Our Freedom

Honour Anna Mae Pictou Aquash and Harriet Nahanee / Free John Graham and Leonard Peltier

From John Graham, 15 May 2011 May 15, 2011

Filed under: John Graham,Legal — ourfreedom @ 12:55 am

From John Graham, 15 May 2011

After a week long trial and several inconsistent and contradicting prosecution witnesses, and the defense calling no witnesses, a South Dakota jury found me NOT GUILTY OF PREMEDITATED 1975 MURDER OF ANNA MAE AQUASH. After totally contradicting testimonies about the alleged kidnapping from Denver the same South Dakota jury found me guilty of the lesser charge of felony murder kidnapping. In felony murder cases the prosecution does not have to prove that the accused actually killed anyone. Instead the accused is found criminally liable for any deaths that occurred during or in furtherance of a felony. In this case the felony is the kidnapping charge. The murder having taken place in 1975, more than 35 years ago, the many contradictions in testimony was explained by the prosecution as a problem of degraded memory. Their entire case rested on verbal testimony without a shred of material or factual evidence. My defense motion for dismissal of charges because the prosecution failed to prove their case was denied by judge Jack Delaney. Felony murder carries the same sentence as premeditated murder so the judge had no alternative but to sentence me to life with no possibilty of parole. My lawyer filed an appeal on both the sentence and conviction. The trial transcript will be posted on my website in the very near future.

 

Urgent Appeal to All Friends and Supporters of Tuchone Warrior John Graham November 26, 2010

Filed under: John Graham,Legal — ourfreedom @ 11:30 am

Urgent Appeal to All Friends and Supporters of Tuchone Warrior John Graham

John and his co-defendant, Thelma Rios, are scheduled to face trial on November the 29th

by grahamdefense.org

Urgent Appeal to All Friends and Supporters of Tuchone Warrior John Graham

Organize fundraising benefits, make a personal contribution, request donations from your friends, family, union, community group, organization, etcetra by clicking here:  www.grahamdefense.org/contribute.htm

As many have heard, John Graham is currently jailed in Rapid City, South Dakota. They are trying to put him away for life with the charge of killing his friend and comrade from in American Indian Movement, Anna Mae Aquash. While the only real evidence in this murder (along with at least 66 other murders of indigenous people in S. Dakota during 1973-76) points to the U.S. Government and the paramilitary forces they funded and equipped.

John and his co-defendant, Thelma Rios, are scheduled to face trial on November the 29th, 2010 and his legal bill is estimated around $50,000! Donations and fundraising events are urgently needed and greatly appreciated.

The U.S. government is trying to cover up their brutal repression of the American Indian Movement in the 70’s with the frame up of John Graham and other native warriors. He has spent over two years behind bars in S. Dakota after he was under house arrest for around four years during extradition hearings in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. This is a direct result of his refusal to cooperate with the F.B.I.

It is in this hour of need that we make this urgent appeal to dig deep and show your support for a man who has contributed so much over the years in the struggle for a better world. Who has stayed true, refusing to sell out in the face of heavy state intimidation.

The recent acquittal of John’s former co-defendant, Richard Marshall (see links below) demonstrates the weakness of the F.B.I.’s case and shows that now more than ever is the time to step up this fight.

Further educate yourself and others about this case and do what you can to help return John Graham to his family, friends an loved ones.

John Graham/Richard Marshal Update

‘Free John Graham’ Zine

Lee Maracle’s Support letter for John

John Graham Defense Committee

Write a Letter!
John Graham / Pennington County Jail / 307 St. Joseph Street / Rapid City, SD 57701 / USA

Comments

Sun, 10/17/2010 – 01:12 — CGraham (not verified) 

loyal supporters

I think a little respect for John Graham’s supporters is needed here. They work hard to spread the word of truth for JG and that should always be acknowledge. Its all in good faith and intentions are meant well. Thank you.

Sun, 10/17/2010 – 23:04 — Naneek Graham (not verified) 

If interested in sending

If interested in sending money people can send their donations to help  with phone calls and commissary that John needs. You can send a cheque made out to Naneek Graham at

1424 Commerical Drive, Box 21616 Vancouver, BC V5L 3X0

or you can go to www. grahamdefense.org website and make donation using paypal.

Again, your financial contribution is a very important and all will go to everyday living expenses, commissary and such.

