Monday, August 25, 2008
DENVER: AND THEY'RE OFF
There will no doubt be lots to cover in Denver this week. The OD, however, will try to focus only on anything really big, or out of the way, or very current, i.e. they'll be lots to read elsewhere so no reason for me to cover everything.
So lets start off the week with a CodePINK action this morning which disrupted the Unconventional Women symposium and delayed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's talk with former U.S. Ambassador Swanee Hunt at the Buell Theater.
When Pelosi sat down on stage, CodePINK protesters who had infiltrated the sold-out auditorium unfurled anti-war banners reading "IMPEACH!" and "STOP THE WAR" and shouted at Pelosi.
A short while later The Rocky Mountain News reports protesters took to the streets around noon wearing orange jumpsuits and black hoods over their heads. They were demonstrating against the prison industrial complex in America and to call attention to political prisoners like Leonard Peltier.
Chants of “No justice, no peace,” led off the parade. Some of the protesters carried signs proclaiming “No War for Empire” and “No Torture.”
Jack Nounnan was toward the end of the procession wearing his own orange outfit and hood.
“There are prisons all over the world. We’ve been putting up with it for years,” he said. “It’s a terrible shame.”
And yesterday one observer told Denvers TV7 News that downtown looked more like a police state than a political convention, with officers on almost every corner, military helicopters overhead, snipers on top of buildings.
The following is a statement from Leonard Peltier which I found at Bay Area Independent Media.
Statement from Leonard Peltier
AUGUST 24, 2008
Greetings my friends and relatives,
First of all, I can't express to you, near as much as I'd like to. The sincere appreciation I have that you would gather together remembering all the political prisoners, hostages and myself the way you have.
Gatherings like this are extremely important because it reminds people of the sacrifices that are made daily through out the world for freedom, justice, and a clean and sane environment for our future generations. The powers that exploit our resources and people will always be there, generation after generation.
And the creator will always call upon people to stand against that exploitation. Even if the creator does not call. Any just man or woman, with any semblance of justice, be it spiritual, social or environmental, He will find cause to take issue with those enemies of humanity and nature.
One of the reasons I am so appreciative is because I want you to know, from where I stand the gatherings that you do mean so very very much to the other political prisoners, other hostages and myself. It is an extreme importance that political prisoners and hostages not be forgotten. Not necessarily for the sake of the prisoners and hostages themselves, but for the sake of future generations. To appreciate and protect and jealously guard the freedoms they possess; that was paid for with someone's life. I think the most difficult times for a political prisoner or hostage, is when people start to forget what their sacrifice was about, when people become complacent because of some economic level they have attained, and forget the sacrifices that were made and the danger of them losing those gains is imminent. And I know from personal experience, the joy I feel when I receive letters of appreciations or visitors and that is second to the joy I feel when I know that my efforts were not in vain. And there are young people taking up the cause and responsibility of regaining our lost freedoms and resources.
I dearly miss the touch of friends, I dearly miss walking through a forest or across a meadow or even through the traffic of a busy street, or feeling the wind blowing against my skin, directly, rather than a window or some chain link fence.
But with all this, I can't express to you how at a great loss I would feel if the reason and cause of the many political prisoners and hostages throughout the world was forgotten. Swept aside, because people become too comfortable with their status quo.
I have been here for 33 years that is more than half of my life. I would give almost anything to go home. But I won't give up,
I would give almost anything to be with my family. But I won't be quiet.
I would give almost anything to say goodbye to this place, but I won't say goodbye to my beliefs and our struggle.
I would give almost anything to walk out this door and never return. But I will never walk away from the love of my people.
When I think of the things that I hear and see in the media, about how many different special interest groups, speak of various subjects, like the right to live, or pro-life, I cant help but think, of the children around the world, who never get a chance to live because of the exploitation of their resources of their country and their people.
All of the destruction that is taking place here and abroad is a direct result of people, special interest groups, whose interest is primarily wealth and taking more than they need.
The religious people or should I say The spiritual people of America, and anywhere else for that matter, should seek to aggressively band together to stop the unjust wars that truly impact primarily the common man, the common man who in his village or farm, city or anywhere else is destroyed, by bombs, from the various governments. Governments; Who in the name of nationalism and patriotism seek to gain political power and control over someone else's resource and political system. They should actively band together and identify the things they have in common rather than dwelling on their differences. Perhaps I am rambling too much in my statement, after 33 years in prison and 63 years upon this earth, much of this time spent thinking, praying, analyzing, and mediating, on the information that I gather from various forms of writings, books and observations, I somehow feel I have a little bit of a right, to say what I think and feel.
I love you all and I am so honored that I would be invited to make a statement to you. And if I could hug each one of you individually, I guarantee you would damn well be hugged!
I have never given up in my struggle for freedom.
Freedom is a natural inclination of all living creatures up on the earth. Even a newborn will struggle when held too tightly.
I deeply regret being in prison I deeply regret losing family members while in here, I deeply regret all the wonderful things in life that I have missed, but I will never regret standing up for my people for as long as I can draw my breath. My heart is with them always, and my heart is with you today.
So long for now; I will remember you in my prayers and until next time.
Keep the faith.
Your relative always
In the spirit of crazy horse,