No human being should ever have to fear for his own life because of political or religious beliefs. We are all in this together, my friends, the rich, the poor, the red, white, black, brown and yellow. We share responsibility for Mother Earth and those who live and breathe upon her ..never forget that.— Leonard Peltier
The most perspective Leonard Peltier quotes to discover and learn by heart
I don’t know how to save the world.
I don’t have the answers or The Answer. I hold no secret knowledge as to how to fix the mistakes of generations past and present. I only know that without compassion and respect for all of Earth’s inhabitants, none of us will survive—nor will we deserve to.
The FBI has always supported big business and big government.
In them days, it was just still not illegal to kill an Indian.
If you killed an Indian, you'd be very unfortunate if you got probation - most of them were released immediately.
They still don't want to admit to the world that this isn't the best and the fairest and most equal justice system. And that they are guilty of railroading people into jail. They don't want to, or never will, admit these things.
The United States government can indict you on something, and now you've got to prove your innocence. And that's not the Constitution of the United States.
United States Government needs to acknowledge and respect our sovereignty, treaties, traditional Native American values, and our human rights as a people, which under the law as written we deserve, and which should be protected.
Innocence has a single voice that can only say over and over again, "I didn't do it." Guilt has a thousand voices, all of them lies.
At this writing I can't even shut my lower jaw because of inadequate health care. I can't chew my food, I have trouble walking...the list goes on. But more than anything I want to go home. If you follow the laws at the time of my conviction I should have been released already.
What I am is a father, a grandfather, a great grandfather, and an artist.
I am a man who loves his people and wants to go home.
Ultimately, I would like to say yes, conditions have improved, but there is still vast room for more improvement; we are still the poorest of the poor. And we are still statistically considered to be extremely disrupted culturally, and have extreme health needs in many areas, as well as high suicide rates and infant mortality rates.
My continued incarceration has served some good purposes.
My defense committee has served as a training ground for other organizers in their defense of freedom and justice.
They [Federal Goverment] don't care if I am guilty or innocent.
I serve their purpose in here. Other than what I have mentioned, what fear could they possibly have from a old man with dimming eyesight, arthritis, diabetes, and other health issues that render me hardly a threat to anyone.
I would like to say prison life at its very best and worst infinitely sucks.
The America that never cared or felt guilty about portraying us as undignified people on their television screen, or in some old history book that never stated truthfully the facts of our invasion or the cruelty we had to endure for generations.
With what sovereignty we have retained, we choose to decide for ourselves our needs in accordance with our values, exerting our rights of empowerment under those articles of the treaties.
As to whether I will ever get out, it will obviously take some large measures of public opinion because the judiciary system of America is totally interlaced with bureaucratic influences that perpetuate FBI control over judges, prosecutors and court proceedings.
Well... I still can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. These politicians are such sleazebags that you just don't know. You can't really get anything from a lot of them once they get into power. They totally forget about all their commitments. The poor people elect them, and they forget about all the poor people.
I think only a massive public outcry would result in my receiving any measure of justice.
This American government has become very adept at attaching labels to people who defend themselves, so that the general population in America will condone their behavior.
In the past, when we were initially organizing to bring about changes, our elders had little or no political experience. However, today, most of those American Indian Movement organ-izers are the elders. They are quite adept at bringing attention to the public about any attacks upon our people.
The FBI with their heavy influence on the judiciary system has successfully blocked me on every turn.
I see, or at least it appears to me, that there is some concerted effort to discredit them, and categorize the American Indian Movement as some adverse entity, as opposed to it being a manifestation of the desperations of a whole race of people.
It is difficult for me to talk about some of these things without reliving the extreme emotions and loss one always feels for the untimely deaths of acquaintances, family and friends, all because they stood up against the unlawful tyranny of non-Indian America.
The government and its prosecutors are continually trying to block my efforts to win my freedom and expose their judicial wrong doings; they systematically try to block me from obtaining FBI files which I know would exonerate me. I don't know the exact conditions of everybody else, but I do know that I have been denied adequate and proper health care and I suffer greatly from that.
It is a written fact that our people had warned of all these consequences of wrongful environmental behavior since our very first contact with the non-Indians. There was a time when our elders used to say to us, "You can't function with one foot in the white man's canoe and one foot in the Indian's canoe." With these extreme environmental concerns taking place on the earth, mankind is all in the same boat. Or better be.
You can see examples of this, such as where [George W.
