IN THE SPIRIT OF LEONARD PELTIER VISIONS OF US PRISONER #89637-132
Date: Thursday January 31st, 7:00 pm
Location: El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe,
1615 B Paseo de Peralta,
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Directions and info for El Museo: http://elmuseocultural.org/
Date: Saturday February 2nd, 7:00 pm
Location:Railyard Performance Center
1611 B Paseo de Peralta,
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Author/Editor/Spoken-Word Performer Harvey Arden along with guest performers.
Mark Holtzman [ aka. Silent Bear ] will honor the gathering with his music on the Jan 31 venue only.
These and other dedicated and talented people will offer their personal thoughts of Leonard Peltier. Harvey Arden with the passion and spirit in the words of Leonard Peltier will make the event something not to be missed.
This passionate spoken word performance is based on the Leonard Peltier book-Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance.
Prison Writings was written in 1999 by the Native American political prisoner, Leonard Peltier, whose words were adapted into a powerful stage-play by his editor, Harvey Arden. Leonard’s words are just as poignant today as when the book first appeared and deserves the attention of the entire nation.
Prison Writings is a collection of Peltier’s essays and poems, reflecting his life and his work from within the prison walls. Defending his People and being Indian is his only crime. The cultural traditions of his people connect Leonard and each of us to the Great Mystery [ Wakan Tanka ]. This spirit connection and his personal sacrifice to the Creator keeps him strong and unbroken. His life is connected to each of us. Each day this innocent man suffers for his people; in fact ,now that you know his truth, he also suffers for you.
What will you do now?
During the horrific early 1970′s Reign of Terror on the Lakota (Sioux)reservation at Pine Ridge South Dakota, an infamous time of violence and corruption existed. Complicit tribal officials hired local thugs known as ‘ GOONS –’Guardians of the Oglala Nation’, who–with the blessing of the U.S. Government–carried out an unprovoked series of assaults on the traditional people on the Pine Ridge reservation. SD. Behind these attacks was Big Energy’s desire for uranium under Sioux lands, then being secretly negotiated between the U.S. government and compliant Tribal officials.
Two FBI agents were killed on June 26, 1975 during a gun battle on The Jumping Bull Property. Leonard Peltier was falsely framed for the murder of the two FBI agents. The other defendants charged with the same crime had been acquitted by a jury. They were defending their people from an unprovoked attack. Self defense a basic right was denied Leonard Peltier and his legal team.
Following the discovery of new evidence obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. Mr. Peltier demanded a new trial. The Eighth Circuit court ruled, “There is a possibility that the jury would have acquitted Leonard Peltier had the records and data improperly withheld from the defense been made available to him.” Yet, the court denied Mr.Peltier a new trial. The jury sentenced Mr. Peltier to two consecutive life terms.
Judge Heaney, who authored the decision denying a new trial, has since voiced firm support for Mr. Peltier’s release, stating that:
” The FBI used improper tactics to convict Mr. Peltier”.
Judge Heaney also stated that:” The FBI was equally responsible for the shoot-out, and that Mr. Peltier’s release would promote healing with Native Americans “.
So why is this story of Judicial Racism hidden from the public eye ?
The late Pope John Paul II, the Dalai Lama, Amnesty International,International Indian Treaty Council, the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Coretta Scott King, Mikhail Gorbachev, Gloria Steinem, Wilma Mankiller, Robert Redford, the European Parliament, and a host of other notables all have worked, petitioned,and pleaded for his release.
For the American Indian Nations as well as the world at large, the continued imprisonment of Leonard Peltier is Americas Judicial embarrassment.
The spirit of the Sun- dancer who is Leonard Peltier confronted with the treachery and ugliness of life has transcended and Has become the message, of hope, courage, and integrity for his People for his family and each of us.
Peltier has been behind prison bars for more than half of his life (he turned 63 this past September). He remains a model prisoner,establishing numerous humanitarian projects within the prison system as well as back on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
Petitions will be available at both performances appealing for Leonard’s release in his upcoming parole hearing. If Mr. Peltier is denied release at this hearing -he will not receive another
opportunity for freedom until the 2017 parole hearing. His official release date is 2041.