Leonard Peltier has been in prison for nearly 40 years
COLEMAN, FLORIDA – The International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee is restarting efforts to gain freedom for Leonard Peltier who has been imprisoned for nearly forty years. Peltier is in prison at the U.S. Penitentiary in Coleman, Florida where he is incarcerated for his 1977 conviction in connection with a shootout with U.S. government forces, where two FBI agents and one young American Indian lost their lives.
Peltier’s many supporters feel he is a prisoner of war.
“This is a critical time in the long struggle to gain freedom for Leonard Peltier. We (ILPDC) pledge to live up to the expectations of both Leonard and his supporters, stated Peter Clark of the International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, who is taking a leadership role with Peltier’s son, Chauncey.
On Friday Peltier released the following statement from prison:
June 5, 2015
Greetings friends, supporters and Native Peoples.
I would like to begin by saying thank you to those of you who have been with me over these nearly 40 years. I know some have passed and we all miss them. Many of them gave their all to help Native nations.
Those of you still around have seen a lot of changes with the ILPDC. Most of the good volunteers had to leave for their own careers or health reasons and some just wanted to move on. But before they did go, they did some awesome things in building the Committee. Then there were, I must admit, a few who came along who had their own agenda. In the end, I was the one who lost out as a lot of the work done by others was lost. That is the situation with the Committee now.
So when my son Chauncey came to visit me after I hadn’t seen him for over 16 years, I asked him if he would like to help me I needed someone to take care of my art work and to hire a good lawyer. We needed to reopen the Defense Committee, too. Chauncey said he would love to help me. Chauncey has been working hard. Please check out peltierart.com. If you can afford to purchase artwork, it would be a big help. The available art isn’t bad, I’m told.
Together with Peter Clark and a new Board, Chauncey is also rebuilding the Committee as quickly as he can. But I can’t wait for the Committee to get back working at full strength as time is running out for me to file a clemency petition. So I have to ask you supporters around the world for help.
I hear some people claim I don’t need lawyers. That’s not true. And it’s important for supporters to understand that some of my attorneys work for free, but they have expenses the Committee needs to cover. Not all of my attorneys work for free, though, and some are very expensive.
I also hear that supporters think all my celebrity supporters have donated to the Committee? They rarely do and when they do their donations are far less than you might imagine.
No. The fact is that it’s always been you supporters who have kept my hope for freedom alive. Now more than ever before I need and want your support.
But I don’t just need funds. I need you to keep contacting President Obama. My life is in your hands. Please do your part to help convince the President to let me go home.