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Dave Bald Eagle,
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Joannelle Nadine Romero
On June 26, 1975, during a period of high tensions on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota, two FBI agents were killed in a shootout with a group of Indians. Although several men were charged with killing the agents, only one, Leonard Peltier, was found guilty. This film describes the events surrounding the shootout and suggests that Peltier was unjustly convicted. Written by
Eric Sorensen <Eric_Sorensen@fc.mcps.k12.md.us>
A Shocking Portrait of the Railroading of an Innocent Man
When I first saw this film, I was not terribly informed re the Peltier case. As soon as the credits rolled, I knew that I would have to own this film, if only so that I could lend it to everyone I knew. As I had known would happen, each new person I showed it to became angry and incredulous: how can Leonard Peltier still be in prison? The snow job this soft-spoken, good-humored Ojibwa was given by the U.S. government makes me feel ashamed to be an American. It becomes painfully clear that the FBI popped Leonard because they needed to pop an American Indian, preferably an AIM Indian - and Leonard was there. But if you ask me, no justice has even been done for the 2 dead FBI agents Peltier's conviction was intended to avenge; jailing the wrong man - KNOWING he is the wrong man - is far worse, I feel, than not jailing anyone at all. I think Coler and Williams are still waiting for their killer(s) to be brought to justice; by the same token, Leonard Peltier's supporters are still awaiting justice for Leonard himself. This film clearly shows the mockery made by the U.S. government of its own judicial system; any self-respecting American - of any ethnic background - should cringe at some of the statements made, freely and willfully, by government staff and spokespeople in this film. I hope they all watched this, and could see just how ignorant, unconscionable, and utterly hateful they sounded, with no regard whatsoever for true justice. The bottom line? Watch this film. Then show it to everyone you love. If we continue to raise awareness, then maybe someday, Leonard will find justice - and peace.
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