of prisoners than that of many state systems.

BOP's institutional sclerosis is directly attributable to its place within the Department of Justice. For all it has gained in size since 1985, BOP has lost as much in institutional independence.

A career-led BOP has become captive to the Justice Department's prosecutorial agenda, which has closed off many management and policy options available in more independent state systems. For example, it will be hard for BOP to replicate the downsizing that is taking place in many state systems, since proposals to reduce prison population are heresy in a Justice Department dedicated to putting more and more people away for longer and longer periods of time.

Thus, at the same time BOP complains about dangerously overcrowded facilities and budget shortfalls, it chooses to implement policies that lengthen prison terms, refuses to use ameliorative tools given it by Congress, and even turns down requests from federal judges to send terminally ill prisoners home to die.

A few years ago a BOP director was publicly criticized by senior Justice Department officials for allowing too many prisoners to serve short sentences in halfway houses, to enable them to keep their jobs and see their children. The message was not lost on the director who followed her.

It is bad enough that the director of BOP is appointed by the chief federal prosecutor, and is subject to his direction and control. No state prison system is under the same roof with programs whose objectives are in such tension with progressive correctional practices and responsible budgeting.

But what is worse is the absence of any official constituency outside the Justice Department that might allow BOP's director to take a stand against the rising tide of new prison admissions, as many state prison heads have done. As it is, BOP proudly projects continued growth into an indefinite future.

If size alone were the measure of importance, the search for a new BOP director would be as rigorous as the search for a new FBI director. (I vividly recall being told in 1989 that the Little B(BOP) had bumped the Big B(FBI) from the top spot in the Department's budget submission.)

But quite apart from their comparable size, these two agencies are equally responsible in their respective spheres for keeping the American public safe and secure. The Attorney General has declared his commitment to lowering recidivism rates through correctional improvements in state systems. He could effectively test this message in his own house by recruiting a BOP director whose vision of the job extends beyond being a jailer.

So I say that the Administration should scrap the tradition of career management at BOP. It is time to fight fire with fire, and bring in politically accountable leadership to manage the federal correctional establishment into its next stage.

The President should therefore direct the Attorney General to conduct a nationwide search for a new federal prison director, and to make clear that professional independence will be that position’s most prized qualification. If the right candidate can be found, perhaps it will not be necessary to consider a more complete separation of prisons and prosecutors.

Ideally, the new head of BOP would be someone with experience managing a major state correctional system, someone who knows how to shield elected officials in a crisis, woo a stingy legislature, and use a bully pulpit.

The rank and file of skilled BOP professionals will quickly adapt to new management style, and be thrilled to have their agency restored to the respectability it once enjoyed.

But even more than professional "street cred," the new director must have a humane correctional philosophy and the courage to put it into practice when this means going toe-to-toe with presidential appointees who have different ideas. When someone will be made responsible for so many human lives and such a transcendent message, we should expect nothing less than the very best.

ED NOTE: Harley Lappin retired as federal prisons director on May 7 after leading the Bureau of Prisons for eight years. On June 16, he'll be in court to face three drunk driving related charges. Thomas Kane, an assistant BOP director since 1991, is now serving as acting director, overseeing more than 100 federal prisons. Attorney General Eric Holder is being urged to take this opportunity to create real change in the correctional system.

Margaret Love served as Associate Deputy Attorney General in the late 1980s, and as U.S. Pardon Attorney in the 1990s, and worked with BOP management in both capacities.

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