Cumann na Saoirse Náisiúnta

National Irish Freedom Committee

Irish Republican Information Service 


In this issue 02/ 24/2012

1. Bloody Sunday march in Derry

2. Family vow to clear Bloody Sunday victim's name

3. British Crown Forces not welcome in Galway

4. Kevin Coen remembered in Sligo

5. Derry Fleadh is a blow to Irish culture

6. Mining company plan to use ‘fracking’ in Leitrim and Fermanagh

7. Publican threatened by Crown Forces to turn informer

8. 'Water-board' torture claims heard

9. Sherlock insists copyright law will go ahead

10. Campaign against home taxes/septic tank tax and water charges to launch in Mullingar

11. February 2012: Update from Rossport Solidarity Camp

12. International Day of Solidarity with Leonard Peltier


 

1. Bloody Sunday march in Derry

 

ON January 29 around 3,000 people marched in heavy rain from Creggan shops in Derry city to the Bloody Sunday Memorial in the Bogside, where s wreath was laid. The march was led by relatives of those who were killed and injured on January 30, 1972 when a peaceful Civil Rights march was attacked by members of 1Para of the British army, killing 14 people and injuring another 14.

 

Those who died were: Jack Duddy (17) , Hugh Gilmore (17) , Bernard McGuigan (41) , Gerald McKinney (35) , William McKinney (26) , Kevin McElhinney (17) , John Young (17) , Michael McDaid (20) , William Nash (19) , Michael Kelly (17) , Gerald Donaghey (17) , Patrick Doherty (31) and James Wray (22). John Johnston died six months later from the gunshot wounds that were inflicted on him that day.

 

The march was not supported by some of the Bloody Sunday families, who along with the Provisionals, said that the publication of the Saville Report and the subsequent apology by British Prime Minister David Cameron had established the innocence of those who were killed and injured.

 

Michael Bridge, one of the Bloody Sunday wounded, took his place at the front of the march for the first time to highlight what he called the unfinished business of the Saville inquiry.

 

“I was one of the lucky ones. I was one of the 27 people shot on that day and, unlike 13 others, I survived. I have missed only two of these commemorative marches since then and today I’m marching at the front of the parade for the first time. I’m doing so to make the point that justice for the victims is still outstanding. The unfinished business can only be ended when the soldiers involved in that nightmare day are charged and prosecuted for their actions. Until that happens, this campaign for justice for me goes on,” he said.

 

Kate Nash, whose brother William (19) was shot dead on the day and whose father Alexander was wounded, said she has no dispute with the family members of the victims who opted not to march.

 

“I haven’t fallen out with any of the families who are not with us today. I respect their decision not to attend and I’m sure they in turn respect my decision to march. My hope is that this march will continue to highlight many other injustices perpetrated against innocent people whoever they might be and wherever they might be. They too are entitled to justice for their loved ones,” she said.

 

Michael McKinney, whose brother William was one of the 13 victims, said there had been differences of opinion among the Bloody Sunday families for some time.

“I am speaking personally, not for anyone else. I believe this march should continue until justice is truly seen to be done for all the victims.

 

“We have had the publication of the Saville report in June 2010 but its conclusions will be illogical without the prosecution of the soldiers who killed and wounded so many unarmed and innocent people on these streets 40 years ago,” he said.

 

The parents of the victims are, with the passing of four decades, all dead. But brothers, sisters and other relatives are still campaigning. For many, the key issue is whether the soldiers involved will be prosecuted. For 18 months, police and the authorities have been studying the legal and political issues involved.

 

“Families have different views,” said Liam Wray, whose brother Jim, then 17, was killed. “What Cameron did was admirable but he said the shootings were unjustified and unjustifiable. That means those who were shot dead were murdered. I will campaign for prosecution as long as I have air in my lungs.”

 

The march was attended by some of the organisers of the original civil rights march on January 30, 1972, including Ivan Cooper and Éamonn McCann.

 

At Free Derry Corner, Kate Nash, one of the organisers, said they had faced stiff opposition in recent months.

 

“We have been both humbled and encouraged by the support we have received. We believe the march should continue until the perpetrators of the massacre are brought to justice for their actions on Bloody Sunday,” she said.

 

She said the march should be used to support other victims of State injustice and highlighted the case of Gerry Donaghey. She also said the Saville Report had failed to investigate adequately the responsibility for the massacre.