With solidarity and thanks,
Naneek

 

John Graham / Richard Marshall update leaflet June 30, 2010

Filed under: John Graham,Publications — ourfreedom @ 7:53 pm

Legal size to copy double sided and cut in half, 2 pages total front and back.

johngraham2up.pdf

 

Freedom Now April 30, 2009

Filed under: Graffiti,John Graham — ourfreedom @ 9:06 pm

Freedom Now

Posted By: Larry Wartels
mondaymag.com
Victoria, BC
April 29, 2009

The continuing struggles for justice for Leonard Peltier and John Graham

A stirring mural of John Graham was painted two years ago on the wall of Wildfire Bakery. It has now vanished with his freedom. But we are very grateful to Wildfire for allowing the talented muralist Alex Caverly to paint it in the first place.

Who are Leonard Peltier and John Graham? Peltier is a Lakota Sioux from North Dakota; Graham is a Tutchone First Nation from the Yukon. Both were extradited from British Columbia on false and hearsay “evidence,” Peltier in 1975 and Graham in 2007. The well-established-as-innocent Peltier is now 32 years into two life sentences for murdering federal agents. Graham is awaiting trial in South Dakota on May 12, 2009, for being an accessory to the murder of Anna Mae Aquash of Nova Scotia. (South Dakota is also where Peltier was falsely convicted.) Terrence LaLiberte, Queen’s Counsel, Graham’s Canadian lawyer, said: “In Canada, I’d drive a truck through the holes in this case.” Dr. Jennifer Wade, retired UBC English professor and cofounder of Amnesty International B.C., emphatically asserts Graham’s innocence.

The real reason for these persecutions? Many feel it is because Graham and Peltier worked with Anna Mae Aquash and the American Indian Movement to stop coal and uranium mining in the U.S. midwest and Saskatchewan, standing up to huge conglomerates, who wanted these courageous resisters out of the way. To find out more, watch Robert Redford’s Incident at Oglala: The Leonard Peltier Story, which is free online at freepeltiernow.org, and the short John Graham documentary, Burdened by Murder: A Fight for Justice, can be seen at grahamdefense.org, also for free.

In any other country, we would hear about the injustices of such people in our media. But people and organizations around the world—including the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Bishop Desmond Tutu and the European Parliament—have demanded justice and freedom for Graham and Peltier. And many people in Canada are trying to prevent a repeat of the travesty trial that put Peltier in prison in the first place.

There is also a letter-writing campaign for both, which urges U.S. President Obama to grant executive clemency to Peltier by the 2010 Olympics, and urges minister of indian affairs Chuck Strahl to use his authority to ensure that Graham’s trial is fair. The letter-writing campaign links can be found at grahamdefense.org/update.htm and freepeltiernow.org/legal/clemency.htm, if you feel like helping free Leonard Peltier and ensuring justice for John Graham.

As a closing thought, let us consider the words of Eugene Debs (1855-1926), an American labour and political leader, and, under the banner of the Socialist Party of America, a candidate for U.S. President. Debs was arrested under the Espionage Act of 1917, however, for making a speech on June 16, 1918 opposing World War I. He was then convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison, and disenfranchised for life—even though American president Warren G. Harding commuted his sentence in 1921. (While in prison, Debs received over 900,000 votes for president in 1920—the highest ever for a socialist candidate.) But at his sentencing hearing in 1919, Debs said these words, which resonate today:

“Years ago I recognized my kinship with all living things, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on the Earth. I said then and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.”

Larry Wartels is a local activist who believes freedom has no politics. He also volunteers for criticalresistance.org, a prison-abolition organization founded by Angela Davis. E-mail freeusall1[at]gmail.com for more information.

 

John Graham: Injusto Caso de Extradición September 23, 2008

Filed under: Español,John Graham — ourfreedom @ 11:57 pm

John Graham es un guerrero indígena de la nación Tutchone de Norteamérica (Canadá) y es ahora un preso de la guerra colonial en los Estados Unidos de América. Él es también el objetivo de un montaje gobierno y policía federal (FBI) para el asesinato de Anna Mae Pictou Aquash, una guerrera en el American Indian Movement en los años setenta. Más que 60 personas indígenas fueron matadas en la reservación Pine Ridge de la nación Lakota por escuadrones de la muerte de gobierno-apoyó en los años setenta. Lo jucio fijan para el 6 de octubre de 2008. Aquí está el fondo del caso, antes de que el suyo fuera obtenido la extradición en diciembre de 2007.

