Tacoma Authorities Striving to Crush Peltier March and Assembly
Repeating the piling-on of conditions, retroactive "failed deadlines" and contorted legalisms imposed during the Euro-colonial westward expansion and white resistance to voting and civil rights in the southern states, the dominant culture authorities in Tacoma, Washington are adding new, capricious and arbitrary "catch-22" demands on citizens' long planned public events and tributes of solidarity with Leonard Peltier.
Tacoma Leonard Peltier Support Group
P.O. Box 5464
Tacoma, WA 98415-0464
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH LEONARD PELTIER
MARCH AND RALLY FOR JUSTICE
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2004
UP-DATE ON MARCH
As many of you know last year the City of Tacoma refused to issue us a
march permit because we did not have the funds they demanded to pay for
police, $1,000 for every 300 marchers, and they wanted us to have a million
dollar insurance bond. The ACLU filed a
suit against the City of Tacoma and because of that suit the City of Tacoma
changed the city ordinance so that political marches no longer had to pay
for their right to march in Tacoma.
We though we would have no problems from the City of Tacoma with this
years march. We filed the papers for a march permit two months before the
march and did everything that the ACLU lawyers, the City of Tacoma Attorney
and the City of Tacoma ordinances told us to do. On January 12, 2004, we
were issued our permit. Our march permit was for marching in one lane in the
street from Portland Ave Park to the Federal Courthouse. Rather than trying
to stop our march through placing fees on it that we could not pay, this
year the City of Tacoma is trying to stop us through bureaucratization. In
other words they are placing many conditions on our permit that are
impossible to fulfill. I should point out that no other march, including
peace marches and labor marches, have had these type of conditions placed on
them. We can only conclude that because our march is in support of Leonard
Peltier and speaks to the misconduct of the U.S. government in its policies
in dealing Native people, and that our march includes Native people from
throughout our region, that the actions of the City of Tacoma that are meant
to try to stop our march are racist to the core.
Following are some of the conditions that they have placed on us:
1. We are told two weeks before the march (even though we filed for the
permit two months before the march) that we must submit to the fire
department a "site plan" 30 days before our march. That is not in the city
ordinances. That alone makes fulfilling the conditions of the permit
impossible and thus invalidates our permit.
2. One week before our march we have to notify all "merchants and neighbors"
along our route of our march. I can tell you for a fact that this is not a
condition of other events because every year they close down the street in
front of my house for a run and no one has ever notified me.
3. We must notify all those taking part in the march in writing "all rules,
regulations and laws related to pedestrians". They tried to pull that one on
us last year. If we have a march in the street the rules of pedestrians do
not apply to us.
4. We must ensure that no traffic will be blocked or delayed. How can we
ensure that if we are marching in the street? Even if we marched on the
sidewalk we could not ensure that because we cross streets.
5. "All intersections must remain open for traffic". How about side streets
where we have the right-of-way? How do you march through intersections and
at the same time keep them completely open to traffic?
6. Fire hydrants, sprinkler connections, building entrances, exit doors etc
must have an unobstructed path to them at all times. How then can we march
7. Temporary wiring (that of our sound system) must be approved by the
Electrical Inspection Division. If they want to come out and look at our
sound system they can.
Our group has given this problem back to the lawyers and there maybe
another law suit in the works. We have issued a statement to the City of
Tacoma that states, we will not shut down our march because of their attempt
to suppress us by bureaucratization, We will march on Feb. 7th and it is our
constitutional right to do so.
DO NOT BELIEVE THE MEDIA! Last year some of the mass media stated that our
march had been called off even though it had not been called off. There is
no way that we will call off our march and rally. If need be we will march
on the sidewalk which we don't need a permit to do.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
1. Send this message to every list, news web site and to your friends.
2. Use this attempt at suppressing our right to march as additional
motivation to mobilize your groups, organizations and friends to come out to
the Feb. 7th Tacoma Justice for Leonard Peltier March. This march is not
only in support of Leonard Peltier, but also in support of the right to
march for Leonard.
3. E-mail the Tacoma Mayor, Deputy Mayor, City Clerk and City Council in
support of our right to march for Leonard Peltier in Tacoma and ask them to
end their attempt to suppress our march through bureaucratization. Use the
information above in your messages. Please send a copy to our group at:
firstname.lastname@example.org. We have put all the e-mail addresses together so that all
you need to do is cut and paste them into your "send" box of your e-mail.
email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
MOBILIZATION FOR LIBERTY AND JUSTICE,
FREE LEONARD PELTIER NOW!
Leonard Peltier is an Anishinabe/Lakota American Indian Movement activist
who was frame-up and convicted after a firefight on the Pine Ridge
Reservation in 1975. The firefight took place as part of an attempt to
suppress traditional Oglala Lakota people who resisted losing any of their
land to multinational corporations who sought to mine uranium.
Now is a critical time in the struggle for social justice and the case of
Leonard Peltier. In past appeals of Leonard's case, his defense disproved
the government's case to the point that the government's prosecutor stated
that the government has no evidence connecting Leonard to the deaths of the
FBI agents and that he only "aided and abetted". Given the fact that the
first two AIM members to go on trial were found not guilty for reason of
self-defense, because it was shown in court that there had been many
killings (over 63) of Lakota people and AIM members in two and a half years
before the firefight and the FBI came up to the AIM encampment in the same
way that other drive-by shootings had taken place. That means Leonard has
spent all these years in prison for "aiding and abetting" an act of
The latest ruling from the Tenth Circuit Court Appeals stated, "Much of the
government's behavior at Pine Ridge Reservation and in its prosecution of
Mr. Peltier is to be condemned. The government withheld evidence (it is
still withholding evidence). It intimidated witnesses. These facts are not
disputed." Even though the court acknowledged government misconduct in
Leonard's trial, the court rejected Leonard's appeal based on that trial.
