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CUPE has historically supported the Leonard Peltier Defence Committee and was outraged when Peltier was denied parole on August 21, 2009. The U.S. government said Peltier would not be eligible for another parole hearing until 2024, when he will be 79 years old.  

The injustice continues as on February 10, 2010 this decision was affirmed by the U.S. Parole Commission. The Parole Commission made no concessions except for one – to finally recognize Leonard’s “recent prison record of good conduct.” The Parole Commission went on to say that Leonard’s age, health, and release plan were all considered, but that these elements “don’t warrant his release at this time.”

CUPE believes that Leonard Peltier was convicted on the basis of fabricated and suppressed evidence, as well as coerced testimony, and that the government has singled him out as a scapegoat.

CUPE’s 2009 Policy Paper on Aboriginal Issues and Strategic Directions outlines our commitment to Aboriginal communities’ rights to their land and to their own governmental structures. We are also committed to working towards mutual understanding and collaboration between First Peoples and our union. CUPE is supportive of educating our members and the public about the aspirations of Aboriginal Peoples and continues to work to combat all types of discrimination.

As Anne Dreaver of the Leonard Peltier Defence Committee states “Silence, they say, is the voice of complicity. But silence is impossible. Silence screams. Silence is a message, just as doing nothing is an act. 

CUPE calls for action to support this issue. Please go to the official site of the Leonard Peltier Defence Committee at http://www.leonardpeltier.net/theman.htm to get to know the reality of the situation.

Demand Leonard’s freedom by calling the White House comment line every day to express your outrage: (202) 456-1111 or (202) 456-1112. You also can send an e-mail to the White House. Go to http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/. Mail or fax a letter to President Barack Obama, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC 20500; Fax: (202) 456-2461.

CUPE Equality Branch

March 8, 2010

dr/cope 491