Due to the political nature of the Peltier case, a high level of public awareness is critical if new legal efforts are to succeed. Here’s some of the things you can do to educate your community about the Peltier case:
- Set up literature tables at events/public places. Download publications and petitions.
- Organize teach-ins.
- Host speaking engagements with Peltier spokespeople.
- Plan showings of electronic media.
- While “ Incident at Oglala: The Leonard Peltier Story” is technically out of print, copies still in circulation are often available for purchase from Amazon.com, eBay, etc., and VHS and DVD copies may be available to rent from rental outlets. Amazon.com also offers a downloadable, low-cost digital version. Restrictions apply.
- We also strongly recommend “WARRIOR The Life of Leonard Peltier” by Suzi Baer. This film is available on YouTube or you can download the film in MP4 format here (1 GB).
- Write letters to editors of local newspapers. Click here for newspapers in your state. Also read these tips.
- Encourage community television stations to highlight the case. Click here for TV stations in your state.
- Place calls to radio call-in shows. Express your opinions and educate others.
- Hold book readings featuring Leonard’s book, Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance.
More Outreach Suggestions
Enlist your friends, family, and community members in the freedom campaign. Hold events or facilitate activities that will spread awareness about the new strategies, while galvanizing active support.
Here are some ideas that have worked well in the past:
Potluck/Meeting—Invite friends, family and coworkers, local organizations, fellow supporters, and potential supporters to a potluck and planning meeting. Discuss the case and new strategies. Plan outreach, fundraising and mobilization efforts for the months to come. The discussion might include:
- Planning fundraisers
- Planning to attend court or congressional hearings
- Planning outreach efforts, such as regular leafleting in a public place, video showings, or talks
- Visiting local churches, labor unions, civil and human rights organizations to ask them to pass a formal resolution and encourage other participation and support.
Vigil—Hold a vigil on or around significant case-related dates—June 26th, for example. Invite local organizations, church members, tribal members, and general public to attend. Alert the media and announce new strategies at the vigil. Inform attendees of ways to get involved on a local level.
Fundraiser—Hold a benefit concert with local bands, a poetry reading, or Indian taco or bake sales to raise funds for the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee. Use the fundraiser to distribute information and announce new strategies. Read our hints about event planning and coordination.
Leafleting—If you are not in a position to coordinate an event, consider leafleting in a busy area to generate more awareness. Download publications.
Petition Drive—Download and print our petitions. Collect signatures of people in your community who support Leonard Peltier’s parole, the release of FBI case documents, an award of Executive Clemency to Leonard Peltier, and/or congressional hearings on the “Reign of Terror” on the Pine Ridge Reservation during the 1970s.
Street Theater—Devise skits that tell Leonard Peltier’s story. Perform the skits on street corners in your community. Also distribute educational materials. Download publications (see links under Resources on our main menu) for handouts.
“Chalk It Up” Campaign—”Oh well, chalk it up to experience!” used to be an old expression of polite comment when something went contrary to someone’s expectations. Long ago, children would chalk up their school work on small slates in school. Teachers would chalk up lessons on school blackboards (later, green ones), and colored chalk came along to amuse and decorate with. What’s the “Chalk It Up” Campaign? It’s a simple action you can take in your town or city. Assemble a group of supporters, hand out chalk, and spread out. Write slogans in support of Leonard’s freedom on sidewalks throughout your town, e.g., “Free Peltier NOW Because It’s the RIGHT Thing to Do”. You also can include our Web address (www.whoisleonardpeltier.info) so that interested passersby have the means by which to learn about Leonard Peltier. (We recommend that you consult graffiti ordinances in your area and use only chalk because such markings are not permanent.)
Prison Cell Exhibit—The standard size for a federal prison cell is 80 square-feet. Construct such a “prison cell” in a park or other public place and invite passersby to experience imprisonment for themselves. Post signs: “Construction and activation of this cell cost you $170,000” and “It costs you, the taxpayer, $25,000 per year (average of $24,922 in Fiscal Year 2007) to confine an innocent man. Free Leonard Peltier.” Also distribute materials on Leonard’s case. Download publications (see links under Resources on our main menu) for use as handouts.
Reserved for Leonard Peltier—Buy a ticket to attend an event (a stage play or film screening, sporting event, concert, etc.) and, instead of sitting in that seat, place a sign on the seat that reads, “Reserved for Leonard Peltier”. Be sure to include our Web address (www.whoisleonardpeltier.info) on your sign so that interested parties can learn how they can help. But you don’t have to spend money to deliver the same message. Go to a public park or other public place, place your sign on a chair or bench, and be prepared to answer the question: “Who is Leonard Peltier?” Download a sign now.
Do you have an idea to share? Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll post it on this page.