[Pnews] Statement of Love & Respect from Leonard Peltier - Freedom Riders Reach White House After 1, 500 Mile Spirit Ride

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Nov 21 10:54:53 EST 2018

letterhead 2018 jpg 

Dear Friends and Family,

It has been hectic here at the National Office, and I want to bring you 
all up to date on our needs for financial help. We need help on paying 
Leonard’s legal fees for his transfer and his First Amendment case in 
Washington State. We are estimating that we will need to raise $5,000 by 
the end of 2018. For supporters that need a tax deduction we are a 501c3 
organization and will happily send you a tax statement for 2018 tax year.

Leonard requested a transfer from USP Coleman, FL to FCI Oxford, Wis. 
This transfer would place Leonard at the closest federal facility to his 
family. It would be a 7/8 hour drive rather than the 24 hour drive to 
see Leonard in Coleman, FL. He has been given a clean bill of health by 
the Dr. who did his heart surgery last September, and he has completed 
his management program at Coleman which makes him eligible for this 
transfer. However, the prison authorities say that he has a medical hold 
and cannot be transferred at this time. Leonard is going to appeal this 
through the prison legal system. If they deny his request for a transfer 
we will file in federal court for the transfer to take place. We hope to 
have more information on this situation and will be requesting your 
support for letters in the near future!

Leonard’s 1st Amendment case with Attorney Lawrence Hildes, of 
DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON} is proceeding. A small summary from attorney 
Hildes follows: “After reviewing the evidence and the arguments, a 
conservative Federal Judge in Tacoma denied the State’s dismissal Motion 
holding that, unless the art is owned by the government, the right to 
control its message belongs to the artist, that it is Unconstitutional 
to censor artwork or other expression because the artist/speaker is 
controversial,-in fact, that is where the First Amendment protection is 
greatest, and that the exhibition was advertised to the public, as was 
Leonard’s participation, and the public was encouraged to attend the 
exhibition and its various speaking and cultural events, and, that 
therefore, it was a public forum with full protection for Leonard.” We 
are awaiting a trial date early next year, and attorney Hildes plans to 
have Leonard brought to Tacoma for the trial. See you all there!!

On another positive note, Leonard’s AIM brother, Edgar Bear Runner from 
Pine Ridge will be coming to visit him the first weekend of December and 
be back in Pine Ridge for the swearing in and Inauguration of his 
grandson Julian Bear Runner, as Tribal Chairman of the Oglala Lakota 
Sioux Nation.

In closing is Leonard’s statement to all his friends, family, and 
supporters on the National Day of Mourning, November 22, 2018.

Thank you for your support in our effort to FREE Leonard Peltier.
Paulette, National Office

Statement of Love & Respect from your brother, Leonard Peltier

Greetings Sisters, Brothers, Elders, Friends and Supporters.

Well here it is, sorry to say, another year, and I'm still writing to 
you from a prison cell. I am still in pain from my illnesses with no 
knowledge of whether I will ever get treatments for them. BUT I'm alive 
and still breathing hoping, wishing, praying for not just my pains, but 
for all Native Nations and the People of the World who care and have 
positive feelings about what is happening to Mother Earth and against 
the evils committed by Wasi’chu in their greed for HER natural resources .

It doesn't seem as if any changes for the good or safety of Mother Earth 
will happen soon. But the good hearted People are fighting back, and 
some good People are winning in the struggles to beat back some of this 
evil and to make THE Changes, the safety networks, we need for our 
grandchildren and great grandchildren so that they will be able to live 
happy successful lives, at least decent lives, that most of the poor 
underprivileged in my generation never got to experience or enjoy in our 
short lives.

SO, I sit back and look at the world, and I wonder if I will ever get to 
see the outside world again, free from this prison cell? At 74 it is not 
looking too good for that to happen. BUT I keep my hopes alive and pray 
as hard as I can that it will happen. If not, when they bury me I want 
to be laid to rest face down and with a note pinned to my ass with the 
words in large bold letters, ‘KISS MY ASS!!’… just in case someone wants 
to study my bones years from now :)!!

