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Mendota Mdewakanton Newsletter

Leonard Peltier’s freedom05 November 2009; 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

> “I would like to ask you why when we speak you do not listen, and
> when you listen, you do not hear, and when you hear us, you do not
> choose to understand what we say. This is one time that I ask you
> to listen carefully and understand what we have to say.”–Frank
> Fools Crow
> *’“’*:-.,_,.-:*’“’*:-.,_,.-:*’“’*:-.,_,.-:*’“’
> * Call to Action *
> What: Peaceful demonstration in support of Leonard Peltier’s freedom
> When: 05 November 2009; 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
> Where: Washington, DC
> President Obama will host his first annual White House Tribal Summit
> on 05 November 2009. The Nations will be given the opportunity to
> interact directly with the president and other top administration
> officials. All of the 564 federally recognized tribes are invited
> to send a representative. This is a prime opportunity to be seen
> and heard on the issue of Leonard Peltier’s wrongful conviction
> and imprisonment. Please plan to attend.
> Supporters will gather in Lafayette Park on Pennsylvania Avenue
> (across from the White House) at 6:00 a.m. Bring signs and banners,
> wear Peltier T-Shirts, etc. From Lafayette Park, supporters will
> walk to the Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street, NW, where
> tribal leaders will assemble for their meeting with President Obama.
> In support of this action, tribal members are asked to (1) urge your
> Tribal Chairpersons to speak to Obama on Mr. Peltier’s behalf – Free
> Peltier NOW; and (2) lobby your Tribal Councils to pass resolutions
> calling for freedom for Peltier, the release of all case-related
> documents still withheld by the Federal Bureau of Investigation
> (FBI), and a congressional hearing on the government’s role in the
> turmoil on Pine Ridge Reservation during the 1970s.
> * Do It and Keep Doing It *
> Clemency is one path to freedom for Leonard Peltier. However, there
> are other issues that deserve as much attention – an Executive
> Review by Attorney General Eric Holder, for example. We’ve pushed
> for a review recently, as you know. But there are other important
> initiatives that we all need to work on:
> –> Congressional Hearing – In the early 70s, the Select Committee to Study
> Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities,
> or the Church Committee, investigated the counterintelligence
> activities of the FBI. The FBI conducted more than 2,000 COINTELPRO
> operations before the programs were officially discontinued in
> April of 1971. (While the programs themselves were discontinued,
> the FBI’s practices that the Church Committee found so objectionable
> were not.) The Church Committee had intended to investigate the
> American Indian Movement as another dissident group targeted by the
> Bureau. Witnesses had been investigated by congressional staff and
> called to provide testimony. However, one day after the firefight
> at Oglala, the Church Committee cancelled the hearings. We need
> to work hard to see that official misconduct in Indian Country –
> past and present – is finally addressed.
> –> FOIA Documents – The FBI continues to withhold tens of thousands
> of documents related to the RESMURS investigation. These documents
> are over 25 years old and, at minimum, should be turned over to
> the National Archives. Why are the documents important? You have
> all heard about information uncovered after Mr. Peltier’s trial.
> Given the nature of that evidence -the withheld ballistics report,
> for example – there is every reason to expect that other evidence
> is contained in the documents that may allow Mr. Peltier to appeal
> his conviction.
> On his first full day in office, President Obama signed an Executive
> Order with regard to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). He
> encouraged accountability through transparency, and said FOIA should
> be administered with a presumption of openness. Due to subsequent
> guidelines established by AG Holder, the Peltier Legal Team may
> succeed at getting Peltier documents released. But the attorneys
> need your help to make that happen.
> We host online petitions on these issues, of course. We urge
> you to sign them. That’s easy. However, petitions are not
> as effective as letters and phone calls to your senators and
> representative in Congress, or to the congressional committees and
> subcommittees responsible for oversight of government agencies and
> their activities. Mr. Peltier needs everyone to work hard toward
> achieving movement in the above areas.
> You’ll find Guidance on the above issues on our home page at
> . We’ll provide more information in
> our upcoming digests.