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FBI to demonstrate against Peltier - RSVP * Peltier's Message to the Slain Agents' Families

14 December 2000

FBI anti-Peltier Demonstration Friday December 15

This Friday the FBI will be holding a demonstration in Washington DC condemning Leonard Peltier. The following quotes come from
http://abcnews.go.com/sections/us/HallsOfJustice/hallsofjustice.html#one

"Those agents, the rank and file, are so alarmed at the prospect of Peltier's release that they are planning a demonstration in front of the White House, Dec. 15.Needless to say, a public demonstration by FBI agents is exceedingly rare. The rally is technically not sanctioned by headquarters, and the agents who participate will be taking leave to do so, but there's no question the top ranks will be giving moral support to the demonstrators.
                     
John Sennett, president of the FBI Agents' Association, said the purpose of the rally is to draw the attention of the president, and frankly the media, to the reality of the murders of the two agents by Peltier, and, to offset what we regard as the misinformation and disinformation regarding the guilt of Leonard Peltier.
                     
They are aware of the intense lobbying effort under way by Peltier's supporters and are concerned there may be some basis for the supporters' optimism.
                     
One agent said there probably wouldn't be signs or banners because that wouldn't be dignified. Another, when asked what the demonstration would look like, responded, it will be a very dignified and quiet gathering of a couple hundred people in raincoats. They plan on leaving a letter signed by a large number of agents at the White House gates."
                     
They go on to say that the Justice Department thinks Clinton was just pandering and has no real intention of granting Peltier clemency.

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Leonard Peltier Defense Committee (LPDC) Press Advisory:
A Press Conference and official response to the FBI Demonstration
For More Information call Jennifer Harbury 512-751-5852

For Immediate Release

Speakers: Don Edwards, Former Congressman & FBI Agent
Representative, National Congress of American Indians
Jennifer Harbury, Attorney

Press Conference and Official Response to the FBI Demonstration

Where: National Press Club
Peter Lisagor Room, 13th floor
529 14th St NW #1300
Washington, DC

When: Friday, December 15, 2000 [9:00 A.M.]

An official response by Leonard Peltier supporters, including former FBI Agent and Congressman Don Edwards, regarding the march by the FBI against clemency for Leonard Peltier.

Leonard Peltier is a Native American who has been incarcerated for nearly 24 years, following his highly controversial conviction for the 1975 murder of two FBI Agents.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

COUNTER THE FBI'S DEMONSTRATION AGAINST PELTIER

HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO:

1- Calls to the White House: 202-456-1111 FLOOD THE COMMENT LINE WITH CALLS!

Talking Points:

* I am calling to express my outrage over the FBI's demonstration against Leonard Peltier.

* As members of law enforcement, the FBI should be neutral and should not interfere in the clemency process.

* Furthermore, the FBI continues to make false statements about the case of Leonard Peltier. There is no evidence that Leonard Peltier shot anyone and in fact, the US Prosecutor admits that he cannot prove who shot the agents. Yet, Leonard Peltier has remained behind bars for over 24 years.

* Keeping a wrongly convicted man in prison is extremely damaging to public relations with Law enforcement.

* I want to express my full support of Executive Clemency for Leonard Peltier.

2- Contact members of Congress: Contact your Congressional Representatives and express your outrage with FBI attempts to block clemency. Talking points listed above apply here as well. The switchboard number is: 202-224-3121. The operator can transfer you to your representative.

3- Contact local media: Please send out our Press Advisory to your local media and send letters to the editor to your local papers.

Sample letter:

Letters to the Editor
Publication
Address
City, ST ZIP

December 14, 2000

Dear Editors:

I am writing in regard to the FBI's march in Washington DC to oppose clemency for Leonard Peltier. True to form, the FBI continues to spread misinformation about Mr. Peltier's case. Hopefully, President Clinton will not succumb to their desperate attempt to distort the truth.

Mr. Peltier never received a fair trial. The witnesses were intimidated and coerced by the FBI, false testimonies were utilized and a ballistics test reflecting his innocence was concealed from the defense. U.S. Attorney Lynn Crooks now admits no one knows who killed the two agents.

Judge Gerald Heaney, who authored the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals' denial of a new trial, has himself written to express his full support for a grant of clemency. He condemned the FBI's tactics in the overall investigation and trying of the case. Furthermore, Heaney stated that favorable action by the President in this case would be an important step in the healing process between the United States and the Native American community.

While the deaths of Ron Williams and Jack Coler are a terrible tragedy, it is also a tragedy to imprison an individual for nearly 24 years who was so obviously never granted a fair trial.

Mr. Peltier's clemency supporters includes the National Congress of American Indians, Nobel Laurete Rigoberta Menchu, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Rev. Jesse Jackson, the Dalai Lama, Robert Redford, the National Council of Churches, Amnesty International and many others.

As President of the United States, it is Clinton's duty to mitigate injustices. Granting clemency to Leonard Peltier is not only morally right, but necessary.

Sincerely,

Name
Address
City, State


* * * * * * * * *


The following is an excerpt from Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance by Leonard Peltier.


LEONARD PELTIER'S MESSAGE TO THE SLAIN AGENTS' FAMILIES:

IF YOU, THE LOVED ONES of the agents who died at the Jumping Bull property that day, get some salve of satisfaction out of my being here, then at least I can give you that, even though innocent of their blood. I feel your loss as my own. Like you, I suffer that loss every day, every hour. And so does my family. We know that inconsolable grief. We Indians are born, live and die with inconsolable grief. We've shared our common grief for twenty-three years now, your families and mine, so how can we possibly be enemies anymore? Maybe it's with you--and with us--that the healing can begin. You, the agents' families, certainly weren't at fault that day in 1975, any more than my family was, and yet you and they have suffered as much as, even more than, anyone there. It seems it's always the innocent who pay the highest price for injustice. It's seemed that way all my life.

To the still-grieving Coler and Williams families I send my prayers if you will have them. I hope you will. They are the prayers of an entire people, not just my own. We have many dead of our own to pray for, and we join our sorrow to yours. Let our common grief be our bond. Let those prayers be the balm for your sorrow, not an innocent man's continued imprisonment. I state to you absolutely that, if I could possibly have prevented what happened that day, your menfolk would not have died. I would have died myself before knowingly permitting what happened to happen. And I certainly never pulled the trigger that did it. May the Creator strike me dead this moment if I lie. I cannot see how my being here, torn from my own grandchildren, can possibly mend your loss. I swear to you, I am guilty only of being an Indian. That's why I'm here. Being who I am, being who you are -- that's Aboriginal Sin.

* * * * * *

ABORIGINAL SIN

We each begin in innocence.
We all become guilty.
In this life you find yourself guilty of being who you are.
Being yourself, that's Aboriginal Sin,
the worst sin of all.
That's a sin you'll never be forgiven for.

We Indians are all guilty,
guilty of being ourselves.
We're taught that guilt from the day we're born.
We learn it well.

To each of my brothers and each of my sisters, I say,
be proud of that guilt.
You are guilty only of being innocent,
of being yourselves,
of being Indian,
of being human.

Your guilt makes you holy.

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For more information contact the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee (LPDC) (785)842-5774. http://www.freepeltier.org or call the NYC Free Peltier March Hotline (212)539-6027. Leonard Peltier's book, Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance, is available from bookstores, libraries and the LPDC.
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Call the White House Comment Line Weekdays -- (202)456-1111
Support Presidential Executive Clemency to Free Leonard Peltier
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