Leonard Peltier - 38 Years of Injustice

Leonard Peltier Freedom Campaign

Greetings my Relatives, Friends and Supporters
 
As I have said so many times in the past I am deeply and truly honored that you remember me on this day and I am honored to have my words read to you today.  I think this commemoration day should be about the lives of all our people who in some way lived and died for us.
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By the time of the Oglala shoot-out there had already been some 60 something of our Native people killed.  These people are the ones we are commemorating here today.  I always especially remember Joe Stunz,  who was a mentor to some of the younger boys in the community.  
 
Of all the things I want us to remember today and everyday, I want us to remember who WE are, I want us to remember where WE came from, I want us to remember our ancestors that we are so proud of , and I want us to live in such a way that our children and our children’s-children will look back at us and be proud of who they are because of what we were
 
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I want to see a day where our people do not have to depend on any other source than ourselves. 
 
I want to see a day where our people aren’t suffering from the bitter cold in the winter months. 
 
A day where our people are not suffering from mal-nutrition  and improper medical care.
 
I want to see fires burning inside well built homes that are not unstable and falling apart.
 
I want to see a day where alcoholism and drug abuse is not rampant throughout indian country.  
 
There are so many other things I could mention that need to change, and I will tell you for a fact they won’t start changing until WE change them. 
 
We must look back to our traditions. We must look back to our own cultures and the teachings of our elders who taught us that the greatest gift the creator gave us was our bodies in good health and the Earth around us.  We must remember from our traditions, that it is our responsibility to take care of our bodies and health and the bodies and health of our children,
Our traditions also taught us to be the caretakers of all the nature around us. 
 
There is an old saying back when the Buffalo were almost totally done away with, I think there were only about 25 or so left, in the U.S., the saying was that when the Buffalo come back, the American Indian would also come back.  Well, the Buffalo are back, they are not what they were, but they are thriving.  WE are also coming back, and we are not what we were yet, but we will be. 
 
I know things have changed, as they always do and we must rise to meet those challenges. Everything in life is based on some challenge and we have faced challenge after challenge and we are still here.  I want to encourage all of you from the depths of my soul and with my deepest prayers;  to set up programs for our children that would teach them the survival skills that it will take to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.  To find ways to protect and restore our Earth.
 
As a man I encourage you men out there to step up stronger than you have been, more determined than you have been, more consistent and persevering than you have been,and do all you can to make this a better place for all people.  
 
Our enemies are many, but most of it has to do with money.  People, at times, love money more than the Creator, or the gifts the creator gave us.   Our people will be approached even more in the coming future to sell off our lands and our resources and we must do what we can to protect them for our children and the coming generations.
 
We must also at every opportunity remind the Gov’t of the agreements and treaties they have made with our people.   We should also remind them at every opportunity that the Black Hills are still ours, and the lease is up. We should also remind them, at every opportunity that we are part of the treaty they call the constitution and that we should be respected and given every equal right under that agreement.   One thing in particular that the constitution says,  is that you will receive a trial with a jury of your peers and yet every indian that is arrested and tried in federal court is tried off the reservation, there is no jury of our peers.   
That is just one point, there are many.
 
I know for a fact that our people have it within their blood, history and understandings, to win out over this time of trial that our people have been going through for a couple hundred years now.
 
If we want things to be different we are going to have to DO them different. 
 
When I think about our young people and elders who commit suicide I am full of sorrow. When I hear about what is happening to Mother Earth, I weep with anguish. 
These things won’t change until we take responsibility for making that change ourselves.   These corporations are not embarrassed at all by hurting us.  They always find some legal, moral or religious reason to justify stealing from us.  We as a people must take responsibility, rise to the challenge and teach our children to be able to face that challenge.  We need to get back to eating the foods that our bodies are designed for, the ceremonies that our hearts and spirits are designed for, and the love and caring for one another that we are ALL designed for.
 
A wise elder once said you cannot live with one foot in a White mans canoe and one in an Indians canoe, you have to choose one or the other.  He said that in relation to perhaps culture, but when we look at the destruction of the air and the water and the soil and the dangerous possibilities that face all mankind that are taking place right now, we are all in the same boat. 
 
I always remember Floyd Red Crow Westerman once said, that the flowers are not all the same color… the birds don’t all sing the same song but together, they make a beautiful forest. I know for a fact there are people of other races and other colors that feel the same way we do,  and when we meet them, we need to join together to stop this common destruction that faces all mankind.   There can be no diversity of life on an Earth that cannot sustain life. 
 
