Due to the nature of the Peltier case, a high level of public awareness is critical if our efforts are to succeed. Remember that, despite all of the tools now available, face-to-face contact remains the most effective means of communication.
Here's some of the things you can do to educate your community about the Peltier case:
Download publications and set up literature tables at events/public places.
Plan showings of electronic media. While Incident at Oglala: The Leonard Peltier Story is technically out of print, copies still in circulation are often available for purchase from Amazon.com, eBay, etc., and VHS and DVD copies are available to rent in many rental outlets. Amazon.com also offers a downloadable, low-cost digital version. Restrictions apply. We also strongly recommend "Warrior" by Suzi Baer. (Order online through Native Videos.)
Hold book readings featuring Leonard's book, Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance
Enlist your friends, family, and community members in the freedom campaign. Hold events or facilitate activities that will spread awareness about the new strategies, while galvanizing active support.
Here are some ideas that have worked well in the past:
Potluck/Meeting—Invite friends, family and coworkers, local organizations, fellow supporters, and potential supporters to a potluck and planning meeting. Discuss the case and new strategies. Plan outreach, fundraising and mobilization efforts for the months to come. The discussion might include planning to attend special events as a group, outreach efforts such as regular leafleting in a public place, video showings or talks, or visits with local church groups, labor unions, civil and human rights organizations to ask them to pass a formal resolution and encourage other participation and support.
Vigil—Hold a vigil on or around significant case-related dates—June 26th, for example. Invite local organizations, church members, tribal members, and general public to attend. Alert the media and announce new strategies at the vigil. Inform attendees of ways to get involved on a local level.
Leafleting—If you are not in a position to coordinate an event, consider leafleting in a busy area to generate more awareness.
Call Circle—Host a party and ask your guests to bring their cell phones. Coordinate calls to congressional offices and/or the White House.
Street Theater—Devise skits that tell Leonard Peltier's story. Perform the skits on street corners in your community. Also distribute educational materials.
Chalk It Up—A simple action you can take in your community is to assemble a group of supporters, hand out chalk, and spread out. Write slogans in support of Leonard's freedom on sidewalks throughout your town, e.g., "Free Peltier NOW Because It's the RIGHT Thing to Do". You also can include our Web address (www.FreePeltierNow.org) so that interested passersby have the means by which to learn about Leonard Peltier. (Do please consult graffiti ordinances in your area and use only chalk because such markings are not permanent.)
Prison Cell Exhibit—The standard size for a federal prison cell is 80 square-feet. Construct such a "prison cell" in a park or other public place and invite passersby to experience "imprisonment" for themselves. Post signs: "Construction and activation of this cell cost you $170,000" and "It costs you, the taxpayer, $33,000 per year to confine an innocent man in a federal maximum security prison. Free Leonard Peltier." Also distribute materials on Leonard's case.
Reserved—Go to a public park or other public place (even a stage play or film screening, sporting event, concert, etc.). Place a sign that says "Reserved for Leonard Peltier" (be sure to include our Web address, i.e., www.FreePeltierNow.org) on a chair or bench.