* * *

John Graham: Injusto Caso de Extradición

Por Myriam Hernández
Conexión Latina, Primavera 2005, Vancouver, Canadá

Actualmente John Graham vive en riesgo de ser extraditado para los Estados Unidos de Norteamérica en donde la esperaría un jucio en su contra. El FBI lo acusa de asesinato en primer grado. Esto parece ser la venganza de los cuerpos represores americanos en contra los indígenas que se resisten a ser despojados de sus tierras y derechos humanos. A John lo acusa directamente el FBI del asesinato de Anna Mae Pictou Aquash ocurrido en el estado de Dakota [Sur], Estados Unidos. El 1 de diciembre del [2003], John fue arrestado en Vancouver por miembros del departamento de policía de esta ciudad. Se le mantuvo incomunicado por 40 días, pasa salir tuvo que pagar una fianza de 25 mil dólares, dinero que todavía debe; además, cuatro o cinco personas tuvieron que comprometerse a pagar de 10,000 dólares en caso de que John se diera a la fuga. Ahora esta en riesgo de enfrentar un injusto proceso legal por un crimen que no cometió y que ocurrió 30 años atrás.

He aquí una serie de antecedentes que explican la represión política en contra de indígenas en Canadá y los Estados Unidos. Durante la década de los setentas, el Movimiento Indígena Americano, cuyas siglas en inglés son: AIM, luchó en defensa del territorio de los indígenas del estado de Dakota del Sur. Entre los años 1974 y 1976, aproximadamente 70 indígenas fueron asesinados, desaparecidos, y muchos otros encarcelados. Anna Mae Pictou era una de las líderes del movimiento y amiga de John Graham. Por aquellos días en que Anna Mae fue asesinada, sus compañeros sabían que era perseguida política y que la policía federal de los Estados Unidos la tenía clasificada como fugitiva.

Entre 1976 y 1981, el Movimiento Indígena Americano experimentó toda clase de acoso político, incluyendo infiltración y asesinatos selectivos por parte del gobierno de los Estados Unidos. John recuerda esos tiempos como años de terror. El y sus compañeros perseguidos fueron forzados a ocultarse, huyendo del FBI y de los militares, que en aquel entonces eran más racistas de lo que lo son ahora. Después de unos meses, el movimiento volvió a aparecer a la luz pública con protestas y campañas dénunciaron los crímenes en su contra y demandando investigación y castigo para los responsables; el nombre de Anna Mae Pictou estaba incluído entre la lista de las víctimas del movimiento indígena.

En el año de 1984, John tuvo una gira por Europa, en la cual habló sobre la violaciones a los derechos indígenas, las minas de uranio, la represión y persecución política contra las organizaciones sociales en Canadá y los Estados Unidos. Más de 60 de indígenas del movimiento estaban encarcelados. De acuerdo con John y otros líderes del movimiento indígena, las fuerzas militares y policiacas de los Estados Unidos son autores intelectuales de esos crímenes y posiblemente también ejecutores de los mismos.

Durante los 90s, John siguió recibiendo amenazas por parte de agentes de FBI. En cuatro ocasiones hablaron con él para pedirle que acusara a cualquiera de los líderes del movimiento del asesinato de Anna Mae y que sino lo hacia lo culparían a él y lo amenazaron de fabricarle un caso en su contra y arruinarle la vida.

Leonard Peltier es otro preso político indígena que fue acusado de matar a dos agentes del FBI en los Estados Unidos en el año de [1975] , y a quien se le reconoce como activista serio y respetable. Leonard fue un destacado activista del Movimiento Indígena Americano en la década de los 70s. Hace un par de semanas, Leonard envió un mensaje desde la prisión denunciando que se le ofreció su libertad a cambio de declarar en contra de John Graham. ¿Me pregunto por qué? Tal parece que, a falta de pruebas en contra de John, el FBI esta buscardo fabricar otras. ¿Entonces, cualquier persona que tiene sentencia de por vida puede obtener su libertad a cambio de mentir a favor de FBI? ¡Que manera tan descarada de comprar “testigos”!

