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PARIS, THE NEW NORMAL? — Diana Johnstone files an in-depth report from Paris on the political reaction to the Charlie Hebdo shootings; The Treachery of the Black Political Class: Margaret Kimberley charts the rise and fall of the Congressional Black Caucus; The New Great Game: Pepe Escobar assays the game-changing new alliance between Russia and Turkey; Will the Frackers Go Bust? Joshua Frank reports on how the collapse of global oil prices might spell the end of the fracking frenzy in the Bakken Shale; The Future of the Giraffe: Ecologist Monica Bond reports from Tanzania on the frantic efforts to save one of the world’s most iconic species. Plus: Jeffrey St. Clair on Satire in the Service of Power; Chris Floyd on the Age of Terrorism and Absurdity; Mike Whitney on the Drop Dead Fed; John Wight on the rampant racism of Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper;” John Walsh on Hillary Clinton and Lee Ballinger on the Gift of Anger.
A Warrior for Liberation

A Fuse Called Geronimo

by LEONARD PELTIER

Everyone it seems knows something about Geronimo Pratt. To all of us, to every human being on the planet, he was a beacon of principle that we should all aspire to emulate. To those directly involved in the struggle, he was one of those gifted, tough as nails warriors who not only had the vision to know what was right, but the strength and courage to stick to his convictions no matter the cost. When he had to be, he was a terror to his enemies.

To me, he was a friend and an ally. I met him in jail, of course, so many years ago. He always had so much of my respect.

He gave his all to the fight for liberation, justice, and equality. His effectiveness as a man and a leader can be measured by the extent to which the enemies of justice and equality went to in order to try and silence him. It wasn’t enough to frame him for murder. It wasn’t enough to flush twenty six years of his life down a hell hole. No, they had to take those closest to him as well. But even the simultaneous losses of his freedom and the lives of his wife and unborn child could not break him. All the lies and injustice they could muster could not subdue such greatness. The combined resources of the FBI, Los Angeles police, and the L.A. District Attorney’s office couldn’t defeat him. What those in power did not understand was that Geronimo Ji Jaga Pratt was no ordinary man. He was a giant among men and remained focused during the most trying times. What they did not comprehend was that you can jail the warrior but not his ideas, not his strength, nor his affect on others.

No one would have blamed him if after twenty six years in jail he wanted to live a private life and age gracefully. True to his nature he continued to be a light in the darkness, fighting for human rights until his death. He gave everything to the issues which he held most dear. In doing so he inspired generations of young people who carry on his legacy.

Perhaps it is fitting that this statement is being prepared on the anniversary of his false conviction being vacated. With that in mind, now that I think about it, this can and should be a time of celebration. Rather than mourn a loss of such magnitude, let us rejoice that we were blessed with such a presence to begin with.

The history of mankind is not written by corrupt governments or their shadow agencies, it is formed by greatness of spirit and strength of mind. This is why Elmer Pratt will always be remembered and honored as a prophet and perhaps even a saint to his people. I know wherever he is, he is speaking truth to power, and rallying spirits to his cause.

This was not a spark that died! He was a fuse, igniting a series of events that we have yet to fully understand. I am certain in the fullness of time he will be celebrated while those who opposed him and their descendants will hang their heads in shame. It is this knowledge that makes me smile, and weep tears of great appreciation. So raise your hands, raise your hearts, raise your voices. Give thanks to Wankan Tanka that such a Titan walked amongst us. Never forget this incendiary spirit that opened minds and knocked down walls. Say his name with reverence, for he represents the very best of us all, and in that he will live forever.

Leonard Peltier
# 89637-132
U.S.P. Lewisburg,
P.O. Box 1000,
Lewisburg, PA USA 17837