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I am in WV and Jon is in PA 😊
Goodbye Ohio, hello West Virginia.
Day 5 shorter day today. Sugarcreek to Cadiz 44 miles. So no rain today but it was 90 degrees with 98 percent humidity lol. As we were riding today we went past Kent State University and I got goose bumps thinking about everyone who sacrificed so much for Peace and Justice and all the people that continue to sacrifice, Including Leonard Peltier and his loved ones.
Mr. Leonard Peltier was arrested in Canada on February 6,1976. He was extradited from Canada in December of the same year on the basis of a false affidavit signed by Myrtle Poor Bear, a Native American woman known to have serious mental health problems.
In fact, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) produced more than one false affidavit.
Affidavit 1, dated February 19, 1976
Here, Special Agents David Price and William Wood had Myrtle Poor Bear recount how it was she who overheard the planning of the Northwest AIM group to lure Special Agents Coler and Williams to their deaths in an ambush. There was no claim Poor Bear witnessed the shoot-out, but that she heard Leonard Peltier order the agents killed beforehand, and that he later “confessed to her.”
Affidavit 2, dated February 23, 1976
With this affidavit, Price and Wood had Poor Bear present herself as being Peltier’s “girl friend,” and as overhearing planning for an ambush. However, with this affidavit, Poor Bear was presented as having witnessed Peltier killing the agents. Details on an escape route apparently were designed to explain away the Bureau’s embarrassing inability to apprehend suspects at the scene of the shoot-out. The method of killing coincidentally corresponded to the FBI’s contrived “execution” scenario.
Affidavit 3, dated March 31, 1976
This affidavit was eventually submitted to the Canadian courts. Here, the agents totally abandoned the notion of Poor Bear’s having overheard planning for an ambush. Instead they have her provide considerable detail as an “eyewitness.” Any alleged confession on the part of Leonard Peltier was not included.
Leonard Peltier was extradited from Canada to the United States. Today, the government concedes that, in fact, Myrtle Poor Bear did not know Leonard Peltier, nor was she present at the time of the shooting. She later confessed she had given false statements after being pressured and terrorized by FBI agents. Myrtle Poor Bear sought to testify in this regard at Leonard Peltier’s trial. However, the judge barred her testimony on the grounds of mental incompetence. In addition to being a violation of Leonard Peltier’s rights, the United States government committed fraud on the court during the extradition proceedings and violated the sovereignty of Canada. The U.S. government has made no attempt to correct this wrong and, to date, the illegal extradition has not been corrected by the Canadian Court
Yesterday was a rough day on the road, but today we keep heading toward Pittsburgh. Justice for Leonard Peltier!
Day 4 55 miles Kenyon College to Sugarcreek OH. Trees down on the trail from last nights storms, a dirt trail in a thunderstorm, a wreck, a piece of glass going through a shoe and into a foot! That is the headlines for the day. Good news is good coffee in Danville, we rode across the longest covered bridge in Ohio and we have meet some truley nice people on this journey. They have all been very helpful, I mean we were on the trail yesterday when a nice man said hi to us as we were eating our dinner we asked him if he knew of any places we could camp? He said sure but if you want I am a profesor at the college in the next town, I could give you the number for security you can tell them you meet me and ask if they could let you camp on the grounds. Long story short thats where we spent the night. So tonight we are all tucked and are relatively fine
In Danville, OH, on our way to Sugarcreek tonight. Then on to Pittsburgh on the 13th where Dave and maybe Ammon will join us. Then on to D.C. Riding for Leonard Peltier and all prisoners of conscience.
A few from after the rain. It was a late night last night. But everything turned out for the best we are up feed and ready.
Darrelle “Dino” Butler and Bob Robideau stood trial separately from Leonard Peltier who, convinced he would never receive a fair trial in the United States, had fled to Canada.
The defense team succeeded in getting the trial moved from racist South Dakota to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Cedar Rapids was, however, a predominantly white city and concerns remained as to the likelihood of Butler and Robideau receiving a fair trial.
Immediately, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) began setting the stage for the defendants’ convictions. Agents warned local police that carloads of American Indian Movement (AIM) “terrorists” were descending on the town. On May 11,1976, U.S. marshals visited every office in the Federal Building (where the trial was to be held), telling folks to prepare for shooting incidents and the seizure of hostages and advising them that marshals on the roof would be on the lookout for marauding Indians.
Elsewhere, rumors about alleged renegade activity ran rampant. A report allegedly emanating from Connecticut police intelligence, for example, stated that a “terrorist” group affiliated with AIM had hatched a plan “to kill a cop a day.” The report failed to mention that the organization referenced was defunct.
On June 22, the FBI released a teletype that was distributed to law enforcement agencies throughout the country. It claimed that 2,000 AIM “Dog Soldiers” trained in “the Northwest Territory” would fan out across South Dakota and would kidnap, bomb, burn, snipe… all to disrupt the Bicentennial Celebration.
When the 2,000 “Dog Soldiers” didn’t show up in South Dakota and the rest of the FBI’s scare campaign was shown to be a lie, the Cedar Rapids community began to look at AIM members, who had peaceably assembled there for the trial, with a fresh eye and view the government’s machinations with skepticism.
Presided over by Judge Edward McManus, the trial commenced on June 7, 1976.
The defendants admitted that they were present at the shoot-out and had exchanged fire with the FBI agents in the course of defending their women and children.
In a search for the truth, Judge McManus allowed a broad range of evidence to be heard, often over the vigorous objections of the prosecutor. This allowed the jury to receive a full explanation of how the shoot-out had occurred and why the Native defendants reacted as they did.
