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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A Letter to the President


Hello Mr. President -

I write today in hopes that you will please consider the case of Native American activist, Leonard Peltier. As I'm sure you know, Amnesty International placed his case under the "Unfair Trials" category of its Annual Report in 2010. 

I recently returned from an 8-day service trip to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota with 14 members (including my 15 year old son, Trevor, and 7 other teens) of our Quaker Meeting in Downingtown (Chester County) PA, organized by the William Penn House in Washington DC. (We were joined there by 2 of Sasha and Malia's classmates from Sidwell - 2 really amazing kids, by the way - Emmett Stern and Liam Kirsch.) We found terrible conditions on the reservation (80% unemployment; poorest county in the USA, life expectancy of 48 (!)) but also a number of people trying to improve the lives of the people there by teaching them about sustainable organic farming.  We helped them with their work there and then helped set up and then participated in a sun dance - a very sacred ritual that outsiders aren't usually allowed to be a part of...though I'm sure they would welcome you and your family if you asked nicely! :-) 

Anyway, in speaking with folks there, it was clear that there is a great deal of pain surrounding the case of Mr. Peltier, who they feel was given an unfair trial. They very much hope you'll review his case and find that he should be set free before you leave office.  

Thank you for your consideration, Mr. President. 

With gratitude for all you've done,

Jamie

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