JUSTICE AT LAST???
PRAYER VIGIL at the White House - this Sunday
Dec 17th, 2pm - 5pm
Sidewalk north of White House (the Lafayette Park side)
The Peltier Freedom Rally at the United Nations (NYC) this past weekend was a
*huge* success! The estimate of people was between 4,000 and 5,000 people, and
took up 7 city blocks. Great speeches were given by John Trudell, Peter
Mathiessen, Jennifer Harbury, Harvey Arden, Jean Day, Ernie Stevens Jr, Bill
Means, members of the Peltier family, David Chief, and more.
NOW, IT'S TIME TO FOLLOW UP. Twice this month, Clinton has publicly *PROMISED*
to render a decision on Leonard's clemency before he (Clinton) leaves office.
Clinton is most likely to make his decision next week, Dec 18th - 22nd
(traditionally, the week before Christmas is when clemencies and pardons are
granted by the President).
Last week, I was talking on the phone with Shirley Tayac (whose husband Billy
Tayac is the Chief of the Piscataway Tribe), and Shirley mentioned that she and
Billy had been talking about the need for having a demonstration event for
Peltier at the White House -- in addition to the Peltier demonstration in NYC
this past weekend. Shirley suggested that this event at the White House should
be a quiet, peaceful prayer vigil, and would serve as a follow-up 'companion
event' to the NYC rally. I agreed to take the initiative to organize the
Prayer Vigil, and acquire the permits from the Natl Park Service.
Because this is a spiritual event, we are inviting representatives from ALL
faiths and religious traditions to participate in offering prayers, songs, and
ceremony. If you know of any clergy or lay representatives from *any* faith /
religious tradition that would like to participate, please notify me ASAP:
firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-997-9016 (home)
Particularly, anyone associated with a traditional drum that would be willing
to lead an honoring song, please notify me.
IMPORTANT REMINDER: this is a Prayer Vigil, *not* a demonstration (the time
for that was last week in NYC). This will be a quiet, calm, peaceful event.
As such, neither alcohol, drugs, nor boisterous / confrontational attitudes are welcome.
PLEASE FORWARD TO OTHER POTENTIAL SUPPORTERS
DON'T FORGET: Please call the White House Comment Line!
Once connected, hit '0' to avoide the automated survey, and then when you reach
a human, tell the comment line worker your name and what state you live in, and
then POLITELY urge / encourage Clinton to release Peltier. If you wish, you
may also *briefly* give reasons why. For a primer on some issues you may wish
visit the websites listed below.
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homepage, LPSG (northern Maryland):
For an extensively documented, more detailed coverage of the case, see the Peltier Defense Committee's official website: www.freepeltier.org
(see menu: "Who is Leonard Peltier?" "Peltier FAQ" etc.)
List of notable supporters & U.S. Congresspersons:
Leonard Peltier's Clemency Is Being Decided RIGHT NOW:
IT'S NOW OR NEVER TO DO YOUR PART!!
Please Call the White House's Public Comment Line EVERY DAY now thru December 1st -- just 15 days! 202-456-1111
(For instructions, scroll down this message to "Instructions:")
On Tuesday November 7th, in a public radio interview broadcast live around the country, President Clinton confirmed that Leonard's clemency petition has FINALLY reached his office, and Clinton PROMISED he will definitely render a decision one way or another before he leaves office in January (just 60 days away).
However, the need to increase the public pressure is more immediate, since clemency actions are almost always issued the week before Christmas - just one month away. (And given Clinton's penchant for symbolism and images, quite possibly a decision is being considered RIGHT NOW, with the possibility of announcing it for Thanksgiving holiday just next week!!)
Congratulations to everyone who has worked so hard the last many years for Leonard. Your continual pressure has forced the Justice [sic] Department to quit dragging their heels, and has brought this case right up to Clinton's desk.
But now we must work harder than ever for the next few weeks. We are down to the wire, and this is literally a matter of life and death -- because it looks like Bush will be the new President, and you know what *that* means for clemency for Leonard. Leonard may not survive 4 more years of abuse until we can elect another President with any courage.
It is now or never for telling the White House how we feel about the case.
We are asking people to call EVERY SINGLE DAY to the White House for the next 15 days (up through December 1; we will send out new information then).
Over the years, White House insiders have suggested that Clinton is favorable toward releasing Leonard, but he is so calculatingly Macchiavellian, his courage to do the right thing may depend on whether or not he believes he has the support of public opinion behind him.
The FBI's propaganda machine has initiated their own phone campaign to the White House protesting clemency. WE MUST DROWN THEM OUT. Leonard's support across country is *huge*, but we must remind the White House how huge it is, and make sure we make ourselves heard, more than ever.
****** INSTRUCTIONS: *******
(Quick Note: Whether you call the phone line, send a fax-letter, or mail a postcard, you may wish to review the details in the brief overview that is attached to this message, to get some ideas of what you might wish to say. The LPDC website: www.freepeltier.org also contains a huge amnount of details about the case.)
