[Ppnews] Leonard Peltier's Commemoration Statement for Ireland Hunger Strike of 1981

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Aug 14 08:35:09 EDT 2006

Leonard Peltier's Commemoration Statement for Ireland Hunger Strike, of 1981

Again I must say 'my relatives' because we are all related in one way or
another by natural design of the Creator and by our common concerns for the
earth and freedom. I have to acknowledge that another year has passed since
my illegal imprisonment; thirty years have gone by while I remain illegally

It seems that this year is one for reflection. Relatives from struggles
around the world are stopping to reflect on the lives of friends, comrades,
and loved ones who are now gone. During the past thirty years I have seen
many people leave my life and journey to the spirit world. I have learned
from the many people that have come into my life the true meaning of
friendship and solidarity. With that, I must salute and address my friends,
brothers and comrades in Ireland. I especially want to express my
condolences to the families of the Hunger Strikers from a quarter-century
ago. I want to send my warmest greetings to my friend Gerry Adams. I also
want to salute each of my friends throughout Ireland that have supported me
for so many years. I pray that you will continue to lend me your support and
consider me your friend.

At this time, my friends and relatives in Ireland are suffering loss, but
also celebrating the memories of those from their communities who have now
gone to the spirit world. Twenty five years ago you lost ten young men in
the prime of their lives. Men who would have been starting families or
graduating from university if they'd been born into a more just society
suffered in the most inhumane way possible. When Bobby Sands died on May
5th, 1981, millions of people from around the world joined their voices
together to condemn the British government that allowed him to parish. I
joined my voice to theirs. I fasted in solidarity with the Hunger Strikers
for forty days during that dreadful year. Fasting is something that I have
done many times, when I was a free man, while participating in our sacred
Sun Dance. The sufferings of our relations in Ireland are pains that we as
Indian people know all too well. Our suffering, our fasting and our
struggling links us together with a common bond. That is why I say to you,
there in Ireland, you are my relatives. As your relative, let me join my
thoughts, tears, and prayers with yours as you commemorate your fallen,
especially those who died on Hunger Strike in 1981. My family and your
families, my pain and your pains, my peoples struggle and the struggles of
your people are all connected. we truly are all related.

Thirty-one years ago the Lakota elders asked for help and protection from
the GOON squad that was terrorizing the Lakota Nation. I, along with many
others, responded to that call. I simply responded to a call to help others
protect our lands, culture and traditions. I ask that you not loose focus on
the real issue, which is that people suffering extreme hardships need not
be. Even today we see children, women and elders being murdered in Pine
Ridge and Belfast, on Big Mountain in Navajo country and in Basque country
in Spain. and all in the name of justice. From Chiapas to El Salvador and
all around this Mother Earth lands are being taken, cultures are being
robbed of their languages, and the extermination of traditions are occurring
on a daily basis.

I must share with you that, as the years have passed, every day I hear
routinely the sounds of my cell door opening in the morning and closing at
night. Yet, I have not forgotten what I was asked to do when I was asked to
respond to the call our Elders sent- a cry for help. Now I once again must
call on you for your help. I ask you to join your voices and efforts with
mine. A young Cheyenne man by the name of Dave Bailey is our Leonard Peltier
Defense Committee representative for Ireland and England. I ask that you
help him in his efforts to highlight my case, and search for solutions in
that part of the world that will eventually mean I never again have to hear
the sounds of cell doors opening and closing. I ask you to do all you can to
support his efforts, my efforts, and the efforts of all Indian people. I
humbly thank you for the warmth, hospitality, and support that you have
shown our people over the years when they have come into your community. As
you commemorate your fallen and your dead, remember that our suffering is
linked to yours. We mourn with you and pray for you. as relatives.

Mitakuye Oyasin (We are all related)

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse

Leonard Peltier

Leonard Peltier Defense Committee

The Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 863-9977
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