Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Dear LP Supporters

I am so OUTRAGED! My brother Leonard was severely beaten upon his arrival at the Canaan Federal Penitentiary. When he went into population after his transfer, some inmates assaulted him.

The severity of his injuries is that he suffered numerous blows to his head and body, receiving20a large bump on his head, possibly a concussion, and numerous bruises. Also, one of his fingers is swollen and discolored and he has pain in his chest and ribcage. There was blood everywhere from his injuries.

We feel that prison authorities at the prompting of the FBI orchestrated this attack and thus, we are greatly concerned about his safety. It may be that the attackers, whom Leonard did not even know, were offered reduced sentences for carrying out this heinous assault. Since Leonard is up for parole soon, this could be a conspiracy to discredit a model prisoner.

He was placed in solitary confinement and only given one meal, this is generally done when you won't name your attackers; incidentally being only given one meal seriously jeopardizes his health because of his diabetes. Prison officials refuse to release any info to the family, but they need to hear from his supporters to protect his safety, as does President Obama. His attorneys are trying to get calls into him now.

This attack on Leonard comes on the heels of the FBI's recent letter, prompting this attack by FBI supporters as an attempt to discredit Leonard as a model prisoner. Anyone who has been in the prison system knows well that if you refuse to name your attackers or file charges against them, then you lose your status as a victim and/or given points against your possible parole and labeled as a perpetrator.

It is not uncommon, in fact is quite common for the government to use Indian against Indian and they still operate under the old adage "it takes an Indian to catch an Indian". In 1978, they made an attempt to assassinate him through another Indian man who was also at Marion prison with Leonard. But Standing Deer chose to reveal the plot to him instead of taking his life in exchange FOR A CHANCE AT FREEDOM.

When Standing Deer was released in 2001, he joined the former Leonard Peltier Defense Committee as a board member. He also began to speak on Leonard's behalf until his murder six years ago today. Prior to his murder, Standing Deer confided with close friend s and associates that the same man who visited him in Marion to assassinate Peltier, had came to Houston, TX and told him that he had better stay away from Peltier and anything to do with him.

We are aware that currently, the FBI is actively seeking support for the continued imprisonment of Leonard Peltier and also seeking support from Native People. So please be aware, and keep Leonard in your prayers.

The FBI is apparently afraid of the impact we are having. If they will set him up to blemish his record just before a parole hearing, what will they do when it looks like his freedom will become a reality? We need to make sure that nothing happens to him again!

Please write the President, send it priority or registered mail. Email to or email President Obama. Call your congressional representatives and write letters, not email, to them. Do what you can to get the word out to insure that Leonard is receiving a dequate medical attention for his injuries.

I am asking you, supporters of Leonard and advocates of justice at this time to help. I don't know what else to do. Please Help!

Thank you
Betty Peltier-Solano
Executive Coordinator
Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee

Also call and request Leonard be treated with dignity and respect.
Canaan Federal Prison

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Trial for August 10, 2008 Civil Resistance Action at Fort McCoy