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I was and am a common man just like you, but in all of this, I came to realize that each of us carries within him the spirit of our people and wherever we go,  whether we like it or not, we represent our people.  Since I was hauled off to boarding school it has been the same fight,  If I would just admit that this Government is always right and never wrong, and if our people would back off from the position of remaining who we are and stop clinging to our cultures, to assimilate, etc, etc…. but in my heart of hearts and in the core of my being I have always remembered what so many of our people have lived and died for,  I have remembered that they died for the right to remain on their own land where the creator put us. They lived and died for the right to practice our religion that was given to us.  They lived and died to be able to keep their children among them and not be taken off to some boarding school.  They lived and died for the right to be Indian, by OUR standards not theirs. I have done my best to live up to that all my days
 
I am tired, and at kind of at a loss for words now, and I am sure you are all sitting in the hot sun about ready for some cool water and a breeze, but in closing I want to say that
I miss you. 
I long to be with you.
I long to have the sun shining on me without the shadow of bars or chain link fencing in the way. 
I long to see an eagle circling the Sundance grounds.
I long for the touch and hugs of close friends and loved ones. 
I long for life as a free man
 
 
I will never give up, on who we are.  I encourage you to stay strong and be a good representative of our people wherever you go.  Be an encouragement and a source of strength for those in need. 
 
 Wherever they put me, or keep me, or lock me away,- rest assured that my heart and prayers are always with you 
 
Forever in the Spirit of Crazy Horse
Your Relative,
Leonard Peltier
Mitakuye Oyasin

Yes All Women!

If you're not making the connection between rape culture, violence such as that in Santa Barbara, and Efren Carrillo, you're not making the important connections.

YesAllWomen Changes the Story of the Isla Vista Massacre

by Rebecca Solnit

"Rape culture is an environment in which rape is prevalent and in which sexual violence against women is normalized and excused in the media and popular culture. Rape culture is perpetuated through the use of misogynistic language, the objectification of women’s bodies, and the glamorization of sexual violence, thereby creating a society that disregards women’s rights and safety. Rape culture affects every woman. Most women and girls limit their behavior because of the existence of rape. Most women and girls live in fear of rape. Men, in general, do not. That’s how rape functions as a powerful means by which the whole female population is held in a subordinate position to the whole male population, even though many men don’t rape, and many women are never victims of rape."

For more, check out:

http://www.thenation.com/article/180077/yesallwomen-changes-story-isla-vista-massacre?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=email_nation&utm_campaign=Editorial%20-%20Solnit#

Have We Learned the Lessons of Vietnam?

by Susan Lamont (from Apr/May2014 Peace Press)

In 2012, the United States government began a thirteen-year-long 50th anniversary remembrance of the Vietnam War.

“It was January [1962], in Saigon. Our Army pilots strapped on their helmets and boarded their helicopters. They lifted off.....It was a single raid against an enemy stronghold just a few miles into the jungle -- but it was one of America’s first major operations in that faraway land.” Nowhere in the ensuing narrative from the White House is there an explanation for that “first major operation.”

On Memorial Day 2012, President Obama honored the 58,282 “patriots,” who “pushed through jungles and rice paddies, heat and monsoon, fighting heroically to protect the ideals we hold dear as Americans” and, finally, dying in Vietnam.

You may all remember that the U.S. was not in Vietnam protecting ideals and that Tonkin Gulf was a phoney event staged as a pretext for war, but those in the White House wish you wouldn't. And you probably got a laugh out of John Kerry's recent comment that countries shouldn't “behave in 19th-century fashion by invading another country on trumped-up pretext.” Maybe he thought that, by referring to the 19th-century, we'd all forget about the U.S. invasions in the 20th and 21st century, of which Vietnam was but one.

“Support our troops” rhetoric is trotted out again. We are asked to “give thanks to a generation of proud Americans who saw our country through one of the most challenging missions we have ever faced.” The Vietnam War was a “challenging mission?” And soldiers who were drafted or enlisted because of financial hardship or bought the lies out of patriotic blindness “saw our country through?”

In the White House version, you will find nothing about the true history of the Vietnam War. Instead, you will find soaring and meaningless rhetoric. “And here we see a piece of our larger American story. Our Founders -- in their genius -- gave us a task. They set out to make a more perfect union. And so it falls to every generation to carry on that work. To keep moving forward.” Are we to assume “that work” is “moving forward” in Iraq and Afghanistan and in the many countries around the world where the United States has troops stationed openly or covertly?

