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Leonard Peltier, the cult of Sherman Austin, and the role of Indymedia.

by all my relations Tuesday, Aug. 03, 2004 at 3:48 PM

Sherman Austin is a hero on Indymedia... but Leonard Peltier is ignored and forgotten, despite being nominated for President of the US by the Peace and Freedom Party here in LA

Leonard Peltier, the...
leonard.jpggca2pv.jpg, image/jpeg, 269x374

Leonard Peltier was a leader of the American Indian Movement when in 1975 he became involved in a shootout with FBI agents at Wounded Knee, Pine Ridge reservation of the Sioux Nation in South Dakota. Many say that Peltier is innocent of killing two FBI agents in that shootout... that he was framed for his activism and made a victim of a government intelligence program designed to suppress dissent.

Since 1975 Peltier has been in prison. A trial found him guilty of the murders that he now serves a life sentence for. However, evidence does point to flaws, errors, and omission in his trial... and everyone from Madonna, Bono, Robert Redford, and Dustin Hoffman have called for his release. The European Parliament and dozens of world leaders have called for his release, or at least a retrial. Peltier has even been nominated for this year's Nobel Peace Prize for his work inside the prison system... work that has lessoned racial tension and violence, and lead to the education and spiritual uplift of prisoners. He has written a book about his life and is also an artist whose beautiful oil paintings are actively sought and purchased. The Peace and Freedom Party of California has just nominated Leonard Peltier as their candidate for President of the United States.

Leonard Peltier's photograph does not appear on the homepage of LA's Indymedia website. His running for US President is not even mentioned, despite his having been nominated here in Los Angeles.

By contrast, Sherman Austin... a young man that has contributed virtually NOTHING to the movement for social change is awarded hero status on the Indymedia network. And for what? He created a controversial "anarchist" website where he eventually linked to information on how to construct explosive devices (triggering his arrest by Federal Agents). That is his sole "contribution" to the world of activism.

Sherman Austin's photo appears on the homepage of LA Indymedia as if HE were the one to have suffered 28 years of imprisonment for a crime he did not commit!

This is NOT a letter written to be divisive... rather, it is a call to acknowledge political realities and to set correct priorities. Small cases involving little known defendants like Austin need to be followed, and they should certainly be discussed on open forums like Indymedia... but not at the expense of a leader like Leonard Peltier who have been made to sacrifice decades of his life for a crime many say he is innocent of.

Take down Austin's photo already... he's out of jail. It's time to place Leonard Peltier's photo at the top of the LA Indymedia website where it belongs. Being in solitary confinement for 28 years is long enough.

Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 17 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
they need more people ex-imc Wednesday, Aug. 04, 2004 at 6:54 AM
heroes Meyer London Wednesday, Aug. 04, 2004 at 7:30 AM
I wrote the Sherman feature charles amsellem Wednesday, Aug. 04, 2004 at 9:04 AM
Lack of Focus Chuck Thursday, Aug. 05, 2004 at 7:47 AM
geez Chantel Thursday, Aug. 05, 2004 at 7:40 PM
stop your ranting and read the details aware Friday, Aug. 13, 2004 at 7:56 PM
STFU Burn Indymedia Down Saturday, Aug. 14, 2004 at 2:47 PM
please take this rant down a member of sherman's family Saturday, Aug. 14, 2004 at 9:25 PM
nah, leave it up more rational Sunday, Aug. 15, 2004 at 12:50 AM
~ ~ Sunday, Aug. 15, 2004 at 12:54 PM
Right... Sun Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2004 at 3:07 PM

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