A statement on the #PeltierNotPipelines Days of Action, Feb 26/27
Organizers with Sabal Trail Resistance were among many across the country who anticipated that Leonard Peltier would be walking among us after January 20 this year, sharing his wit, wisdom and experience of serving over four decades in prison as a result of his commitment to struggle for the rights of indigenous people and respect for the land.
As we enter the start of 44th anniversary of the 71-day Wounded Knee Stand-off on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, we ask that people take action in these next two months to renew support efforts for Leonard Peltier. Though Peltier’s incarceration did not begin directly resulting from this stand-off, his arrest 2 years later on Pine Ridge stemmed from the same tensions that AIM was responding to there.
Some of us only recently learned of Leonard from seeing and hearing his name among the NoDAPL resistance at Standing Rock, others among us have been following his life through his words in books and interviews for decades now.
Peltier often spoke of the inseparable connection between social and environmental justice, and his words ring truer than ever today, as he sits caged in the largest federal prison factory in the U.S., surrounded by rock mines and now, possibly the Sabal Trail pipeline, if it is not stopped.
Last month, after a massive outcry for clemency, Peltier watched one president deny his release, and days later, the next president ram pipelines through the territory of his people, despite the long and bloody battles at Standing Rock over the past year.
On Feb 9th, Peltier shared these words that would be posted publicly by his International Defense Committee: “…[We] have to tell the Clinton’s, the Obama’s, to get lost. [W]e will not allow them to come in and disrupt our movement. They have showed us what they are all about and are no different then the right wingers who came and stole what little rights as free peoples (I know which was few) we have have had and won over the past 50-60 years…”
With our rally at Coleman and our actions to stop the Sabal Trail pipeline this week, we aim to honor Leonard Peltier, and remind the world that though he remains locked up, his spirit and his determination continues to inspire us and give us courage. And when we are victorious over the oil and gas companies polluting the water, disrespecting treaties and tearing apart communities with drugs and violence, that victory will also belong to him.
While our desire and demand is to have Leonard Peltier free, we also know that we must also take actions to improve the conditions of his daily life inside prison. To this end, we join others in his global community of support in making this urgent request of the U.S. Government and its Bureau of Prisons. We ask that Leonard:
(1) be placed in a lower security facility in the federal prison system;
(2) that he be moved to a prison closer to his family and community, and
(3) he is given immediate access to appropriate medical treatment in facility that can address his needs as a matter of urgency until he is granted release.
But it may be better to hand deliver them during a solidarity demonstration at a regional BOP offices or your local federal building.
Leonard can be contacted at the following address:
LEONARD PELTIER #89637-132
USP COLEMAN I
P.O. BOX 1033
COLEMAN, FL 33521
Please send him an outpouring of support during these 71 days of the Wounded Knee ’73 anniversary.
Legitimate media affiliates may contact USP-Coleman directly. Be sure to reference Leonard’s prison identification number—#89637-132.
Point of Contact:
ATTN: Public Information Officer
P.O. Box 1023
Coleman, FL 33521