Friday, November 26, 2010

From the Ancestors to a new Future

2010 Alcatraz Sunrise Ceremony
Article and photos by Brenda Norrell/Censored News SAN FRANCISCO -- Thousands of people gathered on Alcatraz Island to remember those who occupied the island in 1969 in a stand of resistance for Native American rights. Before first light, the ceremony began with Pomo traditional dancers. Maori are among those honoring the traditions and culture of their peoples. Before sunrise, live on KPFA Radio, Wounded Knee spoke of the Shellmound Walk and the need to protect the Shellmounds. Radley Davis offered a traditional song, with Doug Duncan and the Pomo Dancers. With more than 4,000 people gathered, children and family members of those who occupied Alcatraz shared memories. Fred Short spoke on honoring the traditions and recognizing the warriors who stood up against the oppression of the government.
Clyde Bellecourt said at the time Alcatraz was occupied, in the late '60s and early '70s, nothing was being done to uplift the conditions of American Indian people. Speaking of the US colonizers, Bellecourt said this is the day of "Thanks-taking" for European immigrants to the US.
"We're not minorities, we are sovereign nations," Bellecourt said.

Sunrise Ceremony 2007 Alcatraz

People of Color Organize (POCO), is sponsoring a supply drive to contribute to the Pine Ridge Emergency Relief Aid program. This is a program created by the Lakota Nation in Pine Ridge, South Dakota to mitigate the deplorable conditions that the United States continues to impose on native people.
In the Pine Ridge Sioux community, euphemistically known as “Reservations”, Lakota men have a life expectancy of less than 44 years, the infant mortality rate is 300% more than the U.S. average, and the median income is approximately $2,600 to $3,500 per year. These statistics represent only a few of the conditions the Lakota are forced to live under due to U.S. policy in so-called “Indian Affairs”.
Please donate dry and canned goods, new clothing (all ages, all sizes), paper products (napkins, plates, cups, etc.), and school supplies for the T.R.E.A.T.Y school to the Lakota people. All donations can be sent to P.O. Box 667233, Houston, Texas 77266-7233. Donations will be accepted through December 15, 2010. We also encourage you to visit the Lakota website at [] and make monetary donations to them directly.

2010-11-24 "Prisoner on stolen land: an interview wit’ Aaron about political prisoner Leonard Peltier" by Block Report Radio host JR.
Adapted from original at []
JR is an Associate Editor for the San Francisco Bay View newspaper and is the Minister of Information for the Prisoner Of Conscience Committee. Email him at and visit
Listening party for new hip hop cd, the ‘Free Leonard Peltier Album,’ Tuesday, Nov. 30, 6:30 p.m., at the Black Dot CafĂ©, 1195 Pine St., West Oakland. The Block Report and Aaron will be hosting a listening party for the album. Come through and learn about Leonard’s case and indigenous resistance, and come hang out as we listen to a slappin’ album.
Leonard Peltier is a legendary leader of resistance against police and government oppression specifically dealing with the indigenous people of Turtle Island (Amerikkka). He has been a political prisoner of the settler-colonial government of the United States for over 30 years and is in jail for the murder of two FBI agents, although evidence proves that he is innocent. You can learn a lot about his case from the documentary, “Incident at Oglala.”
Recently his nephew Aaron released the “Free Leonard Peltier Album,” which features some of the most notable rappers on the scene today that rap for freedom.
Check out Aaron in this brief interview …
M.O.I. JR: Who is Leonard Peltier? And why is he important to the international human rights movement?
Aaron: Leonard Peltier is an indigenous political prisoner who is being held captive by the U.S. government – an indigenous man who was wrongfully convicted in 1977 and has served over 30 years in federal prison despite proof of his innocence, also despite proof that he was convicted on the basis of fabricated and suppressed evidence, as well as coerced testimony. The U.S. government fabricated a case against Leonard, which ultimately led to his conviction for the death of two FBI agents. There have been over 19 constitutional violations committed against Leonard throughout his whole case which clearly indicates his trial was in no way fair and free from prejudice. Leonard has become a symbol of indigenous resistance and a cornerstone of the human rights movement because of his commitment to the people and unwillingness to give up.
M.O.I. JR: What is the status of his case today?
Aaron: Leonard was denied parole last year and is not again eligible for decades. He has used all of his appeals and, unfortunately, when he did appeal, all of the evidence proving his innocence was not yet released to the public. The Freedom of Information Act led to Leonard’s lawyers getting key information which proves his innocence, such as ballistic evidence which was hidden from the defense during the trial which clearly indicates that the firing pin in the murder weapon was damaged and could not be tested accurately. The truth is that they replaced the firing pin to get the results they wanted in one of many fabrications of what really happen.
M.O.I. JR: Have you been in contact with him? Who is he as a person? What are some of the things that Leonard likes?
Aaron: My sister and I have written Leonard many letters over the years and he wrote back many years ago. From behind bars he has approved various elements of the “Free Peltier” album via the LPDOC (Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee) and he even allowed us to use his painting “Zi Warrior” for the cover of the album. Leonard is a very peaceful man and has become a mentor to many people out here in these streets and in the community from behind bars.
M.O.I. JR: Can you tell us about this cd that you just released?
Aaron: The Free Leonard Peltier Album is a gathering of members of the progressive hip hop community who are focused on the unjust incarceration of Leonard Peltier. The artists hope to raise dialogue in the community regarding the case of Leonard Peltier and expose one of the criminal justice system’s biggest abuses of justice in U.S. history. I first conceived the album in hopes to raise awareness regarding Leonard’s plight within the community in a way they can relate to. One of my favorite lines on the album is “Human Rights organizations are trying to right this wrong but, for Peltier, the least I can do is write this song. It’s been over 30 years of tears and frustration since the brother stood up with no fear for the nation,” proclaimed by Rakaa of Dilated Peoples in his tribute to Leonard along with 2Mex in their amazing track “Right This Wrong.”
Other guests include Immortal Technique, M1 of Dead Prez, Talib Kweli, Skyzoo, Reks, T-Kash, Arievolution and iamani i. iameni, Mama Wisdom, Bicasso of the Living Legends, Eseibio, Buggin Malone, The DIme and DeeSkee.
M.O.I. JR: How can people get more info online about the case? Aaron: For more information on the case of Leonard Peltier, please visit [] and [].
For more information on the “Free Leonard Peltier Album: Hip Hop’s Contribution to the Freedom Campaign,” please visit on iTunes or FreeLeonardPeltierHipHop on cdbaby.

Related Posts
* Leonard Peltier’s safety in jeopardy! []
* Rebel of the underground: an interview with RodStarz of Rebel Diaz []
* Leonard Peltier: Statement of solidarity with Mumia Abu-Jamal []
* The frat house death of Gregory Johnson Jr. remains unsolved []
* Leonard Peltier: Parole denied []

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