Monthly Archives: May 2022

Leonard Peltier To Joe Biden: ‘I’m Not Guilty. I Would Like To Go Home.’

Leonard Peltier knows his time is running out.

The Native American rights activist is 77, has serious health issues, just survived an ugly bout with COVID-19 and is now serving his 46th year in federal prison ― where the U.S. government put him without any evidence that he committed a crime.ADVERTISEMENT

Peltier and his supporters are holding out hope that President Joe Biden will finally send him home. Because, if anything has become clear with time, it’s just how troubling Peltier’s imprisonment has been from the start. Prosecutors in his trial hid key evidence. The FBI threatened and coerced witnesses into lying. A juror admitted she was biased against Native Americans on day two of the trial, but was allowed to stay on anyway.

Even some of the same U.S. government officials who helped put Peltier in prison in the first place have since admitted how flawed his trial was and how horribly the government has long treated Native Americans, and they have urged clemency for him.

There is reason to believe that Biden could, at last, give Peltier his freedom. He has already demonstrated a willingness to address past injustices against Native Americans. Since taking office, Biden has made it a priority to examine the government’s ugly history of Indian boarding schools, to protect sacred Indigenous sites and cultural resources, and to address the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women. He also canceled the Keystone XL oil pipeline, a major win for tribes and environmentalists.

Biden also chose Deb Haaland to lead his Interior Department, making her the nation’s first Indigenous Cabinet secretary. Haaland strongly advocated for Peltier’s release from prison in her former role as a member of Congress.ADVERTISEMENT

In November, HuffPost pressed Haaland on whether she still supports Peltier’s release in her role as interior secretary and whether she’s talked to the president about him. Haaland said only, “My thoughts and feelings about this issue are well-documented.”

If only Peltier had a few minutes alone with Biden himself. What would he say?

In a rare interview from his maximum security prison in Florida, Peltier recently told HuffPost that his message to the president would be simple.

“I’m not guilty of this shooting. I’m not guilty,” he said. “I would like to go home to spend what years I have left with my great-grandkids and my people.”

Peltier in Coleman Federal Prison in 1993.
Peltier in Coleman Federal Prison in 1993.

Peltier said he’s been following Biden’s efforts to support Native American rights and empower tribes, and if he had the president’s ear, he would give him credit for that.

“I appreciate what you’re doing by giving us our nationhood back, our sovereignty back,” he said he’d tell Biden. “I’m very grateful for that, because that’s what I was fighting for all my life.”

Before he was put in prison, Peltier was a member of the American Indian Movement, or AIM, a grassroots group of activists focused on drawing attention to federal treaty rights violations, discrimination and police brutality targeting Native Americans. Back in the 1970s, the FBI was running a covert campaign to suppress the activities of AIM. In fact, as time has revealed, the FBI is at least partly responsible for the shootout that day on Pine Ridge Reservation, as it was intentionally fueling intra-tribal tensions there in an effort to disrupt AIM’s efforts.

Today, the FBI remains the biggest obstacle to Peltier getting out of prison, for no clear reason other than wanting to shield itself from scrutiny over its past wrongdoings. The bureau simply doesn’t want him to ever be released. It recently made that clear to HuffPost ― even when we didn’t ask. This was very weird. The unsolicited statement it provided was also full of misinformation, which signals the FBI’s plan is to keep recycling a flimsy, face-saving argument for keeping Peltier in prison until he dies.

Peltier said he knows exactly what he would say to FBI Director Christopher Wray if he had the chance to talk to him alone for a few minutes.ADVERTISEMENT

“Stop killing my people. That’s all I would tell him,” he said. “Stop killing my people. Arrest the people that are guilty of crimes on the reservations.”

Peltier, pictured in 1993, has spent decades in jail and is in poor health.
Peltier, pictured in 1993, has spent decades in jail and is in poor health.

Perhaps Peltier’s greatest strength is something the FBI can’t match: the staying power of his story. For decades, thousands of people have been protesting his imprisonment ― including U.S. senators, members of Congress, Native American groups, celebrities and human rights leaders like Pope Francis, the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Coretta Scott King and Amnesty International, an organization otherwise focused on political prisoners in other countries.

Just last week, Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, pressed Attorney General Merrick Garland on the status of Peltier’s clemency petition as Garland testified in an unrelated Senate budget hearing. The U.S. attorney general offered a surprisingly weak response, saying he didn’t know about Peltier’s case beyond what he’s read in the press.

Pleas for Peltier’s release are also happening at the international level. On Tuesday, North Dakota state Rep. Ruth Anna Buffalo (D) gave a statement at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues demanding clemency for him.

“The case of Leonard Peltier demonstrates the failure of the U.S. criminal justice system to provide real justice for Native Peoples as well as the government-generated environment of racism that consistently leads to unjust convictions,” Buffalo said in her statement, which she read aloud on behalf of the International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee. She urged the U.N. to push for “a means for relief and justice for Leonard Peltier.”

Buffalo later told HuffPost she felt her remarks were “well-received” at the U.N. forum.

