By Sara Nathan
Moments before he died of a rare form of cancer at a clinic in Switzerland, the man who created the Sex Pistols turned to his family and said: ‘Free Leonard Peltier.’
Although an obscure cause to some, Peltier is known to supporters as a charismatic leader of the American Indians and has been at the centre of a global campaign for his freedom. The 65-year-old remains in prison in Pennsylvania with no chance of release until 2024.
McLaren’s former partner, the designer Dame Vivienne Westwood, has been a vocal member of the campaign and has produced T-shirts appealing for his freedom.
Speaking for the first time since McLaren’s death on Thursday, his son Joe Corre revealed the final message could have been inspired by a T-shirt worn to the hospital by the music manager’s stepson, Ben.
Joe said: ‘His last words were “Free Leonard Peltier.” Ben had a T-shirt with the slogan on and my father saw this and admired it.
For more on the subject, see Art Show About FBI and Indians and Peltier: Obama's Political Prisoner.
Below: Malcolm McLaren and Young Kim.
Oooh, those are some thought-provoking, awe inspiring last words. I see he was completely original in thought (as well as in taste - the Sex Pistols, LOL). I'd laugh if I were Peltier. His name and their idea of the man are both fashion statements - all the non-Natives who "support" him don't take any action beyond saying two measly things or buying stick-it-to-the-man shirts. I am sick of the majority of non-Natives who claim to "get it" only caring about a political prisoner, wannabes or Zapatistas - it's high time these people learn about what's going on in Indian country and the issues facing Native people today, despite the fact that the everyday and ongoing struggles aren't romantic enough for their tastes. Hello, sheltered ones, that's what Peltier WOULD WANT!
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