Northwest Leonard Peltier Support Network
There comes a time when people must step forward and act directly upon the great injustices of the world. The case of Leonard Peltier is one such great injustice. February 6, 1999 marks the 23th year of Leonard's imprisonment. Leonard is in prison for standing up to the evil forces of the empire of greed. These forces framed Leonard and these forces continue to cover up their crimes against Leonard and against the people. Leonard has suffered greatly because of this oppression. They have harassed him at every point, they attempted to assassinate him, and now they are torturing him by refusing to allow medical treatment which he desperately needs as he is in continuous pain and cannot even take nourishment except through a straw.
Yet the people can end this injustice if they are just willing to act in unity. The call has gone out for a mobilization of all concerned people on February 6, 1999, THE INTERNATIONAL DAY IN SOLIDARITY WITH LEONARD PELTIER. It is very important to show solidarity with Leonard in public so that the forces of evil will know that Leonard's case will not ever go away, and--more importantly-that it will continue to grow until he is freed!
After much thought, it has been decided that some of us must push this struggle even further by going on a hunger strike to end the torture of Leonard Peltier. This hunger strike will begin on February 6th. We are calling upon those who are able and willing to join us in this hunger strike. We are also asking that people support this action and act to end the torture of Leonard Peltier. Please e-mail Clinton, the Bureau of Prisons and your congresspeople messages demanding the end of the torture.
Dale Pfeiffer, IWW Pontiac, MI - Delegate, novelist,
Arthur J. Miller,
Coordinator, Northwest Leonard Peltier Support
Network, IWW Tacoma, WA - Delegate, publisher of Bayou La Rose.
Those who are wanting to join this hunger strike please send us a message that should include a short statement of your organizational background. Please send your message to:
The Leonard Peltier Defense Committee
PO Box 583
Lawrence, KS 66044 U$A
Northwest Leonard Peltier Support Network
P.O. Box 5464
Tacoma, WA 98415-0464 USA
THE LEONARD PELTIER SOLIDARITY FAST
Whereas, the continuing denial of medical treatment of American Indian Movement activist and political prisoner Leonard Peltier, which has been offered by the Mayo Clinic, is nothing but outright politically motivated torture. Leonard has, for a good while now and continues today, to live with continuous excruciating pain. This situation must end as soon as possible.
Therefore, THE LEONARD PELTIER SOLIDARITY FAST is set to begin on February 6th, and has the purpose of calling attention to and helping mobilizing support to end the torture of Leonard Peltier.
Upon February 6th, we are asking that those that can to join us on this fast. Each day of the fast a different faster will issue a statement in their own words calling for the end of the torture. We are also asking people who support this campaign to help widely distribute these statements. We are also asking that supporters on each day of the fast to email messages to: Ms. Kathleen Hawk, Director, Bureau Of Prisons at: firstname.lastname@example.org, asking that Leonard be allowed medical treatment at the Mayo Clinic. We are also asking supporters to take what ever positive local actions that will advance this campaign.
Make your solidarity fast visible by setting up a LEONARD PELTIER SOLIDARITY FAST VIGIL outside a federal office or main intersection in your community. Let everyone know why you are fasting and invite the media to photograph and video tape your Solidarity Fast Vigil.
Organizational affiliation, tribe, profession___________
Means of contact (e-mail or street or P.O. Box address)___________
Support person for faster (name and means of contact)____________
FOR THOSE NOT FASTING BUT CAN HELP SPREAD THE STATEMENTS
OF THE FASTERS AND HELP WITH THE EMAIL CAMPAIGN
Means of contact___________________________________________
Please return this to: the NWLPSN, email: email@example.com
New: Leonard Peltier SOLIDARITY FAST WEB PAGE
Leonard Peltier Solidarity Fast Message Board
Leonard Peltier Freedom Chat Room Login
Before going on, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Dale Pfeiffer, and I live in southeastern Michigan, though I have spent a good deal of time in other parts of the country, particularly the Rocky Mountains and the northwest. I am very proud to count myself among the number of fasters who are pledging themselves to Leonard's cause. I consider myself in very good company here.
Following is an informative letter with advice on how to prepare for a fast and the various stages a faster will pass through. I am assuming here that you know nothing about fasting, if this is not the case then please pardon my intrusion. Much of this was new to me as I talked with experienced fasters. For myself, I have held a few short (4 day) fasts as a part of the introspective, soul-searching process which American Indians refer to as the Vision Quest. I know that I could have benefited from much of this information then, and I am benefiting from it now.
Mental Preparation and Goals
This is largely a matter of determination--of knowing your goal from the start and of sticking to it. Whether your goal is a one day fast, a four day fast, a two-week fast, or a do-or-die fast, once you have defined the length of the fast, you should not back out before that time limit. When you are fasting to test the will of an opponent, you will have lost everything from the moment you back down from your commitment, not only for yourself, but for anyone else who might remain on their fast. Once one person backs down, the opponent will assume that all others will do so eventually. All the work you have done will be in vain. Therefore, a great deal of soul searching is in order before you should even commit to a fast. Now I am sure that all of us have done this soul searching and that none of us have made this commitment lightly, yet this point must be made from the beginning. And let me add that there is still time to back out now if anyone feels that they made their commitment a little too rashly, and that now is the time to do so.