Trial for August 10, 2008 Civil Resistance Action at Fort McCoy
January 12, 2009 Joy First
On August 10, 2008 I participated in an action of nonviolent civil resistance at Fort McCoy. This was in conjunction with the Witness Against War Walk, an event organized by Voices for Creative Nonviolence, walking 450 miles from Chicago to St. Paul for the start of the Republican Presidential Convention.
Fort McCoy is a military base where many of our young men and women are trained to be deployed to Iraq. The basis for our action was to bring a letter to the soldiers supporting them and advising them that they have the right to refuse deployment to a war that is immoral and illegal. About 50 people participated in the 3 hour walk from Tunnel City to Fort McCoy on August 10. Once at the main gate, 13 individuals chose to peacefully try to gain access to the base to deliver our message. We were arrested, processed, and released in about an hour or so.
On January 12, 2009 twelve of us were on trial at the U.S. District Court i n Madison, WI under Judge Stephen Crocker with a large number of supporters in the audience. Those on trial were Brian Terrell, Jeff Leys, Alice Gerard, Kryss Chupp, John Bachman, Gene Stoltzfus, Lauren Cannon, Ceylon Mooney, Eileen Hanson, Renee Espeland, Joshua Brollier, and myself. Kathy Kelly was also arrested, but she was in Egypt attempting to provide humanitarian aide to the people of Gaza under siege by the Israeli army. She had notified the judge by letter and her case will be reviewed when she returns home.
Originally we were charged under a Federal Statue for trespassing. For some reason, they were not able to charge us under that statue and the final charge was trespassing under a Monroe County Statue. Judge Crocker said this was no longer a criminal charge, but he was treating it that way so that we would have more rights and the burden of proof would be higher.
The U.S. District Attorney called four witnesses. The first witness was the Deputy Chief of Police at Fort McCoy, who described what happened that day. Then three officers who did t he processing on the day of the arrests took the stand. As in many cases of mass arrest for civil resistance, they identified us by our pictures taken at the time we were arrested. The whole process of identification was bogus. They went through looking at a copy of each citation attached to a picture of the person arrested. Judge Crocker asked the person who was issued the citation if they had any objections on this being entered into evidence. So when we said no objections, we were identifying ourselves. Nevertheless, the officers never pointed to us in the courtroom and said that is Joy First who was arrested at Fort McCoy, but only looked at the picture and identified the picture as Joy First.
After the prosecution rested, Jeff Leys made a motion for judgment of acquittal based on the fact that we were not properly identified. Judge Crocker denied the motion.
Judge Crocker explained that each defendant would have five minutes to speak. He said we could not use the necessity defense or international law, but rather than argue over what we wer e saying, he would just give us each our five minutes to say whatever we wanted to say and then he would make his ruling.
The statements made by the defendants were elegant and moving, but we also knew by the judge’s words that it was just an exercise in futility that would not really have any impact on the eventual ruling by Judge Crocker.
Brian Terrell said that he looked up the vision of Fort McCoy on the web and it said that they are the premier training center for America’s defense system. We brought our own vision, an alternative vision, to the base disrupting their mission of providing cannon fodder in Iraq. It was our legal and moral responsibility to go there.
Gene noted that the soldiers being trained there will be facing an incredible legal and moral dilemma. He said that he did not feel guilty and will accept the consequences./ SPAN>
Ceylon explained that he had been to Iraq twice and seen the effects of war. He works with soldiers who have come home and sees the long-term effects of war on them. What we did was not illegal.
Jeff introduced the letters we wrote and pictures of the action into evidence. He said he hoped that we would be in front of the judge again as we build the movement of nonviolent civil resistance.
Eileen declined to speak.
Alice said that she went there to speak to the soldiers. The pressure on the military is necessary and we did nothing wrong. It is the government that is violating the law.
I talked about all we have done to try to stop the war, and that we must and will continue this work. I noted that it is my First Amendment right and my obligation under Nuremberg to do this. Bush and company are the real criminals.
Renee asked the judge if anything she said would really make a difference. She spoke directly to the officers who had testified earlier beseeching them to see what they were doing in a different light. She noted that grave injustices are being done to the soldiers at Fort McCoy.
Kryss noted that laws are important, but when laws are used to protect institutions of injustice, she will follow God’s law. She sang “Finlandia”.
Josh said that20government exists by the people and for the people, for the common good, but it is sometimes used to hurt people. Not advising soldiers of what is really going on is illegal. He believes our actions were consistent with the spirit of the law.
John said he felt it was time to vote with his feet. The war was unpopular and undemocratic. When he was trying another case in northern Wisconsin, both the judge and prosecutor told him they were supportive of what he did.
Judge Crocker said that our right of free speech ends when we trespass. And he added, “Let’s face it. You all trespassed.” He said he had to find us guilty though he noted that it is wonderful that citizens will do what we did.
The maximum penalty for this charge was 90 days in jail and a $500 fine. The prosecutor recommended a $100 fine. J udge Crocker sentenced us to a $75 fine. In sentencing statements, a number of defendants said that their conscience would not allow them to pay the fine. Judge Crocker said he would check and see if the fine could go to a victim’s compensation fund rather than the general treasury which was more acceptable to some of the defendants.
For a newspaper report of the trial, see

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Prayer for World Peace. Dr Jane Goodall

