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Jean Roach, eine Lakota-Frau, die seit September in Europa unterwegs ist, kann Erfolge ihrer Reise vorweisen.

Claus Biegert

Jean Roach, a Lakota woman who has been traveling in Europe since September, has successes to show for her journey. Jean Roach is not just any indigenous activist from the Midwestern United States. She was there when three people died in a gunfight on the Pine Ridge reservation on June 26, 1975: FBI agents Ron Williams and Jack Coler, and Native American activist Joe Stunz. Also involved was Leonard Peltier, who has been in prison for 44 years – for being there.

Originally charged with double murder, he received two life sentences. When it turned out that all the evidence had been falsified, the charge was changed to aiding and abetting murder – because he was there. The sentence, however, remained. All previous presidents have ignored the worldwide petitions for his release. Also ignored were letters from Pope Francis, who wrote to President Obama and, more recently, to President Biden.

In early September, Jean Roch, currently co-director of the International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, came to Europe. She visited the UN Human Rights Committee in Geneva, along with Carol Gokee, founder and chair of Rise up for Peltier, and both made presentations to the Geneva city government. There they were received without hesitation by Alfonso Gomez Cruz. The Gallic and Green politician has been vice president of the city of Geneva since June 1, 2022. Gomez Cruz immediately agreed to the requested petition and hopes many European cities may follow his example.

Jean Roch hopes so too. The editorial staff of VOICES will follow the request and contact the mayors of Bolzano, Kiel and Munich.