Man, I dream of just being able to paint. Go to sleep when I want, get up when I want, eat when I want. Try to enjoy what’s left for me. Talk to the little children—be an elder for my people.
—Leonard Peltier, United States Penitentiary, Coleman I in Florida, July 4, 2016.
This is not a good time to be black in America, and not just because of people walking while black, driving while black, running while black, breathing while black, but because of all the hells that people suffer all across America. The truth of the matter is, it ain’t gettin’ sweeter. It ain’t getting better.
—Mumia Abu-Jamal, October 07, 2016, SCI Mahanoy state prison, Frackville, Pennsylvania.
Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal have been unjustly imprisoned for decades, and their last chances for freedom will come in the six weeks between the November 8 election and the inauguration of the next president on January 20. During that interval, President Barack Obama will himself be totally free. With no political pressures to worry about, he can do something that should have been done long ago: liberate these two men.
In June 1975, during a confrontation on the Pine Ridge Reservation, Oglala, South Dakota that involved members of the American Indian Movement (AIM), two FBI agents were shot dead. In 1977, Leonard Peltier, an Anishinabe-Lakota American Indian, grandfather, painter, writer, and a member of the AIM was convicted and sentenced to two…