PayPal and Leonard Peltier

PayPal has blocked the defense funds for imprisoned Native American activist Leonard Peltier from using PayPal under their Offensive Material Policy.

PayPal may also, in its discretion and out of respect for the families of murder victims, prohibit the use of PayPal to sell items closely associated with individuals notorious for committing murderous acts within the last 100 years, such as personal belongings of criminals, letters or artwork created by such criminals, or novelty items that bear the name or image of the criminal.

Those who have seen Incident at Oglala, a documentary about Peltier, know there’s overwhelming evidence that Peltier was railroaded and is not guilty. Yet he is in prison for murder of two FBI agents, and the case was “notorious”, no doubt about that.

However, it’s a travesty that Peltier’s defense fund can no longer use PayPal to raise money. Yes, PayPal policy prohibits sale of items closely related to Charles Manson, Adolf Hitler, Pol Pot, Ed Gein, etc. – and that’s absolutely a good thing. I just did a quick scan of eBay, parent company to PayPal, and while they have items for sale about Manson and Ed Gein, they are books and tapes mostly, not artwork or autographs, and thus not “closely related.”

So, PayPal can and does, at their discretion, block sales of items they consider closely related to convicted murderers – not just Peltier. Maybe someone complained to PayPal, using their policy as a way to attack his defense fund. Maybe that someone was the FBI, who knows.

But the Peltier defense fund was not selling anything closely related to Peltier! Plus, the measures taken by PayPal seem draconian – why are the funds frozen?

Designating Leonard Peltier as being “notorious for committing murderous acts,” PayPal has now deprived us of our online fundraising capability. Our accounts have been closed preventing us from receiving donations electronically & we have been told that our funds collected through the online service may be frozen for up to 180 days.

All of which is even more reason to Free Leonard Peltier!

Peltier is currently running for President in California on the Peace & Freedom Party ticket, yes he is. In fact, Peace & Freedom rejected Nader in favor of Peltier!

Statement by Leonard Peltier

I am a Native American who has suffered nearly 28 years in prison, even though government attorneys and courts acknowledge that the government withheld evidence, fabricated evidence, and coerced witnesses to fraudulently convict me. But the courts say they have no power to correct the wrongs of our government. If the Courts do not, who does?

Finally, from the opening page of the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee:

My name is Leonard Peltier.
I am a Lakota and Anishnabe
And I am living in the United States penitentiary,
Which is the swiftest growing
Indian reservation in the country …