Political Prisoner held for 30 years by U.S. government A Hearing has been scheduled for February 13, 2006 to correct the illegal sentencing that occurred in Leonard Peltier’s case. The basis for this motion is that the United States District Court lacked subject matter jurisdiction under the statutes upon which Mr. Peltier was convicted and sentenced. Leonard Peltier is a citizen of the Anishinabe and Dakota/Lakota Nations who has been unjustly imprisoned since 1976, even though government attorneys and courts acknowledge that the government withheld evidence, fabricated evidence, and coerced witnesses to fraudulently convict him. Leonard is recognized worldwide as a political prisoner and a symbol of resistance against the abuse and repression of indigenous people. To many Indigenous Peoples, Leonard Peltier is a symbol of the long history of abuse and repression they have endured. This year marks the 30th year of Leonard’s imprisonment. Despite the fact that the government has admitted that the trial was a fraud, Leonard is still behind bars because the U.S. doesn’t want this vocal defender of indigenous rights to be free. Call or Fax the Federal Court in St. Louis: Thomas F. Eagleton United States Courthouse 111 South 10th Street St. Louis, MO 63102 Phone (314) 244-2600 FAX (314) 244-2605 for more information about Leonard Peltier’s case click here.
Panel at the Law Union Annual Conference March 25, 2006, 1:30-3:00
Moderator: Sarah Dover, Articling Student, Birchall Northey LLP
Canadian mining operations now span more than 100 countries â€“ an expansion that has left some of the worldâ€™s worst environment disasters in its wake. The record of this industry within Canada has also been marked by bulldozing local interests, environmental destruction and violation of indigenous rights. This panel will compare legal options for holding Canadian mining corporations accountable for their actions within Canada and abroad in anticipation of the federal government considering new regulation to address environmental harms and human rights abuses by Canadian mining companies committed outside of Canada. Panellists Justin Duncan – is a Staff Lawyer with Sierra Legal Defence Fund in Toronto. His recent legal battles include victories in protecting a provincial park from the re-opening of a road and defending municipal pesticide bylaws. He is actively involved in public legal education to give Canadian activists tools to battle corporations and governments that would harm the environment. Grahame Russell – is the co-director of Rights Action, a non-governmental organization that supports community-controlled development and human rights projects in Mexico, Central America and Haiti, and that carries out education and activism work in Canada and the US related to global human rights and development issues. Grahame works on community impacts in the South of Canadian mining operations. Sara Seck – is a phD candidate at Osgoode Hall Law School specializing in the regulation of Canadian mining corporations abroad. She delivered the keynote address, titled â€œExploding the Myths: Why Home States are Reluctant to Regulate”, at the November 2005 multi-stakeholder round table on “Regulating Canadian Mining Companies Operating Internationally” hosted by MiningWatch. Catherine Coumans – is the Research Coordinator and responsible for the Asia-Pacific Program at MiningWatch Canada which co-ordinates the public interest response to the threats to public health, water and air quality, fish and wildlife habitat and community interests posed by irresponsible mineral policies and practices in Canada and around the world. Catherine is intimately familiar with the current effort to push the federal government towards regulating Canadian mining companies outside Canada and sits on the an Advisory Group to the government’s roundtable process on Corporate Social Responsibility and Mining.
from the Winnipeg Free Press Sun Feb 19 2006 By KIM PATE, Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies
In the wake of the tragic Boxing Day shooting in Toronto, media fear-mongering and political posturing conspired to convince Canadians that rising crime rates deserve the get-tough response of mandatory minimum sentencing. â€¦ Mandatory minimum sentences are seductive to citizens unfamiliar with the complexities of crime, and to politicians who want to be seen by those citizens as taking action to protect them. But crime rates are actually declining, and if putting more people in prison for longer and certain periods of time really could make us safer, then our neighbours south of the border would be living in the safest country in the world. In the United States and Australia, mandatory minimum sentences have been utilized for much of the past few decades. Many states are now revisiting them, recognizing that mandatory minimum sentences do not protect society, they do not rehabilitate individuals, and they do not generally contribute to the well-being of others. They do, however, vastly increase the cost of the criminal-justice system. â€¦ Supporters of mandatory minimum sentences argue that such sentences deter or prevent sentenced individuals from committing future offences, and discourage others from committing similar crimes by making an example of those who are convicted. There is no evidence to support this. â€¦ More mandatory minimum sentences are not the answer. The problem of increased gun violence requires long-term and sustained solutions that are focused on social and community development and increased opportunities for full participation in Canadian society.