We pray to the great Spiritual Power in which
we live and move and have our being.
We pray that we may at all times
keep our minds open to new ideas and shun dogma;
that we may grow in our understanding of the nature of all living beings
and our connectedness with the natural world;
that we may become ever more filled with
generosity of spirit and true compassion and love for all life;
that we may strive to heal the hurts that we have inflicted on nature
and control our greed for material things, knowing that
our actions are harming our natural world and the future of our children;
that we may value each and every human being
for who he is, for who she is,
reaching to the spirit that is within,
knowing the power of each individual to change the world.
We pray for social justice,
for the alleviation of the crippling poverty
that condemns millions of people around the world
to lives of misery - hungry, sick, and utterly without hope.
We pray for the children who are starving,
who are condemned to homelessness, slave labor, and prostitution,
and especially for those forced to fight, to kill and torture
even members of their own family.
We pray for the victims of violence and war,
for those wounded in body and for those wounded in mind.
We pray for the multitudes of refugees, forced from their homes to alien places
through war or through the utter destruction of their environment.
We pray for suffering animals everywhere,
for an end to the pain caused by scientific experimentation,
intensive farming, fur farming, shooting, trapping,
training for entertainment, abusive pet owners,
and all other forms of exploitation
such as overloading and overworking pack animals,
bull fighting, badger baiting, dog and cock fighting and so many more.
We pray for an end to cruelty,
whether to humans or other animals,
for an end to bullying, and torture in all its forms.
We pray that we may learn the peace that comes with forgiving
and the strength we gain in loving;
that we may learn to take nothing for granted in this life;
that we may learn to see and understand with our hearts;
that we may learn to rejoice in our being.
We pray for these things with humility;
We pray because of the hope that is within us,
and because of a faith in the ultimate triumph of the human spirit;
We pray because of our love for Creation, and because of our trust in God.
We pray, above all, for peace throughout the world.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

*~The Color of One Rainbow Family, Tribe, Clan~*

"Once upon a time the great colors of the world started

to quarrel. All claimed that they were the best. The

most important. The most useful. The favorite of Great

Creator, God of many names in many religions and belief’s;"

Green said:

"Clearly I am the most important. I am the sign of life upon

Mother Earth and of hope. I was chosen for grass, trees and

leaves. Without me, all animals would die. Look over the

countryside and you will see that I am in the majority."

Blue interrupted:

"You only think about the Mother Earth, but consider the sky and

the sea. It is the water that is the basis of life and drawn up

by the clouds from the deep sea. The sky gives space and peace

and serenity. Without my peace, you would all be nothing."

Yellow chuckled:

"You are all so serious. I bring laughter, gaiety, and warmth into

the world you speak of. The sun is yellow, the moon is yellow, the

stars are yellow. Every time you look at a sunflower, the whole

world starts to smile. Without me there would be no fun."

Orange started next to blow her trumpet:

"I am the color of health and strength. I may be scarce, but I am

precious for I serve the needs of human life. I carry the most

important vitamins. Think of carrots, pumpkins, oranges, mangoes, and

papayas. I don't hang around all the time, but when I fill the sky at

sunrise or sunset, my beauty is so striking that no one gives another

thought to any of you."

Red could stand it no longer he shouted out:

"I am the ruler of all of you. I am blood(DNA) - life's blood! I am the

color of danger and of bravery. I am willing to fight for a cause. I

bringfire into the blood. Without me, the earth would be as empty as

the moon. I am the color of passion and of love, the red rose, the

poinsettia and the poppy."

Purple rose up to his full height:

He was very tall and spoke with great pomp: "I am the color of royalty

and power. Kings, chiefs, and bishops have always chosen me for I am

the sign of authority, knowledge, and wisdom. People do not question me!

They listen and obey."

At last Indigo spoke, much more quietly than all the others, but with

just as much determination: "Think of me. I am the color of silence.

You hardly notice me, but without me you all become superficial. I

represent thought and reflection, twilight and deep water. You need

me for balance and contrast, for prayer and inner peace."

And so the colors went on boasting, each convinced of his or her own

superiority. Their quarreling became louder and louder. Suddenly

there was a startling flash of bright lightening thunder rolled and

boomed. Rain started to pour down relentlessly. The colors crouched

down in fear, drawing close to one another for comfort.

In the midst of the clamor, Great Creator, God of many names in

many religions and belief’s began to speak:

"You foolish colors, fighting amongst yourselves, each trying to

dominate the rest. Don't you know that you were each made for a

special purpose, unique and different? Join hands with one another

and come to me."

"Doing as they were told, the colors united and joined hands!"

Great Creator, God of many names in many religions & belief’s continued:

"From now on, when it rains, each of you will stretch across the sky

in a great bow of color as a reminder that you can all live in peace.

The Rainbow is a sign of hope for tomorrow." And so, whenever a good

rain washes the world, and a Rainbow appears in the sky, let us

remember to Love & appreciate one another."