Michael Moore on Guns and Incarceration at Leonard Peltier Benefit

ICTMN Staff
1/5/13

On December 14, the Beacon Theater in New York City hosted a benefit called "Bring Leonard Peltier Home in 2012." It was, to some extent, an appeal to President Obama to grant Peltier a pardon, and celebrities including Harry Belafonte, Pete Seeger, Common, and Mos Def sought to use their influence to get the President's attention.

Documentarian Michael Moore was also among those addressing the crowd. His remarks were wide-ranging, influenced heavily by the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut (which had happened earlier that day) and the Central Park Five (subject of a new Ken Burns documentary) but also covering health insurance, corporate greed, the so-called War on Drugs, and the more conventional wars fought around the world under the banner of the American flag.

Moore also discussed Leonard Peltier. But as witnessed by our reporter, some in the audience felt the balance was off, and that Moore seemed to care less about Peltier than about general liberal causes.

Here's a clip of Moore's address in its entirety -- was he out of line, or was he on target? Judge for yourself: 

You need to be logged in in order to post comments
Please use the log in option at the bottom of this page

POST A COMMENT

Comments

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Although I wish he would have directed all of his comments towards Lenoard, I still feel he made some powerful points. Such as....the scales of justice are still very heavy-handed. That if anyone should be in prison it's those who sit in the very seats of power. The problem is not just with Lenoard, it's much bigger than that. How we've become a society of mindless, reality garbage TV junkies, worried more about our fancy coffee and next year's car models. He did a good job of bringing it back to it's simplest form - that keeping Lenoard in prison is another form of violence & cruel injustice. Was it his best spech? No, but combined with the fresh deaths of Sandy Hook he still delivered some thought provoking comments, and that's the designed purpose of any speech. Lenoard is long overdue his freedom & it's very sad that our citizens & government continue to pretend there's not a problem with that. His case should be taught in every school as a focus of the human rights violations here, right here in the United States. I would like to see more benefits in support of Lenoard Peltier. It's time to 'man-up' America & free Lenard. Miigwetch Mike for lending a voice towards this cause.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
"And really, if necessary, I'd do it all over again." Leonard Peltier. That's one of the cornerstones of commutation...rehabilitation...he will serve his two life sentences and the seven consecutive years for the armed escape from Lompoc. Moore is a one percenter who's laughing all the way down the red carpet at those clapping and smiling...a successful class clown milking the system he decries...and the fools keep clapping...

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
I couldn't get through it all, the rambling from point to point to try and keep the audiences attention. What I did see was MM climb uninvited onto the back of a warrior and use him for his own agenda for 12 minutes. Shame MM!

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Very ironic that Moore that Moore is sticking up for a man/group that was using an assault weapon (Peltier), and then the agents were executed at close range. Brutal gun crimes if anything.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
It's true that MM digressed a little bit, but I think he tried to contextualize the conditions under which Peltier is imprisoned. At least he did bring up the fact that America is founded on genocide, and that it is fundamentally a violent, basically mentally ill society. However, MM is a little too patriotic for me. It's fine to admit to your beloved country being built on genocide, but that's only a piece of the puzzle of the much larger picture that is settler colonialism. I think he's just not very educated about the political struggles Native people still face today, so he reverts back to his own political projects that he knows a lot more about, which are the radical lefty agendas of gun control, healthcare, etc. I think his heart is in the right place, but if the organizers aim was to have a big name in lefty politics address the gathering, I would like to have seen someone with a more sophisticated level of knowledge of Native American history. Maybe Amy Goodman? Who else can we name?
7