Leonard Peltier is a member of the American Indian Movement who is currently imprisoned at Coleman 1 penitentiary in Florida, convicted of killing an FBI agent in a shootout on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 1975.
The VDLC opposed his extradition from Canada in 1977 on the basis that he would not face a fair trial. In fact today it is the finding of human rights organizations and others internationally that Peltier did not receive a fair trial and is in fact wrongfully imprisoned. Recently, without explanation, he and the rest of his unit at Coleman 1 have been subjected to a brutal lockdown. We are calling for an end to the lockdown and freedom for Leonard Peltier!
The following recommendation was adopted at our November 2019 regular meeting.
Subject: End the Lockdown, Free Leonard Peltier
BECAUSE in 1977 American Indian Movement activist Leonard Peltier was arrested and faced deportation to the United States on allegations that he was responsible for the death of a federal agent in a shoot out on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 1975; and
BECAUSE the VDLC was amongst those who raised their voices in opposition to the extradition due to concerns that he would not face a fair trial; and
BECAUSE Peltier was convicted and remains in prison to this day and is considered a political prisoner by many. His trial has been labelled unfair by human rights groups such as Amnesty International; and
BECAUSE the National Congress of American Indians (representative of over 500 Indian nations in the United States) unanimously passed an historic resolution calling for Peltier’s release in 2011, and various other governments, dignitaries, and human rights organizations from around the world have also called for his release; and
BECAUSE Peltier and the rest of the “Elder unit” at Coleman 1 penitentiary in Coleman, Florida, have been placed on lockdown without explanation and have been denied exercise, placed in conditions of poor lighting, confined to their cells 24/7, and allowed only one half-hour shower every three days,
THE VANCOUVER AND DISTRICT LABOUR COUNCIL WILL write to Warden Cheatham at Coleman 1 penitentiary calling for an end to the unjustified and inhumane lockdown of Leonard Peltier and the Elder unit; and
THE VANCOUVER AND DISTRICT LABOUR COUNCIL WILL FURTHER join the international call of Indigenous and human rights organizations to free Leonard Peltier.
For more information: International Leonard Peltier Defence Committee