Leonard Peltier: ‘I remain Undestroyed’

by Leonard Peltier, published on Workers World, July 6, 2024

The following statement is from political prisoner, Leonard Peltier, in response to the U.S. Parole Commission that denied him parole on July 2, 2024. His parole board hearing is scheduled for 2026.  Go to freeleonardpeltiernow.org/s/Leonard_Peltier_June26th_2024.pdf to read the original statement.

Greetings my Friends, Family, Loved Ones and Supporters.  Go to

Hope is a hard thing here. But I always hold hope in you, My People. Pay attention. The parole decision on July 11 may show you what justice truly means to this nation and to whom it is meant for.

Living in lockdown, time has twisted into something that has nothing to do with minutes, hours or years. They have taken what little freedom I have outside this box. Art — gone. Ceremony — gone. Yet they will never take the Spirit of a Sundancer. I have never given them my integrity. I remain undestroyed.

I am counting on you if this decision does not go my way. I always need your prayers. I need you to demand that this country finally commit one act of Justice.

My attorney assures me the battle is not over until it is over — she will not back down. I am counting on you not to back down. My time is running out here, with no medical care.

I do not fear death, returning to Mother Earth’s womb, but I do not want to die in lockdown.

In my solitude, my mind often returns to Raymond Yellow Thunder. The profound tragedy of Raymond’s murder sparked change in our people and showed them who the American Indian Movement is.

Raymond was a hard-working man. When he came into town to give money to his sisters, it was not enough for the Hare brothers to humiliate Raymond, strip him and parade him around an American Legion Dance. [

Raymond was shoved into the trunk of a car and died the next day. The Hare brothers were charged with second-degree manslaughter and released with no bail.

[The Hare brothers were arrested as the primary assailants of Raymond Yellow Thunder, a member of the Oglala Nation, who died from his injuries in February 1972, in Gordon, Nebraska. (Lakota Times, Feb. 23, 2017.)]

Raymond’s sisters were distraught that even that small charge may not stick. The authorities would not release the autopsy report. They would not allow Raymond’s sisters to see his body. The sisters sought help from the BIA [Bureau of Indian Affairs], the Tribal government and private attorneys.

In desperation, they turned to the American Indian Movement. AIM members are Spirit Warriors, not merciless savages. We organized 200 carloads of people and demanded justice. With dignity, we demanded justice. Sheriff’s deputies, state troopers and FBI agents agreed that serious charges should be filed against the Hares and that the local police chief should be dismissed.

Indigenous people started holding their heads up after that victory. They started speaking out against abuses by the BIA and Tribal government and white ranchers profiting off their land. We must not allow Raymond’s fate to befall others.

My mother used to ask with dismay, “Why is it so bad to be Indian?” I find myself wondering why they hate us so. We will triumph over the misguided hate of others. Never, ever, forget who you are. We are the First People.

Mother Earth herself fires the blood that runs through our veins. Protect each other, protect Mother Earth for future generations, and stand with oppressed peoples everywhere.

Remember that true strength does not reside in holding power over others. Strength comes from living out of a place of humility and integrity, inspiring others to find their unique strengths.

Oppression is rising, running like black mold through every facet of society. We must stand together and let society know that Indigenous lives are not cheap. The lives of our oppressed brothers and sisters are not cheap. All people are worthy of basic human dignity.

Colonialism has all but destroyed us. We must do nothing less than transform society into a place where human beings are not disposable.

Do not weep if I am not granted parole. Cry freedom. Coalesce yourselves, galvanize your relationships, establish alliances.

In the power of our people we find strength. Hold your head up high. It is not over, until it is over.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse. Doksha,

Leonard Peltier

Share the love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Solve : *
25 × 2 =