“I hope the reading of the statement on behalf of the ILPDC will have a positive effect on the release of our elder, Leonard Peltier,” she said. “I’m thankful for the decades of advocacy in fighting for justice for Leonard Peltier.”

“I’m not guilty. I would like to go home to spend what years I have left with my great-grandkids and my people.”- Leonard Peltier

Peltier is watching all of this play out from his prison cell. He gets regular updates from supporters on news stories that come out about him and rallies being organized in his name. He is surprisingly up to date on current news. Sometimes people mail him articles to read, and when he can’t access a relevant news story online, he has friends who will call in and read it to him over the phone, line by line.

During HuffPost’s interview with Peltier, he did most of the talking. He said he was scared recently by chest pains he’d had when he was walking across the prison yard and that he hopes to get back to painting after being denied access to the art room for years because of pandemic precautions.

Asked if he thinks he’ll make it out of prison before he dies, Peltier said he doesn’t know. To date, the White House has either ignored HuffPost’s questions about the president’s willingness to grant clemency to Peltier or talked only about the process a person must go through for requesting clemency.

“Sometimes it feels like, well…,” Peltier said, trailing off. “I shouldn’t even be here. … I should have never been in prison to start with.”

He is clearly still animated by the cause for justice for Native Americans that he was fighting for with AIM so many years ago. He told stories from his days in the 1970s, when he said Indigenous women were being routinely raped by white men who later got little or no punishment for it, and he and other AIM members would confront local law enforcement to do something about it.

Peltier specifically cited the case of former South Dakota Republican Gov. Bill Janklow, who allegedly raped a 15-year-old Lakota schoolgirl, Jancita Eagle Deer, at the Rosebud Boarding School on the Rosebud Indian Reservation. Eagle Deer was mysteriously killed by a car a few months after she testified against Janklow, who was never charged.

“Native people are humans and we had a society, a very advanced society of our own. We were generous people. We gave. That was our problem,” he said. “When the white man first came here, we gave too much. That’s what we did. We opened up because that’s the way we were brought up. We have been nothing but abused for the last 300-some years.”

Peltier in a recent photo from Coleman Federal Prison in Florida.
Peltier in a recent photo from Coleman Federal Prison in Florida.

Peltier said the fact that he has a strong base of supporters who are still fighting for him to get clemency shows that the more people learn about the way he was put into prison, the more people “are finally believing us” that the whole process was unjust.ADVERTISEMENT

“How do I feel about it? I feel good about it,” he said of people appealing for his release at the United Nations this week. “Maybe I’ll be able to go home and die now.”

He paused before adding, “I’m still pissed off about what they did. What they did to me was wrong. It violated the whole Constitution of the United States.”

Statement from Dan Baker in solidarity with Toby Shone

Dan Baker just issued the following statement in solidarity with anarchist prisoner Toby Shone, who was facing a control order that has just been rejected by a judge.

I express my solidarity and support for Toby Shone, who is being held by the same company, G4S, which captures and holds children in cages. The psychologist here at FCI Memphis asked me why I fast on new and full moons and I told her that I fast to train my body for hunger strikes because this is the only way to express bodily autonomy in a totalitarian, dystopian police state. Today is the anniversary of the death of Bobby Sands, Irish political prisoner who was on hunger strike. Up the Friends!

I am now receiving mail but friends like Toby Shone and Eric King are unable to communicate freely with the outside world, and kept in isolation with meaningless labels of elevated fear. Like Toby, I also faced a decade in prison, and was told I should be grateful for only receiving 44 months of captivity. But Abdullah Ocalan says, “There is nothing more contemptible than a slave who is grateful for their enslavement.”

After finishing my sentence I will be on probation and observation for three years, which, as Toby said, could see us return to prison on the whims of unscrupulous cops who don’t follow their own laws. As Toby said, international solidarity cooperation and mobilization is fundamental to successful progress. Before we can dismantle and abolish human captivity, we have to examine our hearts and minds and uproot the chains of slavery that capitalism has conditioned us to perpetuate through widespread advertising and dependency. I would like everyone to remember Willem Von Spronson, who took a stand against G4S and their abusive enslavement of children, in the U.$., Palestine and the U.K. The Martyrs never die!

The human spirit that loves truth, freedom and beauty will never submit to systems of hierarchy and domination. I admire Toby’s statement that will not step back one millimeter!

Solidarity forever,

Dan aka Alishare

Daniel Baker, 25765-509
P.O, BOX 34550
MEMPHIS, TN  38184

Gage Halupowski transferred

Antifascist political prisoner Gage Halupowski whos been locked up since June 2019 was just moved to a prison in Salem, Oregon.

Here’s his new address for letters of support & solidarity!

Gage Halupowski #21894460
South Fork Forest Camp (SFFC)
48300 Wilson River Highway
Tillamook, OR 97141-9799

For more info on Gage Halupowski,check out…

Order Support Gage stickers –

Eric has been moved to USP Lee- please make calls and send emails today!