On a more pleasant issue one of my grandaughters Ashley is in college at 
University of Arizona, Flagstaff, and she wants to be a Medicine Woman! 
How awesome is that? My Baby, a doctor! Wow! How proud am I! You would 
not believe just how much I am! I could use a little help now and then 
for her; don't send it to me, but send it to ILPDC earmarked for her use 
ONLY !!. She is going on a long hard journey, so she will need help now 
and then. One day, if she continues her studies to be a Medicine Woman, 
I know things can change as time goes by, but if she makes it, she will 
be an enormous help to Native Nations’ hospitals.

My friend Harvey Arden passed yesterday on Saturday, November 17, 2018 
5:20 P:M. He was a very good and kind man who loved Native People and 
the poor and sick. We are all going to miss him. I hope he has a good 
safe journey to the Spirit World, and I hope our Relatives will all be 
there to greet him with open arms; that would be very pleasing to him. 
See you soon, my Kola.

Politically we are finally making gains in Congress; two great Native 
ladies made it in the House of Representatives! They are Shanice Davids, 
Ho Chunk of Wisconsin, for Kansas and Deb Haaland, Laguna Pueblo, for 
New Mexico. On Pine Ridge MY nephew Julian Bear Runner made it as 
President of the great Lakota Nation! I'm hearing more states are doing 
away with Columbus Day! Hell, we may just win the War for Survival yet.:)

My last thoughts on this day, that we Native People call a Day of 
Mourning, are for my Sisters’ and Brothers’ family by blood and by AIM 
that are now in the Spirit World, and to them I say Lila Pilamaya, thank 
you for your love and work for The People.

My thoughts are also with the youth such as the Water Protectors and all 
people young and old who are working to protect Mother Earth. I hope 
someday in the near future to be with you and part of this march and 
join you in the feast prepared by Native People and wonderful supporters 
who have joined together today to honor our Ancestors.

In The Spirit of Crazy Horse
Leonard Peltier



©2018 ILPDC | 116 W Osborne Avenue Tampa, FL 33603


  November 6, 2018

  Leonard Peltier Freedom Riders Reach White House After 1,500 Mile
  Spirit Ride

I’m not used to being looked at by a horse. Being Tlingit, born in 
Alaska and raised in Seattle, I know virtually nothing about them. So as 
I stood in the circle of people across from the White House on Thursday 
at the Leonard Peltier Freedom Riders rally, I couldn't help noticing 
their gazes. <https://newsmaven.io/indiancountrytoday/>

The feeling wasn't at all unpleasant and was even a little exhilarating. 
Their eyes have a childlike quality I found endearing. I could also 
sense a certain wisdom that seemed to come from a lifetime of observing 

The five horses present had carried their riders all the way from 
Minnesota to Coleman, Florida, where Leonard Peltier, the 74-year-old 
Anishinaabe activist and American Indian Movement member is in a maximum 
security prison serving two consecutive life sentences for murder. From 
there they carried their riders to Washington, DC to bring a message and 
a blessing to President Trump to free that aging warrior. The entire 
journey was over 1,500 miles.

*It all began with a dream*

The police would not allow the riders to mount their horses at the 
rally, so they stood beside them holding their reins as the group’s 
spokesman, Frank Archambault, made some opening remarks.

“We come here today to pay tribute to a brother of ours who's been in 
prison for almost 43 years. Today we finish our journey that started on 
July 28. This whole thing started over a man’s dream. It was to ride 
across the country for another man’s dream of freedom.”

Ken FourCloud was the man with the dream. He had ridden in previous 
Spirit Rides with the Dakota 38 riders, who every year travel from Lower 
Brule, South Dakota to Mankato, Minnesota in remembrance of the original 
Dakota 38. Those Dakota warriors were hanged simultaneously on a huge 
scaffold in Mankato in 1862 by order of President Lincoln. They had 
risen up and fought for their people and the government captured and 
made examples of them.

