REPORT: CONGRESSIONAL BRIEFING ON THE CASE OF LEONARD PELTIER
On May 17th Congressman Porter sponsored a two hour congressional briefing
on the case of Leonard Peltier and its related circumstances on the Pine
Ridge reservation. Nobel Laureate Rigoberta Menchu Tum, Amnesty
International, Ernie Stevens Jr. of the National Congress of American
Indians, Author Peter Matthiessen, Journalist Kevin McKiernan, shoot-out
survivor Nilak Butler, reign of terror survivor Debra White Plume, shoot-out
aftermath witness Jean Day, and lawyers Bruce Ellison and Jennifer Harbury
testified at the briefing. They told a full room of human rights leaders
and Congressional staff of the numerous human, civil, and constitutional
rights violations involved in the Peltier case. The purpose of the briefing
was to heighten support among Congress during this critical time in the
effort to gain freedom for Leonard Peltier.
However, we were reminded that those who wish to obstruct the truth of the
Peltier case are ruthless in their tactics. The morning press conference
was sabotaged when someone called Amnesty International's building (the
location of the press conference) and told them the press conference was
cancelled. Many reporters were then told it was off, and we received little
media attention. The evening before, US authorities detained Rigoberta
Menchu Tum and tried to stop her from entering the country.
But, despite this, the briefing was a success. We will be receving a video
tape of it in the near future, and we will be putting excerpts on the web
site. Meanwhile, keep up the calls to your Congress people, and if you can,
organize a local delegation to meet with them on the case. Ask them to
officially support Leonard Peltier's release on parole and/or clemency.
The Leonard Peltier Defense Committee
Call the White House Comments Line Today
Demand Justice for Leonard Peltier! 202-456-1111
Leonard Peltier Defense Committee
PO Box 583
Lawrence, KS 66044
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