Behind bars

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Leonard Peltier on mining

The struggles of Indigenous People, though often over looked by many, should be of concern to all those that believe in social justice. For within these struggle will be found direct connections to all other social concerns, human rights, environmentalism,anti-racism, peace and the struggle against global domination of multi-national corporations. The following piece out of Leonard's Peltiers new book "Prison Writings; My Life Is My Sun Dance" describes what was behind the events that happen on Pine Ridge and why he is in prison.

"Since that time, the uranium mining opposed at such high cost in the early 1970s has proceeded insidiously. Lakota people today drink contaminated water and experience a rate of miscarriage and spontaneous abortion seven times the national average. Our sacred Black Hills, according to the master plan, were to have been declared a "national sacrifice area"--ultimately, were the plan to proceed, to be ringed by more than a dozen giant coal-fired plants and twenty-five nuclear reactors. A cat's-cradle grid of power lines was to be flung across the Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations in order to carry the power eastward. Court challenges to the horrendous environmental impact this nuclear monstrosity would inevitably cause have blessedly slowed the enactment of the plan; so has the drop in uranium prices caused by the end of the Cold War; but when the uranium market starts moving up again, watch out. The energy interests are simply biding their time for the most profitable moment to begin yet again. The death of a people and a way of life, not to mention the death of the land itself, never enters into the considerations of those who would foist this abomination on the Lakota People--and on the people of America as well. That's why the FBIs would come down on us so hard, because AIM and the traditional Elders were the only ones who stood in their way. Everyone else either didn't know, didn't care, or had sold out.

I have no doubt whatsoever that the real motivation behind both Wounded Knee II and the Oglala firefight, and much of the turmoil throughout Indian Country since the early 1970s, was--and is--the mining companies' desire to muffle AIM and all traditional Indian people, who sought--and still seek--to protect the land, water, and air from their thefts and depredations. In this sad and tragic age we live in, to come to the defense of Mother Earth is to be branded a criminal."

Leonard Peltier

Note: If you're interested in finding out more about this book search for Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance (Copy and paste book title into search) and Barnes&Noble for availability, synopsis, and reviews.
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