Group sets out on a 1,500 mile freedom ride
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma— 2018 marks the 43rd year of incarceration for Native American activist and AIM member Leonard Peltier and if a group of “freedom riders” from South Dakota have anything to say about it, it will be his last.
In an effort to bring attention to Peltier’s plight as well as garner public support for his application for clemency to President Donald Trump, the group left Mankato, Minnesota July 28 and began the 1,500-mile horse ride south to the Federal Correctional Complex in Coleman, Florida where Peltier is now housed.
In 1975, Peltier was involved in a shootout on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota that resulted in the deaths of two FBI agents for which he was convicted and is now serving two consecutive life sentences.
Over the years, evidence has surfaced which has caused Amnesty International and various other human rights organizations around the globe to consider Peltier a political prisoner, often comparing him to Nelson Mandela.
Ken Fourcloud, a Crow Creek Sioux citizen and experienced rider with the Mankato 38 +2 annual memorial ride, organized the riders’ two-month long trek. They expect to reach FCC Sept. 22.
Fourcloud and others have extended an open invitation to anyone who would like to participate. The groups route is posted to their Facebook page ‘Leonard Peltier Freedom Ride 2018’ with updates posted daily.
The riders are also accepting financial support to help with expenses with all funds raised beyond those needed for necessitates to be forwarded to Peltier.
Donations can be made through the group’s GoFundMe page: www.gofundme/leonard-peltier-freedom-ride-2018.