] Bush lied to the public, and as a result 72 percent of America was in favor of the Iraqi invasion. Yet now the truth has presented itself and they are trying to save face by appealing to the public's national-istic persona, talking about winning and honor and everything as a reason to continue that illegal immoral occupation.
Justice is not a flexible tool. Unless we all do our part to ensure that justice is applied equally to all human beings, we are a party to its abuse. We must stand together to protect the rights of others.
If you look at Iraq and Afghanistan's situations, they are quickly becoming much like our reservations. They will have puppet governments funded and controlled by a U.S. Government that siphoned off their resources. You don't have to be an English major to read the writing on the wall; I am in here as a warning to others, just like those men who are in Guantanamo are a warning to others - if you stand up to us you face these same consequences.
We have over the years proven again and again that every piece of evidence used to convict me has been false. The FBI with its unlimited resources has done everything it possibly can to keep me in prison.
If you look at the statistics regarding Native Americans, you will see that most of the tribes since the 70s have improved their economic situation in some form. And this has been brought about by their aggressive assertion of their sovereign treaty rights.
There are so many things that we could do but education would be our primary need in this regard. And in obtaining this education we need to also educate ourselves and others to the truths that we have possessed from the beginning that allow men to live in harmony with one another.
During that time period all of our tribes were suffering extremely from poverty and neglect. And the reason I say neglect is because the U.S. Government was neglecting its true responsibilities they agreed to in exchange for our land and resources. What I and others attempted to do, and in essence we did, was bring attention to our sovereign rights, the rights we had retained when the treaties were made.
To heal will require real effort, and a change of heart, from all of us.
To heal means that we will begin to look upon one another with respect and tolerance instead of prejudice, distrust and hatred. We will have to teach our children-as well as ourselves-to love the diversity of humanity....We can do it. Yes, you and I and all of us together. Now is the time. Now is the only possible time. Let the Great Healing begin.
I do not believe Federal Government fear me at all, they know the truth.
They know I am not a dangerous person, they hold me as a hostage to discourage other people from possibly standing up to their valued system. In their minds, right or wrong the public is expected to lay down for them. You see examples of this, at the Ruby Ridge massacre and the Waco massacre, where they killed all those children and group members.
We need to do more than just what is right. We need to join together and right what is wrong.
I was like so many others passion-ately involved in trying to bring those truths to the world's attention. We did our very best to peacefully do that. The city, state, and federal governments did their very best to quell our efforts. They were used to using heavy-handed tactics to silence us.
I am tired, I want to go home. I want to continue my art work, I want to plant a garden, I want to walk in the forest, I want to walk in the fields, I just want to lie down on the grass and feel the sun against my skin. I want to be able to hold my family close to me and not have someone tell me time's up.
I, however, fear that at some future point there will possibly be concerted backlash against us because of our successes in business and other ventures. I fear this because I see a concerted effort by writers across the countries to sway public opinions by past AIM organizers
Our people still need support. Support us through writing your government officials. We are still on the verge of extinction, with continued injustices brought against us.
We each begin in innocence. We all become guilty.
The Government honoring our treaties and sovereignty is first and foremost.
These issues are still the top priority which [Barak] Obama, if elected, has promised us. For us, we should implement the most impor-tant programs right now: they are programs to teach the children a positive sense of dignity, self-worth, and the importance of sustaining their culture, history, language and honor as a people.
AIM in essence is a movement rather than just an organization.
It is a manifestation of the desperation of our people.
My supporters and family have limited resources, very limited resources;
but the FBI has the unlimited resources of the most powerful government in the world today. It's amazing that they haven't successfully had me assassinated since I have been in here. There have been plots uncovered in the past that I know of to have me killed.
I would like to say, historically, from the very beginning, our people have time and again expressed the need for people to live in harmony with the creator, the mother earth, fellow man, and respect our brother's vision. In the past and the present, we have been respon-sible for the greatest gains; cultivated foods and medicines; democratic government, and many other areas of concern.
You can't believe one thing and do another. What you believe and what you do are the same thing.
Silence,they say,is the voice of complicity.
But silence is impossible. Silence screams. Silence is the message,just as doing nothing is an act. Let who you are ring out and resonate in every word and deed. Yes,become who you are. There's no sidestepping your own being or your own responsibility. What you do is who you are. You are your own comeuppance. You become your own message. You are the message. In the Spirit of Crazy Horse.