FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

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

 

 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

Weekend Edition
August 26, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Paul Buhle
In the Shadow of the CIA: Liberalism’s Big Embarrassing Moment
Andrew Levine
How Donald Trump Can Still be a Hero: Force the Guardians of the Duopoly to Open Up the Debates
Rob Urie
Crisis and Opportunity
Louisa Willcox
The Unbearable Killing of Yellowstone’s Grizzlies: 2015 Shatters Records for Bear Deaths
Charles Pierson
Wedding Crashers Who Kill
Richard Moser
What is the Inside/Outside Strategy?
Dirk Bezemer – Michael Hudson
Finance is Not the Economy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Bernie’s Used Cars
Margaret Kimberley
Hillary and Colin: the War Criminal Charade
Patrick Cockburn
Turkey’s Foray into Syria: a Gamble in a Very Dangerous Game
Ishmael Reed
Birther Tries to Flim Flam Blacks  
Brian Terrell
What Makes a Hate Group?
Howard Lisnoff
Trouble in Political Paradise
Terry Tempest Williams
Will Our National Parks Survive the Next 100 Years?
Ben Debney
The Swimsuit that Overthrew the State
Ashley Smith
Anti-imperialism and the Syrian Revolution
Andrew Stewart
Did Gore Throw the 2000 Election?
Vincent Navarro
Is the Nation State and Its Welfare State Dead? a Critique of Varoufakis
John Wight
Syria’s Kurds and the Wages of Treachery
Lawrence Davidson
The New Anti-Semitism: the Case of Joy Karega
Mateo Pimentel
The Affordable Care Act: A Litmus Test for American Capitalism?
Roger Annis
In Northern Syria, Turkey Opens New Front in its War Against the Kurds
David Swanson
ABC Shifts Blame from US Wars to Doctors Without Borders
Norman Pollack
American Exceptionalism: A Pernicious Doctrine
Ralph Nader
Readers Think, Thinkers Read
Julia Morris
The Mythologies of the Nauruan Refugee Nation
George Wuerthner
Caving to Ranchers: the Misguided Decision to Kill the Profanity Wolf Pack
Ann Garrison
Unworthy Victims: Houthis and Hutus
Julian Vigo
Britain’s Slavery Legacy
John Stanton
Brzezinski Vision for a Power Sharing World Stymied by Ignorant Americans Leaders, Citizens
Philip Doe
Colorado: 300 Days of Sunshine Annually, Yet There’s No Sunny Side of the Street
Joseph White
Homage to EP Thompson
Dan Bacher
The Big Corporate Money Behind Jerry Brown
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
DNC Playing Dirty Tricks on WikiLeaks
Ron Jacobs
Education for Liberation
Jim Smith
Socialism Revived: In Spite of Bernie, Donald and Hillary
David Macaray
Organized Labor’s Inferiority Complex
David Cortright
Alternatives to Military Intervention in Syria
Binoy Kampmark
The Terrors of Free Speech: Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act
Cesar Chelala
Guantánamo’s Quagmire
Nyla Ali Khan
Hoping Against Hope in Kashmir
William Hughes
From Sam Spade to the Red Scare: Dashiell Hammett’s War Against Rightwing Creeps
Raouf Halaby
Dear Barack Obama, Please Keep it at 3 for 3
Charles R. Larson
Review: Paulina Chiziane’s “The First Wife: a Tale of Polygamy”
David Yearsley
The Widow Bach: Anna Magdalena Rediscovered
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail