Indigenous U.S. political prisoner Leonard Peltier was denied clemency by President Barack Obama last night, 19 January, in yet another example of settler colonial injustice against the American Indian Movement struggler. Peltier has been imprisoned for over 40 years in U.S. federal prisons. He suffers from a number of severe, life-threatening health conditions. Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network reiterates its support and solidarity with Leonard Peltier, one of the longest-serving political prisoners in U.S. jails, and the indigenous movement for self-determination, sovereignty and justice challenging settler colonialism. We denounce in the strongest terms his continuing imprisonment and President Obama’s denial of justice.
We also once again urge all to continue to take action to support clemency and commutation for U.S. politica prisoners, including Dr. Mutulu Shakur, Veronza Bowers and the Holy Land Foundation 5 (Mufid Abdulqader, Shukri Baker, Ghassan Elashi, Mohammad El-Mezain, and Abdulrahman Odeh.)
Below is the re-published statement of the International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, with a powerful quote from Leonard and a call to write letters of support and solidarity to him:
Brothers, sisters, friends and supporters:
Our hearts are heavy today. President Obama has denied Leonard’s application for a commutation. His name appears on the January 18 list of commutations denied by Obama as issued by the Office of the Pardon Attorney. Leonard’s attorney Martin Garbus was also notified. (Pardon Attorney’s Letter)
Today, in an email, Leonard said, “If I should not [receive clemency] then after we are locked in for the day I will have a good cry and then pick myself up and get myself ready for another round of battles until I cannot fight [any] more. So, don’t worry. I can handle anything after over 40 years.”
It’s hard to bear such a blow, though. And make no mistake — Leonard has been hit hardest of all. But let’s not mourn so very long. Instead, let’s move ever forward. Channel your grief and anger in a positive way. Remember that Leonard still needs our help. He needs quality health care and a transfer to a medium security facility, among other things. We’ll always work towards freedom for Leonard, but these actions may help to make his life more bearable until freedom is won.
Now, we urge you to write to Leonard and help to keep his spirits up. Tell him you won’t give up, that you’ll walk the rest of the way with him. Send cards and letters to:
Leonard Peltier #89637-132
USP Coleman I
PO Box 1033
Coleman, FL 33521
Thank you for your hard work and determination. Blessings to all of you.
Please stay tuned.
International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee