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Twin Cites rally demands freedom for Leonard Peltier

By Steff Yorek

Members of AIM and Leonard Peltier Support Committee gather preparing to rally.

Minneapolis MN – One hundred people rallied in front of the federal courthouse in Minneapolis on February 6 to demand freedom for Leonard Peltier. Peltier is the longest-held indigenous political prisoner in the U.S. Human rights activists worldwide have repeatedly called for his release.

Nick Estes of the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee said, “Today we are standing with a dozen or so rallies across the world at courthouses and embassies in solidarity with Leonard Peltier. This is the day he was arrested by the RCMP and so we count this day as the first day of his incarceration. He is entering his 48th year of imprisonment,” adding, “We have all the ‘right’ people on our side, from a former federal prosecutor to the United Nations and still justice hasn't prevailed. Power resides with the people, and we must exercise that to see him free.”

Rally emcee Rachel Thunder talked about of the historic fight for justice that the American Indian Movement (AIM) waged on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota against both the tribal government goon squad and the U.S. government. After what is sometimes referred to as the incident at Oglala, the AIM member Peltier was convicted of murder in a grossly unfair trial.

Mike Forcia of AIM said, “We are united to stand with Peltier. Let him go now. Our voices and drums and songs will be heard.”

Rachel Thunder echoed that sentiment, adding that, like fingers of a hand, separated we are weak but together we are strong and powerful.

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Rachel Thunder of American Indian Movement speaks at rally to free Leonard Pelti

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