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Archive for Friday, December 1, 2000

Backers to demand clemency

Supporters hope rally will push president to free Peltier

December 1, 2000

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Area supporters of Leonard Peltier will rally Dec. 10 in Kansas City, Mo., to demand clemency for him.

The event, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. near the J.C. Nichols Fountain on the Country Club Plaza, is meant to pressure President Clinton to release Peltier.

In 1992 Clinton indicated he might release Peltier, according to Emiliano Huet-Vaughn, Overland Park, one of the organizers of the event.

Supporters of Leonard Peltier will gather from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 10 near the J.C. Nichols Fountain on the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Mo.

"That hasn't happened, but outgoing presidents tend to do things that make themselves look more humanitarian," Huet-Vaughn said.

Clinton, in a Nov. 7 interview, said he knew the Peltier clemency application was "very important to a lot of people on both sides of the issue. And I think I owe it to them to give it an honest look-see."

Peltier, a leader of the American Indian Movement, is serving consecutive life sentences at the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth in connection with the shooting deaths of two FBI agents. The incident occurred during a 1975 disturbance at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

Peltier's supporters say he was unjustly convicted despite lack of evidence.

The Kansas City rally coincides with a national rally scheduled the same day in Washington. The date also is the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Several speakers are being lined up for the Kansas City rally. Among them will be Haskell Indian Nations University students Lorene Brandt and Mike Contreras, who also represents the Wetlands Protection Organization.

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