Obama calls the war “painful,” but not because it was unnecessary - painful because Americans [the Peace Movement – you and me] did not honor the soldiers. “So let us also tell a story of a generation that came home, and how -- even though some Americans turned their back on you -- you never turned your back on America.”

I didn't turn my back on them. I didn't want them placed in harm's way. It was our government and our war-profiteering corporations which turned their backs on U.S. soldiers and sent 58,282 Americans and at least 2 million Vietnamese to their deaths. But it is hoped that Americans will accept this lie - this total perversion of the truth - and carry it over to today's lies and all the lies that will be told in the future.

And what about the veterans? “You became teachers and police officers and nurses -- the folks we count on every single day. You became entrepreneurs, running companies and pioneering industries that changed the world You became leaders and public servants, from town halls to Capitol Hill -- lifting up our communities, our states, our nation.“ No mention of the number of homeless vets. No mention of those ill or dead from the effects of Agent Orange. No mention of the number who have committed suicide – more than were killed in the war.

But the claim is made that we have learned the lessons of war. “So let us resolve that when America sends our sons and daughters into harm’s way, we will always give them a clear mission; we will always give them a sound strategy; we will give them the equipment they need to get the job done. We will have their backs.” And this was said with a straight face. And you are supposed to believe it despite all evidence to the contrary.

Please read this attempt to divert you from the real story. Please help us set the record straight. The future depends upon it. http://www.whitehouse.gov/50th-anniversary-vietnam-war

Open Source Revolution Will Conquer the 1%

An optimistic look at the future from a former Marine and CIA intelligence officer:

Last month, Steele presented a startling paper at the Libtech conference in New York, sponsored by the Internet Society and Reclaim. Drawing on principles set out in his latest book, The Open-Source Everything Manifesto: Transparency, Truth and Trust, he told the audience that all the major preconditions for revolution – set out in his 1976 graduate thesis – were now present in the United States and Britain.

Steele’s book is a must-read, a powerful yet still pragmatic roadmap to a new civilisational paradigm that simultaneously offers a trenchant, unrelenting critique of the prevailing global order. His interdisciplinary ‘whole systems’ approach dramatically connects up the increasing corruption, inefficiency and unaccountability of the intelligence system and its political and financial masters with escalating inequalities and environmental crises. But he also offers a comprehensive vision of hope that activist networks like Reclaim are implementing today.

“We are at the end of a five-thousand-year-plus historical process during which human society grew in scale while it abandoned the early indigenous wisdom councils and communal decision-making,” he writes inThe Open Source Everything Manifesto. “Power was centralised in the hands of increasingly specialised ‘elites’ and ‘experts’ who not only failed to achieve all they promised but used secrecy and the control of information to deceive the public into allowing them to retain power over community resources that they ultimately looted.”

Continued at http://www.popularresistance.org/open-source-revolution-will-conquer-the-1/

Violating the War Powers Resolution - once again

Acting with the impunity with which all presidents arm themselves, President Obama is set to violate the War Powers Resolution.

Today, Paul Findley said, "Just as with threats to attack Syria last year, an attack on Iraq would violate the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution. As with any president, he [President Obama] commits an impeachable offense if he does not follow the Constitution." Findley served as a member of United States House of Representatives for 22 years. He was a key author of the War Powers Resolution and a leader in securing its enactment by overriding the veto of President Richard Nixon. He is also the author of six books. The federal building in Springfield, Ill. is named for him.

Francis Boyle said, "This could escalate in any number of ways -- exactly what the War Powers Resolution was supposed to stop. It's not legitimate for the president -- or members of Congress -- to make arrangements that violate the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution. Obama just stated that the 300 U.S. troops would be doing training, but CNN reports his spokesperson Jay Carney stated they would also 'provide airfield management security and logistic support.' Does this mean that they will become the required forward air controllers for the targeted and precise military action that Obama says he is preparing? If the U.S. is going to target ISIS, will it be limited to Iraq or will it eventually go into Syria?" Boyle, who has worked with Findley for years, is a professor at the University of Illinois College of Law and author of Tackling America’s Toughest Questions.