Como John, he conocido a otros indígenas de aquí, que han hablado del racismo, la represión y los crímenes contra indígenas en Norteamérica. Sus testimomios me hacen recordar otros que he escuchado antes de los indígenas en México. En lo personal, tengo un gran respeto por activistas que como John no se venden y demuestran ser consecuentes con sus principios…

John Graham es conocido como activista político. En apoyo a su caso, organizaciones como Amnistía Internacional, El Movimiento Anti-nuclear, La Asamblea de las Primeras Naciones, La Sociedad contra la Intimidacíon, Canadá Derechos Humanos 3000, así como sindicatos de trabajadores, personalidades y organizaciones sociales han enviado cientos de cartas en apoyo a su inocencia. En solidaridad con John Graham, aproximadamente unos 100 activistas de organizaciones civiles y de derechos humanos estuvieron afuera de la Suprema Corte el pasado 21 de febrero, John teme por su vida en caso de ser extraditado proque se sabe que, muchos presos politicos indígenas han sido silenciados con la muerte en las cárceles de los Estados Unidos. Al salir de la corte, John dijo estar muy decepcionado, pero no sorprendido ante esta decisión. Creo que muchas personas compartimos esa decepción y lamentamos que el gobierno de Canadá comparta la injusticia y la represión politica con sus vecinos del sur. El caso de John no está aún perdido, el proceso de apelacion sigue en curso y para principios de noviembre tendrá audiecia en la Suprema Corte de Vancouver. No permitas que el gobierno Canadiense extradite a otro hombre inocente.

Para más información:
http://www.grahamdefense.org
https://ourfreedom.wordpress.com

 

Statement by Nicoline Rickard, September 18, 2008

Filed under: John Graham — ourfreedom @ 11:56 pm

Statement by Nicoline Rickard, September 18, 2008

Nicoline and JohnJohn Graham is my partner. Our relationship began in the summer of 1999, and since that time we have lived, worked, and traveled together and have not been apart. We have experienced both good and bad times and John tells me I know him better than anyone alive. I know, in my heart and in my gut, that John just does not have it in him to cause harm to anyone. I know his reverence for all life is genuine. You can’t fake that kind of character. I know he is sincere when he talks about his love and respect for his grandma, who is his greatest influence. She affected him deeply and she taught him, as John says, “the spirit of sharing and caring”, when he was a very young child. I have witnessed how he treats people and how he speaks of them privately, how he listens to strangers, friends, and neighbors alike with a welcoming calmness. John has a true respect for others and an inner strength that shines through in all he says and does. He is non-confrontational. In fact, I have never heard him raise his voice to anyone. He is easygoing, asserts himself quietly and with strength, and is not a man who would take orders – from anyone – to hurt another man, woman or child.

I know John Graham to be an honest, intelligent, and decent man. He has never treated me with anything but love, respect, care, patience and humor. I miss him every day and night.

 

Support Needed for Indigenous Political Prisoner John Graham September 16, 2008

Filed under: John Graham — ourfreedom @ 2:59 am
Photo taken on Coast Salish Territory, Vancouver, September 15, 2008

Photo taken on Coast Salish Territory, Vancouver, September 15, 2008

URGENT: Support Needed for Indigenous Political Prisoner John Graham

*please forward*

September 8, 2008
Coast Salish Territories, Vancouver

Dear friends and allies:

We are writing to ask for your financial support to help defend John Graham. As most of you know, John Graham is a political prisoner who is Southern Tutchone from the Yukon Territory. He is currently imprisoned in Rapid City, South Dakota (Background Information Below). John’s trial date is set for October 2008 and his family and close supporters are planning to travel to South Dakota in order to support John during this time.

There are, of course, costs associated with this trip. Hence, in this letter, we are making a special financial appeal to support John’s family and friends to travel and stay in South Dakota for up to one month during his trial.

* We are aiming for 50 people/organizations to donate at least $20 each by the end of September *

The isolation that political prisoners such as John Graham experience behind bars is part of the state’s repressive strategies. John’s current legal struggle also reflects the political repression faced by Indigenous people who struggle against state and corporate control. It is therefore imperative to offer our tangible and practical support to facilitate supporters to be present in South Dakota as part of this campaign for justice for John Graham.

If you can donate, please be in touch as soon as possible! (by the end of September at the latest)

1) Direct deposit: CIBC Branch account # 86-64536 transit # 04700

2) Send a cheque made out to Naneek Graham and mail it to:

1424 Commercial Dr.
P.O. Box 21640
Vancouver, BC
V5L 5G3

3) To make arrangements for someone to pick up your donation, please contact: Naneek Graham @ 778-386-0354 (message) or Chusia Graham @ 604-418-0279 or Harsha @ 778 885 0040 or harsha(at)resist.ca or Ange at 778-317-3830 or noxmadima(at)yahoo.com.

