June 26, 1975, 45 years ago. United States, Native American reservation in South Dakota, Oglala Lakota County. It is a period of enormous tension in that area; there have been frequent attacks to communities by armed gangs, the GOONS, formed by a part of natives. These are men bought by the U.S. government to suppress the fights of the American Indian Movement (AIM), which still has been fighting for the rights of American Indians for several years now.
That day comes as a surprise, in this small and miserable reserve: a car without identification, with two men on board, stops at a safe distance and a gunfight ensues. In retrospect, it turns out the two men were FBI agents who were looking for an Indian accused of stealing a pair of boots. Can you believe that?
It’s probably a trap set by the FBI itself since in the process hundreds of officers arrived within minutes and the shooting was insane. The two whites who arrived first and one native die. On the native, as for the hundreds who died in those years, killed by who knows who, no one investigated, but for those two agents someone had to pay dearly.
Leonard Peltier was 31 years old, he was an AIM activist, he was present that day and that was enough for him to become the scapegoat. He was arrested in Canada the following February 6; extradition was obtained with such false evidence that the Canadian government later formally protested about how it was obtained. The FBI had its revenge: through a mock trial Leonard Peltier was sentenced to two life sentences.
If you want to know more, browse the numerous articles on the Internet that accompanied the many campaigns for the liberation of Leonard Peltier.
2020: let’s just say that the moment is propitious to remember that the USA (like other countries in the Americas) was formed on the basis of the largest massacre in history. 80 million natives. An example that Hitler himself appreciated.
Instead, just today the words of these people, of these cultures, can be fundamental given the great risk that the human race runs on this planet.
May Leonard Peltier finally get out of jail, may he reunite with his people, may this symbol of a resistant people take the place, LIVE, of the statues that are being torn down.
Freedom for Leonard Peltier, as well as for Mumia Abu Jamal, brother of struggle and resistance, also a symbol, this time of the black people of America.
If the U.S. police kills with weapons and with the weight of their bodies on the streets, even more people die slowly in U.S. prisons, where all “minorities” become “majorities”.
Freedom for Leonard Peltier, for Mumia Abu Jamal and for all political prisoners in the world.
Spread the word: a man locked up in maximum security prisons for 16,195 days and nights. He will be grateful to you, in the spirit of Crazy Horse.
Andrea De Lotto
Créditos a la foto de cabecera: «Free Leonard Peltier» sign, Oglala.
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