 
 

After the Harvest - learning to leave the planet gracefully

by Robert Jensen

Every time I read the latest bad-and-getting-worse news about the health of the ecosphere, such as last month’s report that the melting of some giant glaciers had passed the point of no return, I think back to a conversation 25 years ago that helps me put such news in perspective. In a Minneapolis bakery where my new friend Jim Koplin and I had settled into a Friday morning coffee session to analyze the world, and gossip a bit, Koplin told me that he thought the most important task for human beings — as a species, not just as individuals — was “learning to leave the planet gracefully.”

At our regular table by the window, he said this matter-of-factly, not joking but also not overly dramatic about it. This was a judgment he felt obligated to share with me once our friendship had deepened, our conversations had gotten sufficiently serious, and he had determined that I could handle it.

Why would human beings need to learn to leave the planet gracefully? The answer — so painfully obvious today, as the evidence about ecological crises piles up, readily available to anyone who chooses to know — was clear to Koplin more than 25 years ago. Although he wasn’t prone to quoting scripture, I am, so let me offer a “why” in the words of Jeremiah from the Hebrew Bible:

“The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” (Jeremiah 8:20)

Continue reading at:

http://wagingnonviolence.org/feature/harvest-learning-leave-planet-gracefully/

The Root Causes of Migration: End U.S. Funding of the Drug War and the Corrupt Honduran Regime

The heartbreaking stories emanating from the immigration detention centers near the border have rightly been making the news. However the U.S. media has largely ignored the real lessons from the increasing number of Unaccompanied Minors being detained near the U.S. border. This “humanitarian crisis” has not been caused by the criminal nature of the people of Central America, irresponsible parenting, or the clichéd pursuit of the “American Dream”. Children and their families are coming to the U.S. to survive. At its root, they are too often trying to escape the devastating consequences of past and present U.S. foreign policy in the region.

Click here to urge your senators and representative to end the counterproductive funding of the Drug War and the corrupt Honduran regime:
 http://org.salsalabs.com/o/727/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=15901

The number of children attempting to cross the border into the United States has risen dramatically in the last five years: In FY 2009, roughly 6,000 unaccompanied minors were detained near the border. Credible estimates project that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will detain as many as 74,000 unaccompanied minors by the end of FY 2014. Approximately 28% of the children detained this year are from Honduras, 24% from Guatemala, and 21% from El Salvador.The particularly severe increases in Honduran migration are a direct result of the June 28, 2009 SOA-graduate led coup, the abusive policies of the resulting Honduran regimes, and the shameful U.S. support for these corrupt governments that emerged after dubious elections in 2009 and 2013.

Since 2008, the U.S. has spent over $800 million in security aid to Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador through the “Central American Regional Security Initiative” (CARSI) in addition to millions more in bilateral military and police aid to each country. The current humanitarian crisis on the border, is a direct result of the drastic U.S.-led militarization of the drug war, unequal economic relationships (e.g. Free Trade Agreements that have ravaged campesino communities), and U.S. support for the cartel-infiltrated post-coup government of Honduras.

By every conceivable measure - the availability of drugs, mass incarceration, mass immigrant detention, and the effective use of tax money in the U.S.; homicide and violence rates, corruption, the overall power of drug cartels, and migration rates in Central America – the "war on drugs" has been an abject and costly failure. It is time, it has been time, for the U.S. government to take real responsibility for its role in the root causes of migration from Central America. The region will never be “cured” of its ills without an honest, fact-based re-evaluation and a resulting re-implementation of U.S. foreign policy.

The patterns of violence and forced migration established during the dirty wars of the 20th century have continued unabated. It is no surprise that Central American children travel alone to the U.S. to escape violence, especially if one or both of their parents already live there.

Increased militarization under the pretext of the drug war has led to massive human rights violations, including illegal land grabs, and the persecution of indigenous and grassroots leaders, too often at the hands of the military and police funded and trained (many at the School of the Americas) under U.S. security programs. In particular, the situation in Honduras has dramatically deteriorated, yet the U.S. continues to fund the corrupt and brutal Honduran security forces 5 years after the June 28, 2009 SOA-graduate led military coup. Why should the people of Central America continue to suffer and be scapegoated when the root causes of migration are all too often created by damaging U.S. foreign policies?

Peace and struggle,
SOA Watch

Call Congress and the White House Today! No Military Intervention in Iraq or Syria! No To the $571 Billion Defense Appropriations Bill!