 

“The report in its conclusion simply confirmed what we had already known – that our loved ones were innocent. To me, prosecution of the guilty should be the next step and will be the only conclusion I will accept,| she said. “Nineteen months on – nothing.”

 

Kate Nash said that internment was still in force with the detention of Martin Corey and Marion Price and reminded those present of the conditions endured by Republican prisoners in Maghaberry Jail.

 

Liam Wray, brother of James Wray stated that the march must continue as justice has not been done and no soldier has been charged with murder for bloody Sunday.

 

Members of Republican Sinn Féin from all over Ulster attended as did contingents from Dublin, Kildare, Wexford and Meath, along with their banners, in support of the Bloody Sunday families continuing fight for justice.

 

It was reported on January 30 that the veteran journalist, Éamonn McCann, has stepped down as chairman of the Bloody Sunday Trust.

 

He said that he had taken his decision for a number of reasons.

 

“It was a suitable moment for a parting of the ways,” he said. “It has been more time and energy consuming than might appear.”

 

He said that he and other members of the Trust had disagreed over a number of issues, but stressed that he parted on good terms.

 

He also said that “on balance”, he felt that a march to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Bloody Sunday march should have been included in the official programme of events.

 

The majority of the families said they did not want to take part after what they considered to be the final march last year, following the publication of the findings of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry.

 

“I think it would have been reasonable to include it,” he said.

 

On January 27 a statement was sent to the organisers of the Bloody Sunday march from the Ard Chomhairle of Republican Sinn Féin:

 

“A chairde

 

“On the 40th anniversary of Bloody Sunday Republican Sinn Féin extends its greetings and solidarity to the survivors and families of the victims. We applaud your commitment to keeping alive the memory of the 14 Irish people murdered on the streets of Derry by the British army on January 30 1972. Your decision to continue the annual Bloody Sunday March ensures that this important and defining event in our recent history is not forgotten.

 

“The long-awaited Saville Inquiry report on June 15 2010 acknowledged for the first time that the 14 people murdered on ‘Bloody Sunday’ in Derry on January 30 1972 were innocent Civil Rights marchers however it failed on the crucial question of the responsibility of the British state for the murders.

 

“The belated acknowledgement of the innocence of those murdered and injured on Bloody Sunday was welcome, but the Inquiry failed the critical test of identifying and admitting the responsibility of the British State for the murder of unarmed Irish people on the streets of their own city.

 

“The Saville Inquiry laid sole responsibility for the murders on the British soldiers who fired the shots on Bloody Sunday and their commanding officer. This is a cop-out and ignores the chain of command both political and military, which pitted assault troops such as the British Army’s Parachute Regiment against a peaceful anti-internment march. In August of the previous year over three days the same notorious British Army regiment murdered 11 people in Belfast.

 

“Bloody Sunday is the true face of British rule in Ireland and the true face of imperialism as experienced today by the people of Afghanistan.

 

“Three times in the 20th Century the forces of British occupation have visited a Bloody Sunday on the Irish people. While British rule remains in Ireland the possibility of yet another will always exist.

 

“The British Government’s apology for the murders of Bloody Sunday is meaningless while it continues to occupy Ireland. A just and lasting peace can only come following a British withdrawal and the creation of a New Ireland built by all of the Irish people Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter.

 

“On January 29 the people of Derry and Ireland will assert once more that the spirit of those murdered on Bloody Sunday 1972 continues to cry out for justice. The march today ensures that their voice can still be heard.”

 

2. Family vow to clear Bloody Sunday victim's name

 

ON January 27 the family of Gerald Donaghey who was one of 13 shot dead on Bloody Sunday on Bloody Sunday said they are angry he is still being labelled a nail bomber.

 

The Saville report found that Gerald Donaghey was “probably armed with nail bombs but was not a threat at the time that he was shot”.

 

The 17-year-old was a member of the Na Fianna Éireann, but witnesses said he did not have any bombs on him.

 

Gerald Donaghey's niece Geraldine Doherty said her family is unable to move on.

“For us, it's still not finished. We have to keep fighting on and do whatever we have to do to get Gerald's name cleared,” she said. “I'll highlight Gerald's case at every opportunity. If it takes another 38 years, I'll do it. We're not going away.”

 

Raymond Brogan who treated the teenager in his living room after he was shot said he was angry.

 

“Lord Saville has done a lot in easing the concerns and fears of people about the reputations of their loves ones, but he never finished the job” he said. “I know for definite that that young man Gerald Donaghey was not carrying any bombs.”

