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Mendota Mdewakanton Newsletter


Peltier Protestor at White House

Peltier protestor

Story Published: Sep 27, 2009

Story Updated: Sep 25, 2009

It seems like someone ought to let the president know that an American Indian man fasted in front of the White House for one week. Someone ought to say this man sat on a bench in Lafayette Park, starving in a silent protest, not taking even water.

In my ignorance, I went to the park, expecting to find this person by seeing banners or signs, or a group of other Indian people around.

There were no banners. There were no signs. There was no literature to be passed to the public. In fact, I almost gave up. But, uncharacteristic of me, I asked a question of two people who were sitting next to an Indian-looking blanket. And yes, the person I was looking for just stepped away to talk to someone. I left some funds to help cover the cost of his physical journey.

It just seems like someone should tell the White House an Indian man is denying his body food and water, slowly denying his body the ability to sustain life, in a kind of parallel of another Indian man who has been denied his ability to live free.

But so few knew.

So at week’s end, the fast was complete and bread and water was taken.

The silent prayer was sent.

I do not bear witness well, but this seems to be all that is required of me. I am writing this because that is easier than just carrying the noble, but heart-grabbing memory of an Indian man in front of the White House sitting on a bench with the people coming and going, eating lunch, drinking coffee, playing chess, protesting various agendas, and all under the watchful eye of security guards ever circling on bicycles and SUVs, through the heat, the rain, sun and humidity.

Someone should tell the White House there was a Native American man starving for the freedom of Leonard Peltier on their front lawn.