National Student Day of Action: Demand Clemency to Leonard Peltier

ClemencyPublished February 21, 2016

NEW YORK – On February 27, 2016, students across the country are calling for a National Day of Action to demand that Obama grant clemency to Leonard Peltier. Peltier is an American Indian Movement (AIM) activist and 40 year political prisoner of the United States government.

Many uphold that Peltier has been wrongfully charged with the killing of two FBI agents and is unjustly incarcerated. February 27 is an historic date for the American Indian Movement (AIM) movement. On this day in 1973 activists began a second occupation of Wounded Knee for 71 days. This was to protest the failure of the United States to fulfill treaty obligations and the corruption of the Oglala tribal government. February 27th is now known as Wounded Knee Liberation Day.

Leonard Peltier

Leonard Peltier has been in prison for 40 years

This is the last year of Obama’s presidency, and what many activists believe to be the last chance for Peltier to be granted clemency. We call on all progressive student organizations nationally and internationally to join us by taking action to demand Peltier’s freedom!

“As soon as I heard about it I started organizing. Leonard deserves to come home, he’s an almost forgot hero and champion for native peoples. He did so much for so many without asking for anything return, so I believe it’s our turn to do for him, to educate this generation, stand up as one voice and demand they let an innocent man come home.”

Mitchell Harry, Omaha, Nebraska, Nebraska-Omaha Intertribal Student Association

“Leonard Peltier is a hero of the people who are fought for the liberation of the First Nations people against the settler colonial US state. RSCC honors the contributions Peltier and the American Indian Movement made to the struggle for all oppressed people for liberation. We demand the complete and unconditional liberation of Peltier and all political prisoners from US prison, and call all student groups throughout the country to join the fight to see Peltier free this year.”
Persi Lacan, NYC, Lehman College,  Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee New York City

Free Leonard Peltier“Upon the 40th anniversary of his imprisonment by the U.S. government, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) demands clemency for Leonard Peltier. Peltier is a 71 year old Chippewa-Lakota activist who was involved in the American Indian Movement (AIM), currently held in a maximum penitentiary for fighting for indigenous rights and self-determination. The fight to free Peltier is an important part of the larger struggle for freedom for all political prisoners, and genuine self-determination for indigenous people of the U.S.!”

Danya Zituni, University of South Florida, Students for a Democratic Society

“I am participating in the National Day of Action for Peltier because I believe that it is wrong ethically, morally and spiritually to imprison a man, who is suffering physically, mentally and emotionally. The health problems he has should he taken care of. This man has done so much good for our native peoples.”
Hope Alvarado, University of New Mexico, Kiva Club

“The students of Fort Lewis College are participating in the National Student Day of Action: Demand Clemency Now for Leonard Peltier because a nation that holds political prisoners is NOT a “land of the free”. Native People have seen their rights as human beings trampled on by the United States of America ever since its inception. From land theft, to massacres, to boarding schools, to sterilization, and more – an endless parade of violations of the most basic human rights. The Leonard Peltier case, it’s manufactured evidence, and the lies by representatives of the Federal government are just one more example. It all must stop. The “land of the free” must be free for all, or it is nothing but a lie.”

Ken Walker, Fort Lewis College, Sociology Club

“I will participate in the Leonard Peltier day of action in order to uphold the national liberation movements, and political prisoners, as SDS’ national line dictates. Political repression has a particular character in relation to those from US internal colonies. Thus, an imprisoned Indigenous man parallels the position of Indigenous nations today, and to struggle for the freedom of Leonard Peltier is a necessary struggle in the fight for the liberation of Indigenous nations in general!”

Elizabeth A’ya University of South Florida, Students for a Democratic Society

“I’m participating in the day of action because Leonard Peltier and the American Indian Movement as a whole are examples of legitimate resistance against an unjust set of realities. AIM itself was created out of the need to address the rampant unemployment, poverty, racism, and police harassment which confronted Native Americans. This day of action, and much more afterward, are needed not just because a man fighting against the actually violent United States government has been locked up for a “crime” which two other people were acquitted for, but also because those meager conditions of existence are still forced upon Native American peoples.”

Mark Einstadt, Delaware County Community College, Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee Philadelphia

List of participating and endorsing organizations:

*The International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee has both endorsed and supported the organizing of this call*

  • Kiva Club – UNM
  • Red Student Faction – UNM
  • Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee
  • New York City Students For Justice in Palestine
  • Revolutionary Alliance of Trans People Against Capitalism
  • UNM Students for Justice in Palestine
  • Mecha de UNM
  • Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
  • Al-Awda New York: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
  • NYC Free Peltier
  • Lifee Organization
  • Wood Stock Earth Blog
  • Students Organizing Actions for Peace – UNM
  • Fort Lewis College: Sociology Club
  • New Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)
  • Diné Relief Initiative


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  1. richard smith 3 years ago
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