Monday, October 10, 2011

Whatever Happened to Leonard Peltier?

[image from lifeatwar.net]

Gunfire, commotion, confusion,
bombardment - 
Was it civil war?
On the Pine Ridge reservation,
suddenly,
the people were under attack,
gunfire coming
from over the hill,
so they fought back.

When it came to trial,
up against the FBI
and the US government,
their story was not likely
to be heard.

For 34 years,
Leonard Peltier,
political prisoner,
has spent his days
in an eight by six foot cell,
all appeals denied
on his two consecutive life sentences.

They say he knows who shot
the two FBI agents,
but he will never tell.

In the spirit of Crazy Horse,
and in solidarity with
the Lakota people,
to this strong warrior
I raise my fist in salute.

May Wakan Tanka
keep your spirit strong.


[image from google]

Above all, you should understand that there can never be peace between nations
until there is first known that true peace which is within the souls of man.
-Black Elk, Lakota holy man


Notes: a great read about the events of that day on the Pine Ridge Reservation is Peter Mathiessen's In the Spirit of Crazy Horse. There is also a 1997 movie by that name. Here is a link to a youtube clip, which is beautifully done.

8 comments:

  1. Sherry, I have written the government on behalf of Leonard in the past. The fact that he will not reveal information regarding who DID it is so telling of his integrity and honor. I believe the way to peace is through non-violence; I also believe that authority figures sometimes misuse their firepower. Leonard Peltier was caught, quite literally, in the crosshairs. God bless and sustain him.

    Think it's time for another letter. Maybe this time, to Brother Leonard, in solidarity... Thank you for setting our gaze on this miscarriage of justice. Amy
    http://sharplittlepencil.wordpress.com/2011/10/10/1008/

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  2. A compelling piece... such a sad situation. Thanks for this, Sherry.

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  3. Oh, Sherry, I'm ashamed to say my first thought was, "Oh, I'd forgotten all about him."
    I wonder how many people have also forgotten him, and how many people, like Amy, have remembered.
    How many FBI agents would have been sentenced to two life sentences for refusing to talk? Not one, I suspect.
    K

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  4. It makes you think the government is made up of "little men." Frightened men. Thanks you for the post.

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  5. Wow, this caught me off guard this AM. Sherry, these events were/are sickening. You surely wrote about them well.

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  6. This is a poem and story that awakens my "consciousness". I love the quote. 34 years is a whole life. What a sacrifice.

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  7. YES. whatever DID happen to Leonard and why does it seem like we don't talk about him anymore?? THANK YOU.

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  8. Such a sad and distressing story. And the saddest part of all for me is the Black Elk quote. I've begun to believe that there is no peace within the souls of man.

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Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!