1) Tell Your Member of Congress:

Oppose US Military Intervention in Iraq or Syria

Oppose the $571 Billion Defense Appropriations Bill

Congressional Switchboard: (202) 224-3121

2) Call the White House. Let President Obama know you oppose military intervention of any kind in Iraq or Syria and urge him to seek a diplomatic solution.

White House Switchboard: (202) 456-1111

3) Join a United for Peace and Justice Briefing on Iraq/ Syria Crisis

As the situation in Iraq deteriorates, the “Never Learn” caucus is demanding US military intervention in the form of ground troops, air strikes, Special Operations and weapons deliveries. The unfolding tragedy in Iraq is a direct consequence of the illegal American invasion and occupation of that country. The least helpful idea is for the United States to involve itself militarily in Iraq or Syria. US military intervention, whether directly or by providing arms, will increase the suffering of people in those countries and enhance the risk of a wider regional conflict.

This coming week the House of Representatives is set to pass a $571 billion Defense Appropriations bill. So long as our oversized military eclipses our domestic needs and the United States spends more money on warfare than the next eight countries combined, military action will continue to be the default response to international crisis. Too many members of Congress claim to oppose war and then quietly pass outlandish military budgets. The proposed FY 2015 Defense Appropriations bill far exceeds what is needed militarily to protect our country.

Please Call your Reps today and tell them:

No to Military Intervention in Iraq or Syria !

No to $571 Billion FY 2015 Defense Appropriations bill !


Some useful articles:

http://davidcortright.net/2014/06/12/diplomacy-not-more-arms-needed-in-iraq-and-syria/

http://tomhayden.com/home/stay-out-of-sectarian-civil-wars.html

http://ericmargolis.com/2014/06/the-allmighty-mess-in-iraq/

Celebration of Andy Lopez' 14th Birthday

Andy's 14th birthday was on June 2nd and the march and celebration were June 7th.

Young people were abundant at the birthday celebration. Some who appeared to be not much more than elementary school aged could be seen helping organize the proceedings, with many guardians simply watching and playing more of a background role at the demonstration. 

Andy's family and friends, were joined by a wide range of local and statewide supporters. Their core support comes from the Justice Coalition for Andy Lopez and Andy's Youth. 

Andy's Youth is a grass roots community group comprised of young people from Santa Rosa and Sonoma County who have played a central role in organizing demonstrations. In the days after Andy's killing, the news swept across the schools, and justice for him became a crucial issue to the area's youth. 

"I want to thank you guys for setting the example for everyone else," a member of the Brown Berets said to Andy's Youth at a rally at Old Court House Square held at the end of the march. 

"But I want you to be very careful. When you organize in somebody's name, against the oppressive pigs, you automatically put a target on your back. That means anything you do, your friends do, will reflect upon the movement as a whole," he warned. 

The advice was appropriate. As organizers, Andy's Youth have faced harassment at school from teachers and other school officials, as well as from law enforcement officers who patrol their neighborhoods. 

Very little information about Andy's killing has been released by the authorities in Sonoma County, and the community continues to wait for District Attorney Jill Ravitch to announce whether there will be charges filed against Gelhaus. 

What is known, is that within 10 seconds after first seeing Andy, Sheriff Gelhaus shot him seven times. In a press release issued the day of the killing, deputies claimed they first observed Andy walking with "what appeared to be some type of a rifle." After Gelhaus killed him, Sheriffs say they "learned" that the rifle was a replica of an assault weapon and not a real gun. 

From an independent autopsy report, the family was able to find out how many times Andy was shot, and where the bullets entered and his body. 

Bullets entered Andy's body in the following locations: his chest, his left arm, his left wrist, his right wrist, his right buttock, his right lateral buttock, and his lower back. 

During the march on June 7, one demonstrator carried a mannequin that displayed precisely where on Andy's body the shots entered. 

Last week, the Sonoma county Sheriff's Office announced that Michael Schemmel was the deputy who was present with Gelhaus when Andy was killed, and that he did not fire his weapon on that day. 

The Justice Coalition for Andy Lopez continues to call for the indictment of Sonoma County Sheriff's Deputy Erick Gelhaus. 

For more information about the Justice Coalition for Andy Lopez, see: 
http://justicecoalitionforandylopez.com/ 
http://www.facebook.com/JusticeforAndyLopez 

For more information about Andy's Youth, see: 
http://www.facebook.com/AndysYouthTeam 

Alex Darocy 
http://alexdarocy.blogspot.com/

Petition - Do Not Bomb, Arm or Send Troops to Iraq!