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

 

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

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

Weekend Edition
November 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jonathan Cook
From an Open Internet, Back to the Dark Ages
Linda Pentz Gunter
A Radioactive Plume That’s Clouded in Secrecy
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Fires This Time
Nick Alexandrov
Birth of a Nation
Vijay Prashad
Puerto Rico: Ruined Infrastructure and a Refugee Crisis
Peter Montague
Men in Power Abusing Women – What a Surprise!
Kristine Mattis
Slaves and Bulldozers, Plutocrats and Widgets
Pete Dolack
Climate Summit’s Solution to Global Warming: More Talking
Mike Whitney
ISIS Last Stand; End Times for the Caliphate
Robert Hunziker
Fukushima Darkness, Part Two
James Munson
Does Censoring Undemocratic Voices Make For Better Democracy?
Brian Cloughley
The Influence of Israel on Britain
Jason Hickel
Averting the Apocalypse: Lessons From Costa Rica
Pepe Escobar
How Turkey, Iran, Russia and India are playing the New Silk Roads
Jan Oberg
Why is Google’s Eric Schmidt So Afraid?
Ezra Rosser
Pushing Back Against the Criminalization of Poverty
Kathy Kelly
The Quality of Mercy
Myles Hoenig
A Ray Moore Win Could be a Hidden Gift to Progressives
Gerry Brown
Myanmar Conflict: Geopolitical Food Chain
Matthew Stevenson
Into Africa: Robert Redford’s Big Game in Nairobi
Katrina Kozarek
Venezuela’s Communes: a Great Social Achievement
Zoltan Grossman
Olympia Train Blockade Again Hits the Achilles Heel of the Fracking Industry
Binoy Kampmark
History, Law and Ratko Mladić
Tommy Raskin
Why Must We Sanction Russia?
Bob Lord
Trump’s Tax Plan Will Cost a Lot More Than Advertised
Ralph Nader
National Democratic Party – Pole Vaulting Back into Place
Julian Vigo
If Sexual Harassment and Assault Were Treated Like Terrorism
Russell Mokhiber
Still Blowing Smoke for Big Tobacco: John Boehner and College Ethics
Ted Rall
Sexual Harassment and the End of Team Politics
Anna Meyer
Your Tax Dollars are Funding GMO Propaganda
Barbara Nimri Aziz
An Alleged Communist and Prostitute in Nepal’s Grade Ten Schoolbooks!
Myles Hoenig
A Ray Moore Win Could be a Hidden Gift to Progressives
Graham Peebles
What Price Humanity? Systemic Injustice, Human Suffering
Kim C. Domenico
To Not Walk Away: the Challenge of Compassion in the Neoliberal World
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Giving Thanks for Our Occupation of America?
Christy Rodgers
The First Thanksgiving
Charles R. Larson
Review: Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “We Were Eight Years in Power”
November 23, 2017
Kenneth Surin
Discussing Trump Abroad
Jay Moore
The Failure of Reconstruction and Its Consequences
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
Trout and Ethnic Cleansing
John W. Whitehead
Don’t Just Give Thanks, Pay It Forward One Act of Kindness at a Time
Chris Zinda
Zinke’s Reorganization of the BLM Will Continue Killing Babies
David Krieger
Progress Toward Nuclear Weapons Abolition
Rick Baum
While Public Education is Being Attacked: An American Federation of Teachers Petition Focuses on Maintaining a Minor Tax Break
Paul C. Bermanzohn
The As-If Society
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail