Update 2/22/16: February 2016 marks Leonard’s 40th year of Wrong-Full Incarceration. His health has worsened as he has recently been diagnosed with an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm and needs surgery. He needs all of his supporters to work together in a GOOD WAY for his Right for appropriate Medical Treatment & for his Release from Prison. Disturbingly during this crucial time, a number of Leonard’s Supporters have shown blatant disrespect and insensitivity towards other Political Prisoners. Those of us who have been advocating for Leonard’s Release from Prison for many long years know of the Judicial Racism that he has faced. He is by far not the only one. Leonard is ONE of too many Others who are imprisoned because of their Advocacy for their People….Racial/Ethnic Minorities ALL share in the Malignant Racism entrenched within the Municipal, State and Federal Justice Systems. To see [some] of Leonard’s supporters acting in a racist manner by throwing out racial slurs on Social Media towards other Political Prisoners and other supporters while advocating Freedom for Leonard is plain sickening. This actually disrespects Leonard. PLEASE for Leonard’s sake, for the sake of Justice in a system that has so little, for the sake of the legacy we leave behind for our children and theirs….STOP RACISM by working in GOOD FAITH with Others who seek Justice! For updates on Leonard’s health issues and how you can help him please go to > http://www.whoisleonardpeltier.info/
I have found the need over the years to write about working in Good Faith for Leonard Peltier. This writing is a combination of previous writings; it saddens me that what I have spoken to previously continues on; but it seems to echo the times we live in today — a time of discord and disrespect towards so many. Leonard Peltier is one of America’s most renowned Political Prisoners having now been incarcerated for close to 4 decades (39 years as of February 2015) for crimes he did not commit. His ancestry is Native American from the Anishinabe and Lakota Nations. He has supporters World-wide; they come from every conceivable background in every age, color, shape, form, thought, etc. Leonard freely shares his ideas and ideals with others and has said that he is EveryOne. But Leonard is also his own Person with his own private thoughts and sometimes people are so busy “working” for him, they tend to ignore about the Man himself! People also don’t think about the fact that Leonard has a family…and as he has spent all these grueling years in Prison, it has been profoundly difficult for his family; they in essence do the time with him. Never forget this!
“I am everyone who ever died without a voice or a prayer or a hope or a chance…
Everyone who ever suffered for being an Indian, for being human, for being indigenous, for being free, for being Other, for being committed….
I am every one of them. Every single one. Yes. Even you.
I am everyone”…..Leonard Peltier
Although Leonard’s supporters are widely and richly diverse, not EveryOne supports him. WE know this. Certainly the FBI and [some] other agents of the United States Government do not support Leonard. Not all Native Americans support Leonard. Not all Social Advocates or Human Rights or Environmental Rights Activists support Leonard. Not EveryOne knows or cares to know about who Leonard Peltier is. This is how it goes. When there is an increase in activity of people speaking out and showing Support for Leonard thru Social Networks (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.), Letter Writing Campaigns, Petitions, Rallies, Gatherings, etc…we tend to see an increase in people who oppose Leonard also speaking out. For those of us who Care about Leonard it is hard to see the lies and twisted truths being spread about him; we do our best to ignore this. Engaging with those who are in opposition and hateful really does not make things any easier, it can just fuel the fire. In most cases egging on a Bully achieves nothing, and it certainly diverts our efforts to actively support Leonard — these are tactics of the Haters — and most certainly the agent provocateurs.
Very sadly there are also times when Leonard’s various supporters become at odds with one and other. In this age of Cyberspace these differences become escalated and very public. Those who choose to publicly abuse and disrespect others do not seem to realize that their behaviors will fall back upon themselves; nothing is private or secrete on the World-wide-web, or in the many grapevines connecting people to places. Obviously if squabbles among supporters are put out publicly, Leonard’s REAL opposition can also see them. If some supporters throw out disrespect and hate towards other supporters due to their own pettiness, how does this help Leonard? Lately this has gotten extremely ugly and at times it is also racially motivated by both Natives and non-Natives. Leonard is NOT a Racist…if YOU support him, how can YOU abide with Racism? If YOU support him how can YOU abide with Hate? None of this is good news for Leonard, his family, his supporters, or his fight for FREEDOM!
All this to say….PLEASE, for the sake of Leonard, if you REALLY want to see him be FREE and go home to his family who indeed do Love him…PLEASE put aside your Racism, Hate, Prejudice AND your Ignorance. Through these arduous years Many individuals have worked hard and put their lives on the line for Leonard and many have now moved on to Spirit World (may they Rest in Peace & Grace). It is for us who are still in this world to continue on in the name of Justice & Freedom! There is no ONE person, group, or organization who will get our Brother out of prison! It is ALL of Leonard’s Supporters using our collective voices in a Positive Manner in whatever way we can who will bring about a Positive and Just change for Leonard…and in turn for others who have also been wrongly incarcerated….there are so many! Please continue to Support Leonard Peltier in Good Faith and in a True Way!!
In and with The Spirit of Crazy Horse. Thank you! My ♥ to Yours. Bonnie Walker
In Loving Memory of Joan Rodriguez- R.I.P. whose long advocacy for Leonard Peltier, Mumia Abu-Jamal and Albert Woodfox (now free as of 2/19/16) and so many other Political Prisoners spoke to the Merits of working in GOOD FAITH across Racial/Ethnic divides for the benefit of ALL People! ♥