Again, your financial contribution is a very important and tangible way to support this campaign and is deeply appreciated. For more information, please contact Chusia or Naneek Graham.

With solidarity and thanks,
Naneek & Chusia Graham

BACKGROUND:

John Graham is a Southern Tutchone from the Yukon Territory. He is currently imprisoned at the Pennington County Jail in Rapid City, South Dakota, and his trial date has been set for October 2008. John Graham was arrested in Vancouver in December 2003, and after a prolonged legal battle including leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, he was extradited to South Dakota in December 2007. The allegations against John are of murdering fellow AIM member and Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Anna Mae Pictou in 1975. John Graham denies he killed Anna Mae.

In the mid-1970s, AIM was carrying out armed stand-offs in defence of the land including the 1973 standoff at Wounded Knee in South Dakota. As a result, AIM was one of the primary targets of the COINTELPRO counter-intelligence program aimed to weaken, confuse, and arouse suspicion amongst AIM members. At different times, Anna Mae Pictou Aquash, Leonard Peltier and John Graham all said they were offered their freedom if they collaborated with the FBI against other AIM members; they all refused. On the killing of Anna Mae, former FBI regional director Norm Zagrossi has himself stated it ‘looked like a cover-up’ . Ellen Klaver, a journalist in Colorado who has followed the story for three decades, has observed that, ‘Whoever was involved, the FBI was the architect.’ Both the B.C. Supreme Court extradition judge and the B.C. appeal court ruled there were deficiencies in the record of the case given to the courts by U.S. officials.

However the 1999 Extradition Treaty between the United States and Canada lowers the burden of proof to include hearsay evidence, which would not be admitted in a Canadian criminal court. Graham and his lawyers have stated they would welcome a trial in Canada, where the fake evidence could be exposed. A key witness, Arlo-Looking Cloud, recanted his testimony stating that he was coerced and under the influence of alcohol. Another prosecution witness Kamook Banks admitted she was paid $43,000 to cooperate with the FBI.

Graham has received support from a wide range of organizations including the Canadian Labour Congress, Native Youth Movement, Chief Capilano of the Squamish Nation, BC Teachers for Peace and Global Education, BC Hospital Employees Union, Stopwar.ca, Council of Yukon First Nations, BC Federation of Labour. Amnesty International has also stated their concern about the lack of a fair trial, given the clear parallels to Leonard Peltier. Peltier was extradited from Vancouver in 1976; now widely known on false evidence. In 1979 former [Canadian] Solicitor General Warren Allmand acknowledged this and formally ‘apologized’, yet he remains behind bars as one of the most well-known political prisoners of our time.

The US government, with Canadian government complicity and cooperation, is intent on repressing the last remnants of AIM. Graham’s current legal struggle reflects the political repression faced by Indigenous people who struggle against state and corporate control over Native lands and resources and reflects the ongoing reality of the ‘Indian Wars’.

FURTHER INFORMATION:

==> Websites:
http://www.grahamdefense.org
https://ourfreedom.wordpress.com

==> Trailer of Documentary ‘Our Sacred History and White Man Lies’:
https://ourfreedom.wordpress.com/2008/01/10/our-sacred-histor…

==> Interview with John Graham:
http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual…

==> Articles:

Vancouver Sun: Who killed Anna Mae?
http://www.grahamdefense.org/20050108weyler-van-sun.htm

COINTELPRO’s long shadow – The importance of the John Graham case:
http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?ItemID=7589

The Anna Mae Pictou-Aquash Story:
http://aws.roadnetwork.org/node/17

The Case of John Graham:
http://warriorpublications.com/?q=node/25

Canadian Dimension: The Hauntings of Colonialism:
http://canadiandimension.com/articles/2007/01/04/827/

The Tyee: Delivering Framed John Graham
http://thetyee.ca/Views/2007/05/16/JohnGraham/

Common Ground: BC Supreme Court set to decide Graham’s extradition fate
http://commonground.ca/iss/0709194/cg194_graham.shtml

Georgia Straight Article:
http://www.straight.com/article-101128/john-graham-says-nati…

Aboriginal Title and International Law: The Occupation of BC, Iraq, the West Bank, and the Extradition Cases of Sittting Bull, Leonard Peltier, James Pitawanakwat, and John Graham by Anthony Hall, University of Lethbridge
http://people.uleth.ca/~hall/bc-kurdistan.htm