Published July 18, 2016
NEW YORK – The “I Will Ask – Will You?,” clemency for Leonard Peltier began in 2012 after Harry Belafonte and the late Pete Seeger held a concerrt Peltier in the Beacon Theatre in New York City.
Jack Healey who was the former director of Amnesty International USA came to deliver the opening remarks and he suggested a different approach to seeking Peltier’s freedom. He had worked to free Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma and others and he felt that it was time to seek freedom for Peltier simply based on his age, his declining health and his time served. Leonard had been in prison for 36 years at that time and it was clear that he had exhausted all of his possible legal options.
The producers decided to drop the legal arguments and leave that to Leonard’s lawyers and his committee. The questionable issues surrounding his trial and later appeals have been well documented. So under the banner of Human Rights Action Center we set out to make these PSA’s.
Quite a few celebrities and Human Rights advocates have contributed to lending their faces and strong voices, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, Wes Studi, Jackson Browne, Harry Belafonte, Pete Seeger, Chris Eyre, Bonnie Raitt, Robbie Robertson, Tom Morelo, Judd Nelson, Irene Bedard, Carlos Santana, Elena Grassel, Peter Gabriel, Qorianka Kilcher, Kris Kristofferson, the Baker Twins and quite a few others take part in it.
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