Coastal Post Online


December 2001

Leonard Peltier: Make The World A Better Place

September 12, 2001

Dear Sisters, Brothers, Friends, and Supporters,

It is in the wake of the tragic attacks in New York that I write this statement. Today there is a great sadness in my heart for the thousands of victims, their families, and those who have personally witnessed the horrors of violence, death and destruction. My own daughter, Marqetta, who is an EMT on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, is leaving today for New York to assist in the rescue and medical effort. Of course, I am very worried and concerned for her safety, but I am also very proud of her.

Meanwhile, I can't help but think of the larger implications and meaning of all of this. I watch the TV and see the government's reaction. As always, the plan is to utilize brute force and act with blood thirsty, uninhibited revenge; to use intimidation and more violence to counter further attacks. How many more innocent victims will be hurt because of this? And how long term is such a solution, and is it a solution at all? Of course it is not.

As I think about the victims of this attack, I also think about the victims or political violence all over the world. So much of this violence is carried out with weaponry provided by the United States and by people trained at agencies like the School of the Americas. Even bin Ladin was trained by the CIA during Afghanistan's war with Russia. It is my belief that there can be no security, no end to violence, until this country changes, and learns to measure itself, not by monetary wealth, and not by power and control, but by its capacity to make the word a better place for all people. A world where the torture and murder of hundreds of thousands of Indigenous Peoples in Latin America by militaries equipped, trained, and even controlled by the US could never be tolerated and where such loss of life would spur the same kind of remorse and mourning that we are all feeling now for the victims in this country. Only until the government treats other nations and peoples with the same respect and dignity it expects in return, will its citizens be safe, and only the people can make this happen.

All of this has given me and my defense committee great pause. The LPDC had planned to launch a new campaign today and begin rallying support for our new strategies. however, we have decided to wait until a more appropriate time. For now we want to express our sympathies to those supporters who have been directly affected by this tragedy and pray that the government's reaction will not lead to more sorrow and loss.

(from Spirit of Crazy Horse, Official Newsletter for Leonard Peltier)



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