From time to time I go back and check on stories I’ve done in the past to see if there are changes and updates. A few months back, I did some digging into JTMP, Justice Through Music Program headed up by convicted domestic terrorist Brett Kimberlin. I also looked at the ‘activist funding’ here. I went back to the YouTube channel to check out any new postings this morning and came across this one:
Unfamiliar with Leonard Peltier, I did some reading. Turns out he was convicted and sentenced to two consecutive life-terms in prison for the murders of two FBI agents in 1975 at Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. This incident at Pine Ridge was an event that followed a 71 day siege in 1973, known as the Wounded Knee Incident. Peltier, at the time of the Pine Ridge shootings, was involved with a group called AIM – American Indian Movement.
Allegedly he went to Pine Ridge to reduce conflicts and violence ongoing there among political groups clashing there. It should be noted that when Peltier went to Pine Ridge, he was already a wanted fugitive in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for the attempted murder of a State Trooper. He was later acquitted of that charge. Peltier was finally arrested in Canada after an eight month manhunt.
During that manhunt, weapons used in the shooting were recovered from a station wagon that blew up on the Kansas Turnpike near Wichita:
On September 10, 1975, a station wagon blew up on the Kansas Turnpike near Wichita and a burned-up AR-15 was recovered, along with Agent Coler’s .308 rifle. The car was loaded with weapons and explosives which apparently ignited when they got too close to a hole in the exhaust pipe. Present in the car, among others, were Peltier’s associates Robert Robideau, Norman Charles, and Michael Anderson, all of whom were tied to the shooting of the agents. – FBI.gov – The RESMURs Case
Gee, a explosives in a car that went boom on a turnpike. Perhaps admiration is the impetus for featuring the video on Peltier. Brothers in arms kind of nostalgia or something.
A rundown of the events of Pine Ridge, Peltier’s arrest and charges that were pending against him are here as well as in the useful links below.
Peltier was denied parole earlier this year, something that was lamented over at Daily KoS. Go figure. The KoS announcement did yield one piece I hadn’t seen in my reading, a video done insisting the innocence of Peltier narrated by Robert Redford. The site is one big ‘Free Peltier’ billboard and is rather poorly laid out. Navigating it to find the video was too much of a challenge so I checked YouTube and found a clip from the movie.