Monday, September 7, 2009
Censored Radio: Carnes fasting at White House
UPDATE from Ben Carnes: Dehydration
Censored Radio: Ben Carnes live from the White House
By Brenda Norrell
Photo by Kitty Carnes
Ben Carnes is fasting in Lafayette Park across from the White House in solidarity with freedom for Leonard Peltier. Peltier is a citizen of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians who has been held as a political prisoner of the Government of the United States of America for over 33 years.
Carnes, Choctaw from Oklahoma, speaks on Censored Blog Radio, while fasting for justice for Leonard Peltier outside the White House. Wanbli also joins the show live by phone with more details on Peltier's case and the appeal to Obama for freedom for Peltier. Carnes and Wanbli speak of FBI misconduct, assassination attempts on Peltier, the beating of Peltier in a Pennsylvania prison in 2008 and more than 500 years of genocide for Indian people. Calling for clemency, Wanbli said Obama promised Peltier's release during his campaign. On today's show, the music is by Keith Secola, with poet Cleo Apache, recorded live at the Havasupai Gathering to Halt Uranium Mining in the Grand Canyon by Earthcycles.
Wanbli said, "Carnes is standing there in fast and in prayer for 7 days in the hopes of gaining attention of the President of the United States of America to the plight of Leonard. During his fast he will not take food or water and he will remain in a prayerful attitude for the next 7 days. Those who make stands to fight injustice such as Ben is doing should have all of our respect and prayers. There are many who make smoke and kick up dust but few who actually have the will to make a stand such as this."
Wanbli said Obama could see Carnes if he would look out the window. Carnes began his fast Saturday and will continue to fast through Sept. 12. Amnesty International has already called for the immediate release of Peltier.
CW Gayle, Choctaw, thanked Carnes. "Halito! Ben. Many years ago my friend Rocque Duenas was standing vigil for Leonard in the very place you are. Rocque was a tribal fisherman in Washington, this was 1978. You carry the torch," Gayle said in a message.
I wanted to announce that on Wednesday afternoon, I ceased the liquid portion of my fast due to dehydration. I had taken that as far as I could without endangering my health. Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, when I relieved my self, I experienced a burning sensation and around Noon Wednesday, I began to feel as if my kidneys were tightening up. I made an attempt to contact a physician, but after a period of time with receiving a response.
At 2:40 PM (Eastern), I consumed some liquids to hydrate myself. It was a promise I made to Chief Tayac when he visited me at Lafayette Park. He told me that day that I needed to hydrate myself. He said, “You are a Chief! Don’t you dare hit the ground! There are a lot of people depending upon you to be here for them, and if you die what good would that serve them?”
I assured him that when my body told me that I was beginning to have problems, I would take care of myself.
Still, I will continue to fast without food until 8:45 AM Saturday. I can assure you that Leonard would appreciate and respect this decision. He has suffered so much pain and loss of allies and relatives, that it would only grieve him had I continued and possibly caused irreparable harm to my health.
My personal prayer will continue on, and I will continue to conduct myself in a honorable and respectful manner befitting my position. I knew that when I decided to publicly announce to that I am a Sun Dance Chief and would be taking this course of action. I would open myself up to criticisms, but that in itself is a sacrifice I willingly accepted. And there has been none, just messages of respect and support. It was never my intention to promote myself, but to show my love and support for my Sun Dance brother.
I had contacted Arvol Looking Horse about the possibility of coming to DC. He could not since he already had an earlier commitment, but he supported what I was doing and that he would support me through his prayers from over there. I am very thankful to have those prayers from the Keeper of the White Buffalo Calf Pipe in this way.
I know that there are many more people who have joined in this fast as an act of solidarity for me and for Leonard. This simple course of action has aroused so much supportive action from around the world. It has done so much more than if we had tried to have everyone come to DC.
Many of you are organizing in your communities and creating so much awareness everywhere and that is so important.
The results of this prayer and sacrifice may not be immediately, I feel something is taking place on a larger spiritual level and we will need to keep that in mind in all that we do for Leonard. We know that we will prevail, and it would have been difficult without your support.Send your cards and letters to Leonard.
Let him know how your event went and let him know that we are all here for him and that we will continue to do all we can to bring him home.In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,Ben Carnes
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