Leonard Peltier, my cellmate: Simple man with a big vision

by Anthony Eagle

I would like to take this opportunity to give you positive praise. Your newspaper is absolutely wonderful. It shows the reality of society inside prison walls and also society outside these prison walls.

Warriors-on-the-plains-art-by-Leonard-Peltier-300x145, Leonard Peltier, my cellmate: Simple man with a big vision, Abolition Now!
Warriors on the plains – Art: Leonard Peltier

I am currently being housed in federal prison, United States Penitentiary, or USP, Coleman 1 in Coleman, Florida. My cellmate is an inspiration to all ethnic groups who has endured the injustices by the hands of what we call the “government.” His name is Leonard Peltier, in prison since 1975 for a crime he didn’t commit. How can someone hate when all that’s asked for is “peace and equality”? Am I asking too much? Are we asking too much?

Let me tell you about myself. I am 29 years old. I am Indian from the Ojibwa People out of Michigan, currently doing time in federal prison for taking a stand against sex abuse, protecting my people for being a voice, a voice for the scared, timid, hurt and silent.

Our people have suffered the same way over the years. The pain is still visible today when we look in our communities and see alcoholism, drug addiction, poverty. In my way of life, we have a ceremony called a “sweat.” This is a chance to suffer through hot rocks and physical pain.

I cry for the shared pain we hold. I cry for the teens affected by suicide. How did we get to that point? If I could carry you, I would. My heart is in limbo daily by being behind these walls and seeing all these lost men searching for meaning.

People, remember I said “a simple man with a big vision.” My vision is this: to write with all people of injustice not for the purpose of war but for peace, so we may start to heal. I ask you to stand with me.

My time here is short – seven months till I am back fighting for you. By asking for peace and being productive, we will move mountains. In the Native way, we are called warriors and also in your way of life. So please, no more crimes against the people or easy money. By doing this we give into the plan built against us.

So please, I offer my hand to yours, brothers and sisters, to join this way of life for the greater good of both our races, Blacks and Indians. Please write to me with your ideas and support.

Send our brother some love and light: Anthony Eagle, 16366-040, USP Coleman 1, P.O. Box 1033, Coleman, FL 33521. Editor’s note: This letter was written in January and would have been published months ago but for a huge backlog of stories we haven’t had time to publish. Let’s hope our brother Anthony has been released by the time you read this. If you write to him, it might be wise to address your letter to his legendary cellmate, Leonard Peltier, 89637-132, USP Colman 1, P.O. Box 1033, Coleman FL 33521.