 

3. British Crown Forces not welcome in Galway

 

ON Thursday, January 26 members of Republican Sinn Féin Galway held a protest at the grounds of Salthill Devon football club to protest at the presence of member of the Royal Air Force.

 

They had been invited by the 26-County army for what was clearly an attempt to not only portray the presence of British Crown Forces in this country as acceptable but to portray them as a career option for young people who are being told they have no future in this country and who are being told by the political Establishment in this state that they should emigrate.

 

Despite the bad weather and the heavy Free State security presence, members of

Republican Sinn Féin showed that Crown Forces will never be acceptable in any part of Ireland. It has to be asked who bares the cost of this visit as the invite was sent by the 26-County army and the extraordinary security around this “friendly” match would notn have come cheaply.

 

This event although advertised as open to the public was in fact held behind a tight security cordon with those entering the grounds having their details taken and their vehicles searched. The attempts to portray the presence of British Crown Forces in this country as normal and acceptable will be opposed by Republican Sinn Féin in whatever form they take.

 

One of the last times the RAF were in Connacht they were attempting to hunt down

Comdt-General Tom Maguire and the men of the South Mayo Brigade IRA after the Tourmakeady ambush. They were not welcome then, they are not welcome now and they will not be welcome in the future as long as there is continued British occupation of any part of Ireland.

 

4. Kevin Coen remembered in Sligo

 

ON Sunday, January 22, 2012, Republicans from all over Connacht and further a field gathered at Sooey Cemetery in Sligo for the annual Kevin Coen commemoration. The assembled crowd formed up behind a colour party and marched to the grave of Volunteer Coen.

 

The commemoration was chaired by veteran Republican, ex-internee and POW Dan Hoban from Mayo. In his opening address he said that he was “very privileged and honoured to chair this ceremony as Kevin Coen was a special friend of mine and I served time in prison with him. He was a dedicated Republican who had only one thing on his mind when he paid the supreme sacrifice and that was the freedom of his country. Also today we honour a great Republican family, the McGoldricks of Riverstown. Seán McGoldrick, who gave a lifetime to the Republican Movement, his son and his wife Teresa are also buried here.”

 

A decade of the Rosary was recited by Val Harden. Wreaths were laid on behalf of the Republican Movement by Tom Cull from Arigna and on behalf of Republican Sinn Féin by Mick Cullen from Bundoran. Dan then introduced the main speaker for the event Republican Sinn Féin Galway County Councillor Tomás Ó Curraoin to give the main oration.

 

“Friends and Republicans we may be small in numbers but we are here as the true standard-bearers. We stand up for what our predecessors did and what Kevin Coen did when he gave his life on January 20, 1975 at Cassidy’s Cross in County Fermanagh. He fought for the all-Ireland Republic, a Republic that has not yet been achieved but some day it will. It may not come in some of our time but there are younger people here who may see it in their lifetime.

 

“There were, and are, talks of freedom in every country in the world - yet not one ounce of talk about our Six Occupied Counties or our rights, which are the rights of the people who stood up against the British for the last 840 years since they first came here and set foot on Irish soil in 1169 not 1969 as you would be led believe by some.

“I am glad to see here present today Joe O'Neill who always mentioned that his father said of all the defeats we ever had from the first great uprising of 1798 right through to the Tan War of 1920, all the defeats we had we were together and after 1922 we saw the division of the Irish people and executions carried out by successive Free State administrators.

 

“No more evidence of that than in the county of Kerry in Ballyseedy Cross, at Bahaghs workhouse outside Cahersiveen and Countess Bridge in Killarney to mention but a few. At Tuam workhouse in 1923 when a previous Patron of Republican Sinn Féin, a man who fought against the Black and Tans in the Tourmeakeady ambush, Tom Maguire had his brother Sean, at the age of 17 brought out and executed by the very same Free State.

“There is no short cut to Irish freedom there never was and there never will be. The freedom is the day that the British are driven once and for all out of all the counties of Ireland and when they have no say in any part of Ireland.

 

“As a member of Galway County council for the last number of years I can see at local level where people who get elected turn their back on Republicanism. You have to psyche yourself and you have to say to yourself that you will be the same person coming out from that meeting as you were going in and never to forget what you were put there for - the rights of the people who elected you.