To reach the White House Comments Line, just call: 202-456-1111.
You will get a recording (an automated generic opinion survey), but you can skip it by dialing "0" for the live people.
You may get an operator who seems very interested in talking, or someone
who does not want to talk at all and doesn't care. Don't worry about it iff they don't seem interested, because it doesn't matter -- whomever answers your call must tally the total at the end of the day and send the numbers upstairs to Mr. Clinton.
Keep the message COURTEOUS and straightforward.
1. You should begin by first identifying yourself (name) and the state where you live. You may also wish to include some additional information about yourself (keep it brief) such as job title, your political party, your tribe or nation, military service, etc. Here's an example of how you might begin:
"My name is James Larson, and I am a registered voter in
Chattanooga Tennessee. I am a landscaper, and a Marine
2. Then, explain that you want Clinton to immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Leonard Peltier from prison (i.e., grant him 'executive clemency'.)
Although you may end your call at that point (if you wish) with a courteous 'Thank You", we encourage you to briefly and calmly give your reasons WHY you want Clinton to release Peltier. For example, here are some possible points to mention:
* Explain that Mr.Peltier never got a fair trial because the FBI coerced
witnesses, and illegally concealed the ballistics test reflecting his innocence.
* Remind the President that the federal prosecutors have admitted publicly, on the record, that they did NOT prove that Peltier committed the crime that he was convicted of, that THEY DON'T KNOW who did commit that crime, and that they don't even know what role Peltier may have played in the events of that day.
* Mr.Peltier especially deserves clemency because of his incredible
record of humanitarian work he has done while behind bars, like sponsoring a Native scholarship program, adopting children in Central America, supporting battered women's centers and substance abuse programs, and sponsoring an annual Christmas clothing and toys drive for the children of Pine Ridge.
* Time is running out to resolve this national tragedy, because Peltier
now suffers from diabetes, a heart condition and high blood pressure.
* Releasing Mr.Peltier will be an important first step in national reconciliation between the United States government and the Native American people of this country.
FAX: If you wish to write as well as call, the White House fax number is
202-456-2461. (Please keep your fax-letter to just one page; don't forget your name and address, since anonymous letters are pretty much ignored.)
POSTCARDS: The Post Office sells blank, pre-paid pre-stamped postcards for 20 cents each. These are convenient for the White House to tally, since they don't have to open an envelope, and they save you 13 cents each. Mail them to:
President Bill Clinton
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington DC 20500
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Leonard Peltier Defense Committee
PO Box 583
Lawrence, KS 66044
To subscribe to the LPDC e-mail newsletter, send a blank message to:
Peltier's case has been "under review" by the Pardon Attorney for more than 77 months now - which means the Justice Department has avoided dealing with it for more than THREE times as long as they have ever taken to process any clemency case.
BUT.... within the past 2 weeks, a rumor was reported that President Clinton recently asked the U.S. Pardon Attorney's office for their review of Peltier's executive clemency appeal, meaning official action may FINALLY be in the works.
To further substantiate this rumor, the FBI has within this past week suddenly issued a barrage of anti-Peltier propaganda to national newspapers. In these press releases and Letters to the Editor, these FBI officials have stated that they are "aware that President Clinton may be considering releasing Peltier before leaving office late this year." Since the FBI is an agency within the Justice Department, it si very likely that their information is reliable, and that the rumor of upcoming White House action on the Peltier case -- FINALLY -- is true.
My guess is that if positive action is taken, it will be after the November election, so that it will not affect the election. (Also, grants of pardon / clemency are traditionally issued in the week before Christmas)
THIS WINTER MAY BE LEONARD'S BEST CHANCE FOR JUSTICE!!
We must raise this issue back into the public consciousness, and recruit more citizens to express their outrage to the White House, to put the pressure of public opinion on the President (as well as give him the popular support he needs on this issue to counter the FBI's opposition).
It is well known that President Clinton wants to leave a legacy of being strong on civil rights and racial issues, and that he considers himself to be strongly sympathetic toward Indian issues. Clinton has close relationships with more than a few who support Peltier's release (Leon Panetta, Bill Richardson, Ron Dellums, etc.) Clinton has shown his willingness once already to stand up to the FBI, by granting clemency to the wrongly sentenced Puerto Rican Independenistas.
Al Gore's position is unknown. If George Bush is elected, I guarantee there won't be another chance for at least 4 more years.
THIS WINTER MAY BE LEONARD'S BEST CHANCE FOR JUSTICE!!
For standing up to FBI-sponsored terrorism and oppression, Leonard Peltier has now spent more than 24 years in prison.
For having selflessly risked his own life to defend traditional Indian people from murder and slaughter, he has sacrificed 8,845 days of his life.
If you've ever been inclined toward fighting injustice, PLEASE consider sacrificing just a day (or even just a half day) of your own, to end this 24 year injustice.
THIS WINTER MAY BE LEONARD'S BEST CHANCE FOR JUSTICE!!
In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, Dragging Canoe, Tecumseh (and scores of other patriots),