We of the Tacoma Leonard Peltier Support Group are putting out a call for a
general mobilization of all people who believe in social justice to come
together in Tacoma on Feb. 7th to begin a renewed struggle to gain justice
for Leonard Peltier. The government's actions against Leonard should be
viewed by all as direct actions against all people's rights to liberty and
justice. Please join us on Feb. 7th and please join the mobilization by
actively helping to bring people out for our march and rally. One way to
help is to get this message out to everyone you know and post it on every
list and web site that you can.
12:00 NOON: MARCH FOR JUSTICE
Portland Ave. Park (on Portland Ave. between E. 24th and E. Fairbanks Ave.
Take Portland Ave. exit off I-5 and head east)
1:00 PM: RALLY FOR JUSTICE
U.S. Federal Court House, 1717 Pacific Ave.
CARAVAN FOR JUSTICE:
SEATTLE: Meet at 10:45 AM at the parking lot 22nd and Madison
OLYMPIA: Meet at 10:45 AM at Media Island, 816 Adams St.
AFTER RALLY POT LUCK: (Starting around 3:00 PM or sooner if the weather is
bad) First United Methodist Church, 423 Martin Luther King Way (next to
Tacoma General Hospital). Go up the Hill from the rally and turn right on
Martin Luther King Way.
Harold Belmont: Elder, Native People's Alliance With Friends and Allies
Dorothy Ackerman: Lakota Elder
Shelly Vendiola: Indigenous Women's Network/ Indigenous Environmental
Pete Sanchez: Ktunaxa (Kutenai), Drummer
Kelly White: Coastal Salish, long time B.C. Peltier activist
Kerwin Hemlock: Drummer
Jeanette Bushnell: Native People's Alliance With Friends and Allies
Michael One Road: Portland AIM
Juan Jose Bocanegra: Community organizer and long time Peltier supporter.
Matt Remle: Hunkpapa Lakota/ Native Youth Action
Steve Hapy, Jr: Tacoma LPSG
Arthur J. Miller: Tacoma LPSG
NW AIM DRUM
Anne Feeney: Labor Folk Singer
Native Youth Movement
SEATTLE BUS: Sometimes it is even faster taking the bus than driving.
Express Bus 594 leaves 2nd & Union St. downtown Seattle at 10:40am. Get off
at the Tacoma Dome Station walk north to Portland Ave and then head east to
Portland Ave, Park or wait until 11:50 and catch bus number 41 "Portland
Ave" and get off at 34th St.. Return trip: take the street car to the
Tacoma Dome Station and return to downtown Seattle on Bus 594.
PARKING FOR MARCH: The parking at Portland Ave. Park parking lot is limited
and we filled it up fast last year. Also, the park is in a community, mostly
poor, and we want to maintain good relations with the community. So there
are a few ways you can help.
1. Get to the starting point of the march, Portland Ave Park early, drop off
all passengers at the park, then drive to the rally site and we will
organize cars to bring drivers back to the starting point of the march. This
will mean that your car will be close to the rally so that it will be easy
for you to get to it to go home or to the after rally pot luck meal.
2. Park at the Tacoma Dome "park and ride" Station and either walk to the
starting point of the march or at 11:50am catch bus number 41 "Portland Ave"
and get off at 34th St. Then after the rally take the street car, which
stops right by the rally site, back to the Tacoma Dome Station.
We need volunteers who are willing to drive drivers back to the starting
point of the march. If you can help please be at the Portland Ave. Park by
TWO PAGE FLIER ON WEB SITE:
A two-page flier, 8 ½" x 11", for the up-coming Tacoma Leonard Peltier
events is available for downloading at:
DONATIONS NEEDED (to help pay for the costs of the march and rally): Please
send donations to (make checks out to Northwest Leonard Peltier Support
Network): Tacoma LPSG, P.O. Box 5464, Tacoma, WA 98415-0464.
YOU CAN HELP: Please pass this message on to e-mail lists, web sites, to
friends, family and groups. We also have fliers and posters that you can
help us get out. Please contact us with a mailing address and we will send
them to you.
YOU CAN ALSO HELP WITH THE FOLLOWING:
1. Legal Observers.
2. Someone to videotape our march, rally and after rally meal. There are
three reasons for this. First, in case there are any problems or to show
that there were no problems, this has to do with legal matters. Second,
videotape of our events has been used around the country by Leonard Peltier
supporters. And last, we have videotapes of a number of our events and we
hope to edit them into one good video for supporters to use. So if anyone
can videotape this event please do so and give a copy of it to Arthur J.
Miller, c/o Tacoma LPSG, P.O. Box 5464, Tacoma, WA 98415-0464.
3. Photographers. We need photographs for the same reasons as we need video,
plus we send some of the best photos to the LPDC and to Leonard. Same as
video please send photos to Arthur J. Miller.
4. Banners. We only have three banners left which are rather old. One banner
has been to all 61 of our marches and has been all over the country. So we
need some new Leonard Peltier support banners. It would be nice if we had
one banner with the eagleman on it and Free Leonard Peltier and Tacoma
Leonard Peltier Support Group.We need as many Leonard Peltier support signs
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