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Tribute to Leonard Peltier
United States Prisoner #89637-132 Also called:
Tate Wikuwa/
Wind Chases the Sun
and Gwarth-ee-lass/He Leads the People

By Britta Olsen

Prison Writings
My life is my sun dance
by Leonard Peltier
ISBN: 0-312-20354-3


I hear you.
I have heard you for quite some time now.
You have touched my soul.
You have touched my heart.
My soul and heart cry because of the unfairness
committed against you and your people.
My soul and heart cry because of the unfairness
committed against the many.
Why won’t They set you free?
Why are we not all free?
Free to breathe the air.
Free to swim the sea.
Free to walk the earth.
Free to sit by the fire.

 

Can we be free?
Do we want to be free?
Do enough of us want to be free?
Could it be your second name: 
Gwarth-ee-
lass/He Leads the People.
Nelson Mandela was in prison for a long time
but he was set free in the end.
Our Queen is not free to choose her own religion.
I sincerely hope that you will be set free – soon.
Everything else would be unjust and unfair.
Even if it is much, much too late.

But I also know that ‘systems’ are unjust and unfair.
You write in and on your book ‘Prison Writings’ that:
'My life is my Sun Dance.'
Yes, and your Sun Dance is not an easy one.
I honor you for that.
I respect you.

In part v, page 121 you write:
‘When a white man is killed,
even if he brought it on himself, 
all Indians are guilty. 
Isn’t that the way it’s always been?’
 -  Yes. That is unfortunately the way.

I have been living 
in an Arab country for just over a year.
I know a tiny bit about what you are talking.
I have seen it, felt it, 
even though no one was killed.
Many years ago 
I took a trip behind ‘The Iron Curtain’  with my parents.
We were watched by heavy armed soldiers.
A mother and child.
What were they afraid of?
Why do people act this way???
I don’t understand.

In part vii, page 199 you write:
‘Our work will be unfinished
until not one human being is
hungry or battered, not a
single person is forced to die
in war, not one innocent
languishes imprisoned, and
no one is persecuted for his or
her beliefs.’

I can only hope to live to see that day.
But most probably will not.
The world as it is now makes me very sad.
Very sad indeed.

Planet Earth could be such a beautiful,
such a wonderful, and
such a magical place to live on and with.

On page 201, 2. paragraph you write:
‘I don’t know how to save the world.
I don’t have the answers or The Answer.
I hold no secret knowledge as to how to fix the mistakes
of generations past and present.
I only know that without compassion and respect
for all of Earth’s inhabitants,
none of us will survive 
– nor will we deserve to.’

To this I can only say:
You are so right.
We can only hope many will arrive at that knowingness.
And as I see it: you do know, Lennart.
You do know 
as will be seen by the last reference I will make
which is from page 213:

we are not separate
We are not separate beings, you and I.
We are different strands of the same Being.
You are me and I am you
and we are they and they are us.
This is how we’re meant to be,
each of us one,
each of us all.
You reach out across the void of Otherness to me
and you touch your own soul!'

I reach out across the void of Otherness to you
Leonard Peltier United States Prisoner #89637-132
I hear you – I cry for you.

        "There is nothing like a dream to create the future."
        Victor Hugo (1802-1885); French writer

Love and Harmony