December 18th, that's the day the walk began in California. Three months later and it has led participants to Mississippi. The purpose is to primarily call attention to the case of Leonard Peltier. He's a Native American activist who was convicted in 1977 for killing two FBI agents. Sentenced to serve two consecutive life terms, Peltier has been in federal prison for more than 30 years. Part of the mission of the walk is to push for his release.
'I don't know about a new trial,' says Walk for Human Rights organizer, Dorothy Ninham. ' I think we need to get him out on clemency or something else first because he's been denied a retrial all along.'
Amnesty International and some other groups view Peltier as a political prisoner who received an unfair trial. They, along with Ninham, are calling for his release.
'Everybody feels it was unjust from Mother Theresa to Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela. He's innocent,' says Ninham. 'Mainly what we're trying to do is reawaken the case in Indian country because I think it's real important that tribal leaders speak out. Talk about sovereignty and him being a prisoner of war, a political prisoner.'
Participants in this walk say they believe that injustice anywhere is truly means injustice everywhere. That's is why they're taking their message across the country in hopes of drawing attention to the need to address human rights violations.
'This is for all the injustices that happen to people, not only in America, but everywhere,' says Walk for Human Rights organizer, Geronimo Powless.
Scheduled to reach Florida later this week, the March for Human Rights is set to end May 18th in Washington D.C. There a 3 day Pow Wow will be held.
'We're going to continue fighting not only for him, but there are a lot of innocent people who are behind bars,' says Ninham.