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City of Tacoma tries to stop Peltier March

For the second year in a row the City is trying to stop the annual Tacoma Leonard Peltier March on Feb. 7th. Solidarity is needed!
Please Post Widely
Tacoma Leonard Peltier Support Group
P.O. Box 5464
Tacoma, WA 98415-0464



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 past them?
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.


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:  bayou@blarg.net. 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.
 bbaarsma@cityoftacoma.org;  bevans2@cityoftacoma.org;  julie.anderson@ci.tacoma.wa.us;  cladenbu@cityoftacoma.org;  mlonergan@cityoftacoma.org;  spiro.manthou@ci.tacoma.wa.us;  kphelps@cityoftacoma.org;  thomas.stenger@ci.tacoma.wa.us;  rtalbert@cityoftacoma.org;  dsorum@cityoftacoma.org;  bayou@blarg.net

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 self-defense.

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.

Portland Ave. Park (on Portland Ave. between E. 24th and E. Fairbanks Ave. Take Portland Ave. exit off I-5 and head east)

U.S. Federal Court House, 1717 Pacific Ave.

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 Network
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
Bill Simmons: International Indian Treaty Council
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
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 11:00am.

A two-page flier, 8 " 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.


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 as possible.

For those of you who only wish to just receive event up-dates from the Tacoma LPSG please send a message to:  Tacoma-lpsg@ojibwe.us, and request to be place on the Tacoma LPSG up-date list.
Those who wish to sign up on the NWPeltierSupport list you can do so by going to the following address on the internet:  link to lists.riseup.net

address: address: Tacoma LPSG, P.O.Box 5464, Tacoma, WA 98415-0464

pizzt 25.Jan.2004 21:30


I am so pizzt with the City of Tacoma for putting up these roadblocks. It figures. They want to suppress our voices, and you cannot let that happen. If it weren't for Kucinich, the only candidate who could bring sanity to the nation, I'd be in Tacoma, shouting for our freedom! This has me pizzed (angry) and I'll forward this as far as possible.

Yet Another City To Educate 25.Jan.2004 22:01

Den Mark

Apparently, we have to educate every city in the country, one city at a time, in what free assembly & free speech mean. It is not enuf for cities to learn from each other. We must educate them one by one. They are dim-witted. We have to exercise our rights, or cities think that we don't have any. Obviously, on the seventh, all good Washington progressives will either be at caucuses demanding Kucinich or in Tacoma demanding that rights be respected. WE WILL NOT GO AWAY!

Den Mark, Vancouver

Portland caravan? 25.Jan.2004 22:54

Fellow Cascadian

FDoes anyone know if there are folks from Portland heading north for this?

Tacoma, Feb. 7, 2004 25.Jan.2004 23:17


Does the Dem's precincts caucuses process provide for proxy representation?

If so, then the caucus shouldn't pose an insurmountable conflict with the Peltier march -- and what's turning out to be a clear stand for freedom of speech and assembly in the face of a Tacoma city administration that appears inclined to take its cues for governance from the municipal policies of cities like Birmingham and Montegomery in the face of resistance to social, economic and education segregation injustices in the 50's and 60's: bait and switch and coming up with ever "new rules."

Tell the city council and mayor that you expect the City of Tacoma to honor its original agreement and that you intend to be nonviolent, in the street and in the march, in Constitutionally protected expression of protest about subverted and denied justice for Leonard Peltier, in Tacoma on Feb. 7!
"In the Spirit of Crazyhorse"

Time to teach Tacoma a lesson 26.Jan.2004 16:49


Tacoma is pretty naive if they think people will just stay home in liu of a viable permit. If they are driven by racism to attempt to squelch our freedom of assembly, then their permitting procedures are illigitimate and meaningless. If they won't give us a permit, then it's all the more reason for us to raise hell and march wherever the fuck we want to!

This Just In! 26.Jan.2004 17:23

Den Mark

Tacoma has rescinded its restrictions. The march is on. I assume LPSG will post details. I sent messages to all the addresses listed in the op. I must say that the reply i rec'd from Councilwoman Anderson was one of the most responsible & concerned that i've ever gotten from a city official anywhere. (I never get anything cogent from Portland or Seattle, for example. So my tone to them has been angry lately, & now i know i won't get anything.) So i must commend Tacoma.

Den Mark, Vancouver

is anyone organizing carpools to tacoma? 26.Jan.2004 17:26


this starting to sound interesting

We Won! 26.Jan.2004 21:48

Arthur J. Miller bayou@blarg.net

From: Tacoma LPSG


The City of Tacoma has withdrawn all the silly conditions they put on our march permit that would have, they had hoped, kept the Feb. 7th Tacoma Leonard Peltier March For Justice from taking place. In the past we found going with just lawyers talking to the city was too slow, but this time we backed up the lawyers with an e-mail campaign that produced a lot of e-mails, not only from across this country, but also e-mails came in from different parts of the world. This campaign along with the work of the legal team produced quick results.
One note on e-mail campaigns to public officials. I have found that starting your campaign on a Sunday works good because when they go to their office on Monday their e-mail box is already full and e-mails will continue to come in all day Monday.
I wish to thank everyone who helped us and together we showed what can be accomplished through solidarity. On Feb. 7th free speech will finally become a reality in Tacoma, Washington. Thank you.
Arthur J. Miller
Tacoma LPSG

not pizzt 26.Jan.2004 22:20


Cool. I am no longer pizzt. It appears to be the messages sent to the City of Tacoma. Good work, guys! March on!