Wednesday May 4th

Despite claims by the Bureau of Prisons that Eric was not designated to USP Lee made to supporters this last week, Eric was moved yesterday from USP Atlanta holding facility to USP Lee. This move happened despite the fact that Eric should not have a maximum management variable on him and should be housed at a low or medium security prison.

It is imperative that we put pressure on the Bureau of Prisons and notify U.S. Senators and Congressional Reps about this today. Please urge the BOP to redesignate Eric to a low or medium security prison ASAP. They are already aware of threats made by white supremacists and long-term placement in the SHU is not an acceptable alternative to going into general population at USP Lee and being attacked by white supremacists.

Please make calls, send faxes and emails today to help keep Eric safe.


Eric has no pending charges, criminal history or disciplinary sanctions qualifying him for maximum security;

Eric was found not guilty March 18, 2022 for assault on federal officer and merely wants to finish his original sentence as smoothly as possible as he’s due for release December 2023;

Eric being placed in segregation is not a guarantee for safety due to a history of being attacked by white supremacists in segregation;

Eric has filed grievances to address his improper designation for maximum security and the threats made to him by white supremacist gangs at USP McCreary, USP Atlanta and USP Lee are documented;

Eric, his family and legal team need proof he does not have an improper management variable and will be properly designated based on his actual security level of medium/low


Main public contact: [email protected]
Warden Breckon: [email protected]
Assistant Warden Streeval: [email protected]
Phone: 276-546-0150
Fax: 276-546-9115

Designation & Sentence Computation Center 

email: GRA-DSC/[email protected] 
Phone: 972-352-4400 
Fax: 972-352-4395 

Mid-Atlantic BOP Regional Office 
Email: [email protected] 
Phone: 301-317-3100 
Fax: 301-317-3119 

BOP National Office 
Email: [email protected] 
Phone: 202-307-3198 

BOP Director Michael Carvajal

Director, Federal Bureau of Prisons
Email: [email protected]

BOP Mid-Atlantic Regional Director James Petrucci\
[email protected]

Judiciary subcomittee that oversees the Bureau of Prisons and sentencing:

Links to find your State’s Representatives:

House of Representatives:

Virginia Senators to Contact (USP Lee Jurisdiction)

Tim Kaine 
Twitter: @TimKaine 
Phone: (202) 224-4024 

Mark. R Warner
Twitter: @MarkWarner 
Phone: 202-224-2023 

VA Congress

Morgan Griffith
Twitter: @RepMGriffithAbingdon
Phone: (276) 525-1405
(202) 225-3861

Missouri Senators (Eric’s original sentencing district)

Josh Hawley
Office: 202-224-6154
Twitter: @HawleyMO

Roy Blunt
Phone: (202) 224-5721
Twitter: @RoyBlunt

Missouri Congress and Members of House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security; Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Prisons

Cori Bush
Phone: (314) 955-9980
Phone: (202) 225-2406
Twitter: @coribush


To whom it may concern,  

I am writing about my friend who is a prisoner in the Federal Bureau of Prisons. His name is Eric King, inmate number 27090-045. He was recently found not guilty on all counts at a trial in the U.S. District of Colorado. Eric was moved from FCI Englewood and was transferred from a private facility, Grady County Jail in Oklahoma, to USP Atlanta, where he was put on a bus yesterday and is now at USP Lee.  

I am writing because I believe Eric is in danger at USP Lee. He is scheduled to be released from prison in December 2023, and wants to avoid anything that would infringe on this release date. 

There is an active threat against his life. A few years ago, before being sent to Colorado, Eric was held in the Segregation Unit at USP Lee for approximately two weeks. Before that, at USP Atlanta, a white supremacist gang member told him he would be killed at USP Lee if he was released into general population. This was documented at USP Lee. Eric was originally transferred to USP Lee and Atlanta under the US Marshalls after he was attacked by white supremacist gangs at USP McCreary.

It is imperative that Eric not be put in harm’s way. The Bureau of Prisons knows this and there is established case law regarding the BOP sending someone into dangerous and life threatening scenarios. See Fitzharris v. Wolf, 702 F.2d 836, 839 (9th Cir. 1983); Gullatte v. Potts, 654 F.2d 1007, 1012-13 (5th Cir. 1981); Roba v. U.S., 604 F.2d 215, 218-19 (2d Cir. 1979). 

Additionally, Eric is in this situation because of a bogus maximum management variable on his security profile. This has him erroneously being sent to a facility beyond his actual security level. He has no pending charges and no incident reports. He has no criminal history or disciplinary sanctions qualifying him for placement at a maximum security prison. He intends to be released to Colorado to live with his wife and his two children in just over a year. We need proof to Eric, his family and legal team the management variable is removed so that he can be sent to a medium- or low-custody prison close to home and begin preparing for release. 

I am afraid for my friend Eric’s life, and I am asking that you intervene with the Bureau of Prisons and ask them not to send Eric King into harm’s way by sending him to USP Lee. 

Please help my friend.