 

“That’s what is going on. Kevin Coen didn’t give his life for such things. People who slept in dugouts and in hills and fought; I never was in the hills, I don’t know would I be of that calibre but I have to admire them, the people who went out and left the comfort of their home and took on the might of the British empire; you would have to admire them and they did so with one thing in mind - unpaid, unmoved to get rid of Imperialism and to build a new Ireland for the people of Ireland like the people who went out in 1916 did for us.

 

“I couldn’t go without mentioning the current situation that in Dublin, on Wednesday, saw a protest outside Leinster House. Connemara against septic tank charges are organising a rally on these charges, ie septic tanks, water rates and household charges, taking everything away from the ordinary people. We had a meeting in Bart Gormley’s town of Tuam last Friday night – I’m glad to see Bart here as well - and we decided Connemara against septic tank charges will be having a rally at Leinster House. It isn’t known yet where we will start off but we would appreciate support from everyone from all counties because it just doesn’t concern Connemara, it concerns all of rural Ireland and I mean all 32 Counties of Ireland.”

 

Dan Hoban then brought the commemoration to a close and thanked all those who attended.

 

5. Derry Fleadh is a blow to Irish culture

 

THE decision by the executive of Comhaltas Ceoltóiri Éireann to stage Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Derry in 2013 is a major blow to Irish culture and the arts as it coincides with the city’s hosting of the ‘UK City of Culture’, Republican Sinn Féin Vice-President Fergal Moore said on January 27.

 

“The Fleadh will be overshadowed by the ‘UK City of Culture’ events and runs the risk of becoming a sideshow in the celebration of Derry being a ‘British’ city. Irish music will now be portrayed as a genre of British culture instead of being a unique part of the distinct Irish culture.

 

“Derry is an Irish city and it should not be celebrating British culture neither should Irish culture be subverted in this manner to enhance British culture. It is no surprise that this decision comes after considerable pressure has been brought to bear by those who openly support Ireland being part of the ‘United Kingdom’.”

 

6. Mining company plan to use ‘fracking’ in Leitrim and Fermanagh

 

Geraldine McNamara, PRO, Republican Sinn Féin, said that the announcement by an Australian mining company Tamboran Resources that it intends to use fracking for mining in Co Leitrim and Co Fermanagh should be firmly opposed by local people in the area.

 

“Fracking is a process in which millions of gallons of chemical fluid is forced up to a mile beneath the surface to crack the rocks and release the natural gasses in them,” she said. “Much of the waste then returns to the surface and causes pollution in the environment .

 

“There is also much speculation that it also causes earth quakes and a recent New York Times investigation claimed the wasted water contained dangerously high levels of radioactivity.

 

“Many councils have now voted to ban this practice in their areas,” Geraldine said, and she called on Leitrim and Fermanagh Councils to now do the same and safeguard their environment and local people’s health and wellbeing.

 

“The promise of jobs in our present economic climate should not be put before health and safety and profit should not be put before people.

 

“Republican Sinn Fein voted at its recent Ard-Fheis to oppose fracking and support locals in their campaign against this practice.”

 

DECLAN McNally, from Ballyronan, Co Derry claimed on January 30 that he has been constantly harassed by the RUC/PSNI since he was arrested last June in connection with the killing of RUC man Ronan Kerr. He was among five people arrested who were released within 24 hours without charge.

 

He said that since speaking out about his arrest he has been “relentlessly harassed” by the British police. Declan McNally (33) runs McNally’s Bar in Toomebridge, Co Derry.

 

He said he was stopped at a checkpoint on January 29 as he left his bar

 

“The first man came to the window while the second man went to the passenger side of the car,” he said. “He mentioned the police harassment and said he could make it stop, told me he’d make life better for my family.

 

“I told him I wasn’t interested but he leaned into the car, grabbed me and put a gun to my head, saying: ‘You’ve no option or we’ll have you executed.’

 

“I have no criminal record whatsoever but I’m genuinely in fear for myself and my family,” Declan McNally said.

 

Declan McNally’s solicitor Kevin Winters is to go to the Belfast High Court in an attempt to secure an injunction to stop further approaches.

 

8. 'Water-board' torture claims heard

 

THE case of Liam Holden, the last man sentenced to death in the Six Occupied Counties, has been referred back to the Court of Appeal on the basis that it may have been unsafe. The move followed an examination of new evidence and the admissibility and reliability of confessions.

 

He alleges ‘water-boarding’ was used to extract a confession for the murder of a British soldier 40 years ago.

 

Liam Holden, from Ballymurphy, west Belfast, was due to hang after being found guilty of shooting Private Frank Bell in September 1972. His death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment and he served 17 years in jail before applying to an independent body set up to examine alleged miscarriages of justice.

