Friends Digest Vol. 3, No. 6
- Friends Digest Vol. 3, No. 6
"Do not depend on the hope of results. Concentrate on the value
and the truth of the work itself." -- Thomas Merton
* White House Alert *
Obama is said to read five letters daily from plain ol' folks
like us. So, write a letter. Mr. President, Free Peltier Now!
The address: President Barack Obama, The White House, 1600
Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC
20500. Fax a letter every day: 202-456-2461.
* Sleepy Days of Summer *
Everyone's nervously awaiting the parole decision, we know. Well,
we've heard it said that the best way to quiet shaking knees is to
bounce a baby on them. Our baby? The work, always the work.
In August, Washington becomes a ghost town. Members of Congress
will be heading back to their home states/districts very soon. So...
Request a meeting with your Member of Congress:
--Find your congressional district and senators'
and representative's contact information. See
--Send a fax or e-mail to the scheduler requesting a meeting:
Include the date and time of day you will be available to meet with
the Member, but be flexible about scheduling your visit because
Members of Congress have busy calendars; Offer to meet with a
staff member if the Member of Congress is not available (i.e., a
Legislative Assistant); Include the issue you would like to discuss
(a congressional investigation into the Pine Ridge Reign of Terror,
for example); Provide a phone number and/or e-mail address where
the scheduler can reach you.
--Follow up with a phone call in one week's time if you have not
heard back from the congressional office.
--When the meeting is scheduled, find accurate information as to
the physical location for your legislator's office.
--Be on time for the meeting. Staff in most Capitol Hill and district
offices are busy and work on tight schedules. Remember that their
time is valuable.
--Establish a rapport. After introductions and handshakes, talk
about things or relationships you might have in common. A little
bit of research can pay off, so find out all you can about your
Members of Congress. For instance, maybe you have a mutual friend,
or perhaps you both went to the same elementary school. Thank your
senator or representative for all that he or she does on Capitol
Hill to represent your state or district.
--If several people will attend the meeting, select a
spokesperson. If everyone there will have a role, select one person
to move the meeting along in a timely manner.
--State your purpose. For example, you might say, "Congressman Lee,
we are here to talk with you about hearings on the long-term effects
of COINTELPRO. Specifically, we would like to have your support for
hearings on the Reign of Terror on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation
in the early 1970s."
--Make the issue real. Legislators are people; they are sympathetic
to stories about real people. For example, humanize the events on the
Pine Ridge Reservation during the 1970s by sharing published stories.
Offer the member a copy of "Incident at Oglala" for viewing or a
copy of Peter Matthiessen's book, "In the Spirit of Crazy Horse".
--Make a clear request. Tell your Member of Congress exactly
what you would like him or her to do, and do not leave without
learning the legislator's position on your issue. For example,
you might say that you would like your legislator to sign a letter
in support of a congressional investigation into the Pine Ridge
Reign of Terror. Then, ask the member or their staff to outline
the legislator's current position.
--Very soon after the meeting, write a thank you letter to your
member for taking the time to visit with you.
It's common for some congressional members to view the events of
the 1970s as history only and unimportant to today's world. Don't
be dissuaded by this. Instead, use some creativity to make the
events on Pine Ridge important in light of the issues of the day,
as well as the political landscape in Washington, DC. Monitor
congressional actions, debates, proposed Bills, etc. Pay attention
to current events. Use the opportunities presented to you to couch
your comments and concerns about the Reign of Terror in such a
way that they compliment your member's legislative priorities. You
can identify those priorities by visiting your representative's or
senators' Web pages.
A congressional contact-whether by phone, letter, and/or
face-to-face-should be approached as an ongoing endeavor. Send follow
up letters, place additional calls, and plan more congressional
visits so as to keep your issue of concern before your representative
* Parole *
There is no decision on parole as yet. We'll let you know as soon
as there's news.
In the meantime, you may be interested in this video of attorney
Eric Seitz following the 28 July hearing:
We also have a link on our home page to a Q&A that may answer your
questions about federal parole: <http://www.FreePeltierNow.org>.
"Never cease in the fight for peace, justice, and equality for all
people. Be persistent in all that you do and don't allow anyone to
sway you from your conscience." -- Leonard Peltier
Time to set him free... Because it is the RIGHT thing to do.
Friends of Peltier