Leonard Peltier’s Thanksgiving 2017 statement and campaign update

© Leonard Peltier

The International Leonard Peltier Defense Campaign has completed its move to Tampa, Florida, closer to the current home of the Native American political prisoner. Details for contacting the new office and an update on the campaign follow this November 23 statement from Peltier:

Greetings my friends, relatives and supporters,

Once again, I can’t tell you how much I am so honored that you would want to hear my words, or should I say read my words. You can’t imagine the thoughts that go through my head at times when everything is still and quiet in the night, when I lay there staring into the dark with daydreams of how things could possibly be better.

I know I’ve said this once before in some past statement, years back. However, it comes to my thoughts how the term “day of mourning” makes me think of a reverse as in the morning of a new day, and how one term refers to those caught up in a deep sorrow and how the other term is a promise of a new beginning with the rising of the sun. In our traditions and culture most tribal nations historically did a mourning period of one year for the deceased.

However, for us during this point in time we are continually losing our people, and especially our young people, and our women who continually disappear with no trace. Ours lands are constantly violated. The air, the water, the soil, all of nature is screaming against the injustice that is continually perpetrated by those who worship money.

So in essence I want to say in the loudest voice and the most sincere voice I can possibly speak: We don’t have a day of mourning. We have generations of mourning year after year. I don’t know what I can do further from where I’m at but in whatever way possible I want to add my scream to the scream of the earth and the scream of our people for justice.

These ecological disasters caused by the wealthy must stop. Those people who are destroying the earth must realize that they ultimately will destroy themselves also. I know many of you have taken part in the prayer vigils and stood strong in the face of wrongful beatings and shootings and various other forms of violence and I commend you for your bravery. Having said that, I want to encourage you to move forward to a new day. With each new day we need to rise to the occasion to defend what is right and do what we can to right what is wrong.

Our enemy is not any person of particular color. Our enemy is those who are ignorant of the reality that we are all an intricate part of the circle of life. We must arm ourselves with the knowledge it takes to bring attention to the wrongness of their thinking, the wrongness of their exploitation of our mother earth, and the wrongness of their mistreatment of the indigenous peoples throughout our lands. I would encourage you to mourn if that is your way and for whatever length of time that is required by your teachings.

However, I sincerely encourage each one of you to take it upon yourself to become a warrior of one. Educate yourself. Find the knowledge it takes to survive and thrive in a good way. And to confront the ignorance of those who are destroying the natural. Confront them in such a way that they will come to know that to destroy the earth, to destroy our people, to continually ignore a philosophy and teachings that allowed this land to exist since the beginning of time in a beautiful natural existence, they will ultimately destroy themselves and all life.

Perhaps I’ve said too much. I don’t know your agenda. Obviously I have more time than you. I want to say in closing, I love you, I love that you’re here, I love that you want to make a difference and I will pray for you always. I further want to say you are making a difference. You have made a difference. Power to the people and the earth.

If you have any questions about donations for my new legal team please call our new office, and join us in the struggle for my freedom to join you here in person, a dream of mine for many years.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse

Doksha, Leonard Peltier

(edited from a campaign email update. Subscribe at whoisleonardpeltier.info)

Campaign Update

Leonard Peltier received a welcome visit from family in October, including a niece, a daughter-in-law and three grandchildren. He was still recovering from emergency heart surgery last summer, and still is waiting for evaluation and treatment of significant hip pain.

In November, a benefit concert for Leonard Peltier was held in Tulsa, Oklahoma, featuring Kris Kristofferson, Jessi Colter, Willie Nelson, Arlo Guthrie, Rita Collidge, Shooter Jennings, Joe Ely, Jamie Johnson, Folk Uke, Peter Coyote and more.

The Campaign is asking for donations to Leonard Peltier’s legal defense fund, which is reviewing the legal record anew for possible action to free Peltier after more than 42 years in prison. Among the avenues being explored are an application for compassionate release due to his poor health.

While in prison, Peltier has become an accomplished painter, and his prints and original paintings are being sold to help raise defense funds. You can view a gallery of available paintings at www.whoisleonardpeltier.info/art/

Contributions should be sent to the new office of the
International Leonard Peltier Defense Campaign (ILPDC)
116 W. Osborne Avenue
Tampa, Fl 33603

National Office: Paulette Dauteuil

Art Director: Kari Ann Boushee