Two United States radio stations are refusing to play the songs of Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson because the two stars played at a benefit for Indian activist Leonard Peltier.
President of KQLH San Bernardino and KWRM Riverside, Pat Michaels said the performance of the singers at the Costa Mesa Amphitheater for Peltier was an insult.
"By continuing to play the records of Kristofferson and Nelson, we're not only attacking the reputation of the two agents who died but slapping the face, every peace officer who daily puts on a badge and gun and goes out onto the streets and risks his life," said Michaels who added that "audience acceptance" will determine how long his two stations will keep Kristofferson and Nelson recordings off the air.
However, organizer of the Peltier benefit, actor Peter Coyote said Michaels was merely following statements made by an angry FBI agent, Richard Bretzing.
"That statement is the same deliberate misrepresentation of the facts that special agent Bretzing did. How do you insult a peace officer by standing up for constitutional guarantees?" said Coyote, a close friend of Peltier.
About 7,000 people attended the concert dubbed "cowboys for Indians and Justice for Leonard Peltier". Coyote's group is seeking a new trial for Peltier who they say was framed for the killings of two FBI agents during a 1875 shootout on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in South Dakota. Peltier is currently serving two life terms at the Leavenworth prison in Kansas.
Other artists who performed at the concert include comedian Robin Williams, singers Jackson Brown and Joni Mitchell.