 

Holden's appeal was set to be heard next month, but his barrister revealed on January that fresh material has been received in relation to alleged ill-treatment.

 

Barry Macdonald QC told the court: “That concerns the allegation of a technique used that is now known as water-boarding.”

 

The alleged method is believed to involve a towel being placed over Holden's face before water was poured over it to give the impression he was drowning. His solicitor was said to have carried out extensive research to obtain any evidence to back up the claim.

 

Barry Macdonald added: “Just this week we have received three lever arch files full of material concerning that particular issue of water-boarding.”

 

He requested more time to study the information before deciding whether to seek to admit fresh evidence.

 

Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan agreed to put the appeal back to a later date.

“In the circumstances we have no option but to take the case out,” he said.

 

9. Sherlock insists copyright law will go ahead

 

ON January 26 26-County Minister of State Seán Sherlock said he plans to introduce an amendment to copyright legislation despite concerns expressed about its potential impact on internet access.

 

An online petition opposing the proposed amendment has continued to grow, recording over 48,000 signatures since it began earlier in the week.

 

Opponents fear that the change could potentially see court orders blocking popular sites like YouTube and Facebook. There are also concerns that the law could make Ireland less attractive to technology start-ups and multinational companies like Google.

ON January 25 thousands of young people took to the streets in Poland in a mounting wave of off-and-online protest against a government decision to sign an international anti-online piracy accord.

 

 The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk said he will endorse, aims to create international standards for intellectual property protection.

 

However, Internet groups including global hacker collective Anonymous oppose it as limiting online freedoms.

 

Poland, an ex-communist state which joined the EU in 2004, has committed to signing CTA today.

 

A protest by thousands organised largely via Facebook in the central Polish city of Kielce yesterday turned violent when some protesters trashed cars and attacked police, the commercial TVN24 news channel reported.

 

Protesters also turned out for anti-ACTA rallies in Wroclaw, Szczecin, Olsztyn and Bialystok.

 

Online protest pages on Facebook have attracted more than 300,000 supporters, while an anti-ACTA online petition had drawn about 130,000 signatures by yesterday evening.

 

Protesters are upset Mr Tusk's government pushed ahead with ACTA after meetings with commercial media, but held no public consultations with online rights groups.

 

10. Campaign against home taxes/septic tank tax and water charges to launch in Mullingar

 

THE Campaign Against Household and Water Taxes (CAHWT), which is co-ordinating nationwide opposition to the new ‘Household Charge’, is holding a public meeting in Mullingar on February 9.

 

The Campaign is calling on all rural and urban people to unite in a determined non-registration campaign for the Household and Septic Tank tax. It believes there is potential to persuade hundreds of thousands of householders not to register by St Patrick's Day and to instead join and promote the campaign in their communities.

 

The meeting will also address the issue of the recently passed law on septic tanks and the government demand for a 50e inspection charge.

 

There will be time also for discussion and questions from the public. The group has launched a national hotline number 1890 98 98 00 to give people information.

 

The CAHWT alliance has held meetings of up to 400 people in communities around the country and says that its aim is to create major political pressure for repeal of these unjust charges.

 

Campaign Against Household and Water Taxes Public meeting at 7.30 on February 9 in the Greville Arms Hotel, Mullingar, County Westmeath.

 

For more information contact Mullingar CAHWT Branch members on 0861963134

Website: www.nohouseholdtax.org

 

11. February 2012: Update from Rossport Solidarity Camp

 

Shell’s plans for February

Shell sent out letters local residents on the 25th of January. The letter very cautiously admits that they breached their planning conditions twice before Christmas by discharging peaty effluent from their construction site into Srúth Fada Conn estuary, and admits that they have had an issue with noise pollution. Shell claim that ‘additional management controls have been fully implemented’ but according to Shell’s own monitoring noise pollution exceedences have continued in January. The letter also says that they plan to start work on the LVI in Glengad in early February. This involves building another compound like they had in 2008 and 2009 for the offshore pipe pull in. The haulage for constructing this will have to pass though Aghoos, Pullathomas, Barr na Coilleadh and Glengad on narrow roads not built for heavy haulage. During construction it is set to cause the most disruption to the local community, and will be opposed. Come at any stage from now on to help out.

Upcoming events

Saturday, February 4

Occupy National Gathering

Representatives of various Occupy groups from around Ireland are coming to Mayo to have a national meeting. The camp is happy to support this, and hopefully there will be an action or two.

