Leonard Peltier, a member of the American Indian Movement, was wrongfully convicted in 1977 of killing two FBI agents in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. He is an artist, poet, writer, Nobel Peace Prize nominee, and activist. After serving more than 30 years in jail, he will go before the U.S. Parole Board on Tuesday, July 28, 2009.
I met a real live Indian for the first time when I was 13 years old. Living in a low-income housing project in Boulder, Colordado, a family from the Pine Ridge Reservation moved in across the street. It was through those close friendships that the words in the history books came alive and I got to see first hand what it means to be Native American in the United States, both on and off the reservation.
Along with the poverty and isolation, there was also a proud history of struggle that I related to through my family activism in the Chicano Movement and in the United Farm Workers. Many of those feelings and memories surfaced this week when I learned of the upcoming parole hearing of Leonard Peltier.
Leonard is now more than 60 years old and is struggling with various medical issues that clearly indicate he does not pose any threat to society. Releasing him is not just a humanitarian issue, it’s the right thing to do.
You can show your support for Leonard’s parole by signing the parole petition at:
Find out more about Leonard Peltier and other actions in support of his parole at: www.freepeltiernow.org
Now is the time. If Leonard’s parole is denied, he will probably not get another hearing for at least five years. Do something to show your support today!