Leonard Peltier on his 71st birthday!

leonard

Well, today is another b-day for me — my 71st. I had hoped I would not be here at this age, but that’s not tobe. So, I have to take a deep breathe and slowly let it out… and prepare myself for yet another day in here.February 6th marks my 40th year in prison. How many of you know that when I was indicted a lifesentence was 7 years? I was sentenced to 2 life sentences, so with good time I have served 6 + lifesentences. I suppose all of this time has taken its toll on my body. I have a number of different health issuesthat come with old age. The one I’m most concerned about is my prostate.Otherwise, I’m still getting compliments on how good I look for my age (smile). People can be nice andsay things that make me feel good once in awhile. But I’m told this so often that I’m starting to believe it(smile).

Hey, did you know that the last time I went before the Parole Commission (2009), I was denied because Ilooked young and healthy… and a reason given for denying me parole was that I might be too much of aninfluence on the young Natives? Yeah, only in America.And get this… In October 1984, when the Parole Commission was repealed by Congress, the Commissionwas given 6 years to give me a parole date… all of us “old time” prisoners really (those convicted prior to1984). Yes, this is all true. All you have to do is research it, and I bet you will come away shocked as hellthat this can happen in your country. The Parole Commission is the only Government agency that has beenrepealed and reinstated 35 days later without having to go through the normal congressional channels andsigned into law by the President. How does this happen in a democracy?I’ve been encouraged by things I’ve read recently though. And looking back… It’s been over 60 years,maybe a little longer. I was around 7 or 8 years old when I heard the old People talking about taking care ofMother Earth. But for me anyway, as with all young People, I did not really understand what they weretrying to tell us, I guess?

But I see today the traditionalists were correct and AIM People were right when we took it up as a rallyingcry to the world. Still, when we spoke out against the destruction of Mother Earth, we were called a bunchof nuts. Well, today, it is called climate change, and there are now millions of us crying out against thedestruction of our Mother Earth. Amazing, huh? Thankfully I have lived this long and can see we justmight win this war. I know it’s not over — far from it — but the world is waking up and talking about itnow. So, it can be won in our lifetime.Well, People, I don’t know how much longer I have left on Mother Earth — or if I will even be around forthe next few years — but I always hope and pray that I can be out there to spend my last few remainingyears with you. If not, so be it. I have been in here too long to cry now. I just wish for more time to give to my People and to all freedom loving People in the world.

Thanks again for all of the love you have shown me over these 40 years. You have all been worth it.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse…

Leonard Peltier

#89637-132

USP Coleman I,
P.O. Box 1033

Coleman, Fl 33521

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