Testimony was heard about the Pine Ridge “Reign of Terror” and from the director of the FBI himself, Clarence Kelley, on the Bureau’s counterintelligence activities and tactics. Testimony prompted by the defense attorneys also brought forward a pattern of FBI misconduct in other prosecutions of AIM members, specifically those occurring after Wounded Knee II.
During the trial, a key prosecution witness, Mr. Draper, also admitted that he had been threatened by the FBI and as a result had changed his testimony based on agents’ instructions, so as to support the government’s position. Another prosecution witness also was shown to have lied on the witness stand.
Clearly, the evidence heard at trial was sufficient to convince the jury of the defendants’ claims. Further, the government’s behavior before and during the trail severely damaged its credibility. In July, the jurors found that there was no evidence to link Butler and Robideau to the fatal shots. Moreover, the exchange of gun fire from a distance was deemed an act of self-defense
RAIN!!!!!!! And lots of it, it rained so hard that the low parts of the trail were under water. Short update today we have no host tonight so it’s gorilla camping tonight. I will get some more pictures of this rain ever stops. In the mean time….FREE LEONARD PELTIER!!!!!
Starting out our day right with our groovy overnight host and great friend Molly Shea at her place Pattycake Bakery
Day two Xenia Ohio to Columbus Ohio 64 miles. For the most part we traveled on bike trail again. We meet a great group of cyclist from the Third Hand bike co-op and actually ending up meeting them for lunch as well. Then it was off to Molly’s house just north of Columbus. Right after we arrived Peggy showed up to pick up Delza. Delza had to go home tonight and back to work tomorrow. We are tired so I will keep it short. We are here Molly is great as always good is fantastic and so is our new friend Andito.
Day one Milford Ohio to Xenia Ohio 55 miles. We spent the entire day on the Little Miami River Bike Path and it was a beautiful day for the most part covered by the tree canopy and moving along the Little Miami River all the way to Xenia. We are staying at the home tonight of Candy and Tim and what a great overnight we have truly been spoiled here.We also did Facebook video and spoke to Peter Clack long time Peltier supporter and Chauncey Peltier Leonard oldest son and got a update and a solid reminder of why we should keep riding. Also check out Benjamin’s view of the ride on Instagram @b_allanscott
Everyday we will try to publish more of Peltiers story.
On June 26, 1975, two agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)—Mr. Jack Coler and Mr. Ron Williams—entered private property on the Pine Ridge reservation, the Jumping Bull Ranch. They drove unmarked vehicles, wore plain clothes, and neglected to identify themselves as law enforcement officers. They allegedly sought to arrest a young Indian man, Jimmy Eagle, for the theft of a pair of cowboy boots. They believed, the government contends, that they had seen Eagle in a red pick up truck that they then followed onto the Jumping Bull property. Members of the American Indian Movement (AIM) were camping on the property at the time. They had been invited there by the Jumping Bull elders, who sought protection from the extreme violence on the reservation at that time. Many non-AIM persons were present as well.
For unknown reasons, a shoot-out began. A family with small children was trapped in the cross fire. Throughout the ranch, people screamed that they were under attack and many of the men present hurried to return fire.
When the skirmish ended, the two FBI agents were dead. The U.S. government claims they had been wounded and then shot through their heads at close range.
A young Native American named Joe Stuntz (above) also lay dead, shot through the head by a sniper bullet. His killing has never been investigated. The more than 30 men, women, and children present on the ranch were then quickly surrounded by over 150 FBI agents, Special Weapons and Tactics (or SWAT) team members, Bureau of Indian Affairs police, and local vigilantes. They barely escaped through a hail of bullets.
The FBI immediately began its investigation into the shoot-out, the so-called RESMURS investigation, and launched the biggest manhunt of its history.
Angry agents shot up the Jumping Bull home, leaving bullet riddled family portraits in their wake. In the days following the shoot-out, FBI agents in SWAT gear and carrying assault rifles also terrorized other Pine Ridge residents through a series of warrantless no-knock assaults on their homes.
Continuing with its long tradition of manipulating the media—placing articles in the popular press that put the Bureau in a positive light and interfering in the publication of “dissident” writings by persons such as Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.—the FBI immediately set about disseminating gross inaccuracies about this case. Agents Coler and Williams, the FBI claimed, had been murdered in “a cold-blooded ambush” by a large force of trained guerillas in “sophisticated bunkers” and “fortifications,” but not before Williams had first pleaded for their lives for the sake of Coler’s wife and children. How the Bureau developed this information about Williams’ last words in the absence of anyone who could have heard them was unclear. Other reports indicated that the agents’ bodies had been “riddled with bullets.” Then FBI director Clarence Kelley was forced to retract these statements when reporters—who had been barred from the Jumping Bull property for two days following the shoot-out—began to discover the truth.
The FBI very quickly focused its investigation on prominent AIM members known to be present during the shoot-out—Leonard Peltier, in particular. The investigation became a race to develop a case against him.
Investigators imposed their desires on the evidence, taking bits and pieces and fashioning them in such a way so as to support their case. In short order, indictments were issued against Leonard Peltier, as well as his two friends and colleagues Dino Butler and Bob Robideau, who also had been present throughout the incident. Charges against a fourth man, Jimmy Eagle (a non-AIM member), were later dropped. (Prosecutors admitted during Peltier’s trial that Jimmy Eagle had not even been on the reservation on the day of the shoot-out. However, FBI documents later revealed that the government decided to dismiss charges against Eagle so that “the full prosecutive weight of the Fed