Both Leonard and Ken are descended from the original Dakota 38, so Ken 
spoke with his friend and longtime Peltier supporter Julia Fike and 
together they came up with the idea of holding a similar Spirit Ride for 
Leonard. But instead of ending in Mankato, this one would start from 
there and would end three months later in Washington, DC, where I now 
stood with the horses eyeing me and the rest of the gathering.

*Words from an Ojibwe elder, and from a horse*

The horses were skittish at first but settled down as the next speaker, 
Mary Lyons, spoke. Mary is an author, activist and Ojibwe elder from 
Minnesota who flew in with family members to honor the arrival of the 
Freedom Riders.

“I’m an elder, a great grandmother, a grandmother, a mother, a sister, 
an auntie, a friend. I speak all across the globe because I too was in 
the movement when it began. It still pains me that First Nations people, 
the Anishinaabe, the people of this land, are still hidden within these 
walls and our truth is not told. Our brother Leonard, amongst all our 
other relatives, during that time at Wounded Knee, sacrificed themselves 
knowing that we were the absent people of this land, that we would 
suffer. And they chose to surrender themselves, no matter what pack of 
lies would be bestowed on them.”

At that moment, Ken’s horse, Black Rose, called out loudly. “This is 
true!” her neighing seemed to say. “This is indeed true!” she said in 
the language of the horse people. Black Rose is a matriarch among the 
Freedom Rider’s horses. She is the mother of one of them, Tate Mani, 
which means Wind Walker, who was born during a blizzard last year.

*The spiritual importance of the horse and rider*

Mary Lyons continued. “Even our relatives, the four-legged, know this is 
true, because they too were swept from their lands to be brought onto 
our land and for our people to care for them as if they were our own 
brothers and sisters, and not a work animal. So I say thank you,” she 
said to Black Rose. “You see, there are visions all around us.”

I realized the horses were not dumb animals being used simply as quaint 
modes of transportation. The Anishinabe view them in a sacred way. Their 
four legs represent the four directions. Their heads represent above. 
Their tails represent below. So the rider sits at the center where all 
things are in balance and related. And as the horse and rider move 
forward, they create power. It is this power, created during the 
1,500-mile journey from Mankato, that the Freedom Riders delivered to 
the orange-haired man in the White House. And when Black Rose called 
out, I knew that power was real.

“Our brother has suffered long enough,” Mary Lyons continued. “He's not 
coming out to start something that he couldn't have started in there. 
All he wants is peace. He wants to come home to his relatives, to his 
land, to this place we call freedom. But if this place we call freedom 
is for all, release Leonard Peltier!”

*How Leonard’s example has touched me*

After the rally I took the subway home and thought about what Leonard 
meant to me. In 1992 and 1993 I was in prison for drug offenses. I 
joined a Native spirituality group called the Tribal Sons and attended 
sweat lodge. I didn't know who Leonard was back then.

But others in our circle did. They spoke of him with respect. They said 
he had been in a 1975 firefight with the FBI on Native land in which two 
agents, Ronald Williams and Jack Coler, as well as AIM activist and 
Coeur d'Alene warrior Joe Stuntz were killed. They said Leonard became 
the scapegoat for the FBI deaths and was doing hard time for it. To 
Native convicts like me, that made Leonard a hero, someone who stood up 
for his people and was suffering in prison for it.

Prison is hard. No one knew that more than us. That's why we stuck 
together. To this day I still keep in touch with my brothers in the 
Tribal Sons. The oppression of Native inmates continues. My friend 
Robbie, who only last month got married to a good woman while inside, is 
now sitting in the hole for the next six months on a trumped up drug 
possession offense lodged by a racist guard.

But Leonard’s done 43 years of hard time. And he's done it for us, for 
Native people everywhere, because we all suffer behind the walls of 
oppressive racism and colonialism.

May the power of the Leonard Peltier Freedom Riders: Ken FourCloud, 
Frank Archambault, Elvis Provost, Dillon Robert, Gregory Payne, Doug 
Kemp, Bobby Belas and several others and their horses: Black Rose, 
Raven, Wakinyan, Cannonball, Tate Mani, Lefty and Sasha, free us all.


Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 https://freedomarchives.org/
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