Beyond commitment and length of fast, you must also be clear about the purpose for your fast. If you cannot expect compassion from your adversary, then a fast will become nothing more than a futile waste of life. For this reason, in this particular fast, while we are targeting the Bureau of Prisons and other officials with our daily statements, it is perhaps more important that we take our fast to the people. If we can appeal directly to the people and rally them to Leonard's cause, they may achieve what we alone cannot do. For this reason, you should seek to make your fast highly visible to the community around you, (and I know how difficult this can be, as I am by nature a very private man). You need to go out into the community and let people know why you are taking this drastic action. Several experienced fasters have told me that meeting people in restaurants and cafeterias is a very powerful tactic which will involve people who would not otherwise take action.
So let's state our goals and commitments right now. We are seeking people who can fast in shifts--say, two weeks on and two weeks off, repeating until Leonard is safely within the Mayo Clinic. The two week duration gives us more time to maintain the action without fatalities, and might give fasters time to see to their personal affairs on their off weeks--at least early into the action. If you or friends and supporters can organize a tour of college campuses in your area, this would be a great help. You could speak before the students, visit with them in the cafeteria and hopefully activate them to join in the letter-writing campaign.
Of course it would be wise to have a physical, and anyone with a suspected health condition should definitely do so. Anyone with a medical condition who is determined to fast should have a doctor and/or nurse on standby, or perhaps even check her/himself into a hospital from the beginning--depending on the severity of her/his illness. And everyone should have a support person who can look after them.
In the weeks before the fast, you should wean yourself from all addictions--not just the obvious drugs, but also caffeine, sugar, sodium, and even food preservatives. Doing this before the fast begins will make things much easier on you. Having kicked caffeine and sugar in the past week (and not even having realized that I had a caffeine habit), I can say that I wouldn't have wanted to go through that while I was fasting.
In the weeks before the fast, it is also a good idea to detoxify the body. There is no telling what poisons (PCB's, pesticides, etc.) are stored in the body fat. Releasing these toxins into the body as you burn your body fat would be extremely undesirable, and possibly even fatal. There are various detox teas on the market, though most are cost prohibitive. Drinking lots of water will cleanse the body just as effectively as many commercial products.
Sweating out toxins through the skin is a very good way of cleansing the body. There are many herbs which will do this: Yarrow, Sarsaparilla, Mountain Mint, Catnip, Seneca Snakeroot, Boneset, Marsh-Marigold (Cowslip), Blessed Thistle, Wild Ginger, Feverwort, Germander (Wood Sage, Wild Basil), Spotted Joe-Pye-Weed, Burdock (Great or Common), Common Speedwell, Pennyroyal, Mugwort, Barberry Root. For all of the above, drink 1-3 cups of hot tea and wrap yourself in a blanket. I would not suggest doing this more than once or twice per week in a two or three week period before the fast. A sweat lodge or sauna is also very good for purifying the body.
I have also been told that a colonic is highly advisable. Many toxins accumulate in the colon. Personally, I find this treatment too expensive and a little too extreme.
Exercise is also advised in the weeks before beginning the fast, especially cardiovascular exercise. In general, the healthier you are, the better your chances are. So far as overeating to store up calories, I have been advised against it. Actually, it is better to cut down your meals in the week before the fast begins, so that your stomach can begin to adjust. An enlarged stomach, or one which produces excess acids, will simply make it more difficult to fast. Stocking up on carbohydrates is not very affective, but you should be sure that you are getting plenty of vitamins before the fast commences. I have been told it is important to eat lots of green vegetables.
The first four days are generally the worst. This is the period when you will experience stomach cramps, nausea, fevers and headaches as your body demands the food it is no longer receiving. Sometime around the fourth day, your brain begins to turn off the messages from the body and fasting actually becomes easier.
At thirty days, organ damage ensues--though it is reversible at this point. Sixty days is the critical point; organ damage becomes irreversible. Coma and death will quickly follow. If the faster survives past this point, he or she can expect permanent liver damage, permanent kidney damage, permanent heart damage, and even permanent blindness. This is the sort of threshold we are hoping to avoid, because losing his supporters in such a fashion will do Leonard very little good.
To be honest, nobody can tell me much about fasting in two week shifts such as we are planning to do. But the people that I have spoken with guess that such a tactic will buy us more time. However, simply passing repeatedly through the early stages of fasting can wear a body down. And, even in two week shifts, the fast will likely prove fatal if maintained long enough.
Arthur Miller believes that the Bureau of Prisons will cave in two to three weeks, if we can put enough pressure on them. I trust that he is right, but I am committed to this action for however long it takes. We have to get them to release Leonard to the Mayo Clinic or else the struggle for justice will soon end and a good man will be lost. This fast does have a very good chance of working, if we can engage the public and activate enough people. We do have one very strong advantage: the Bureau of Prisons cannot stand the light of day on this issue. What they are doing is plainly illegal--it goes against the very constitution of the United States. If we can turn up the pressure enough, I do believe they will cave in.
So, welcome aboard. It is very good to see you here. And take some satisfaction in knowing that we are fighting the good fight.
PLEASE MAKE FLYERS AND HAND THEM OUT.
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