FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

We All Stand Before Peltier’s Parole Board

by HARVEY WASSERMAN

Native American activist Leonard Peltier has been in prison for more than 12,226 days, more than 33 years. His is one of the longest ordeals of any political prisoner in human history.

With him, our souls have suffered. Our bodies ache for his freedom.

Today, July 28, 2009, Peltier goes before the Federal Parole Commission in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. As you read this, all over the world, beginning in the wee hours of the morning in the South Pacific, prayer vigils, peace marches, ecumenical gatherings, group chantings and all forms of individual meditation accompany this hearing. It is one of the most important tests of the new Obama Administration.

Peltier was charged more than a third of a century ago with the murder of two FBI agents. The circumstances of the prosecution, and the legal history of the case, involve thousands of pages of missing evidence, compromised witnesses and procedures so twisted as to stagger the imagination and leave any sense of fair play and reasonable jurisprudence buried in the dust.

Through it all, Peltier has maintained his dignity and strength with astonishing grace. He will be 65 years old in September, having spent more than half his life behind bars. His body is wracked with prison-related ailments. He has great grandchildren he has never seen.

Yet his writings remain politically astute, spiritually compelling and unfailingly compassionate.

Supporters believe the time is “favorable” for his release. The four-member Parole Commission that will decide on his plea is chaired by Isaac Fulwood, Jr., originally appointed by George W. Bush, elevated to the Chair in May by Barack Obama.

Obama himself has the power through various legal means to end Peltier’s torture and make him a free man.

Peltier’s defense attorney, Eric Seitz, has expressed optimism that the Parole Board will grant Peltier his freedom, especially given Leonard’s exemplary behavior in prison, the utter collapse of the case against him, his health, age and other factors, not least of which may be a changed political and cultural climate. But Seitz has warned of previous disappointments in an interview with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now .

Millions of supporters worldwide have suffered with Leonard over the decades as with no other political prisoner. His case embodies the tortured relationship between the US Government and the Native American community, says Tony Gonzalez (of the Comca’ac-Chicano Tribe) of the American Indian Movement founded, he says, 41 years ago today.

Meaningful steps toward healing that relationship will be very hard to take until Leonard Peltier is free to re-join his family.

This is a critical moment in the Obama Era. Bill Clinton was thoroughly briefed by numerous people very close to the Peltier case, but did not free him. Constitutional scholar Barack Obama is also well aware of this horrific imprisonment.

Peltier’s freedom marks a monumental corner that must be turned. For the millions who have ached through the terrible injustice and sheer physical and spiritual pain of this imprisonment, it is a moment of liberation that must come.

Only a strongly supportive political climate can make it happen. Call your Senators and Representatives as well as the White House and Parole Commission, newspapers and radio shows, web friends and neighbors down the street. Meditate, pray, march, dance, sing, shout, laugh, cry….do whatever you can to help move this man out of his jail cell and into the open air after 33 hellish years.

This imprisonment must end. Rarely has it been more true that freeing a single human being will help free us all.

HARVEY WASSERMAN is the author of SOLARTOPIA! Our Green-Powered Earth, A.D. 2030, is at www.solartopia.org. He can be reached at: Windhw@aol.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harvey Wasserman wrote SOLARTOPIA! Our Green-Powered Earth. His Green Power & Wellness Show is at www.prn.fm

Weekend Edition
April 29-31, 2016
Andrew Levine
What is the Democratic Party Good For? Absolutely Nothing
Roberto J. González – David Price
Anthropologists Marshalling History: the American Anthropological Association’s Vote on the Academic Boycott of Israeli Institutions
Robert Jacobs
Hanford, Not Fukushima, is the Big Radiological Threat to the West Coast
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
US Presidential Election: Beyond Lesser Evilism
Dave Lindorff
The Push to Make Sanders the Green Party’s Candidate
Ian Fairlie
Chernobyl’s Ongoing Toll: 40,000 More Cancer Deaths?
Vijay Prashad
Political Violence in Honduras
Pete Dolack
Verizon Sticks it to its Workers Because $45 Billion isn’t Enough
Richard Falk
If Obama Visits Hiroshima
Margaret Kimberley
Dishonoring Harriet Tubman
Deepak Tripathi
The United States, Britain and the European Union
Peter Linebaugh
Marymount, Haymarket, Marikana: a Brief Note Towards ‘Completing’ May Day
Eva Golinger
My Country, My Love: a Conversation with Gerardo and Adriana of the Cuban Five
Moshe Adler
May Day: a Trade Agreement to Unite Third World and American Workers
Paul Krane
Where Gun Control Ought to Start: Disarming the Police
David Anderson
Al Jazeera America: Goodbye to All That Jazz   
Rob Hager
Platform Perversity: More From the Campaign That Can’t Strategize
Pat Williams
FDR in Montana
Dave Marsh
Every Day I Read the Book (the Best Music Books of the Last Year)
David Rosen
Job Satisfaction Under Perpetual Stagnation
John Feffer
Big Oil isn’t Going Down Without a Fight
Murray Dobbin
The Canadian / Saudi Arms Deal: More Than Meets the Eye?
Gary Engler
The Devil Capitalism
Brian Cloughley
Is Washington Preparing for War Against Russia?
Manuel E. Yepe
The Big Lies and the Small Lies
Robert Fantina
Vice Presidents, Candidates and History
Mel Gurtov
Sanctions and Defiance in North Korea
Howard Lisnoff
Still the Litmus Test of Worth
Dean Baker
Big Business and the Overtime Rule: Irrational Complaints
Ulrich Heyden
Crimea as a Paradise for High-Class Tourism?
Ramzy Baroud
Did the Arabs Betray Palestine? – A Schism between the Ruling Classes and the Wider Society
Halyna Mokrushyna
The War on Ukrainian Scientists
Joseph Natoli
Who’s the Better Neoliberal?
Ron Jacobs
The Battle at Big Brown: Joe Allen’s The Package King
Wahid Azal
Class Struggle and Westoxication in Pahlavi Iran: a Review of the Iranian Series ‘Shahrzad’
David Crisp
After All These Years, Newspapers Still Needed
Graham Peebles
Hungry and Frightened: Famine in Ethiopia 2016
Robert Koehler
Opening the Closed Political Culture
Missy Comley Beattie
Waves of Nostalgia
Thomas Knapp
The Problem with Donald Trump’s Version of “America First”
Georgina Downs
Hillsborough and Beyond: Establishment Cover Ups, Lies & Corruption
Jeffrey St. Clair
Groove on the Tracks: the Magic Left Hand of Red Garland
Ben Debney
Kush Zombies: QELD’s Hat Tip to Old School Hip Hop
Charles R. Larson
Moby Dick on Steroids?
Alice Donovan
Cyberwarfare: Challenge of Tomorrow
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail