[Ppnews] Letter from Leonard November 5, 2008

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu Nov 6 09:22:58 EST 2008

From: contact at whoisleonardpeltier.info
Date: Wed,  5 Nov 2008 19:30:04 -0800 (PST)

My Relatives and Friends,

Last night a change in this country took place 
that not too long ago many people said would 
never happen. An African-American was elected to 
the White House and by a major landslide, which 
gives him a mandate by the public to fulfill his 
promises. This landslide indicates the people 
have placed their hope with this man they call 
their president for a change in this country.

HOPE. There have been times if I can even recall 
what it really means to have hope that justice is 
right around the corner. I've been mislead and 
disappointed so many times that I would soon see 
justice and to have it denied upon a technicality 
in legal appeals. Or like what happened eight 
years ago. Everyone placed their hope and trust 
with a couple named Bill and Hillary, but we were 
betrayed at the last minute.  I know that many of 
my friends, family and supporters were crushed. I 
began to feel the weight and pressure of a 
lifetime being unjustly imprisoned began to crowd 
me into a corner of my cell and then in my mind. 
But, it was this thing that has been our battle 
cry for so many years, "In the Spirit of Crazy 
Horse". I remembered what he stood for and 
remained a warrior until his last breath. It is a 
strength that we stand upon when we are right. We 
were right to be in Oglala and we were right to 
be prepared to defend ourselves. What wasn't 
right is that a jury never got to hear any of 
this testimony, and the rest of the trial was a 
product of the fabrication and then manipulation 
of the FBI. This spirit of Crazy Horse is a 
spirit of being in total resistance to the wrongs 
perpetuated towards your people, community, 
family and yourself. Some of us called it 
outrage, but that is just merely an emotion 
without resolving the issue. It is when we make a 
conscious choice to try and balance the wrongs in 
this society that we are being compelled by this 
spirit of resistance to stand in defense of the wronged.

That spirit cannot be conquered, and I refused to 
submit and give in when it appeared there may be 
no hope It was because of the letters of support 
and encouragement from so many people that I 
continued on for another eight years. And now 
people seem to feel there is a change blowing in 
the wind and that the election of Obama is a manifestation of that change.

I sincerely hope so, because I am now 64 years 
old and coming up on my 33 year of being confined 
and fighting for justice and my freedom, Obama 
may be my last chance at securing my freedom. If 
there is one thing I learned from earlier 
campaigns on my clemency is that he won't just be 
able to do it by himself. He is going to need 
your support in the form of public opinion on the 
case. That isn't going to happen until we can 
create education and awareness on the 
circumstances of my case across this country and 
send letters. Be a Branch Support Group to help 
create public opinion. My case has to be a 
national issue on justice denied, it may sound 
easy, but it isn't. The FBI has been an opposing 
force in attempting to discredit my cause and 
that of Native people since they focused their 
attention on the American Indian Movement in the 
1970s. When it appeared that Clinton might 
actually grant clemency, the agents went and 
demonstrated at the White House and utilized 
their resources to create doubt in the mind of Clinton.

So in the national awareness goals of the branch 
support groups it is going to be your challenge 
to keep the public interest focused. It is also 
another hope that with a whole generation of 
people who were born after my wrongful conviction 
that there will be a renewed source of energy and actions.

One point that I would like everyone to focus on 
right now is a "30 year law" regarding my 
sentence and parole. At the time I was convicted, the guidelines said:

"Any prisoner, 
shall be released on parole
after serving thirty years of each consecutive 
term or terms of more than forty-five years 
including any life term, whichever is earlier: 
Provided, however, That the Commission shall not 
release such prisoner if it determines that he 
has seriously or frequently violated institution 
rules and regulations or that there is a 
reasonable probability that he will commit any 
Federal, State, or local crime." 28 U.S.C. section 28 U.S.C. §4206(d)

I've served more than 30 years of this sentence 
and have been considered a model prisoner And the 
likelihood of committing any crimes is 
non-existent due to my age and the humanitarian 
work I've pursued to help my people since my 
incarceration. According to this law, they have 
to grant me a parole to my next sentence. But as 
we've learned from the past, we cannot take 
anything for granted so your letters should be 
focused on this law to the parole commission and 
congressional leaders. If the commission complies 
with the letter and spirit of this law, we will 
have made a significant step towards my freedom 
and we will need to maintain and increase this momentum.

The Committee and I have been discussing several 
ideas and projects to make this a pro-active 
campaign. We are currently rebuilding the former 
LPSG's into LPBSG's. This is necessary due to a 
breakdown with the former Leonard Peltier Defense 
Committee. I had to turn to my sister and niece 
to help me rebuild my defense committee from 
scratch. We had no files, records, and 
merchandise. We have not been able to make 
contact with the former coordinator of the LPDC. 
We are still hoping to resolve this issue, but 
until then we needed to keep moving with the campaign.

We still need all of our former contacts and 
supporters to reconnect with us and to update the 
information so that my Committee can handle 
correspondences and contributions. We need 
everyone who has supported me to contact the 
LPDOC and sign onto our list serve so that you 
can be updated with information on progress or 
activities needed in my campaign.

I will need everyone to work with my Committee 
and clear any action with the appropriate people 
within the Committee. It is important that we all 
work together cohesively, instead of scattering 
our efforts or resources. We do not intend to 
discourage ideas or creativity, but we would like 
to incorporate such ideas into a unified larger 
effort and not act prematurely on some plans we 
may have not disclosed due to timing or details being worked out.

Some of the projects we have discussed are 
conducting rides, walks, runs and events across 
the country to create this awareness of my case. 
We are initiating efforts to ask bands and 
artists to host fundraisers in their area. We've 
talked about strategies we could undertake to 
further my cause, but a lot will depend on how 
quickly people come to form my BSG and start organizing in their area.

I also understand that some of us have 
personality issues with other people. I hope that 
many of you can pray or find a way to rise above 
this obstacle and work together for one common 
purpose. I would like to see so many of my 
supporters come together in a show of solidarity. 
If there really is a change in the air, we will 
need each other to bring about change in so many 
other areas. For me it has been about our culture 
and right to be who we are, but foremost it has 
been the children and the next generation. WE 
were supposed to leave a better world behind for 
them and how much have we accomplished? I know 
that somehow and someway my sacrifice will not be 
in vain and that the years I've endured this pain 
of loneliness and suffering in confinement will 
make a better world for those children and coming 
generations. That along with my freedom is my 
hope, but I will not be able to fulfill it 
without you. So take a few minutes and educate 
yourself on the injustices of my case. It may 
shock and outrage you, but you can do something about it, so join us.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,

Leonard Peltier

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

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