Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

September 1, 2022

Leonard Peltier Walk for Freedom Begins: Minneapolis to Washington

Photo courtesy Leonard Peltier's Walk to Justice

"Thankful for a safe first day of the walk. Continued prayers for Elder Leonard Peltier, for our people and for all people," walkers said today at Minnesota State Capitol.

Photo courtesy Leonard Peltier's Walk to Justice

Photo courtesy Leonard Peltier's Walk to Justice

"AIM Central Texas in Minneapolis Minnesota dropping off the solar-powered trailer to house our cold storage food for the walk."

Follow the walk on Facebook to Wisconsin, Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburg, and Washington

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports 'Seeking Justice Release, AIM Launches Justice Walk, from Minneapolis to Washington'

Following a sacred pipe ceremony, Thursday morning at a park in south Minneapolis, about 20 activists from Canada and the United States set off on a 1,100-mile walk to Washington, D.C., to seek what organizers hope will be justice for imprisoned American Indian Movement (AIM) member Leonard Peltier.

Accompanied by three vehicles and the beating of a drum, the group headed to St. Paul, their first stop on the AIM-sponsored walk that is expected to take them through Chicago, Cleveland and Pittsburgh before they wind up at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington in mid-November.

Peltier, 78, who supporters say has major medical problems, has been imprisoned for 45 years since his conviction for aiding and abetting the murder of two FBI agents on South Dakota's Pine Ridge Reservation in 1975.

Yahoo News reports 'National Walk for Leonard Peltier kicks off in Minneapolis'

Peltier has been in prison for 46 years.

“The first time I’ve seen my dad was when I was two years old,” Peltier’s daughter, Kathy Peltier, said at yesterday’s rally.

Kathy was born in November 1975, months after the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation shootout in June of that year that led to Peltier’s conviction.

“I’ve been speaking about my dad since I could speak, and we know in our hearts that our dad is free,” Kathy said.

“The day of the shootout in 1975, the FBI created a narrative that some super soldier killed two FBI agents,” Dr. Nick Estes said during the rally. “But they don’t tell you that the vast majority of people at that shootout were under the age of 18.”

Musicians Mitch Walking Elk and Robby Romero closed the evening with performances and stories on their lifetime advocating for the release of Leonard Peltier. In 1992, both musicians performed at the United States Federal Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas.

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Los Angeles Sentinel reports 'Walk to Justice aims to obtain Leonard Peltier's release from prison

Beginning on September 1, 2022, the American Indian Movement Grand Governing Council (AIMGGC) will lead a prayerful walk from Minneapolis, Minnesota to Washington, D.C. to advocate and meet with government officials to seek the immediate release of Leonard Peltier from the U.S. Federal Prison System.

Officially called “Leonard Peltier’s Walk to Justice,” the spiritual initiative aims to recruit relatives, supporters, and allies to join in bringing awareness to Peltier’s situation and unjust imprisonment. The walk will span 1100 miles, cover eight states and take two-and-one-half months to complete.

“The purpose of this walk is to raise awareness to the case of Leonard Peltier, who was wrongfully convicted in 1977. Leonard’s attorneys petitioned President Biden to grant him clemency, and so that he may not die in prison for a crime he did not commit. So, please pray for Leonard’s health and that his prayers are answered for clemency based on compassionate grounds,” said Frank Paro, AIMGGC national chairman.

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