Sunday, February 12

Crafts Day at the Solidarity House Barr na Coilleadh

Its not all about standing in roads at the camp. We also want to promote sustainable ways of living and traditional crafts that local people have been keeping alive. In January we had an introduction to making wind turbines weekend (most of camp's power is generated in this way). In February we are having a day of learning some crafts - some local people have volunteered to pass on some knitting crochet and woodcarving skills. We are also on the look out for others who are up for offering workshops - from winter birds, local wildlife, local traditional music & dance, archaeology, political discussion, brewing to direct action training. (If you're up for offering one, then get in touch).

Friday, February 17

National Day of Action

Just before the week of Belmullet court cases, this will be a chance to show solidarity with all those up on charges for resisting Shell's unwanted development. It is on a Friday as Shell will be working that day and we want to stop them, and if they do work on Saturday morning, we'll still be around to stop them then as well. On the Saturday night there will be a fundraiser at McGrath's Pub, which is on the road between Aghoos and Glengad. Poster to come shortly.

Court Week, February 20-25

There is another week-long “Shell to Sea” special sitting of the Belmullet district court in February. Its been set to hear the cases of 20 defendants with 89 charges between them, from actions protesting against the Corrib Gas Project during 2011. We want to support those being brought to court for legitimate protest. If you would like to help, whether in person or financially with potential fines, please get in touch.

March Day of Solidarity

We’re working on plans for a Day of Solidarity in March. A date will be set in February and details sent out on this list.

February, 7Leeds, UK

Leeds fundraiser & info night: 6pm to late, The Space Project, Mabgate Green, Leeds.

Campaigners in Leeds are putting on this event to promote and talk about recent developments, as well as to raise some money for the campaign.

February 12, Dublin

A charity fundraiser yoga workshop for the Rossport Solidarity Camp will be held in Dublin on the 12th February from 10.30am – 1pm.

http://www.rossportsolidaritycamp.org/2012/01/yoga-fundraiser-in-dublin-for-the-rossport-solidarity-camp/

February 18, McGrath's Pub

March 18, McGuire's Pub

These are two Mayo Shell to Sea fundraisers in local pubs, featuring food, music and other entertainment.

www.rossportsolidaritycamp.org

www.shelltosea.com

 

12. International Day of Solidarity with Leonard Peltier

 

LEONARD Peltier is a Native American activist wrongfully accused in 1975 in connection with the shooting deaths of two agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Government documents show that, without any evidence at all, the FBI decided from the beginning of its investigation to 'lock Peltier into the case'.

 

US prosecutors knowingly presented false statements to a Canadian court to extradite Mr. Peltier to the US. The statements were signed by a woman who was forced by FBI agents to say she was an eyewitness. The government has long since admitted that the woman was not present during the shootings.

 

Meanwhile, in a separate trial in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Mr. Peltier's co-defendants were acquitted by reason of self defence. Had Leonard been tried with his co-defendants, he also would have been acquitted.

 

Unhappy with the outcome of the Cedar Rapids trial, prosecutors set the stage for Mr. Peltier's conviction. His trial was moved to an area known for its anti-Indian sentiment—Fargo, North Dakota. The trial judge had a reputation for ruling against Indians, and a juror is known to have made racist comments during Mr. Peltier's trial.

 

FBI documents prove that the U.S. government went so far as to manufacture the so-called murder weapon, the most critical evidence in the prosecution's case. A ballistics test proved, however, that the gun and shell casings entered into evidence didn't match. The FBI hid this fact from the jury. Mr. Peltier was convicted and sentenced to two consecutive life terms. According to court records, the United States Attorney who prosecuted the case has twice admitted that no one even knows who fired the fatal shots.

 

Leonard Peltier is 67 years old and in poor health. An accomplished author and artist, Mr. Peltier is renowned for his humanitarian achievements. In 2009, Leonard was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for the sixth consecutive year.

 

Although the courts have acknowledged evidence of government misconduct — including forcing witnesses to lie and hiding ballistics evidence reflecting his innocence — Mr. Peltier has been denied a new trial on a legal technicality. Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, 55 Members of Congress and others — including a judge who sat as a member of the court in two of Mr. Peltier’s appeals — have all called for his

immediate release.

 

The Courts may not be able to act but Barack Obama, as President, can. Please join with us to free an innocent man. On February 4, 2012, tell Obama to grant clemency to Leonard Peltier.

 


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